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Brazil
A.NATIONAL COMMITTEE
1.

Ing. Helvecio Mattana Saturnino
President of ABID
Brazilian National Committee, ICID
ATT- Antonio de P'dua Nacif
Campus da Universidade Federal de Vicosa
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal -- Sala 225 36570-000 -- Vicosa
Minas Gerais

Tel : +55 61 32732154, +55 61 32723191
Fax : +55 61 32747245
Email : abid.agriculturairrigada@gmail.com, helvecio.ms@gmail.com
Website : http://www.abid.org.br

B.NATIONAL COMMITTEE PRESIDENT / CHAIRMAN
2.

Ing. Helvecio Mattana Saturnino
President
Brazilian National Committee, ICID
ATT- Antonio de P'dua Nacif
Campus da Universidade Federal de Vicosa
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal
Sala 225 36570-000 ' Vicosa ' Minas Gerais

Tel : +55 61 32732154, +55 61 32723191
Fax : +55 61 32747245
Email : abid.agriculturairrigada@gmail.com, helvecio.ms@gmail.com

D.ICID OFFICE BEARERS - HONORAIRE
3.

Mr. Jose Osvaldo Pontes
Vice President Hon., ICID
Brazilian National Committee, ICID
ATT- Antonio de P'dua Nacif
Campus da Universidade Federal de Vicosa
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal
Sala 225 36570-000 ' Vicosa ' Minas Gerais

Email : abid.agriculturairrigada@gmail.com

4.

Mr. Jader Fernandes de Carvalho
Vice President Hon., ICID
Brazilian National Committee, ICID
ATT- Antonio de P'dua Nacif
Campus da Universidade Federal de Vicosa
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal ' Sala 225 36

Email : abid.agriculturairrigada@gmail.com

E.MEMBERS OF ICID COMMITTEES/WORKING GROUPS
5.

Ing. Helvecio Mattana Saturnino
President of ABID
Brazilian National Committee, ICID
ATT- Antonio de P'dua Nacif
Campus da Universidade Federal de Vicosa
Departamento de Engenharia Florestal
Sala 225 36570-000 ' Vicosa ' Minas Gerais

Tel : +55 61 32732154 / 32723191
Fax : +55 61 32747245
Email : abid.agriculturairrigada@gmail.com, helvecio.ms@gmail.com

Member - TF-WWF8

Links of Interest
ICID Strategy for Implementing Sector Vision - Water for Food and Rural Development and Country Position Papers, 2000

Directory Contents..

COUNTRY PROFILE - BRAZIL


General

 

Brazil is a country in South America having abundant natural resources which play a decisive role in the economy of the country. The agri-business sector is responsible for about 40 % of the Brazilian GDP of which the biological diversity products, especially coffee, soybeans and oranges, account for 31% of Brazilian exports. Presently, 92% of the electric energy in the country is generated through hydropower. Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru are immediate neighbours of Brazil, sharing common boundaries.

 

Demography

 

Brazil has a population of 162 million (1998 figure), which is projected to be 166.7 million in the year 2000 and 212 million by 2025. In the year 1991, 75% of the population was concentrated in urban areas. The rate of growth of population in Brazil was 1.23% in 1997 and is estimated to be 0.92% by the year 2015.

 

Land

 

Brazil is a big country having a land area of over 8.5 million sq. km. Its coast extends to almost 8800 km along which most of the Brazilian population is concentrated. The country has a rich biological diversity at three levels: genetic, variety of species, and ecosystems – the product of great climatic and geomorphologic variation. The territory has a diversified climate.

 

Brazil has abundant flora and fauna. According to researchers, there are 524 species of mammals, 77 of them primates (27% of the world total), 1622 bird species; 400 reptile species and more than 3000 species of freshwater fish. The country has most diversified flora of the world with 50 to 56 described species of higher plants which account for 20 to 22% of the world total.

