On Friday, November 5, the Rio Grande [do Sul] Press Association (ARI) launched the second edition of the National Forum on Water, which gets underway tomorrow in Porto Alegre.
The president of the ARI, Ercy Torma, said that the object is to define policies for the sustainable management of water resources, as well as to evaluate the results of the projects presented at the first edition of the forum, which took place in 2003.
“We want to offer practical proposals to solve problems such as the waste and pollution of water resources,” he affirmed.
To this end, the event will gather representatives from Europe, the US, and Mercosur countries, chiefly from environmental organizations of international scope.
Among the government authorities whose presence is confirmed is the Brazilian Minister of Environment, Marina Silva.
The II International Forum on Water is sponsored by the ARI, together with the Ministries of Environment and Cities, the state secretariat of Public Works and Sanitation, the Porto Alegre municipal government, and the United Nations (UN).
The program includes conferences, speeches, panels, and workshops. According to data issued by the Forum on Water, in a span of only 50 years, following World War II, the planet’s reserves of available fresh water decreased 62.7%.
The figures for South America and Africa are even more disturbing: reductions of 73% and 75%, respectively.
Brazil’s water resource potential corresponds to 53% of the reserves in South America and 12% of the global total.
However, in a few years cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will not have enough water to meet the needs of their populations.
This is the case, because the rate of waste is estimated to be 40%, demonstrating the inept management of these abundant resources.
In the North, where Brazil’s largest reserve of potable water is located, the water supply and basic sanitation systems are considered the worst in the country.
Translator: David Silberstein