Brazil is experiencing its worst water shortage ever. Low levels of rainfall, increased water use, and low infrastructure investments have led to the lowest water levels in the history of Brazil.
This was the background to the recent Israeli water delegation to Brazil. The Israeli economic offices in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, in cooperation with Israel NewTech and the Israeli Export Institute, organized a delegation of 13 Israeli companies to Brazil. We spoke with Israeli Economic Officer in Sao Paulo, Boaz Albaranes, who summarized the visit, which ended March 27th.
“The most important feedback I heard from the Israeli participants is that the current dramatic water situation in Brazil is leading to a different approach on the part of the Brazilians,” says Albaranes. “it seems that the Brazilians feel an urgency to move forward quickly and be very practical and executional.”
The visit could have been called “5 Events in 5 Days”, and the 13 Israeli company met numerous Brazilian water industry leaders. Each of the five events hosted 80-150 Brazilian professionals, including from the largest water utilities in Brazil like SABESP, Sanepar and COPASA.
According to Daniel Kobar, the Israeli Economic Officer in Rio de Janeiro, the opportunity for Israeli water companies is tremendous: “From my conversations with the water utilities in Rio, I’m sure there’s an unprecedented opportunity for Israeli water companies right now. However, the Israeli industry will have to work hard to take advantage of the opportunity because international water companies also have their eye on this market. We’re here to help the Israeli water companies take maximum advantage of the opportunity.”
Adi Yefet, head of the water arena at Israel NewTech, added: “Actually Brazil is in a similar situation to where Israel was in the past, in this urgent water crisis. Through strong strategic planning and technological innovation, Israel was able to overcome its huge water challenge. This experience can be very valuable to the Brazilian water industry.”
So what Israeli technologies can provide the most relevant solutions for Brazil’s water crisis? “Brazil will need to invest in strategic planning to overcome the water challenge in the long run, like Israel has,” explains Boaz Albaranes. “But for the ‘quick fix’ water conservation technologies are key. All of the Israeli companies in the delegation offer solutions to maximize existing water resources, each in a different way, so they are extremely relevant to the Brazilian market.”