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Priscila Alves, Postgraduate Research Student

Priscila Alves - Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight

Next to feature in our 'Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight' series is Priscila Alves, Postgraduate Research Student.

What is your research about?

I am a final year PhD student in the Centre for Water Systems, funded by CAPES. My research is focused on flood risk mitigation, as these are one of the most damaging natural disasters in the world.

My thesis formulated an integrated social-participatory framework that explores possible solutions for risk mitigation, by analysing the environmental and social conditions in which the flood takes place. The framework is applied to the vulnerable city of Brazil, within the Campina Grande municipality.

What is the most exciting part about your research?

I believe the interaction with citizens and policymakers was a “breakthrough moment” for me. Part of my research is based on the development of a participatory approach in Brazil (my home country), so it was extremely valuable for me to go into the flood risk zones, to talk to residents, and to see how they cope with extreme events and how they think it could be mitigated.

I believe collaboration with stakeholders is essential for managing water, especially because it can support “socially-oriented water planning”.

When talking about water, what place comes to mind first and why?

I had great experiences with water whilst living in the UK. To be able to go on daily walks alongside the river; to enjoy, to feel and to connect with nature are some of the things that I will always remember.

Which movie or book character would you most associate with water?

Some years ago I read 'Disaster by Choice' by Ian Kelman. This book shows how our vulnerabilities, and their underlying causes, can generate more intense disasters. I would highly recomment this read for anyone who is interested in understanding more about our responsibilities in mitigating disaster risk.

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Date: 31 August 2021

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