Deforestation and poor sanitation threaten the Pantanal waters
The water quality of the Pantanal rivers worsened. A survey conducted by WWF-Brazil with the Amazon Pantanal Conservation Institute (IPAC) and HSBC Brazil, shows that the turbidity levels - when the water loses its transparency - and amount of dissolved solids in Jauru rivers, Sepotuba and high- Paraguay is increasing.
According to the study, poor sanitation and deforestation of riparian forests and forests of springs and headwaters are primarily responsible for the pollution of these three rivers, responsible for providing 30% of the water that keeps the flood pulse - annual process of flood and drought - the Pantanal in Mato Grosso.
Without vegetation, the rivers are unprotected and exposed to the rain, which carry sediments by the current, causing increased turbidity and siltation, the process by which the rivers are becoming increasingly shallow. Turbidity affects the fish life cycle, the lack of transparency in the water, and hinder the treatment of water that will be distributed to the population by the sanitation companies. Siltation hinders navigation, the flow of water, the migration of fish and also leaves it vulnerable to river overflows during the rainy season. The destruction of vegetation can cause even more serious effect: dry completely a spring.
In turn, the lack of a treatment system causes the human waste of a city are directly discharged into rivers and streams, contaminating water, soil and to the water table. A study by the Institute It Brazil and WWF-Brazil found that less than 10% of the sewage in the region receives treatment before disposal.
"The water crisis that strongly affects our country is an opportunity to give more value to water," says Glauco Kimura de Freitas, Water for Life program coordinator of WWF-Brazil. "The World Water Day should be every day, not just on 22 March. It is very important take care of our industrial water sources: springs, rivers and not allow them to be contaminated, polluted and degraded by human activities. A river is a common and important asset for everyone. If he is cleared at source, near the springs, the effects will arise for those who live at the mouth also, affecting the quality of fishing in the production of electric energy and the economy in general, "adds Kimura.
Pact in Defense of the Pantanal Headwaters
In order to prevent deforestation and the lack of basic sanitation continue compromising the quality of the water in the Pantanal, the Water program for WWF-Brazil Life works for the conservation of 747 kilometers of the Pantanal rivers, the restoration of riparian 30 springs in the region and five miles of tributaries.
It supports more than 40 entities (among the public sector, water users and society) in the creation of the Pact in Defense of the Pantanal Headwaters, an unprecedented movement in Brazil to restore the headwaters of the Paraguay River and its tributaries. The chosen region includes 25 municipalities and is responsible for 30% of the water that goes into the Pantanal and is therefore known as water tank of the Pantanal. The Ecological Risk Analysis of the Paraguay River Basin showed that half of the Pantanal basin is at high and medium environmental risk and that 14% of it needs to be protected urgently, for their great ability to provide water and keep the cycles of ebbs and flows that give life to the biome.
Thanks to the mobilization of those involved with the Covenant, those involved will commit to hold at least three sustainable actions in their regions to benefit the rivers and springs. These actions range from the recovery of degraded areas, the recovery of springs, encouraging biofossas deployment to improve sanitation and promote environmental education, for example.
In addition, to improve sanitation in the region, WWF-Brazil installing 40 biofossas for the preservation of groundwater and rivers in 25 municipalities in the Pact region with funding from HSBC Solidarity Institute, technology developed by Embrapa São Carlos and support of the Institute It Brazil.
* Originally published on the site WWF Brazil.
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