Brazil’s water-related challenges are similar to those in present-day California, but the South American nation’s approach to flood risk management is more similar to the approach used by the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century.
In an effort to fast-forward Brazil’s flood risk planning, a team of engineers from Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA) spent several days in early June visiting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District levee and dam projects as part of an ongoing partnership with the Corps.
“Having ANA representatives visit several Corps districts here on the West Coast was the culmination of a lot of hard work and collaboration that’s taken place over the past year,” said Nicholas Applegate, chief of the Sacramento District’s economic and risk analysis section. “This was a great opportunity for ANA engineers to actually see and touch some of our old and new flood risk management projects, hopefully taking home ideas to help address their specific flood risk management problems.”
“Brazil faces many challenges that are similar to those in California,” said Othon Fialho de Oliveira, ANA program manager. “We are facing multiple conflicting demands for water, development of housing in flood plains, reduced funding for water infrastructure projects and an ongoing drought.
“Specific areas where ANA seeks improvement are in meteorological monitoring, regulatory policy development, reservoir operations and flood risk management strategies,” said Oliveira.
Applegate was part of the Corps team that helped facilitate a two-week multi-agency flood risk management workshop at ANA’s headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil’s national capital, in late March 2015.