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Sharing Water: water conflict management and building relations, the case study of the city of Brazlândia, Brazil - The Descoberto Basin

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
1. Water, sanitation and health
Author(s): Juliana Pinheiro Gomes
Miguel de Freitas Sartori

Juliana Pinheiro Gomes
Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Sanitation of the Federal District - ADASA
Miguel de Freitas Sartori
Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Sanitation of the Federal District - ADASA

Keyword(s): sharing water, allocation practices, sharing the benefits
Poster: Oral:

The water-scarcity scenario in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, called for much improved and efficient water allocation practices in the Descoberto Basin. This basin encompasses the Descoberto Lake, located in Brazlândia. With an area of 17 km2 and a storage capacity of 120 million m3, this reservoir is responsible for supplying 60% of the population of Brasilia. The city of Brazlândia, with approximately 54,000 inhabitants, stands out as the largest horticultural producer’s area in the Federal District. The negotiated water allocation practices aimed to mitigate the existing water use conflicts between the irrigation practices and the Public Water Supply (PWS) of Brazlândia. The study population consisted of 45 customers with properties near the following streams: Capão da Onça; Bucanhão and Barrocão. These brooks are part of the Descoberto Basin and are responsible for Brazlândia’s PWS. Historically, this is a region of water shortages in the dry season. The shared use of water resources established initiatives for participatory management of water resources in this critical area of the Descoberto Basin. The number and conflict parameters over water use were determined with the participation of customers and the Regulatory Agency for Water, Energy and Sanitation of the Federal District (ADASA).The negotiated water allocation execution was held by the survey of users granted and not granted; a campaign for the registration of new users; the establishment of a negotiated allocation committee; the development of diagnosis and prognosis of water availability; the development of negotiated allocation proposals, linked to the multiple uses of water security; the discussion of the proposed allocation between ADASA and users; and the preparation of the negotiated allocation term.The actions and proposals for shared use were developed through discussions and negotiations between water customers and ADASA; decentralizing the decision process and empowering social participation in water management. This study made it possible to know the water use resources in the Descoberto Basin’s passage and to define strategies to ensure its multiple uses. Remarkably, the participatory water allocation ensured the flow of 80 liters per second at capture point of the PWS dealership and the continued practice of irrigation by farmers in the region in the year 2016. In other words, the implemented practices allowed multiple uses of water resources even in advanced water scarcity, when the priority use is for human supply. Notably, the acquired knowledge from this work can be used in other parts of the Descoberto Basin in periods of drought, in order to increase the water availability of the Descoberto Lake tributaries.
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