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Open AccessArticle

Hydrological Guidelines for Reservoir Operation to Enhance Water Governance: Application to the Brazilian Semiarid Region

1
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza CEP 60455-900, CE, Brazil
2
Institute for Engineering and Sustainable Development, University of International Afro-Brazilian Integration, UNILAB, Redenção CEP 62790-000, CE, Brazil
3
COGERH, Water Resources State Company, Fortaleza CEP 60824-140, CE, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(11), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111628
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrologic Modelling for Water Resources and River Basin Management)
The Brazilian water legislation advocates that some uses have priority over others, but this aspect has never been clearly addressed, generating conflicts. Water authorities usually refer to hydrological models to justify their decisions on water allocation. However, a significant group of stakeholders does not feel qualified to discuss these models and is excluded from the decision process. We hereby propose a hydrologically robust method to correlate water uses with their respective reservoir alert volumes, which should empower the less formally educated stakeholders. The method consists of: (i) generating the water yield versus reliability curve, using a stochastic approach; (ii) generating the yield versus alert volume family of curves, using a water-balance approach; (iii) calibrating the key parameter T (depletion duration) using field data; and (iv) associating each water use with its alert volume. We have applied the method to four of the largest reservoirs (2 × 103–2 × 102 hm3) in the semi-arid Ceará State. The results indicate that low-priority water uses should be rationalized when the reservoir volume is below 20%, whereas uses with very high priority should start rationalization when it is below 11%. These hydrological guidelines should help enhance water governance among non-specialist stakeholders in water-scarce and reservoir-dependent regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: reservoirs; water allocation; water scarcity; alert volume; governance reservoirs; water allocation; water scarcity; alert volume; governance
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MDPI and ACS Style

De Araújo, J.C.; Mamede, G.L.; De Lima, B.P. Hydrological Guidelines for Reservoir Operation to Enhance Water Governance: Application to the Brazilian Semiarid Region. Water 2018, 10, 1628.

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