Dear participants,

The 8th World Water Forum has finally come to fruition, the most important event on the subject in the world will be hosted here in Brasilia and will take place for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere. It's been three years of very intense preparation to get to this point, going through Regional, Thematic, Political, and Sustainability processes, with the engagement of more than 600 institutions around the world.

With approximately 6 thousand registered participants and expecting to receive about 30 thousand visitors at the Expo and at the Fair – with a highlight to the Citizen Village – we are certain, at this very moment, that this Forum is already a success in bringing the topic of water to the highest level of technical and political discussions.

This Forum will once again be the platform where various views on the issue and solutions regarding water security come together and converge for a better future for all. Where the technical perspective is able to bring new pathways to decision-makers, to politicians, by sensitizing them on the issue.

The water crisis in the world is not just a threat in itself, but is rather a multifold risk, involving health, food production and electricity generation, among other areas, and is directly reflected in political and social stability. Water security means reliable availability, at acceptable levels, of water quantity and quality for health, livelihood and production, coupled with a level of acceptable risk. In other words, it means protecting society from the dangers associated with floods and droughts, and ensuring people's access to water, thus contributing to their social and economic development.

Hence the fundamental importance of this Forum's theme, which is Sharing Water. Much has been said about a future of conflicts over water. Maybe we can make it the opposite: that the union around the care and better distribution of water is precisely the most effective way of promoting peace, and social and economic progress to the people.

Benedito Braga is the Secretary of Sanitation and Water Resources of the State of São Paulo, President of the World Water Council, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor at Sao Paulo University's Polytechnic School