Leading Latin American groundwater expert visits SCELG

Prof Ricardo Hirata, University of Sao Paolo, engages with our staff and SCELG Members

SCELG has had the pleasure of receiving the visit of Prof Ricardo Hirata from the University of Sao Paulo where he is the Vice-Director CEPAS|USP : Groundwater Research Center. Prof Hirata and Dr Sindico have worked closely together since 2010 and are currently working on a joint paper on the management of the Guarani Aquifer System for a journal special issue on transboundary aquifers (together also with Alberto Manganelli, CEREGAS).

Guest Lecture and Joint Workshop

During Prof Hirata’s visit to Glasgow SCELG facilitated the following activities. A guest lecture was organised to post graduate students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and discussions over potential collaborations took place with SCELG Affiliate Prof Robert Kalin in relation to his work in Malawi and Mozambique. Prof Hirata and Dr Sindico also met with the Director of the University of Strathclyde Institute for Future Cities, Richard Bellingham, to discuss possible joint projects in the field of urban water management.

On Tuesday 28 March 2017 SCELG and the Glasgow Latin American Research Network organised a joint workshop titled “Hidden Water in Latin America: Exploring The Guarani Aquifer System”. This proved to be a truly multi and inter disciplinary event in which Prof Ricardo Hirata was joined by SCELG  Co-Director Dr Francesco Sindico and Dr Karen Siegel (University of Glasgow) discussed hydrogeological, legal and political aspects related to the management of the Guarani Aquifer System in Latin America.

Exploring Potential Collaborations

Later in the week Dr Sindico and Prof Hirata met Prof Alan MacDonald and his team at the offices of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh to discuss potential collaborations in the field of applied research on megacities and water security. The meeting also allowed Dr Sindico to update colleagues at BGS on SCELG’s wider work on water, as one of the areas of expertise of the Centre. While in Edinburgh Prof Hirata had also the opportunity to know more about how water is managed in Scotland and about its Hydronation initiative thanks to a fruitful meeting with Jon Rathjen, Water Industry Team Leader at the Scottish Government. The discussions also turned around the forthcoming 2018 World Water Forum that will take place in Brasilia and possible collaborations between SCELG and the University of Sao Paulo in such event.

Overall, the week-long visit by Prof Ricardo Hirata has enabled SCELG to strengthen its links with the University of Sao Paulo and to start developing potential projects that will allow both organisations to better tackle water related research by bringing together different disciplines for much needed multidisciplinary work.

Francesco Sindico, SCELG Co-Director commenting on Prof Hirata’s visit

It’s been a great pleasure and an honour to have Ricardo with us in Glasgow. I look forward to taking forward projects and activities that we have discussed together during his visit. Furthermore, I am keen to work together not only with him, but also with the other organisations and centres we have met together throughout the week such as the British Geological Survey, the Glasgow Latin American Research Network, Scottish Water and the Institute for Future Cities. And, last but not least, I look forward to seeing Ricardo again, this time in Brazil, in March 2018 for the World Water Forum in Brasilia!