Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Kara Nelson presents to delegates from the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

The Berkeley Water Center hosted 10 international emerging leaders selected by the U.S. Embassy in Brazil to travel to the U.S. for a professional exchange program April 4, as part of the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program from March 31 – April 8, 2016 for a discussion on how the center successfully pursues studies in water and promotes water-related research.

The group’s professional program addressed urban water management, where BWC research excels. The hour-ling meeting was an informal opportunity for a presentation and Q&A to facilitate relevant global connections and the exchange of key ideas between the visitors and their American professional counterparts.

Overall, specific objectives for the program trip include:

  • Explore the multiple use of water resources and water sharing agreements between actors such as industry, energy generation, agriculture, municipalities, and the natural environment;
  • Explore how local state, and federal government, NGOs, industry, academia and private citizen groups influence water resource management;
  • Explore effective watershed management including issues of water quality, sedimentation, flood and drought management, sustainable basin development, coordination in managing pollution from agriculture, mining, sewage, wastewater, and industrial pollution;
  • Explore broad topics such as reducing losses in urban water systems, desalinization, the reuse of water, efficient irrigation, new technologies for potable water, economic instruments to reduce demand during crises, and emergency strategies for prolonged droughts;
  • Explore programs and strategies to reduce waste in water supplies;
  • Visit to a river basin committee to discuss issues related to water use conflict involving different governing units;
  • Learn about examples or cases of success in recovery of rivers or watershed due to industry or mining usage, and how to manage accountability in environmental losses.

Participants from Brazil include Mr. Sérgio Luis De Carvahlo Xavier, State Secretary, Environment and Sustainability Secretariat of Pernambuco; Mr. Sergio Augusto De Mendonca Ribeiro, Head of the Water Resources Strategic Department, Environment Secretariat of the Federal District; Mr. Jorge Enoch Furquim Werneck Lima, Researcher, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa); Ms. Alexandra Facciolli Martins, State Prosecutor, Sao Paulo State Prosecutors Office; Mr. Edes Fernandes De Oliveira, Director of Production and Large Operations, Rio de Janeiro State Water and Sewage Company (CEDAE); Ms. Flavia Gomes De Barros, Water Resources Inspection Superintendent, Brazilian National Water Agency; Mr. Jorge Vicente Peron Mendes, Head, Environment Division, Rio de Janeiro State Federation of Industries (FIRJAN); and Ms. Sandra Akemi Shimada Kishi, Federal Prosecutor, 3rd District, São Paulo Federal Prosecutors Office.