Of all the World Water Forums held, the 8th, in Brasilia, was marked by intense citizen participation. We had the presence of political authorities, researchers, activists, public administrators and managers of large companies, but the large number of people who visited the parallel fair during the event period, clearly, made this a unique meeting.

There were more than 100,000 people, a flow about three times higher than the initially expected by the organization, visiting the Fair pavilion, showing that the concern with water is already a reality for everyone. We can clearly feel that there is an emerging awareness that water is not born in the tap and is not an inexhaustible resource.

And if the popular presence was highlighted in Brasilia, the summit of this participation was the Citizen Forum, with its discussions about actions for Brazil, Latin America and the world.

The 10 Principles signed by the Citizen Forum show this new thinking and point to the paths that must be followed in preparing for a future with water security. These guidelines point to the guarantee of water as a basic right, the valuation of life and the preservation of health, shared and transparent management committed to the prevention of disasters, the dissemination of information and environmental education, and especially the emphasis on women and young people as subjects and to be cared for and protected in all these processes.

Water is fundamental to our lives and its benefits are not limited to hygiene, food and health. All production processes use water as an input, as well as sports and recreation. That is, economic development, the possibility for people to progress socially and their comfort and well-being are directly linked to water availability.

Citizens are already aware of this and are seeking to inform, discuss, take positions and defend what they believe is the best use of this important natural resource. For this mobilization, the World Water Council was extremely grateful for the participation of the people in Brasilia, bringing its renewing energy to the debates on the subject.

We know that there are still many people on this planet without safe access to water. Solutions are varied and each case must be analyzed according to its local circumstances to determine the best path. We need to find the technical, institutional and financial means to ensure water security, but without dogmatism, always putting people at the center of planning. And if the citizens are the focus of all this debate, it is crucial that they are definitely included in the design and implementation of the solutions we are building for the future.



President of the 8th World Water Forum
President of Sabesp – Basic Sanitation Company of the São Paulo State and Honorary President of the World Water Council