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Adaptation mechanisms for extreme events in the Capibaribe River Basin - Brazil

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
5. Water ecosystems and physical regimes
Author(s): Larissa Ferreira David Romão Batista
Alfredo Ribeiro Neto
Suzana Maria Gico Lima Montenegro

Larissa Ferreira David Romão Batista
Federal University of Pernambuco
larissafbatista@gmail.com
Alfredo Ribeiro Neto
Federal University of Pernambuco
ribeiront@gmail.com
Suzana Maria Gico Lima Montenegro
Federal University of Pernambuco
suzanam.ufpe@gmail.com


Keyword(s): Adaptation,floods,drought
Article: Oral:

Abstract

Many river basins in the world are impacted by extreme hydrological events (droughts and floods). Such characteristics may be intensified in the future by the climate changes that the planet is experiencing. The objective of the paper is to characterize the climate spatial variability and the mechanisms used to deal with extreme events in the Capibaribe River Basin (CRB) – Brazil. The CRB is located in the Pernambuco State – Northeast Brazil and its drainage area is approximately 7454 km2. The Capibaribe River runs in the direction west-east to the Atlantic ocean. This characteristic defines the high spatial variability of the climate in the basin. The west portion is characterized by shallow soils, Caatinga vegetation (thornscrub, cactus, and bunch grasses), and a semiarid climate with 550 mm yr−1 of rainfall and mean air temperatures between 20 and 22◦C. Periodically, this region suffers with the consequences of drought events. Whereas the east part of the basin is characterized by deeper soils, Atlantic Forest vegetation, and a humid/sub-humid climate, with 2400 mm yr−1 of rainfall and mean air temperature between 25 and 26◦C. During a long time, the cities located in this region were affected by flood events (emphasis for the city of Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state).To identify the level of climate variability in the CRB, a comparison with other regions was accomplished in order to situate the study area in terms of vulnerability caused by this characteristic. Similar comparison has been done with solutions developed around the world with the objective of identifying the level of relationship between technology, the community and extreme events in sites that have to face both shortage and excess of water. For example, it is useful the analysis of historical information related to natural phenomena behavior and the evaluation of the infrastructure adopted in the basin to reduce the vulnerability. The main strategies identified for dealing with drought events in the basin are the construction of large reservoirs for urban supply and several local technologies for rural supply such as rainwater collection, groundwater exploitation and small reservoirs. On the other hand, the only action for flood control in the basin is the use of large reservoirs. This solution has succeeded so far despite the severe flood events occurred in 2010 and 2011 in Pernambuco state. It is expected that the results of the study can contribute to discussion around the following issue: are the strategies of adaptation available in the region capable of facing the impacts caused by the climate change? This is especially important in regions subjected to hydrological extremes as CRB. The Capibaribe River Basin Committee and the Water State Agency are the suitable places to take this discussion forward.

 

 

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