PRINWASS

E-Newsletter

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No 3 - April 2003

General Coordination: José Esteban Castro

In this issue

News from the Coordination

New Partnerships

News from the Oxford Team

News from the Finnish Team

News from the Greek Team

News from the Newcastle-CESU Team (UK-Bolivia)

News from the Brazilian Team

News from the Higher University of San Simón Team (Cochabamba, Bolivia)

News from the National University of Buenos Aires Team

News from the FLACSO Argentina Team

News from the National University of Misiones Team (Argentina)

News from the National University of General Sarmiento Team (Argentina)

News from the FLACSO Mexico Team

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News from the Coordination

We just had our Second Project Workshop, that took place on 31 March - 1 April 2003 in Mexico City and was hosted by PRINWASS' Mexican partner, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO). The event was jointly organized by Dr María Luisa Torregrosa, coordinator of the FLACSO Mexico Team, and Dr José Esteban Castro, PRINWASS general coordinator. PRINWASS has now entered the Second Phase of the project tasks, and we are now polishing the case study reports, which were discussed by the partners at the Workshop. In the meeting we also set the agenda for the incoming months, and we are now working on the cross-comparative analyses that draw on the case studies. These reports will cast light on the main trends and continuities identified in the case studies with regard to the conditions and challenges characterizing private sector participation in the management of water and sanitation services, covering six thematic areas:


We plan to make some of the project reports (i.e. theoretical debate, case studies, cross-comparative analyses, etc.) available by request. A web page will be created in the project's web site in due time for this purpose. We will welcome feed back and comments, which can be sent to the project coordination's contact address provided in the relevant web page.

Inmediately after the internal workshop, We had our Second PRINWASS International Conference, which featured a very diverse list of speakers from the public and private sectors, academy, NGOs, and different sectors of civil society. The Conference promoted a lively debate, and was an excellent example of a forum for open discussion where actors with often extremely antagonic positions were able to put forward their arguments and also be exposed to rival views in a highly civilized fashion. In particular, user groups, women organizations, environmental NGOs, citizen associations, peasant movements, and other grassroot social groups had an opportunity to challenge and discuss on an equal footing with government officials, water business representatives, and academics. Most presentations and papers, including a transcription of the debates, will be available in the relevant web page.

During the internal workshop it was decided that the Third and last Project Workshop and International Conference will take place in the city of Lisbon, probably in late April or early May 2004. The event will be hosted by the Portuguese partner, coordinated by José Luis García from the University of Lisbon, and all relevant information about these events will be available in this web site in due time (look in Activities).


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New Partnerships

PRINWASS continued to establish new partnerships with academic institutions, NGOs, and public and private sector organizations, including:

Ministério das Cidades, Secretaria Nacional de Saneamiento Ambiental (Ministry of Cities, National Secretary of Environmental Sanitation), Brazil.

Contact person: National Secretary Abelardo de Oliveira Filho.

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Associação Nacional dos Serviços Municipais de Saneamiento (ASSEMAE) (National Association of Municipal Sanitation Services), Brazil

Contact person: President Antônio da Costa Miranda Neto.

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Departamento Municipal De Água E Esgotos (DMAE) (Municipal Water and Sanitation Department), Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Contact person: Head Director Eng. Carlos Atílio Todeschini

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Secretaria de Saneamiento (Secretary of Sanitation), Prefeitura do Recife, Recife, Pernanbuco, Brazil.

Contact persons:

Secretario: Antônio da Costa Miranda Neto.

General Director of Inter-sector and Community Links: Hermelinda Rocha.

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Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (AIDIS), Uruguay Branch, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Contact person: Eng. Daniel Greif.

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International Institute for Law and the Environment, Madrid, Spain.

Contact person: President Dr. Ana Barreira.

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Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, Oakland, Ca., USA.

Contact person: Principal Economist and Engineer Dr. Gary Wolff.

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Public Citizen, International Water Working Group and U.S. Water for All Campaign, Washington DC, USA.

Contact person Dr. Sara Grusky.

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Unión de Usuarios y Consumidores (Union of Users and Consumers)

Paraná 326 - 9th, Office 34

1017 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Contact person Lic Américo García.

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Sindicato Obras Sanitarias de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Sanitation Works Union, Province of Buenos Aires), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Calle 48, 319

1900 La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Contact person Mr. Guillermo Tomás Amorebieta y Vera.

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Programa Agua, Medio Ambiente y Sociedad (Programme Water, Environment, and Society), El Colegio de México, Mexico City.

