The Brazilian semiarid region strongly depends on superficial reservoirs (one every 5 km
) and hence is subject to the deleterious effects of siltation, which reduces water availability. This research proposed a method, simplified bathymetric surveying using remote sensing, for updating the morphological parameters of reservoirs. The study area was the Pentecoste reservoir (360 hm
) in northeastern Brazil. The results were compared to the conventional bathymetric survey method, which demands more sampling points (235 compared to 1) and was assumed as reference. Siltation assessed through the proposed method was nearly twice as high as that observed through conventional surveys. The morphological parameters derived by both methods were used to assess the long-term water balance of the reservoir. The results show that the outflow diverged 30%, while the evaporated discharge and water availability diverged 10% between the methods. Therefore, in the conditions of the Brazilian semiarid region, the simplified method suffices to assess the water availability of reservoirs affected by silting.
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