 

River and Water Resources

 

The country has a devast hydrographic network having many notable rivers. The plateau rivers which are predominant due to the nature of the relief, have ruptures of declivity and embedded valleys which give them a high potential for electricity generation. Among the large national rivers, only the Amazon and the Paraguay are predominantly plain rivers and largely used for navigation. The Sao Francisco and Parana are the main plateau rivers. There are several important lakes, estuaries, coastal lagoons and wetlands. The country has also the largest wetlands – the Pantanal. The total volume of available water is estimated between 5327 and 5610 cubic km per year which is equivalent to 32870 - 35730 cu m per capita. It is estimated that 200,000 - 258000 cu m per second of water flows in the rivers representing about 18% of the world total. Of this total, about 90% is in the Amazonia region (North and Central-West regions) where only 15% of the population lives. The other 10% of the volume of water is found in the other three regions (North-East, South and South-East) that concentrate 85% of the population and represent 91% of the demand for water. Agriculture (and livestock) consumes 61% of the water, whereas industries use 18%, while municipal and domestic use accounts for 21%. Brazil also has 6 of the 54 largest dams built in the world having highest storage capacities. The scarcity of water is, however, increasing with more and more competition for its uses.

 

Brazil is divided into 3 river basins and 2 river basin complexes. The main river basins are Amazon, Tocantins, and Sao Francisco. The Plata river basin has 3 Brazilian sub-river basins as follows : Parana, Upper Paraguay and Uruguay. The remaining rivers that flow to the Atlantic are divided into the following river basin complexes : Atlantic North, Atlantic Northeast, Atlantic East 1, Atlantic East 2, and Atlantic Southeast. The total water availability in the country, on an average, is 257790 cubic meter/second.

 

Eco-Systems

 

Brazil has 9 defined ecosystems based on original dominant vegetation and its geographical position. These are : Amazonian Ecosystem dominated by the rain forest with a surface area of 4.005 million sq. km, Cerrado Ecosystem with an area of 1.89 million sq. km, Pantanal Ecosystem having an area of 0.155 million sq km, Caatinga and Northeast Deciduous Forests characterized by hot, thorny and dry landscape with a surface area of 0.94 million sq km, Midnorth Ecosystem with a surface area of 0.164 million sq. km, Seasonal Semidecidual Forests Ecosystem occupy an area of 0.519 million sq. km, Conifer Forests Ecosystem occupying an area of 0.22 million sq. km, Extreme South Ecosystem with an area of 0.204 million sq km, and the Coastal and Atlantic Forest Ecosystem occupying an area of about 0.415 million sq. km.

 

Agriculture

 

Agriculture in Brazil is a very important activity. The total agricultural area in the country is about 50 million ha with a potential to cultivate another 60 Mha which can be used for rainfed agriculture. Agriculture is important not only for food production but also for the Brazilian exports. In the year 1996, the agricultural sector employed 16.6 million people representing 24.5% of the population. Brazil accounts for 32% of world exports of soybean meal, 17% of soybean oil, 14% of grain soybean, 16% of coffee beans, 14% of tobacco, and 8.5% of suger. Agriculture production represents roughly 10% of the GNP, equivalent to approximately US$ 81 billion.

 

Irrigation

 

Irrigated agriculture in Brazil has increased from 60,000 ha in 1950 to 2.87 million ha in 1998 of which about 33% are the low flat lands in the South, mostly used for flood irrigation. Presently, a vast majority of irrigated areas is private, with only 4.2% of public irrigation schemes comprising about 120,000 ha. The potential for irrigated agriculture is estimated to be 49 million ha of which 33 million ha are low flat lands for flood irrigation (“varzeas”) and 16 million ha in upper lands. A further increase of 500,000 ha is expected by the end of 2000 according to the National Plan for Irrigation and Drainage.

The irrigated area in Brazil represents about 5% of the total planted area, but it is responsible for 16% of the total agricultural production and for 35% of the value of this production. The irrigated agriculture represents one of the most cost-effective ways to generate employment.

