May 2012


Benedito P.F. Braga, Ph.D., Hon.D.WRE is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Sao Paulo, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and currently serves as Vice-President of the World Water Council and as President of the International Committee of the 6th World Water Forum. Dr. Braga was awarded the Honorary Diplomate in 2011 due to his long and distinguished career in the field of water resources for nearly 40 years. Professor Braga is an active researcher in the field of conflict resolution and multi-objective water resources decision making processes with stakeholder participation. He has participated in several international committees promoting the concept of integrated water resources management.

Dr. Braga served as the President of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrologic Program of UNESCO (2008-2009), served as Director of the Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA) from 2001-2009, and also as President of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) from 1998-2000. Prior to his directorship with the ANA, Dr. Braga was a Visiting Professor at Colorado State University, Colorado - USA (1999-2000); Director of UNESCO's International Research and Training Center for Urban Drainage for Tropical Climates (1996-1998); Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Engineering at Polytechnic School of University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (1998); and Director of the Division of Hydrologic Forecasting of Department of Water and Power of Sao Paulo State, Brazil (1983-1990).

Dr. Braga was born on July 15, 1947 in Catanduva, SP, in Brazil, and earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering at University of São Paulo, campus of Sao Carlos, Brazil in 1972. He later earned his Master of Science in Hydraulics at Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo in 1976, a Master of Science in Hydrology at Stanford University in 1977, and his Ph.D. in Water Resources at Stanford in 1979.

Professor Braga contributed in the institutionalization of the Water Resources Management System for the State of Sao Paulo in Brazil, as he was a member of the Water Resources Council of the state of Sao Paulo. At the international level, Prof. Braga has organized several symposia under different themes related to the integrated management of water resources. He was a member of UNESCO - International Hydrologic Program committee that designed its phase V (1995 - 2000). At UNESCO he was also member of the working group on the impact of climate change in water resources. Served as Coordinator of the UNEP/UNESCO/ABRH project on the impact of deforestation on the hydrologic cycle in the Amazon Basin. Dr. Braga has chaired several international workshops and symposia on the subject of sustainable water resources management. He served as senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Sanitation of the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2010 and presently teaches and does research on multi-objective decision-making at University of Sao Paulo - Brazil. He is a member of the Gulbenkian Think Tank for the future of water and mankind based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Prof. Braga is the author of 25 books and chapters of books. He has edited several books on water resources development including Water Management of the Amazon Basin, Weather Radar Technology for Water Resources Management, Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Freshwaters of Brazil. He is the author of more than 200 scientific articles published in journals and proceedings of symposia and congresses worldwide. He is the recipient of the 2002 Crystal Drop Award, given by the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) in recognition for his life time achievements in the area of water resources management. In 2009, Prof. Braga was awarded the Honorary Membership of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) for his eminence in the field of water resources.

Professor Braga is married to his wife, Sandra, and they have two children- son Victor, and daughter, Ana Flavia.

In this interview feature, Dr. Braga shares with AAWRE on his early influences, career path, the World Water Council and Forum, his leadership principles, and how we can solve the global water crisis issues.