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The Environment
Itaipu is an example of sharing, central theme of the World Water Forum
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Throughout the world, 261 river basins are located in two or more countries and 97% of aquifers are transboundary. Hence the central theme of the 8th World Water Forum (water sharing), which was officially opened this Monday morning (19) in Brasilia, simultaneously at Itamaraty headquarters and Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center.
For the president of the World Water Council (WWC), Benedito Braga, Brazilian, reaching a condition of water security on the planet shall only be possible upon water sharing, since about 2 billion people do not have access to potable water and sanitation.
“Sharing a river basin is not a burden, but an incentive to improve relations and governance. Now it is a process that demands time, efforts and investments. But I am sure we will achieve the water security situation that we need”, Braga stated.
According to CMA president, USD 550 billion of annual investment is needed by 2030 to secure the infrastructure needed to provide global water security, prepare the world for the coming crises, and ensure the achievement of the goals set by the Sustainable Development Goals. “Therefore, it is necessary to put water at the heart of national development policies”, he added.
President Michel Temer, who also spoke at the opening of the Forum, assured that Brazil complies with this recipe. “No one ignores the fact that access to water and sanitation is connected to our ability to grow sustainably. Our shared obligation is to seek sustainable development in all its aspects: economic, social and environmental”, the president assured to the various chiefs of state present at Itamaraty and addressing, in particular, the authorities of Senegal, host country of the 9th World Water Forum in 2021.
Itaipu’s example
The successful example of shared management of the waters of Paraná River by Itaipu, generating benefits equally for Brazil and Paraguay, led the company to occupy an outstanding position in the World Water Forum. The Executive Coordination Director, Pedro Domaniczky, held one of the seven chairs of the opening ceremony held at Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center. Representatives of the WWC, UNEP, the National Water Agency, among others, also took part. 
“At Itaipu, we are located at Prata Basin, the second largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and we have under our feet Guarani Aquifer, one of the largest underground freshwater reserves on the planet. So our responsibility before future generations is enormous”, stated Domaniczky.
“In 45 years of lessons learned, we can say that it is a river that unites two countries and it generates not only energy but also development, knowledge, and sustainability. And we have a vision that governments are not the main actors of a territory, but the people. People need to be protagonists, just like we are in this Forum, and we must not limit ourselves to a condition of participants, but actually take part in the actions”, he added.
Throughout the week, the company will be sharing its experience in river basin management, water security and multiple uses of the reservoir at various levels of Forum discussion, such as government, technical-scientific, and disclosure of good practices to the general public.
Council Meeting
On Sunday (18), Itaipu also took part in the extraordinary meeting of WWC, an entity that brings together international institutions, NGOs and companies involved in water issues around the world. Binacional, which has a chair in the council and is one of the main representatives of the hydro-energy sector in the entity.
The meeting, led by President Benedito Braga, was important to determine new procedures, such as the resolution that instituted a new electronic voting format, to allow voting for those who cannot be physically present at meetings.
“The World Water Council is undergoing modernization. The complex water issues require more agility in the decision-making process and the electronic voting system will boost that”, stated Domaniczky, who attended the meeting along with Itaipu Coordinating Director Newton Luiz Kaminski. It was the first time that the directors of the two margins of the binational company participated in a meeting of WWC.
“One of the courses of action is to give more visibility to good practices in water management, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, and therefore the governance committee will play a key role in the planning and actions developed by WWC”, added Kaminski. The two directors also met with the president of the Latin American Network of Basins Bodies (Rede Lationamericana de Organismos de Bacias), Roberto Olivares, and the secretary of the International Hydrological Program, of Unesco, Blanca Jiménez Cisneros.