 

Although agriculture is generating food by utilising water, however, the water use efficiencies are generally low. Still as against an average value of irrigation efficiency of 45% or lower in several other countries, Brazil claims to be having an irrigation efficiency of 62%. Brazil recognizes that the absence of a well defined methodology for assessing the performance of the schemes, encompassing technical, economical and social factors for assessment of irrigation performance is an important issue responsible for low efficiencies.

 

It is necessary to select adequate performance indicators that fulfill the requirements of rationality, technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness. Secondly, these indicators will need to be included methodologically in majority of the schemes.

 

New Developments

 

Brazil has developed a program called Research Program on Irrigation Performance (RPIP). In line with RPIP, the Brazilian Agency for Agricultural Research (EMBRAPA), in association with the National Secretariat of Water Resources and the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA) started the project RPIP-Brazil, in 1997, that has the objective of developing a methodology for assessing irrigation performance based on field data being collected in three major irrigation schemes in the country. The work is being carried out in connection with RPIP and keeping contact with ICID’s WG-PERF, as a forum for discussion.

 

Concerning the rational and equitable use of water in Brazil, an important step has been taken with the approval of Law 9433, the “Law of Water Resources Policy”, sanctioned in 1997. The law is still to be regulated, before it can become completely effective, but it was the result of many years of discussion among politicians and the different sectors that represent the major uses of water in the country. The main features of the law are :

 

  1. adoption of the watershed (basin) as the planning unit for water use;

  2. introduction of the multi-use concept; all users will have equal access to water use, with priority given to population domestic use;

  3. recognition of water as a limited, finite and vulnerable good;

  4. recognition of the economic value of water and therefore entitled to be charged for (principle of the “user payer” and the “polluter payer”);

  5. proposal for a decentralised and participatory management, in which individual users, civil society and other social organizations will be able to influence on the decision making process.

The law also creates some important new figures, such as :

  1. a national policy of water resources;

  2. a national council of water resources;

  3. concession of rights for water use;

  4. water charges.

 

Brazil has several national policies on various issues. The National Environment Policy established through Law No. 6938 dated 31 August 1981 created the National Environmental System with the main objective of preservation, improvement and recovery of environmental quality suitable for life, to ensure conditions for socio-economic development, national security interests and protection of the dignity of human life.

 

The 1981 Federal Constituion of Brazil establishes that “the Federal Government has property of lakes, rivers and any currents in lands that belong to it, or that bathe more than one State, or are borders with other countries or extend into foreign territory or come from them, as well as marginal terrain and fluivial beaches”. It further establishes as being “property of the States, the surface or ground, flowing, emerging or deposited waters, with the exception, in this case, according to the law, of those resulting from Federal Government works”. Thus, it is the strict competence of the Federal Government to legislate on water.

 

The Water Act of 1934 is the background for Brazilian legislation on Water which resulted into the Law No. 9433 in 1997 and several of its other regulations. The River Basin Committees promote the debate of issues related to river basins, coordinate the intersectorial actions, arbitrate on the conflicts related to water resources, approve and follow the implementation of the river basin plan, establish the water pricing mechanisms, suggest the levies to be charged, and establish criteria for cost sharing of works for multiple use.

 

The country has National Water Quality and Quantity Network which presently consists of 5138 stations, 2234 of which are pluviometric, 1874 fluviometric and 1030 of other types like sedimentometric, telemetric, water quality, evaporimetric and climatological, etc. The country also has National Monitoring and Environmental Assessment Program (MONITORE) and an Environmental Makromonitoring Project to provide technical and operational support on the issues considered to be of priority for enviornmental management in the country. The country has several multilateral and international cooperation treaties and agreements on irrigation, water sharing, on ecological issues and management of water resources.

 

Brazil and ICID

 

Brazil is a member of ICID since 1970. The country has the distinction of hosting the 41st IEC meeting and 14th Congress of ICID in the year 1990 at Rio de Janeiro. The first Pan-American Regional Conference was also held in Brazil at Salvador Bahia in the year 1984. Mr. Jose Osvaldo Pontes (1982-1985) and Mr. Jader Fernandes de Carvalho (1986-1990) have been Vice Presidents of ICID.

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