Author(s): Guilherme Junqueira Jeronimo; Marylia Duarte Batista; Patricia Diniz Martins; Cristiano Poleto
Linked Author(s): Cristiano Poleto
Keywords: Integrated water resources management; Watershed plan; Basin committees
Abstract: Water scarcity and floods caused by the effects of climate variability have been alarming and victimizing many people and alerting the authorities around the world, which has been promoting investments in the area. Nowadays, it is a global consensus that the best alternative for water resources management is the integrated approach, which combines several areas of knowledge and political organization levels for the maintenance of adequate quantity and quality of water. Therefore, the article presents an analysis of the main Brazilian watershed plans as a tool for integrated water resources management (IWRM), in comparison to selected plans from basins located in Portugal and the United States. A multicriteria analysis was performed to compare all the plans according to their completeness and quality of content. One of the greatest difficulties related to watershed plans and implementation of IWRM is the challenge of achieving the best planning strategies, elaboration and implementation. Brazil has elaborated strategies oriented to approach the challenges of water by regions, decentralization through user participation and organisms at a basin level such as the basin committees. The water concession and cost sharing based on the user-pay principle are also progressive approaches already used in Brazilian territory. In general, it was noted a superficial method of elaborating watershed plans in Brazil and the interference of political interests has been representing a problem to the quality and impartiality of the plans. On the other hand, the Portuguese and North American studied basin plans presented more descriptive characterizations. However, success of plans is more likely to be determined after applying and obtaining results regarding the qualitative and quantitative aspects of water, as well as other improvements set for the river basin.