Contact person: Director Dr. Fernando Tudela.

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Consejo Consultivo del Agua (Water Consultative Council),

Campos Elíseos 400, 19th, Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec, 11000 Mexico City.

Contact: Secretary.

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Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Agua y Saneamiento de México A.C. (ANEAS) (National Association of Water and Sanitation Companies of Mexico), Mexico City

Contact: Secretary.

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Subsecretaría de Fomento y Normatividad Ambiental, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), (Under-secretary of Development and Environmental Regulation, Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico City

Contact: Co-ordinator of AdvisorsLic. Linda Peña-Alfaro G.

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Programa Universitario para Estudios de la Ciudad (PUEC) (University Programme for City Studies, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Contact person: Director Dr Manuel Perló Cohen.

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News from the Oxford University Team

The Oxford Team continued with its own research and teaching tasks. The team is being reinforced now with the incorporation on a part-time basis of Mr Andreas Thiel, who is develeping doctoral studies at Oxford Brookes University on the topic of water management and planning in Portugal. Given the nature of his topic, he will also be collaborating closely with the University of Lisbon Team. Welcome to PRINWASS Andreas!

Dr José Esteban Castro participated in a series of relevant meetings:


He also presented papers at the following events:


Dr Castro has also produced several publications in this period:


Regarding teaching activities relevant to the project, Dr Castro has delivered a series of lectures and courses, including:


He is also the organizer of "Water management: an interdisciplinary approach",a full-term course (8 lectures and workshops) within the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, April-June 2003. The course features both local and external lecturers and covers the following topics:


Castro is also in charge of developing and implementing a teaching and research programme on “Water in Mexico” (2003-2008), at the Centre for Mexican Studies, University of Oxford.

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News from the Tampere University of Technology Team (Finland)

Osmo Seppälä, from the Tampere University of Technology team (CADWAS) is co-ordinating, jointly with Dr Marcelo Coutinho Vargas (Universidade de São Carlos Team), the "Cross-comparative Report on Legal and Institutional Aspects and Water Sector Trends" (D19), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

Mr Seppälä has also been participating in another European Commission project, AQUALIBRIUM, which is an accompanying measure within the INCO-EESD programme of the 5th Framework Programme. AQUALIBRIUM project deals with “European Water Management between Regulation and Competition”. It aims at giving an overview on the current debates and analyses the various models of involvement and co-operation between the public and the private sector in all European Union member states. Mr Seppälä prepared the Country Report for Finland and participated in the Expert Workshop in Berlin, Germany, 15-17 November 2002.

Pekka Pietilä has been working on a short-time basis in Namibia in a project aimed at strengthening the administration of newly created municipalities. As part of the ongoing decentralization process in the country, responsibility for water distribution has been shifted to the municipalities, and this is the main focus of Mr Pietilä's work there. The project is very much in line with his overall research interests on the role played by municipalities in the management of water services.

Jarmo Hukka and Tapio Katko presented a paper on "Municipal or private ownership of water works? History of Water: Lessons to learn", at the Third World Water Forum, Kyoto, Japan, 17 March 2003.

Members of the Team have also published several articles in national and international journals:


The TUT team TUT is also a partner of the European Commission-funded project WATERTIME.

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News from the University of the Aegean Team (Greece)

Giorgos Kallis from the University of the Aegean Team is co-ordinating the "Cross-comparative Report on Environmental Sustainability" (D15), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

The team is also assistant co-ordinator of the EC-funded research project “Integrated evaluation for sustainable river basin governance (ADVISOR)” Evk1-ct-2000-00074. The objective of the project is to provide the EU with an operational framework and procedure for the integrated and participatory evaluation of large hydraulic projects in the context of implementation of the Water Framework directive and the establishment of river basin authorities and plans. At a first stage, this includes a critical analysis of how project evaluation works in practice in the participating countries presently. The analysis will reveal the shortcomings especially with reference to socially contested and conflicting decisions. At a second level, each research partner will work at the ground level to test and develop a methodology which will facilitate an integrated, multi-dimensional evaluation of a project fostering stakeholders' participation and consensus. The results will be synthesised in terms of guidelines and a software toolkit with useful evaluation methods.

Giorgos has obtained his doctoral degree in March 2003, with a thesis on "Institutions and Sustainable Urban Water Management: the Case of Athens". An abstract and a list of contents of his dissertation are available from the documents' web page (the thesis is only in Greek at the moment).

