Congress Resources: Papers, posters and presentations

< Return to abstract list

Irrigation In The Context Of Water Resources Management: The Specificities Pantanal Biome

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Larissa Fernanda Almeida, Synara A. O. Broch, Teodorico Alves Sobrinho

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 15: Water law,

The state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), in agreement with the National Irrigation Policy of Brazil (Law 12787/2013) has been moving efforts towards the elaboration of its Irrigation Plan. Some Brazilian states implemented its plans seeking to provide strategic info to subsidize the formation of public policy for sustainable development. In MS, irrigation expansion must be implemented with caution. Twenty five percent of the state's area is covered with the Pantanal biome which is the largest floodplain on earth. Due to its biological significance this area has been declared Humanity's Natural Patrimony and Biosphere's Reservation by UNESCO, in 2002. The great biological diversity and delicate hydrological regime of the region deserves special attention by the irrigation sector. In this abstract we have identified strategic factors for the alignment of the expansion of the irrigation sector with the management of water resources in MS, evidencing the Pantanal issues.


MS's territory is inserted in the Hydrographic Region of Paraguay and the Hydrographic Region of Paraná River. For purposes of management, MS has 15 hydrographic sub-basins considered to be Management and Planning Units (MPU). The hydrological availability of Paraguay Region contains 1% of the national availability while the Paraná Hydrographic Region represents 7% of the water availability in the country (ANA, 2011).

The study was made with information supplied by the Environment Institute of the State of MS (IMASUL), Hydric Resources State Council (CERH-MS), Hydric Resources State Plan data, in the professional experience from the authors, and in the following of the construction process of the MS's Head Irrigation Plan.

Results and Discussions

Among the tools taken for water management in MS, the strategic factor for the irrigation sector is the grant for the right to use water resources, regulated by the Decree 13990, from July the 2nd 2014. However, the grant has not begun in the state yet, however the IMASUL has been moving efforts towards the water resources users registration.

In CERH-MS meetings, it has been verified the difficulty in the consideration of the local specificities in the deliberation of the granting criteria with technical basement. When it comes to monitoring superficial water bodies, MS's limitations are: The lack of fluviometric stations, great distance between the existing ones, data collection failure from the stations in some periods or inconsistent information. So, the expansion and adequacy of the monitoring network is another strategic point in order to conciliate the growth of irrigated activities and water resources management.

Referential streamflow to be considered must be related to the availability and demand of every MPU. The Upper Paraguay River Basin needs more restrictive criteria, in order not to compromise the Pantanal biome. The real area that compasses Pantanal is not legally defined, which can cause nuisance by the time use limitations are imposed at this place.

In Miranda MPU, where there is irrigated rice production, smaller reference streamflow(Q7,10 e Q95%) can be found, also in Nabileque, Apa and Negro MPUs, all of which inserted in the Paraguay Hydrographic Basin (SEMAC, 2010). Pantanal's low specific flow points out that the region is not a water producer, the most relevant pluvial contribution comes from rainfall over plain areas (Brasil, 2012).

The inordinate agricultural and livestock activity growth initiated in the 70's, on the Taquari River Sub-Basin upland, increased the sediments income in Pantanal's plains and intensified the degraded pasture setting (Galdino et al., 2005). Degraded pasture is not an exclusively Taquari region's problem, but a reality resident in all MS. Despite the great territorial expansion, the opening of new agricultural and livestock areas in the state is afflicted by social and environmental restrictions coming from indigenous conflicts and the worry to preserve Pantanal. Irrigation could configure a vertical growth scenery, promoting economical ascension in the agricultural sector by increasing stability in the production process. Degraded pasture can also be reverted with the use of this technique.

Based on other states' experiences, it is proposed the capitation and storage of rainwater for irrigation purposes, once the Paraguay region has smaller streamflow, where irrigated rice production is found. Rainwater reservations existing for private or collective use could work stimulating the formation of water users' local associations. Another strategic factor would be using Plans of Socioeconomic and Environmental Adequacy, a tool made to plan actions which potentiate irrigation development and promote environmental and agricultural adequacy down to properties, on a local dimension.


For the conciliation of the irrigation policy and the water resources policy in MS the observation of strategic factors is needed, such as: Effective implementation of the granting tool according to criteria that respects the specificity of each MPU; expansion and adequacy of the monitoring network in order to subsidize technically based decisions; capitation and storage of rainwater for irrigation activities; formation of water users' local associations and Plans of Socioeconomic and Environmental Adequacy. In order to protect the Pantanal biome, it is not possible to adopt single criteria for all the state, since every region is different from one another, especially when it comes to hydric availability. 1. Agência Nacional de Águas (ANA). (2011) Conjuntura de Recursos hídricos do Brasil: 2011. Brasília: ANA, 112 p.

2. Brasil. (2012) Seção Brasil. Catálogo Oficial dos Membros Brasileiros do Conselho Mundial da Água- Marselha, 138-154.

3. Galdino,S. (2005) Impactos Ambientais e Socioeconômicos na Bacia do Rio Taquari- pantanal. Embrapa Pantanal, 356 p.

4. SEMAC. (2010) Secretaria de Estado de Meio Ambiente, do Planejamento, da Ciência e Tecnologia e Instituto de Meio Ambiente de Mato Grosso do Sul. Plano estadual de recursos hídricos de Mato Grosso do Sul. Ed. UEMS, Campo Grande-MS, 194 p.

2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin