There is growing consensus worldwide that in hydropower-dominated river basins, the allocation of water can no longer be only driven by the demand for energy; rather a balance must be found between hydropower and the other uses including the environment and the need to sustain ecosystems. However, because water re-allocation has technical, economic and socio-political dimensions, it is a complex governance issue which lends itself to trans-disciplinary analytical framework. The uncertainty regarding global changes intensifies this complexity since it will affect both supply (water availability) and the various water demands in the river basin.
The overarching goal of this project is to improve the governance of the floodplain in over-built, over-committed river basins where the livelihood of riverine communities is at risk following the degradation of ecosystems and fragmented institutions. To achieve this goal, the project will tackle the following scientific challenges:
Understanding ecological effects on large wetlands and floodplains downstream of hydropower plants given their importance as biodiversity hotspots providers of a large number of ecological services such as fish reproduction, wildlife preservation and flood control;
Integrating decisions on ecosystem services protection and recovery with water allocation for energy and other competing demands, given it requires a well-structured approach and a strong interdisciplinary cooperation between academic partners, water managers and stakeholders;
Clear understanding of governance options which is necessary to bridge the knowing - doing gap and to support the required efforts in stakeholder involvement and capacity building to secure long-term intellectual support of science-based IWRM in the region.
Without transparent information about these issues, negotiation is contentious, and agreement is unlikely. As result, environmental demands remain unmet, ecosystem services end up compromised and the governance system will likely fail to adapt to future changing conditions and to provide reliable services to human wellbeing.
The methods and results of our project will allow:
Improved stakeholders’ awareness about the need to adapt to future changing conditions when ecosystem services are restored and maintained; Identification of improved operating rules to adapt to future conditions that reduce the trade-offs to other demands (water and energy); Calculation of the cost of the adaptation and proposing different institutional arrangements to share costs and benefits of adaptation, fostering collaboration and facilitating implementation of the desired adaptation plan. In this project, this will be accomplished with stakeholders’ discussion and interaction.
Finally, the collaboration between four institutions across Brazil, Chile and Canada, involving academic professionals, water managers and stakeholders will also contribute to consolidate a decision-making process that is both adaptive, science-based and participatory. The project will also strengthen institutional and professional liaisons for future application of scientific findings, new research ideas and real-world problem solving.
II Integrated Meeting of the Paranapanema River
http://www.sigrh.sp.gov.br/pageitems/450/news/9240 - 25/07/2019
Guilherme Fernandes Marques, Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)
Angelo Antonio Agostinho, Maringá State University
Elimar Pinheiro do Nascimento, Universidade de Brasilia
Amaury Tilmant, Université Laval
Marcelo Olivares, Universidad de Chile.