Members of the Team have also published several articles:


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News from the Newcastle-CESU Team (UK-Bolivia)

Dr Nina Laurie, who leads the Newcastle-CESU Team is coordinating, jointly with José Esteban castro (Oxford University Team), the "Cross-comparative Report on Social, Political, and Cultural Aspects" (D21), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

Members of Team have also participated in a number of relevant activities, including:


The team has helped to establish a new network in the UK (November 2002), the Centre for Water and Governance (WAG) Newcastle University (currently under review for funding by the Environmental and Social Research Council [ESRC] of the UK government -2003-2012- £2.5 million). This interdisciplinary centre draws on scholars from civil engineering and the social sciences. It has an international focus on countries in the North and the South and provides a forum for academics to dialogue with the State, NGO, and private sector organisations in the UK and elsewhere. WAG's thematic research areas are: the politics of scarcity, water equity, regionalisation and water management, water quality, water privatisation, water economics. Nina Laurie and Carlos Crespo belong to the water privatization theme, which Nina directs, and she is also responsible for gender analysis across all six themes.

They have also been very active in internaitonal activities:

Members of the Team have also produced several publications:

The Team also contributed to a bulletin for dissemination on "The irrigators participation in the Water War", Cochabamba: CESU and Cochabamba's Irrigators Federation (FEDECOR), August 2002.


In January 2003, Carlos Crespo obtained his PhD at Oxford Brookes University (UK). His thesis focuses on Cochabamba's Water War.


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News from the Federal University of São Carlos Team (Brazil)

Dr Marcelo Vargas, head of the Brazilian Team is collaborating with Osmo Seppälä (Tampere University of Technology Team) in the cordination of the "Cross-comparative Report on Legal and Institutional Aspects and Water Sector Trends" (D19), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

Dr. Vargas participated at the 1st Meeting of Brazil’s National Association of Research and Post-Graduate Studies on Environment and Society (ANPPAS) which took place in Campinas, on 6-9 November 2002. He presented a paper on the "Social Perception of Water Services and Resources", which contained empirical and theoretical results from a recently completed research project in the Piracicaba River on basin. This research project, which involved an interdisciplinary team of sociologists, environmental engineers, and statisticians, was coordinated by Dr. Vargas and financed by the FAPESP (São Paulo State Foundation for the Development of Science) during the last two years. The results will be published as a book in 2004. The paper presented at the ANPPAS meeting was discussed in a workshop of the Water Resources Research Group recently organized inside this association, which gathers researchers from different scientific fields in an effort to think about water problems on a new integrated and interdisciplinary approach.

After having concluded his Masters degree thesis on "The Social and Economic Impacts of the Restructuring of Brazil's Electricity Sector" in October 2002, Alessandro Leme, who was a member of the PRINWASS Brazilian team during the First Phase, was admitted at the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP).

Roberval Francisco de Lima, another colaborator of the Brazilian team, has just presented his Masters thesis on "Water and Sanitation Services in Limeira: private management and social exclusion", on 24 April 2003. In this work, developed under the supervision of Dr. Vargas, he analysed the social and economic consequences of the concession of Limeira’s water and sanitation services (one of PRINWASS local case studies) to a private consortium led by Lyonnaise des Eaux. The study points out some problems related to the provision of these services in the poorest neighbourhoods and also deals with some regulatory failures identified in the institutional framework of this concession.

Dr. Ricardo Toledo Silva, who has been informally collaborating with the PRINWASS' Brazilian Team since the project's inception, has been nominated Director of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at São Paulo University from January 2003.


Dr Vargas has also produced the following publication:


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News from the Higher University of San Simón Team (Cochabamba, Bolivia)

The local team, coordinated by Dr Carmen Ledo, has been working closely with the Newcastle team in the elaboration of the Bolivian case study of Cochabamba. Carmen has been also liaising with Manuel de La Fuente, who is the co-ordinator of the Planning and Management Center (CEPLAG) at San Simón, an institution funded by the Belgian co-operation programme. She is also contributing to the co-ordination of the "Cross-comparative Report on Economic and Financial Aspects" (D20), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.


