IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
5. Water Governance and Water Security
Alberto Flávio Pêgo e Silva
Luiz Claudio M. Ribeiro
Luiz Claudio Ribeiro, PhD, teachs at Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), where he coordinate a group of
researchers on public policies and economic developping in Espírito Santo state, Brazil.
Alberto Flávio Pêgo e
Silva researches, at UFES, the
Brazil, hydric resources, climatic changes, legal framework
Brazil has the greatest resources of fresh water in the
planet. This apparent abundance has shaped historically a cultural perception of limitless availability, leading to a
water misusage and waste predominant behavior within the population together with the absence of sufficient policies
from the authorities to overcome the issue.
However, since the fifties in the last century, four social and
economic phenomena have been pressuring the water consumption and pushing the brazilian society as a whole,
including the governmental sectors, to a new mentality towards the issue - the intensive migration to urban areas,
industrialization, the increasing number of hydroelectric plants, and, last but not least, the irrigated agriculture frontiers
expansion (GARRIDO, 1988).
By the end of the century Brazil reached the first goals in facing the challenge
of water conservancy, by editing the Federal Act # 9.433/97. It established the national policy for hydric resources,
20 years after the UN Mar del Plata Conference of 1977.
Upon 10 years of the said legislation, the research
and the policies for hydric resources are becoming outdated under the global climatic changes forecasts concerning
the impacts and the needs for conservancy. Is Brazil prepared to face the upcoming challenges concerning the
Collect, study and evaluate the governmental measures and the legal framework adopted
in Brazil by the end of 1990`s to reduce or avoid the water shortage brought in this context of consumption
pressures. The evaluation is oriented to verify the degree of readiness of the legal framework to support and face the
new pressures coming along the climate changes forecasted.
Analyze the brazilian legislation for
water to verify the effectiveness of the hydric resources planning and management; confront the conclusions of the
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) with the findings to understand the possible consequences of
climate changes upon the hydric resources in the Country, and highlight the emerging demands identified, drivers for
policies, actions and projects to deal with the impacts from now on.
A preliminary evaluation
indicates that a great impact upon the brazilian accumulation and distribution of hydric resources will happen, as
forecasted by the climate changes panels conclusions. The governmental sector, in effect, will be forced to have able
solutions to cope with the future demands from society. This crisis, differently from the others in the past, will
demand a greater response speed and a double integration among hydric resources policies and the national
environmental agenda as a whole; and also from the national environmental agenda thus integrated with all the efforts
done in the world by other countries and with the multilateral international institution as
Studies have shown that the current brazilian hydric resources policy, although effective to
overcome the water crisis in the fifties of the twentieth century, it will not be able to deal with the effects of climatic
changes forecasted. To reach this goal Brazil will have to adopt a severe forest policy, either related to conservancy
or priority areas recovery, decreasing the bureaucracy of the current legislation, eliciting a framework easier to
administer and apply. This policy must integrate the hydric resources in the scope, in order to allow attractive
projects for national and international cooperation.