Call edition 2012

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Interaction between Water Supply and Demand in Two Collective Irrigation Schemes in North-East Brazil

Erwin DE NYS researcher laureate

°1978 Belgium
Bio-engineer in agricultural sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, 1996

Interaction between Water Supply and Demand in Two Collective Irrigation Schemes in North-East Brazil

This thesis is an original analysis of two collective irrigation schemes operating in the valley of the São Francisco River (Bahia, Brazil). Thanks to substantial field work (1998-2002), Mr Erwin De Nys was able to pursue two complementary objectives in this work:

- analysing the operation of these irrigation schemes and in particular assessing the interaction between the managers and agricultural producers;

- and, on the basis of this analysis, devising a simulation model with which different future scenarios can be visualized for these irrigation schemes and which will be used to support arguments in discussions between the different partners.

Three key issues are focused on in this study: the organization of the interaction between water supply and demand, the effect of different types of management on the salinization of the soil and the choice of a water tariff system.
The originality of this work lies in the development and use of a simple and transparent simulation tool, which meant that a participative approach could be adopted by the different partners in the projects studied.
Given the adequately universal nature of the models developed, the recommendations given should be transferable to other irrigation schemes in Brazil or elsewhere.
This work is a good example of the implementation of an integrated approach in the management of water resources; it takes into account the different technical, financial, socio-economic and environmental aspects that play a vital role in the development of sustainable development projects.

Report written by Prof. Dr Paul Vander Borght, Department of Environmental Sciences and Management, Water and the Environment, Université de Liège, Arlon, Belgium