Carmen Ledo has participated in a number of relevant meetings in this period, including:


She has also been participating in a number of initiatives and organizations, including:


Dr Ledo has also produced several publications:


Finally, she has also been very active in relevant teaching activities within the Masters Programmes and other regular teaching activities (e.g. tutorial teaching, interviews with students working on water issues, etc.) in the faculties of Economics and Sociology at San Simon University. She has also given several courses in other institutions, including:


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News from the National University of Buenos Aires Team

The team, led by Prof. Juan Carlos Marín, has been working in close interaction with the other Argentinean teams at FLACSO, UNAM, and UNGS in developing the local case study. They have been also very active in contributing to the project's activities and deliverables during the First Phase of the Project, which are described above in the Coordination's report of activities.

The team has been developing the local case study looking at three experiences of private enterprise participation in the management and control of the water and sanitation services. Two of these cases (Tucuman and Buenos Aires) have been considered with greater extension and depth, while the third (the conflict surrounding the privatized water utility in the province of Santa Fe) was included as the research progressed in the second semester of 2002 and, in consequence, has a lower degree of extension and depth. The inclusion of the Santa Fe experience will enable to broaden the comparative framework originally designed for the Argentinean case study, and to reinforce empirically the analysis of the conditions and obstacles met by the private enterprise participation in Argentina.

The team has also made contributions to the documents D1, D2, and D3 described earlier, and has produced a Spanish Translation of D1 and D2. Also, Emilio Crenzel and Gustavo Forte, jointly with Andrea Catenazzi from the UNGS team, are co-ordinating the "Cross-comparative Report on Demo-geographic Trends and Urban Development" (D17), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

Members of the team have also participated at relevant events with academics, water users, public authorities, practitioners, and private sector representatives:


The team continued to incorporate during the whole of the First Phase of the Project four students who are in the final stages of their undergraduate studies in Sociology (at the University of Buenos Aires the BA in Sociology is a 4-5 year course). The students, Ms Verónica Pérez, Ms Clarisa Bottor, Mr Julio Iturburu, and Ms Laura Bernasconi, have been receiving training in research techniques and been paid for their work. Also, Ms Paula Binder, student at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Tucumán, contributed with interviews and data collection on the technological, infrastructural, and environmental conditions of the water and sanitation sector in this province, as part of the local case study.


Finally, The team has been following up the situation created by the financial crisis of December 2001, wgich continues to delay the release of the funds allocated through the Triennial Subsidy from the "Agency for Technology, Science and Productive Innovation" (within the "V Framework Programme of Co-operation with the European Union").


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News from the FLACSO Argentina Team

The FLACSO Argentina team is now coordinating, with the support of Carmen Ledo from San Simón University,the "Cross-comparative Report on Economic and Financial Aspects" (D20), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

Lic. Azpiazu is also Director of the Research Project Privatization and Regulation in the Argentine Economy (No. 02360, Res. No. 792 June 2001, CONICET, 2001-03).

He is also Director of the Argentine research team in ECOS, a project funded by the Secretariat for Technology, Science, and Productive Innovation (Argentina) within the Technical Co-operation Programme with France (Code A01H01, 2001-03). ECOS is a comparative study of the management and evolution of water and sanitation services in Argentina and France, focusing on the problems and challenges derived from privatization and the need for the improvement of the mechanisms of control and regulation of these services.

The team has been directly participating in and monitoring the process of contract renegotiation between the national government and the company Aguas Argentinas S. A. The importance of this process exceeds the regulatory problems affecting the concession of the water and sanitation services in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan area, as the very continuity of the concession is being discussed. This possibility is supported by a number of user associations and increasingly by the Defensoría del Pueblo de la Nación [Watchdog of the Nation’s People]. Within this framework, the team has established fluid relationships with members of the official commission for the renegotiation, with user and consumer organizations, with the Defensoría del Pueblo de la Nación, with the regulatory body ETOSS, and with the Ente Unico de Regulación de los Servicios Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Unified Regulatory Body for Public Services in Buenos Aires City). This experience has been enriched by the ongoing collaboration between Lic. Daniel Azpiazu and Dr. Miguel Solanes, expert in regulatory matters at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Although the renegotiation has been mainly focused on tariff problems, there is a high probability that the debate will be extended to other areas of the concession, in particular to the problems arising from the original contract negotiation and the successive -and controversial- renegotiations that took place afterwards.

Members of the team have also participated at relevant meetings, including:


Daniel Azpiazu delivers several courses on “development of infrastructure and industry services” at the following institutions:


Lic Azpiazu also is supervising a series of dissertations, including:


Also, Karina Forcinito is actively engaged in the PRINWASS project, while completing her Master programme in Social Sciences.

