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ABCMAC - The Brazilian Rainwater Catchment and Management Association

With some exceptions, there did not exist experiences with rainwater utilization methods in Brazil, until 25 years ago. The situation begun to change, when EMBRAPA (The Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency) started with experiments of rainwater cisterns and subsurface dams in the late 1970s. In the 1990s, IRPAA (The Regional Institute for Appropriate Small-Scale Agriculture), other NGOs, grass-root organizations and communities began to construct cisterns in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Tropics (BSATs). In the following years, EMBRAPA and IRPAA organized various Brazilian Rainwater Catchment Symposia, which gave a great impetus to rainwater utilization.

ABCMAC - The Brazilian Rainwater Catchment and Management Association was founded during the 9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference (the 2nd Brazilian Rainwater Catchment Symposium), at Petrolina, Pernambuco State, on July 1999. It was possible to convince many Brazilian people that rainwater utilization could give an important contribution for a better living in the BSATs.

At the end of 1999, as a consequence of this awareness building, the Program for 1 Million Cisterns (P1MC) was created by ASA, a network of almost 1000 NGOs working in the BSATs. P1MC is thought to provide drinking water for 1 million families in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region and is beeing executed by the civilian society in a decentralized manner (at the community, municipal, micro-region, state and regional levels) with funding from the Ministry of the Environment and the private sector. Until August 2012, more than 500.000 cisterns were constructed by the project.

The 8th Brazilian Rainwater Catchment and Management Symposium, with the theme “Rainwater
Catchment in different Sectors and Scales: Challenge of integrated management”, attended by 320 persons, was held in Campina Grande, Paraiba State, Brazil, from August 14 - 17, 2012. Among the participants, were two international guest lectureres Prof. Han Heijnen from Uganda and Prof. Jose Arturo Cleason Espindola from Mexico, representatives of universities, governmental and non-governmental institutions and of several other sectors from the different regions of Brazil. Progress and insights in regards to new techniques and the use of rainwater as well as social mobilization was noted. A special highlight of the conference was the presentation of quality aspects of rainwater and guidlines for rainwater utilization, a round table discussions about the actual state of P1MC and the presentation of the Program 1 Piece of Land and 2 Types of Water (P1+2), which will provide water for agriculture and animals mostly through rainwater harvesting in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region. We had also two workshops, one about Different Rainwater Catchment Technologies and another about Implementation of Rainwater Harvesting Projects in Rural Areas.

Among the members of ABCMAC are researchers, technicians, community leaders, politicians, NGOs and grass-root people, all engaged in rainwater utilization. Especially governmental organizations (MDS – Ministry of Social Development, EMBRAPA - The Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency, ANA - The Brazilian Water Agency) show the importance that rainwater utilization obtained today.

In the future, ABCMAC will not only concentrate in organizing the biannual symposia, but intend a continuous action in research and advisory to organizations, which carry out programs of rainwater utilization in the BSATs and support the implantation of rainwater utilization in curricula of schools and universities. Moreover, it is planned to spread rainwater utilization to other parts of Brazil (through representatives in different Brazilian States). During the last years, the priorities were research about water quality in cisterns, different rainwater harvesting methods in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Tropics, proposals for rainwater utilization in Brazilian cities and the elaboration - together with the Ministry of the Environment - of the chapter about rainwater of the Brazilian Plan of Water Resources. At this website you can also find the proceedings of the five Brazilian Rainwater Catchment and Management Symposia, mostly in Portuguese.

Email of ABCMAC: johanng(at)abcmac.org.br

ABCMAC Board Members (2012-2014)                                                                                                                                                                       





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Criada em: 19/02/2000