The refresher course for UNESCO-IHE alumni from Central and Southern America on “Membrane technology for drinking and wastewater treatment” took place between 9 and 13 December 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The course was coordinated by the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology department of UNESCO-IHE and was locally supported by SABESP and alumna Mara Ramos.
SABESP is the company in charge of providing drinking water, sewage collection and wastewater treatment in the state of Sao Paulo. In total, twenty five participants (five from the local partner) from seven countries of the region participated in the course, which was funded by NUFFIC. The represented countries were the following: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, and Peru. The following UNESCO-IHE staff members participated in the course: Dr. Sergio Salinas as coordinator and lecturer of membrane technology in drinking water treatment, Dr. Hector Garcia as lecturer in membrane bioreactors in wastewater treatment, Raquel dos Santos as lecturer in MDGs and gender in water, and Maria Sorrentino as officer in charge of alumni.
The objectives of the course were:
- To update the knowledge and experience of participants with state-of-the-art technical aspects of membrane technology in drinking and wastewater treatment
- To discuss the current status of the MDGs in the region
- To bring together professionals from the region involved in water supply, drainage and sanitation to provide and exchange experiences on current issues of water and wastewater treatment
- To stimulate future cooperation between the alumni in the region, the alumni worldwide, and between the alumni and UNESCO-IHE
- To put into practice the Life Long Learning concept, endorsed by UNESCO-IHE.
The programme of the course included lectures, calculation exercises, fieldtrips to a water reuse facility including ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis and a membrane bioreactor plant. Also included in the programme were visits to ABES (Brazilian association of sanitary engineers) and AIDIS (Asociacion interamericana de ingenieria sanitaria y ambiental). Overall, It was a very interactive week where many contacts were renewed and a lot of experience was exchanged.