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News from the National University of Misiones Team (UNAM-Argentina)

The team has carried out a first assessment of the situation of water and sanitation services in the Argentinean North-east. They have assessed the different water and sanitation systems operating in the four provinces (Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa and Misiones), including private and public (provincial) operators. The region is characterized by extreme situations derived from the reform of the state during the 1990s: while in the province of Corrientes the local company (Aguas de Corrientes) was privatized, in the province of Chaco the strong citizen resistance against privatization led to the creation of the Water and Maintenance System – Provincial State Enterprise (SAMMEP). Also, they are examining the region’s many water co-operatives, especially in Chaco. Cooperative forms are a particularly useful organizational alternative for those areas that are not attractive for large water business (eg. owing to the small scale of the operation). The team is looking at the technical and social aspects of the services in the context of the local environmental conditions, paying particular attention to conflicts arising from public demands regarding water and sanitation services.


These activities also allowed the development of important institutional links, in particular: with Administración Provincial del Agua del Gobierno de la Provincia del Chaco (Provincial Water Administration, Chaco); Dirección de Cooperativas de la Provincia del Chaco (Directorate of Cooperatives, Chaco); Ente Nacional de Obras Hídricas de Saneamiento (ENOHSA) (National Entity for Water Sanitation Works); Secretaría de Obras Públicas, Presidencia de la Nación (Secretariat of Public Works, Federal Government); Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (CIRPS), University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.

Members of the team have also presented several papers in national and international events:


Lic. Marta Ceballos Acasuso, under the supervision of Dr Jorge P. Roze, is developing her doctoral research on “‘Innovation culture” and “skills management”: Socio-anthropological dimensions. The case of Aguas de Corrientes”, PhD in Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Buenos Aires. Her thesis is expected to make a substantial contribution to the local case study.

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News from the National University of General Sarmiento Team (UNGS-Argentina)

The team, coordinated by Arq. Andrea Catenazzi, is working closely with the other Argentinean teams, especially with the University of Buenos Aires group. In this regard, she is collaborating in the coordination of the "Cross-comparative Report on Demo-geographic Trends and Urban Development" (D17), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project.

The team also organized a local workshop on Renegociación de los Contratos de los Servicios Públicos Privatizados y Tarifa Social (Renegotiation of the Contracts of the Privatized Public Services and the Social Tariff), Buenos Aires, Institute of the Conurbated Area, National University of General Sarmiento, 21 November 2002.

The event provided an excellent opportunity for a debate between academics, public sector representatives (including state and local authorities), water regulators, the Citizens Defence Council (Buenos Aires watchdog), private operators, financial institutions, practitioners, students, NGOs, and user organizations. The proceedings will be published as a book during 2003.


Members of the team are also actively engaged in teaching activities at both undergraduate and graduate levels, including the supervision on dissertations on topics of urban ecology and urban management.


Andrea Catenazzi has produced several publications:


Andrea Catenazzi has also presented several papers in international events:


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News from the FLACSO Mexico Team


The FLACSO Mexico Team, coordinated by Dr María Luisa Torregrosa, is coordinating the "Cross-comparative Report on Infrastructure and Technology" (D18), which forms part of the Second Phase of the project. The team is developing an analytical model for this study, and has engaged Dr Medardo Mesa, a water technology expert, to reinforce the interdisciplinary capabilities of the local team for carrying out this task.

The local team was also in charge of hosting the second Project Meeting and the Second International Conference. The team collaborated very closely with PRINWASS coordinator, Dr Esteban Castro, in the preparation and development of the two meetings, which were very successful as described above in the Coordinator’s Report.

The organization of these events contributed to the expansion and consolidation of the links with different public, private, and civil society organizations. These include the Federal Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the National Water Commission (CNA), the Water Commission of the Valley of Mexico (CAVM), the General Directorate of Hydraulic Works (DGCOH) (the last two compose now the Water System of Mexico City [SAVM]), and the Hydraulic Commission of the Federal Lower Chamber. Also, new links were developed with:


These links were not just related to the participation of these institutions in the Second International Conference, but also imply agreements of collaboration with regard to publications, project evaluation, organization of workshops and seminars, exchange of research experiences, information, development of research and action projects, etc.

Dr Torregrosa has also participated in relevant events, including:


Dr Torregrosa also supervised a series of dissertations, including:


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