In the middle of a hot and dry region in the middle of the northeastern hinterland, a kind of oasis appears. The crystal clear water that is sprouting in the Caatinga is not a mirage, but the result of the reforestation carried out in one of the sources of the São Francisco River in the rural community of Brejo da Brásida, in the municipality of Sento Sé in Bahia.
A team made up of local residents takes care of 26 springs. It all starts with removing the stones, sand and earth that made the spring dry. Afterwards, seedlings of trees from the Caatinga are planted and the site is fenced to prevent animals from eating the vegetation. With the terrain prepared, the water that is underground starts to sprout on the surface.
Erick Almeida, who is the scientific coordinator of the project in the community of Brejo da Brásida, says that without the recovered springs, no type of economic activity is viable in the region. “One thing we always like to make clear is that this is not a good deed. It is imperative: we have to recover the springs”.
Reforestation in Brejo da Brásida is part of the Águas Brasileiras project, which is carried out through a partnership of five ministries. “The program is carried out through partnerships signed between the Federal Government, the private sector and residents’ associations. The idea is to join forces to recover the springs and help increase the volume of water in the rivers”, explains Verônica Sanchez, Secretary of Development and Partnerships with the Private Sector of the Ministry of Regional Development.
Sobradinho, in the far north of Bahia, which is the largest reservoir in the country – Maurício de Almeida – Reporter for TV Brasil
The coordinator of the Brejo da Brásida residents’ association, Mariluze Amaral, says that investment in springs is essential to avoid a collapse in the country’s water system. people will know that it is possible to recover springs and that the Brazilian government is thinking about it. And this is very good”.
The preservation of springs improves the quality of life for those who live in dry regions and also helps to increase the volume of water in rivers. An essential job, especially in times of low rain. In the case of the São Francisco, the water that is stored in the Sobradinho dam, in the far north of Bahia, which is the largest reservoir in the country. It is used to supply six hydroelectric plants that generate energy for the entire country. Without taking care of the springs, the reservoir, which is currently below half, would have an even lower water level.
The concern with the quality of springs is also present in the south of the country. The technicians at the Itaipu plant know that to generate energy it is necessary to take care of the fundamental raw material, which is water, which is why several projects are developed to preserve the water resources of the Paraná basin, which supplies the plant’s reservoir.
The superintendent of Environmental Management, Ariel Scheffer, says that the objective is to guarantee water quality and prevent erosion on the banks that causes “the fall of earth and other debris that cause siltation in the reservoir and reduce the volume of water”.
A green belt with 24 million trees was planted around the reservoir that has banks in 15 municipalities in Paraná and 1 in Mato Grosso do Sul. This work was only possible with the partnership of farmers who ceded part of the properties.
Farmer Milton Dillmann initially did not want to reforest a crop area, but later came to the conclusion that contributing to water conservation was essential. “I understood that by preserving the springs, we all gained and also helped to increase the volume of water in the Itaipu reservoir”.
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