drought, cape town, water

São Paulo has hosted the world’s leading event on water reuse and desalination, showcasing how Brazil is embracing the technology for its economic benefit.

The International Desalination Association World Congress for Water Reuse and Desalination took place October 15-20 in São Paulo, the first time the event has taken place in Latin America. The region has made great strides in water reuse technology, with around 800 desalination plants established in Latin America, with 120 in Brazil, the first installed in the 1980s.

Brazil is home to a number of microfiltration (MF) plants built for various industrial sectors, such as the refineries of Brazilian energy giant Petrobras. It is also embracing the emerging market for ‘loose’ reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes, to meet increased use in mining, and offshore oil extraction operations.

Emilio Gabbrielli, President of the International Desalination Association, said: “Data from the IDA Yearbook has been showing for years Latin America, and in particular Brazil, has become a leading user of water desalination and reuse technology. The potential for a greater use of these technologies is enormous, and the interest is very high.

“The World Congress presents an unprecedented opportunity for the dissemination of knowledge and offers an ideal opportunity for participants from around the world to know more about the many opportunities offered by Brazil and the rest of Latin America. Based on years of experience in seeing the positive impact of the IDA World Congress in other parts of the world, hopefully, this event will once again serve as a catalyst for a wider and more appropriate use of these technologies in Brazil and Latin America.”

The 2017 World Congress, themed ‘Ensure Your Water Future’, attracted some 1,200 public and private sector participants from across the globe, from end users to technology developers, academics and researchers, funders, vendors, and consultants. It included an exhibition and a wide-ranging four-day technical programme, with sessions focused on regional success stories that show how water reuse and desalination are helping Latin American countries to develop their major economic sectors. Other sessions addressed water policy, development, governance, finance, and market challenges; plus the role of desalination and reuse of water in industrial applications, renewable energies, the environment, and advanced technologies.

Visits to local plants included a tour of Aquapolo, the largest enterprise for the production of industrial reuse water in South America, and fifth largest on the planet. It provides 650 litres per second of reuse water for the Petrochemical Complex of the ABC Paulista Region for use in cleaning cooling towers and boilers. Another visit took in Sabesp, one of the largest water and sewage service provider companies in the world. In the last five years, it has invested around R$14.4 billion and has earmarked another R$12.5 billion until 2020 to fulfil its commitment to sustainable and responsible universalisation of water and sewage services. A further tour explored Sabesp WTP Rio Grande, an arm of the Billings Dam which  produces 500 litres of potable water per second using state-of-the-art ultrafiltration membranes.

Several important Brazilian organisations and institutions were strategic partners of the Congress, including leading bodies in sanitation and environmental engineering, the machinery and equipment industry, and the agricultural industry.


(via IDA, The São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau)