Andrei Filotti is a Romanian-born engineer, specialized in water management. In 1961-1962 he coordinated the elaboration of the National Plan for the Development of Romania's Water Resources, which established the orientation of the multipurpose use in the following decades. Afterwards, as Chief Engineer of the Research and Design Institute for Water Management he had the responsibility of coordinating the design of detailed water development schemes for specific projects for water use, flood prevention and water quality protection, ensuring their consistency with the general provisions of the National Plaon. For his contribution to the economic development of Romania, he was awarded the Order of Work (Romanian: Ordinul Muncii)

He worked in water management related research having essential contributions in the field of mathematical modelling and use of operations research applied to water management and in the field of economics of water resources development. He was professor of water management and river training at the Faculty of Land Reclamation and Environmental Engineering of the Nicolae Bălcescu Agronomic Institute (now University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Bucharest.

Andrei Filotti left Romania in 1982. He worked as Chief Technical Advisor in the United Nations Secretariat coordinating projects in India, Bangladesh, Chad, Senegal, Nigeria and other countries. After retiring from the United Nations Organization he continued working as a consultant for various organizations such as the Asian Development Bank and USAID, concentrating besides environmental engineering also on activities related to fighting corruption.

Andrei Filotti is member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Water Resources Association (AWRA), the General Society of Romanian Engineers (Romanian: Asociația Generală a Inginerilor din România - AGIR) ahd the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS).

Childhood and studies[]

Andrei Filotti 1938

Andrei Filotti as 3d grader (1938)

Andrei Filotti was born in Bucharest on October 27, 1930. His father Eugen Filotti was a Romanian diplomat, and his mother Elisabeta Filotti née Taşcă was the daughter of Gheorghe Taşcă, a Romanian economist and politician, who at that time was rector of the Academy of High Commercial and Industrial Studies.

From 1936 to 1940, Andrei Filotti studied in the primary schools of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria where his father was posted as plenipotentiary minister.Then from 1940 to 1947 attended the high school at the Gheorghe Lazăr Lyceum of Bucharest, with the exception of school year 1944/45 when he attended school at the Dinicu Golescu Lyceum of Câmpulung-Muscel. Passing the last two classes in a single year, Andrei Filotti graduated as first of his class. He then enrolled as student in the Faculty of Electromechanics of the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest. Due to transformations of the institute incurred as a consequence of the educational reform of 1948, Andrei Filotti graduated with honors in 1952 as hydroelectric engineer of the Faculty of Electric Engineering at age 21.

Working as a design engineer, Andrei Filotti completed his studies later. In 1968 he attended a post-graduation specialization course at the Centre International des Stages' in Paris, France. In 1971 Andrei Filotti obtained his PhD in hydraulic engineering defending his thesis on the Use of computers in the water management the thesis being prepared under the leadership of Academician Dumitru Dumitrescu, the commission being formed including professors George Ciucu, Dorin Pavel and Ştefan Zarea. [1]

Beginnings of engineering activity[]

Design Engineer at the Design Institute of Power Engineering[]

After graduation, Andrei Filotti was hired by the Design Insitute of Power Engineering (Romanian: Institutul de Studii şi Proiectări Energetice - ISPE) where he worked as representative of the design institute on the construction site of the Sadu V Hydroelectric Power Plant. In this capacity he supervised the construction of the temporary diversion dam, the headrace tunnel and the surge tank. [2][3][4]

Research Engineer at the Institute of Hydraulic Research[]

Andrei Filotti 1955

Andrei Filotti research engineer at the Hydraulic Research Institute (1955)

In 1954, following a significant backscaling of the country's hydroelectric development plan, Andrei Filotti transferred to the Hydraulic Research Laboratory - later called Hydraulic Research Institute (Romanian: Institutul de Cercetări Hidraulice - ICH) of the Ministry of Naval and Air Transportation. During the first years he supervised the construction of the hydraulic laboratory and after its completion was promoted head of the "Laboratory of Hydraulics of Structures", working on studies on hydraulic scale models. The main research conducted by Andrei Filotti in this capacity were:

  • study of the movement of silt on the Bala Branch of the Danube;[5]
  • study of the river training of the Siret River in the proximity of the Șcheia bridge;[6]
  • study of the formation of air suction vortexes at the intake of the Brăila industrial plant. [7][8]
  • study of water infiltration using electro-hydraulic analogic models. [9][10]

Activity in water management[]

In 1959 Andrei Filotti transferred to the newly created Institute for Water Development Plans and Hydraulic Structures (Romanian: Institutul pentru Planuri de Amenajare şi Construcţii Hidrotehnice - IPACH) working in this institute and its successors The institute was transformed in the following years. Thus:
* în 1968 it became the Institute for Land Reclamation and Water Management ((Romanian: Institutul pentru Îmbunătățiri Funciare și Gospodărirea Apelor - ISPIFGA)
* în 1970 it was renamed Research and Design Institute for Water Management (Template:Lang/ro)
* în 1975 after a further restructuring it became known as Survey, Research and Design institute for Water Management (Romanian: Institutul de Studii, Cercetare și Proiectare pentru Gospodărirea Apelor - ISCPGA)
At present the institute has been privatized under the name of Aqua Proiect.

The institute had been put in charge of preparing the development plans of the Romania's river basins and was being reorganized in order to carry out this new assignment. In this institute, Andrei Filotti selected water management as his main professional activity.

Andrei Filotti worked in these institutes first as team leader, being successively promoted as advisor and chief engineer until his departure to the United States in 1982.

For his contribution to the economic development of the country, in 1965 the President of the State Council of Romania awarded Andrei Filotti the Order of Work (Romanian: Ordinul Muncii)

Multipurpose Water resources development planning[]

River basin development plans[]

Andrei Filotti was first appointed team leader for the development plan of the basin development plans, where he was in charge of the development plan of the Siret River Basin. This river basin is the major subbasin of the Danube River on the territory of Romania. Being the first development plan, the planning also required extensive research and development of methodologies which were to be applied to the subsequent plans for other river basins, which will be presented in the following paragraphs.

The plan identified the storage lakes and river diversions required for the water supply of settlements and industries, the irrigation of agricultural lands, located mainly in the Bărăgan Plain, the use of the hydroelectric potential of the rivers. The plan also investigated the alternatives for the flood control, both by the construction of levees and by the retention of flood waters by storage lakes.

After the completion of the Siret Basin Plan, Andrei Filotti's team provided technical support for the planning for other basins, mainly for the Argeș, Mureș and Someș rivers.

After 1970 the multipurpose development plans of river basins were supposed to be updated. The leadership of the water resources sector at the governmental level had been changed, and the new chairman of the Water Resources Committee downgraded the concept of multipurpose development the simple planning of river development investments, severing the links to the water users. Besides the negative impact, this had the consequence of creating a rift between the chairman and Andrei Filotti, as lead specialist in water management.

National plan for the development of Romania's water resources[]

Consequently, Andrei Filotti was appointed project manager of the National Plan for the Development of Romania's water resources. The objective of the plan was to define the government's policy regarding the use and control of the country's water resources and to propose the investment projects to be completed in the next 20 years. While concentrating on rivers and groundwater, the plan also investigated the entire territory of the country, proposing policies for the land use to protect the water resources such as erosion control.

The plan investigated the various water users. As far as the water supply of various localities the plan estimated the future water demand and proposed solutions for satisfying this demand. The forecast of industrial water demand for the future 20 years being impossible, the plan estimated the discharges which could be made available, as well as the cost of this water supply, which could be taken into account when the location of future industrial units was investigated. In the climatic conditions of Romania, the development of a modern agriculture was linked to the development of irrigation systems. The plan analyzed irrigation systems covering over 5 million hectares, indicating the water sources to be used. An important use of water was the construction of hydroelectric power stations and the plan presented solutions for the optimum development of the rivers' potential, previous studies of the Ministry of Electric Energy were updated, to ensure o coordination with other water users. The plan also investigated other water uses such as pisciculture.

At the same time the plan investigated the solution for the mitigation of adverse such as flood control and river erosion. For the protection of cities strict standards for the protection against floods with a probability of occurrence of once in a thousand years; less stricter standards were applied for the rest of the endangered territories.

In the early 1960s the country's economic development raised only local water quality problems; therefore, the plan could only suggest standards which had to be met by future water users in the wastewater treatment stations before discharging them into the rivers.

An essential part of the national development plan was devoted the identification of storage reservoir and river diversion projects to be implemented by the water authorities for cpvering the requirements of water users and flood mitigation. The feasibility of these projects was investigated by appropriate topographic and geotechnical studies. The main emphasis was to identify, wherever possible, multipurpose projects, capable of simultaneously satisfying multiple water users so as to increase the economic efficiency of the projects.

The successful coordination of the National Plan for the Development of Water Resources had the effect of confirming Andrei Filotti as the main national expert in the field of water management.

Design of water development systems[]

In the future years, Andrei Filoiti had the responsibility of coordinating, first as technical advisor then as chief engineer, the design of the water management characteristics of all hydraulic structures included in the investment plans, assessing the main parameters of the structures as well as their technical and economic efficiency. If, in the first years the main emphasis was the satisfaction of the water needs of various users, gradually the complexity of the investigation was expanded so as to also include other branches of water management, especially flood control. [11]

Andrei Filotti's activity was not limited to the coordination of the various water management teams under his direction. He was directly involved in the water management studies of major projects the most important of these being the system of the Paltinu dam on the Doftana River, the system of storage reservoirs in the Bahlui River basin for the flood protection of the city of Iaşi, the system based on the Săcele dam on the Tărlung River for the water supply of the city of Braşov, the development of the lower Siret River and the Siret-Bărăgan Canal, the development of the Jiu River based mainly on the Rovinari dam for the protection of the coal mines of Oltenia, the systems for the flood protection of the Mureș River and of the Bârlad River, the Frumoasa dam on the Frumoasa River for the water supply of the city of Miercurea Ciuc and many others.[12]

Methodologic contributions[]

In 1959 water management was a concern of marginal importance, being viewed as an annex activity of water engineering. Andrei Filotti was instrumental in separating the structural and functional concerns, developing, with his collaborators, water management into a separate discipline and becoming its main representative. Besides working on the preparation of the development plans of the various river basins and on the national water development plan, and thereafter on detailed studies for different water management systems in Romania, Andrei Filotti focused on the development of specific methodologies for water management.

Extension of the field of water management[]

In 1959, water management was concerned mainly with assessing the best ways of satisfying the needs of water users. Andrei Filotti extended the areas of concern of water management, including new fields such as water management for the mitigation of adverse effects of water, such as flood water management or ground water management as well as water quality management.

  • In the field of flood control, in 1959 the prevailing conception in Romania was to protect the endangered area by levees. The local solutions did not take into account the effect of the embankments on other parts of the river basin. Specifically, they did not take into account effects of the increased water level upstream of the embanked area due to the restriction of the river cross section. Similarly, they did not take into account the increase of the flood discharge downstream of the embanked area, as a consequence of the elimination of part of the flood plain. The new comprehensive flood water management approach, advocated by Andrei Filotti implied an investigation of the entire river system and, as a result, changed the solutions used for dealing with flood problems. Instead of considering embankments as the only solution for flood protection, Andrei Filotti's vision put more emphasis on the reduction of peak flows due to storage reservoirs or lateral polders, which would compensate the negative effects of discharge augmentation due to embankments and even eliminate part of these. [13][14]
  • In the field of water quality management, the prevailing conception was that water quality in rivers could be controlled only by treatment plants, before the release of wastewate into the river. The concept of water quality management also took into account the diffuse sources of river pollution mainly the run-off from the surface of the river basin as well as from groundwater. It also included the analysis of processes modifying water quality in lakes and rivers. Instead of using investigating only the water quality of the rivers during low discharges, when the concentration of pollutants was supposed to be highest and therefore were taken into account in sizing waste-water treatment plants, the water quality analysis covered the entire river hydrology and the possibility of influencing the water quality of rivers by modifying the river discharge through operations such as discharges from storage reservoirs. This created a link between water quantity and quality management.
  • Andrei Filotti also developed the concept of groundwater management, showing the connection between surface and groundwater. He also included in the study of water management systems the systems of increasing the groundwater resources by artificial infiltration from surface to ground water.
  • Finally, he also included the management of sediment transport into the general analysis of water management. This included management of the river basin surface to prevent sediments from being washed into the rivers and the analysis of sediment related processes in storage reservoirs and rivers, in order to find solutions to diminish the adverse effects of siltation.[15]
Andrei Filotti Palazzo Vecchio

Andrei Filotti with the participants to the Congres for Prevention of Water Induced Disasters, at the reception at the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence (1967)

Systemic approach in water management[]

A second important theoretical contribution to water management was the systemic approach, in which the main emphasis was put on the assessment of the way in which the different elements of a water development scheme worked together. Before 1959, when work on water development plans had begun, hydraulic structures were designed and used independently, without any analysis of the links between them. The new concept took into accounts the various links, ensuring a coordination of various water users and the sizing of all elements of a water development system so that they could ensure this coordinated used. This was ensured during design, during the approval process of the various investments and finally during operation. The structures which previously had been viewed as independent, now became part of integrated water management systems.

As an example, in the early 1950s, the Izvorul Muntelui Dam on the Bistrița River was approved and constructed practically exclusively for the Stejaru hydroelectric plant.Though it was shown to be able to provide water for irrigation of 200 000 ha in the Bărăgan Plain. However, the construction of the main irrigation canal was started only in the 1980s, and its construction has been delayed so that even after 40 years since inception it is not operational. The dam was also shown to reduce the flood discharges downstream. While this has been achieved for the lower reach of the Bistriţa River, the operation of the dam did not take into account the hydrologic situation of the entire Siret River basin and there have been occurrences in the 1970s when the operation of the dam actually increased the flood discharges on the lower Siret River.

In the 1960s, the situation had changed significantly, due to the systemic approach. A typical example is the Vidraru Dam on the Argeș River which was promoted from the beginning as a multipurpose project. At the same time with the construction of the dam and the hydroelectric plant, the water supply systems of the cities of Pitești and Bucharest as well as the irrigation systems on the Argeș valley were also approved and constructed. Similarly, the system based on the Paltinu Dam on the Doftana River, included not only the dam, but also a small hydroelectric plant, the Voila intake dam, a main canal used both for the industrial water supply of Ploiești as well as for irrigation, the pipeline for the water supply of the city of Ploiești, a secondary water supply system using groundwater and finally the regulation of the Dâmbu River in the city of Ploieşti were all simultaneously approved. This is to a great extent the result of the approach advocated by Andrei Filotti and which was subsequently applied to all water management systems in Romania.

The new multidisciplinary concept increased the complexity of the investigation of water development projects, which was not more related only to the civil engineering analysis but put more emphasis on the functional water management aspects. Therefore, a special department was created in the Institute for Water Development Plans and Hydraulic Structures. This department, which was in charge of water management studies, was directed by Andrei Filotti until his departure to the United States. [16][17]

Being able to convince the management of the State Committee for Water Problems of the importance of a water management studies in promoting a scientific policy for the development of the country's water resources, the Committee required that all projects which required the committee's approval (whether financed by the Committee or by other government agencies) had to be justified by appropriate water management investigations. These studies were carried out following methodologies which had either been developed by Andrei Filotti or in which he had important contributions. Besides, Andrei Filotti participated in the selections of the sites of many storage reservoirs or other hydraulic structures. [18]

Dynamic Approach in Water Management[]

Until 1958 the approach in water management was essentially static. Water management studies were carried out mainly at the initial stages of identifying hydraulic projects and consisted in sizing the structures with the objective of achieving a desired effects of satisfying water needs. After this initial stage, the role of water management specialists was considered as terminated, the next phase being considered as being the exclusive responsibility of structural engineers.

Andrei Filotti was a constant opponent of this static approach. According to his views, the approval of a water development was only the beginning of a cycle in water management activities. The next phase was the assessment of the functional parameters of each of the element of the hydraulic structures which had to be constructed, in order to ensure that each of them would be able to fulfill the potential future tasks of the system. After the completion of the project, when structural changes could be made only with additional investments, water management became a major concern. New data on the hydrologic regime of the river as well as new socio-economic developments in the river basin would induce modifications of the requirements which had been taken into account during the design of the project and would require appropriate adaptations of the system's water management. [19]

While the dynamic approach was important in all fields of water management, it was essential in flood water management, where it covered all operations related to flood control, including flood mitigation plans, forecast and warning during flood emergencies, operation of hydraulic structures during floods taking into account the entire river basin, intervention during floods and rehabilitation of the system after the floods.

Water management information systems[]

A consequence of the dynamic approach was the requirement of taking water management decisions in real time for the coordinated operations of the hydraulic structures of a river basin. The complexity of the decisions required in many cases the development of a hierarchical decisional system. Andrei Filotti developed the concept of water management information systems for the collection of all information required for the water management. These included historic information which had to be collected in time, stored and subjected to statistical processing, while others had to be collected in real time to provide information on the actual status of the system. The systems had to be capable of processing the collected information and to present it to the decision makers and thereafter to transmit the information to the units in charge of implementing the decisions as the reports of the actual measures which had been implemented. He was also instrumental in the design of the first informational-decisional systems for water management in Romania. [20]

Andrei Filotti Geneva Conference

Andrei Filotti, representative of Romania at the Geneva Conference of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (1968)


Starting new areas of activity required an important research effort for the development of the methods of investigating water management systems. This effort was carried out mainly by the teams under Andrei Filotti's direct supervision and with his direct participation. Andrei Filotti also contributed to the development of a special research unit for water management within the Research Institute for Hydraulic Structures working part time as a research engineer of the newly created department.

Mathematical Modelling in Water Management[]

One of Andrei Filotti's main contributions was the development of mathematical models for water management studies. The first mathematical models he developed were operational in 1960 and they were applied using the CIFA computers developed by the Institute of Atomic Physics of Măgurele. Water management was the first area in Romania in which mathematical modelling evolved from an experimental technique to a general method applied to investment studies. Starting 1961-1962 mathematical modelling using computers was officially accepted as a nationally applied standard method for the investigation of water management projects. [21]

Besides mathematical simulation Andrei Filotti was also concerned with the modelling of the stochastic character of water management processes. He conducted various studies regarding the definition of the probability of satisfaction of needs of water users and initiated the use of Monte Carlo Techniques in water management studies. From 1962 to 1975 Andrei Filotti developed these models and extended the areas in which they could be applied, which was made possible by the improved performance of new electronic computers. The mathematical simulation models developed during these years were still used in Romania after year 2000.[1][12]

Economic analysis in water management[]

Up to the mid 1950s, in all communist countries investment decisions were exclusively based on political criteria, without any consideration for economic efficiency, which was considered, at that time, as being specific to capitalist regimes. After Stalin's death this approach was disputed by experts of the Soviet Union, Romania, Poland and other communist countries.

Hydraulic structures required important investments, therefore the use of economic criteria in the selection of projects could have important consequences. From the beginning of the development of Romania's water management plans, Andrei Filotti adapted the general principles of economic efficiency to the field of water management and was active in ensuring their acceptance and approval by the Romanian government. Though initially criticized by the Communist Party organizations as attempts to introduce capitalist methods in the socialist planning process, finally, with the support of the Institute of Economic Research of the Academy of the Romanian People's Republic the methodology submitted by Andrei Filtti and Mircea Stănculescu was finally approved.

Andrei Filotti and other experts who were strongly advocating the use of economic analysis for the justification of investment projects viewed this not only as a methodology, but as an instrument of eliminating the arbitrary character of political decisions regarding economic development of socialist countries in general and of water management projects in particular. During the 1960s, the acceptance of this principle did partly fulfill the hopes of these militant experts and this trend was gradually also implemented in other countries ruled by communist regimes. However, in the 1980s, in many countries and especially in Romania, Andrei Filotti's hopes of eliminating the arbitrary character of communist governments had dissipated. Though the methodologies were theoretically still applied, the figures on which the decisions were supposed to be based were falsified by specialists faithful to the regime, so as to justify the projects which the party wanted to implement, even if, in reality, they were economically unsound.

Andrei Filotti also developed a methodology of allocating investment and operating costs of multipurpose project to the various beneficiaries of the project. The methodology took into account the economic constraints faced by various users, at the same time eliminating the possibilities of overcharging some users in order to benefit others. The methodology was accepted by all involved parties, being finally adopted as a standard method of cost allocation.[22][23][24] Also in the field of water management economics, Andrei Filotti developed the application of the theory of risk and uncertainty to water management. Starting from the assessment that water management processes, especially those related to flood control, were of aleatory nature, in which catastrophic events were separated by more or less long periods in which no extreme events occurred, Andrei Filotti tried to develop methods of quantifying the risk of incurring high economic losses. These methods were also applied to the projects which he coordinated.

Finally, Andrei Filotti was also concerned with the application of fuzzy logic to the field of water management. However, this field of research was not continued after he left the Institute in 1982.

Assisting the creation of a Research Department for Water Management[]

After the completion of the National Plan for the Development of Water Resources and water management had been established as a separate field of activity, in 1964 the Institute for Hydrotechnic Studies and Research (ISCH) decided to create a new department for research in water management, directed by Constantin Pârvulescu.

Professor of Water Management[]

Andrei Filotti started his didactic activity in 1971, as assistant of professor Ion Teodorescu at the chair of Embankments, river training and water management of the Faculty of Land Reclamation and Environmental Engineering of the Nicolae Bălcescu Agronomic Institute (now University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Bucharest. The following year, Ion Teodorescu was transferred to the Bucharest Institute of Civil Engineering and Andrei Filotti was appointed professor, being in charge of the chair and teaching the courses of Flood control and Water management. This was the first course of Water management to be held in any Romanian university. In the following years, Andrei Filotti published the two courses. He continued his didactic activities till 1979 when he decided to leave for the United States. [25][26] [27]

Besides, Professor Andrei Filotti also held post-graduate courses in mathematical modelling in water management at the Institute of Civil Engineering.

International activities[]

Andrei Filotti participated as representative of the Government of Romania at the Conference for Water Problems organized by the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations in Geneva, 1968. At this conference Andrei Filotti was assigned the responsibility of compiling a report on the methodologies used in various European countries for the development of river basins and to propose ways of unifying these methodologies. This report was presented to the Economic Commission for Europe in the following year [28]

Research in the United States[]

In 1982 Andrei Filotti emigrated from Romania to the United States, where he continued his research. His first concerns were related to wind engineering. In the 1970s several accidents had occured in Boston, where, during high winds, the glass facades of high-rise buildings had been torn off the structures. Due to these accidents, the National Bureau of Standards (now National Bureau of Standards and Technology - NIST) considered it necessary to reassess existing design standards. Under contract with the National Bureau of Standards, Andrei Filotti developed a new design methodology for glass facades of high-rise buildings which took into account the suction due to wind, assessed by measurements on models in aerodynamic tunnels.

Adviser to the United Nations[]

At the end of 1983, Andrei Filotti was appointed Chief Technical Adviser to the United Nations Secretariat. In this capacity he had the responsibility of coordinating several projects financed by the United Nations in South-East Asia.

Use of systems analysis for water resources development in India.[]

The scope of the project was to assist the Government of India in setting up a specialized unit within the Central Water Commission for the development of mathematical models and the use of computers in water management. The project was implemented under the coordination of Professor Warren A. Hall from the Colorado State University of Fort Collins. Andrei Filotti was responsible for training the Indian engineers and for developing a first set of mathematical models.

The approach to the use of systems analysis for water management in India was completely different from the one which had been used in Romania. While in Bucharest, the development of mathematical models was an activity which took place within the institute for the design of hydraulic structures, with practically no support from the Romanian National Water Council, in India a separate specialized unit had been created, strongly supported by the Central Water Commission. The results of this approach could not be assessed during relatively short lifespan of the project. However, in a few years after the completion of the project, India became a nation in which the development of computer software, not only for water management, expanded rapidly, while in Romania, this activity stagnated. The project coordinated by Andrei Filotti constitutes an example of how external technical assistance used for sustainable development is capable of opening new activities, which can successfully continue with government support, after the completion of the initial technical assistance.

Assistance to the World Food Programme in Bangladesh.[]

Following a succession of dry years at the end of the 1970s and a severe shortage of food in Bangladesh, the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations initiated a project of food assistance to the Government of Bangladesh. Due to the population of the country, which exceeded 100 million people, the project became in a short time the major program of food assistance of the WFP, who requested the assistance of other United Nations agencies for the management of the program. Appointed Chief Technical Adviser of the United Nations for this assistance, Andrei Filotti attempted to define the objectives of the program, in order to transform it from an exclusively humanitarian project to an integrated program of technical assistance for development. As a result of the studies carried out, the objectives of the program were defined as following:

  • Covering the chronic food deficit of the country by providing wheat to the government from the resources made available to the World Food Programme by various donor countries.
  • use of these resources through a "Food for Work" programme, by which labor intensive projects would be implemented, by paying the laborers with food. In this way the program ensured that the wheat resources would reach directly the poorest layers of the local population, reducing of the chronic unemployment in Bangladesh by providing work to an important number of unqualified laborers.
  • use of the labor force for the implementation of development projects in order to ensure that the food supplied to the government was used as a development resource. In order to ensure the achievement of this objective, hydraulic projects suitable for manual execution (mainly reshaping of embankments and desilting of irrigation or drainage canals) were selected for financing by the project's resources. As the government did not have the necessary budgetary resources to finance these projects, these projects enabled the Bangladesh Water Development Board to ensure the maintenance of the existing hydraulic infrastructure and to avoid its further deterioration. Part of the resources were also used for the construction of new reclamation projects.

As long-term objective, the project also aimed at changing the traditional food habits of the population, by switching from predominantly rice consumption to the consumption of wheat-based products, mainly bread, which was little used in the traditional diet of the Bangladeshi population. This objective was important for the food self-sufficiency of the country, because, taking into account the high density of population in the country, the required food resources could be ensured only by two or even three crops every year. The available water resources during the dry season could ensure only the water requirements of a relatively small surface cultivated with rice but enabled the cultivation of much bigger surfaces cultivated with wheat, if, due to the changes in food habits, a local market for wheat developed.

Besides the earthwork executed by manual labor, the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage systems also required the construction and reconstruction of hydraulic structures, mainly weirs and pumping stations which could not be executed by unqualified manual labor. Andrei Filotti opposed the proposal to make the funds for these structures available by the monetization of part of the available wheat resources, because this would have diminished the social merits of the Food for Work project. After intense negotiations a complex program was set up for the rehabilitation of reclamation projects, involving the cooperation of several international agencies as follows:

Andrei Filotti Bangladesh

Ceremony of starting the work on a water diversion canal in Tetulia zila, Panchagarh district, Bangladesh.
From left to right: The mayor of Tetulia, the chairman of the Council of Elders of Tetulia, the member of Bangladeshi Parliament for the Tetulia district, The chief engineer of the Regional Unit of the Bangladesh Water Development Board and Andrei Filotti, Chief Technical Adviser of the United Nations (1987)

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) provided the wheat resources and coordinated the logistics of transportation and distribution of the wheat and supervised the distribution of the wheat in order to ensure that the wheat resources were used for the payment of the laborers.
  • The World Bank provided credit for the financing of the hydraulic structures which could not be executed by the labor intensive methods paid by the WFP.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) financed the technical assistance required for identifying the projects suitable for execution under the Food for Work programme
  • The United Nations Secretariat, through its Department for Technical Cooperation for Development (DTCD) provided the technical assistance financed by the UNDP, identified the projects to be implemented by the Food for Work Programme, assessed their technical and economic viability, determined their technical characteristics and supervised their execution. This part, which also ensured the coordination between the various international agencies involved in the project, was coordinated by Andrei Filotti.
  • The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provided technical assistance for the design of the hydraulic structures financed by the World Bank.

Andrei Filotti's contribution was essential both in setting up this program and in its implementation. At the end of his assignment in Bangladesh, the Food for Work program of the Bangladesh Water Development Board was using annually wheat resources in value of 30 million US$ and was employing a labor force exceeding 500,000 laborers. The project was considered the most complex project financed by the World Food Programme and a model for other Food for Work projects. [29] [30][31]

Technical advisor to the General Secretariat of the United Nations[]

In 1990, Andrei Filotti was promoted technical adviser for water and environmental management within the General Secretariat of the United Nations. He carried out these responsibilities during the mandates of General Secretaries Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (1920) and Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1922)

As adviser of the General Secretariate, Andrei Filotti's main responsibility was that, on the order of the Secretary-General or one of the Under-Secretaries-General, to go on different missions to governments of the various member countries of the United Nations. Among the most important were his missions to Morocco, Syria, India, Madagascar, Romania, Senegal, Jordan, Guinea-Bissau and other countries, mainly having the objecte of identifying the needs of technical assistance of developing countries and in the formulation of specific projects to be financed by the United Nations or other organizations specialized in international assistance.

Andrei Filotti also represented the United Nations in different international conferences, among which the conferences of donor countries for assistance in countries such as Nigeria, Laos, the Republic of Moldova and others. Besides, he also had the responsibility of coordinating and supervising the execution of projects financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) or by other international organizations.

The projects whose implementation was directly coordinated by Andrei Filotti were also linked to the field of water resources development. The most representative of these projects were the The development plan of the Lake Chad basin, the general development plan of the water resources of Senegal, the hydrologic informational system in Bangladesh, the rural water supply in Madagascar and others. In these Andrei Filotti focused on using modern now approaches, which had to be adapted to the specific needs of developing countries.

Andrei Filotti 1992

Andrei Filotti, representative of the United Nations at the Conference of the Organization for African Unity for the Development of the Fouta Djallon Highlands, Conakry (1992)

Development plan of the Lake Chad River Basin[]

The developement plan of the Lake Chad was implemented by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) located in N’Djamena, which included representatives of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, and later also the Central African Republic. The team leader was Yaya, an expert from Burkina Faso. The LCBC, at that time directed by its executive secretary Abubakar B. Jauro, emphasized the importance of this plan.

The development plan reversed the traditional approaches of water management, switching from a passive role, in which water development programs were determined by the external water needs, to an active role in which water resources development was the leading factor. Though this vision was clearly adapted to the development of water resources in arid zones, where the limited water resources available constitute a limiting factor of development, this vision can be adapted and applied also in other areas. The development plan did not eliminate the traditional approach of selecting projects for storage reservoirs and river diversions, but included a single proposal for projects of this type, specifically for the diversion of water from the Oubangui river basin into the lake Chad river basin.

Some of the proposals of the development plant, which illustrate the new approach to water management, are:

  • In order to ensure the survival of the population of the Sahel area, in which severe droughts occur periodically, the plan recommended giving a priority to the development of local irrigation systems, based on the traditional agriculture of the area, which should serve the needs of each village of the area and which could ensure a production which could satisfy the food requirements of each village's population. The plan also investigated the measures to be taken in order to ensure the participation of the local population in the implementation of these projects.
  • The correlation of the design of modern irrigation systems in the area with other local requirements, especially livestock herding. In the traditional methods of cattle herding, during the dry season are kept to the south, in the Sudanian Savanna of Cameroon and Nigeria, and during the wet season migrate to the north, in the Sahel of Chad and Niger. The transition of these herds, twice every year, over irrigation systems which were not designed to cope with this migration, not only destroyed crops but also severely deteriorated the irrigation canals. The plan recommended the provision of corridors, which would allow the migration of cattle and also the provision of special watering places for the cattle, separate from the irrigation canals. At the same time, in order to ensure a production of milk and meat with a minimum consumption of water, the development plan proved that trend of bringing European breeds had to be abandoned and replaced by the use of African long-horn breeds which resist better to the harsh climate of the area, are better suited for long migrations and require smaller quantities of water.
  • The correlation of the territorial development with the ecologic requirements. A typical example fo this requirement is the delimitation of the reservations for elephants, which, at present, are too small to satisfy the requirements of the elephants. As increasing the size of the reservations is not practically feasible, the plan recommended creating some corridors which would enable the elephants to migrate between reservations, without destroying the irrigation systems. Other measures were recommended for the preservation of the habitat of sitatunga antelopes.
  • The development plan indicated that an essential condition for ensuring the possibility of local communities to develop local water supply and irrigation systems is the development of a network of bank offices to facilitate the financing of the projects. Other economic studies highlighted the difficulties created by the different monetary systems of the countries of the region to the economy of the Lake Chad zone. At that time, some countries were using the Central African CFA franc or Western African CFA franc, linkrf by a fixed exchange rate to the French franc, while other countries had currencies which fluctuated according to the laws of market economy.

The Lake Chad Basin Development Plan represented a radical change from the traditional principles of water development planning, represeting a new vision of water management. Instead of concentrating on the selection of investment projects for covering the existing or forecast water requirements, the plan attempted to highlight the interaction between the water management and other economic branches and to define the actions to be taken by the various sectors of the national economy in order to ensure a rational use of the water resources. [32][33]

Andrei Filotti Bishkek

Andrei Filotti în front of the Presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bişkek (1998)

Development Plan of the Fouta Djallon Highlands[]

The Plan for the development of the Fouta Djallon highlands, was an initiative of the Organisation of African Unity. The highlands are located in West-Africa, covering the major part of Guinea, as well as smaller parts of the neighboring countries Sierra Leone. and Senegal The major parts of the rainfall brought by the winds from the Atlantic Ocean falls in these highlands which are the source of the most important rivers of West-Africa: the Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Konkouré as well as several smaller ones, the water of these rivers being a vital resource for the entire area. However, due to the tropical climate, the natural equilibrium of the highland is very precarious and the regeneration capacity of the vegetation in relatively small.

Extending the traditional agricultural methods, as a result of the increase of the population, creates the risk of disrupting this equilibrium and to adversely affect the economy of all the downstream countries. The development plan was coordinated by a specialist from Ivory Coast for the hydrologic part and by Andrei Filotti for the water management part. The objective of the plan was to identify new methods of using the territory and to create an awareness of the local population to apply the new techniques, designed to satisfy the economic needs of the population while, at the same time, protecting the environment. The Development Plan, presented at a OUA meeting in Conakry identified several pilot projects in which the new techniques were to be experimented with the cooperation of the local communities.

After severing the economic links of Guinea with France and adopting a socialist policy, in 1965, the Guinean president Ahmed Sékou Touré received technical assistance from the socialist European countries. As part of this assistance, in the early 1970s, Czechoslovak specialists had elaborated development plans for all Guinea's rivers. These development plans followed the principles which had been applied in most Eastern-European countries, without taking into account the differences between the economic development of the countries. As a consequence, due to a lack of financial resources, none of the projects identified by these plans could be implemented, and none of the proposals of these plans could be used in the study for the development of the Fouta Djallon Highlands. In the new approach the accent was not put on the development of water resources but on a coordinated development of all economic sectors. Thus, the management of the surface of the river basin was at least considered equally important with the development of the rivers. [34][35]

Andrei Filotti SWIPCO

Andrei Filotti while Director of Operations of SWIPCO (1999)

These elements are presented mainly to illustrate the new approach in water resources development planning. A comparison of the Development plan of the Lake Chad River Basin or the Development Plan of the Fouta Djallon Highlands with the National Plan for the Development of Romania's water resources, all three coordinated by Andrei Filotti, can show the evolution of his approach from a multi-purpose development of water resources to an integrated economic development of the entire river basin.

In this vision, water management is not limited any more to defining government investment programs but concentrates on identifying the possibilities of a cooperation of all the parts of the society in achieving a more efficient use of the water resources. Associations of the interested parties can be an important way of achieving this common goal. A typical example are water users' associations, mainly of irrigation and water supply systems. Other such organizations can by associations for the management of river basins concentrating on achieving effects such as reduction on flood run-off, soil erosion control, reduction of river channel silting, etc. Such activities impose the design of extensive programs of informing the population about the importance of these problems and of convincing them to get directly involved in finding and implementing solutions. Andrei Filotti's view was that such actions do not eliminate the necessity of investments in water management projects, but they are an essential requirement in the achievement of the projects' goals. However, as ensuring the participation of large parts of the population in water management related activities is significantly more difficult that the construction of hydraulic structures, it is important that water management authorities direct their efforts towards such activities. [36]

Other activities[]

After retiring from the United Nations, Andrei Filotti continued his activity working as a consultant. As such he continued to work for the United Nations, participating in missions in Uzbekistan (provinding assistance in the design of a program for the restoration of the Aral Sea), in Jordan, Guineea-Bissau and others.

Evaluation of the US-AID funded Program for Environmental Protection in Russia[]

Andrei Filotti Potmac

Andrei Filotti în Alexandria, Virginia on the banks of the Potomac River (2004)

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States of America initiated a program of technical assistance to the Russian Federation in the field of environmental protection. The convention for this program was signed by Al Gore, Vice President of the United States and Viktor Chernomyrdin, Prime Minister of Russia. After the completion of the first phase of the project, the government of the United States appointed a commission of three experts to evaluate the results of the first phase and the make recommendations for the second phase of the project. Andrei Filotti was one of the members of this commission as expert for water quality management. The commission carried out extensive investigations in the project sites of Moscow, Volgograd and Nizhny Tagil[37]

Creation of Water Users Associations in the Kyrgyz Republic[]

In the transition process from a socialist to a market economy, the government of the Kyrgyz Republic requested the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to organize water users associations which would take over the responsibility of maintaining and operating the distribution network of irrigation canals. Andrei Filotti was appointed project manager for setting up these associations. The tasks of the project included legislative activities related to the guidelines for the association's' by-laws and for the transfer of the ownership of the water distribution network to the associations. The activities also included organizing pilot water users' associations in three different areas of the country and the qualification of the staff of regional and rayonal water agencies in the coordination of associations.[38]

Anti-corruption related activities[]

After his return from the Kyrgyz Republic, Andrei Filotti was appointed Director of Operations of the SWIPCO company, which was providing assistance to various governments in strengthening the anti-corruption activities. The SWIPCO company was specialized in the monitoring of government acquisition procedures and was associated to the international organization Transparency International.

The methodologies developed by SWIPCO included a continuous monitoring of the acquisition process, by independent organizations, starting with the assessment of acquisition requirements, the preparation of requests for proposals, defining the conditions of qualifying bidders and of organizing the bids, the evaluation of the proposals and the award of the contract, designing the contracts, monitoring the execution and of the deliveries and establishing the conditions of future contracts, including maintaining the list of the performance of contractors as well as defining the conditions for future contracts. The methodology developed by SWIPCO enabled the government agencies to identify potential problems before making decisions and to take corrective measures before actual expenditures. These methods were different from traditional audits which investigates completed projects, which thus do not make it possible to avoid useless expenditures.

Special training courses were organized for employees of various government agencies in applying corruption prevention methods. Besides the coordination of activities carried out in his department, Andrei Filotti was directly involved in various project such as the monitoring of procurement by the government of Uganda, the contracts for custom cotrols in the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) și investigation of the service contracts of the District of Columbia General Hospital, United States.[39]

Activity after retirement[]

Andrei Filotti retired in 2003 and lives at present in Arlington County, Virginia, USA

he continued being active in the water management community of Romania. In 2017 he published an memories on his cooperation with Dorin Pavel (1900-1970), presented at the "XVII International Multidisciplinary Conference Professor Dorin Pavel - The founder of Romanian hydroelectric engineering" in Sebeș, Romania. In 2020 he published a book of memoirs, based on his childhood in the diplomatic community, and how this influenced his ulterior career.

In 2021 Andrei Filotti was elected honorary member of the Technical Sciences Academy of Romania (Romanian: Academia de Științe Tehnice din România - ASTR). Following his election, Andrei Filotti was requested to present his experience as international expert and to comment on the present status of major water developments in Romania. Part of this interview was published in the Bulletin of the General Association of Romanian Engineers (Romanian: Buletinul AGIR Muncii) and in a separate booklet edited by the academy.

In 2022 he published "A Time for Sorrow and a Time for Love", a detective novel in three volumes.

Published works[]

  • Gospodărirea apelor, București, 1965
  • Repartiția de beneficiari a investițiilor, 1966
  • Gospodărirea apelor, București, 1972
  • Lacuri de acumulare, București, 1976
  • Prevenirea și combaterea inundațiilor, București, 1980
  • Curs de gospodărire a apelor, București, 1978
  • Curs de regularizări de albii, București, 1977
  • Amintiri despre Dorin Pavel. A XVII-a Conferință Internațională Multidisciplinară -
  • De peste mări și țări - Amintiri din viața diplomatică de odinioară, București 2020
  • Clipe de durere, clipe de iubire, București 2022
  • Experiențe din activitatea de gospodărire a apelor, București, 2022
  • Various articles in Hidrotehnica și Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor


  1. ^ a b Andrei Filotti - Aplicarea calculatoarelor electronice în gospodărirea apelor - Teză de doctorat - Institutul Politehnic București, 1971
  2. ^ Considerații asupra calculului static al galeriilor de aducțiune cu cămășuială de beton simplu armat - Energetica și Hidotehnica, Nr.7, 1955
  3. ^ Probleme ale galeriilor de aducțiune brute - Energetica și Hidrotehnica, Nr.9, 1955
  4. ^ Considerații asupra calcului eforturilor în conducte autoportante subțiri rezemate la capete - Energetica și Hidrotehnica, Nr.4, 1955
  5. ^ Considerații asupra regimului critic de apariție a rifflurilor - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr. 2, 1959
  6. ^ Studiul pe model redus al amplasamentului unui pod - Hidrotehnica Nr. 9, 1957
  7. ^ Considerații asupra problemei apariției vârtejurilor în camerele de aspirație echipate cu pompe verticale - Hidrotehnica, 1959
  8. ^ Studiu asupra formării vârtejului cu antrenare de aer la camera sorburilor unei stații de pompare - Hidrotehnica, Nr. 1-2, 1960
  9. ^ Aplicarea analizei dimensionale în modelarea analogică - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr.4, 1959
  10. ^ Analizorul cu rețele pentru studiul infiltrațiilor proiectata pentru uzul ISCH - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr. 1, 1959
  11. ^ O. Blaga, A. Filotti and S. Rusu, The long-term national program for river basin development, basis of the water management policy in Romania. In Water development and management. Proceedings of the United Nations Water Conference, Mar del Plata, Argentina, March 1977, edited by A.K. Biswas. Oxford, Pergamon Press, Vol. 1, Part 4, pp. 1887–98, 1978
  12. ^ a b I.P.A.C.H. - 15 ani de activitate - București, 1960
  13. ^ Elemente comparative între soluțiile de combatere a inundațiilor prin atenuarea undelor de viitură și prin îndiguiri. Hidrotehnica, Nr.2, 1975
  14. ^ Prevenirea și combaterea inundațiilor - Editura Ceres, București 1980
  15. ^ Probleme specifice ale gospodăririi debitelor solide - Hidrotehnica, Gospodărirea Apelor, Meteorologia, Nr. 12, 1967
  16. ^ Principii în elaborarea schemelor de amenajare a apelor - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr.3, 1963
  17. ^ Considerații asupra principiilor de dimensionare și de stabilire a regulilor de exploatare a lacurilor de acumulare - Hidrotehnica, Gospodărirea Apelor, Meteorologia, Nr. 9, 1967.
  18. ^ Concepția generală de amenajare a bazinelor hidrografice - Hidrotehnica, Nr. 3, 1976
  19. ^ Considerații asupra principiilor de întocmire a schemelor de amenajare - Hidrotehnica, Gospodărirea Apelor, Meteorologia, Nr.5, 1967
  20. ^ Power Technology and Engineering (formerly Hydrotechnical Construction) - Springer New York, 1978 [1]
  21. ^ Utilizarea calculatorilor electronici numnerici IFA la calculul bilanțului apelor - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr. 4, 1962
  22. ^ Contribuție la stabilirea unei metode generale pentru determinarea eficacității economice a investițiilor pentru folosințele de apă - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr.2, Nr.3, Nr.4, 1962
  23. ^ Considerații asupra repartiției pe folosințe a investițiilor și cheltuielilor anuale aferente sistemelor hidrotehnice complexe - Meteorologia, Hidrologia și Gospodărirea Apelor, Nr. 1, 1963
  24. ^ Considerații asupra serierii economice a terenurilor irigabile - Hidrotehnica, nr.6, 1963
  25. ^ ZoomInfo People Directory
  26. ^ Andrei Filotti - Curs de gospodărire a apelor, București, 1978
  27. ^ Andrei Filotti - Curs de regularizări de albii, București, 1977
  28. ^ CEE – Rapport sur les méthodes d’aménagement des bassins hydrographiques – Geneva, 1969
  29. ^ William E. Smith, Ross H. Munro - Bangladesh A Country Under Water
  30. ^ UN-DTCD – Reports on project BGD-87-021 for assistance to the Food for Work - Progamme in Bangladesh - New York, 1986 - 1991
  31. ^ Akhter U. Ahmed, Sajjad Zohir, Shubh K. Kumar, Omar Haider Chowdhury – Bangladesh’s Food-for-Work program and alternatives to improve food security - 1994
  32. ^ UN-DTCD – Final Report on the Development of the Lake Chad River Basin, New York, 1993
  33. ^ Commission de bassin du Lac Tchad. Plan directeur pour le développement et la gestion écologiquement rationnelle des ressources naturelles du bassin conventionnel du Lac Tchad. Préparé avec l'assistance et la collaboration du PNUE et de l'UNSO. - N'Djamena, 1993
  34. ^ O.A.U. – Report of the Conference for the Development of the Fouta Djallon Mountain Range, Conakry, 1992
  35. ^ GIAHS - Tapade Cultivation System, Fouta Djallon Highland, Conakry, Guinea
  36. ^ Jauro, Abubakar B. - The Lake Chad basin: problems and prospects - ICID Conference. 11-15 September 1995, FAO, Rome
  37. ^ USAID - Report on the technical assistance project on environmental protection in Russia - Washington, 1996
  38. ^ A.D.B. – Final Report on the Formation of Water Users Associations in Kyrgyzia, Bishkek, 1997
  39. ^ SWIPCO – Reports to the Government of Uganda on Procurement 1998 – 2002