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Water resources sustainability index for a water-stressed basin in Brazil


Study region: Rio Verde Grande Basin, Brazil. Study Focus: Extensive regional development, mainly expansion of irrigated areas and urban population, has resulted in low water availability and caused water conflicts since the 1980s. Therefore, it was necessary to enact the Water Resources Plan of the Rio Verde Grande in 2011. The plan provided actions to improve water availability and meet increased water demand but there have been no studies on the sustainability of these policies. It was evaluated the future of the water management and calculate the sustainability index for water resources in the Rio Verde Grande Basin (RVGB), Brazil. New hydrological insights for the region: The water demand and available water have been compared and evaluated for activities in the Water Resources Plan (WRP) based on three different improvement of available water scenarios. These scenarios include water imports and the construction of channels and reservoirs. A sustainability index was used to evaluate and compare alternative plans for future water availability and water supply in these scenarios, considering measures of reliability, resilience, vulnerability and maximum deficit. The SI has identified the best scenario foreseen in the WRP for the RVGB that will improve the availability of water through 2030 having positive impact to water users of the basin. The results also indicate that the increase in available water will not result in significant improvements of sustainability of water resources by the implementation of the policies proposed in the WRP for the RVGB.

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