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Watershed Management
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Watershed management is a way of planning environmental recovery actions and soil use, conservation and management by respecting the way nature configures itself around rivers and other watercourses in a watershed.  
 
The river’s health in large watersheds is directly related to the measures adopted in order to control the water runoff to favor the soil water infiltration, avoiding erosion and reducing the sediments and nutrients supply. It is also a result of maintaining the watershed biodiversity so that the connection among the different micro-watersheds is ensured.
 
Accordingly, Itaipu has defined the following goals for the Watershed Management program:
 
  • Fostering soil conservation;
  • Improving country roads for decreased road sediments supply into the reservoir and improved farmers' quality of life;
  • Implementing sanitation measures in the countryside to decrease water resources contamination and directly benefit farmers;
  • Helping to correct environmental liabilities on farms around the different micro-watersheds;
  • Decreasing the impacts caused by farming and ranching on the Itaipu's reservoir related to sediments, nutrients, and chemical pesticides supply;
  • Managing water resources and enabling the multiple uses of water, in accordance with the National Water Resources Policy (Law 9.433 from January 8th, 1997, Art. 1);
  • Helping to protect riparian forest areas.
 
Working with the community
 
The efficacy of planning soil use and implementing watersheds integrated management actions for water resource conservation is maximized when planning and execution are structured from the smaller-sized to the larger-sized watersheds. The Watershed Management Program’s strategy follows this idea as its actions are managed and executed according to each micro-watershed.
 
By seeking a decentralized water resources management, Itaipu works together with the community in environmental education actions resulting, among other things, in the choice of the micro-watersheds to be worked on and the settlement of priority actions for each one of them.
 
Service is provided thanks to partnerships between Itaipu and city halls.
 
Planning and execution
 
The following main activities are thoroughly planned and executed:
 
  • Elaborating the Micro-Watershed Environmental Diagnosis by indicating both the collective (soil conservation mechanical practices, riparian forests isolation, local sanitation measures) and specific necessary actions (environmental liability correction on farms);
  • Defining the Environmental Control Plans (PCAs) for micro watersheds' farms;  
  • Diagnosing the production systems;
  • Defining the family unit Sustainable Development Plans; 
  • Establishing the legal instruments to have activities physically and financially executed;
  • Performing collective activities;
  • Prospecting resources to specific actions.
 
In order to plan, execute and monitor the actions they are classified into two groups:
 
  • Collective: riparian forests reconstitution (planting seedlings and building fences), road adjustment, soil and water conservation, community water supply facilities establishment, and others. All socio-environmental programs developed by Itaipu are considered collective actions, such as fish farming, medicinal plants production, sustainable farming, and ranching, among others.
  • Individual: working in farms to diagnose the need for environmental liability correction, improve pigsties, stables, aviaries etc; and create adjustment projects in collaboration with local universities and colleges.

Watershed managers

This program’s actions are monitored and supported by the watershed managers who perform several activities together with the city halls, local bodies, and farmers, such as:
 
  • Contacting city halls, local bodies, and partners;
  • Monitoring the activities;
  • Checking the maintenance and use of previous years’ constructions;
  • Guiding, informing and raising awareness about environmental conservation especially among those surrounding the reservoir and protected areas; 
  • Monitoring protected areas and defining actions to preserve them by planning, coordinating, guiding, and overseeing the field teams from associates and companies hired by Itaipu to provide services in protected areas and along the Biodiversity Corridor.
By seeking a decentralized water resources management, Itaipu works together with the community.
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