Author(s): Vanessa Lucena Cançado, Nívia Carla Rodrigues, Talita Silva, Julian Cardoso Eleutério, Nilo De Oliveira Nascimento
Linked Author(s): Talita Silva, Nilo De Oliveira Nascimento
Keywords: Soil and water conservation; Water supply catchment; Land use planning; Land capability; Sustainable agriculture;
Abstract: The definition of priority areas for the implementation of environmental programs, reconciling environmental, socioeconomic and cultural interests is crucial for guiding decision-making processes, especially in a context of public sector budget constraints. This research aims to contribute to this discussion through the analysis of land use and vegetation cover in relation to land use and management capability, considering effective soil depth, internal drainage characteristics of soils, slope and susceptibility to erosion as limiting factors. The study is carried out in the catchment area of the Serra Azul reservoir, which is an important source of drinking water for the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The method for defining the prioritization for protection and recovery areas included those areas that are legally protected, such as riparian areas and areas surrounding water springs, and areas particularly susceptible to environmental degradation. The results of the research highlight that, on the one hand, some legally protected areas are already impacted by urban expansion and economic activities, appointing lack of effective control by the public sector. This intensive use of sensible areas may lead to high risks of soil degradation. On the other hand, we identified areas which would allow a more intensive use of the soil, with greater gains in productivity.