Hydrological benefits in the context of Brazilian environmental services program
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The Brazilian program of payment for environmental services (PES) is based on ranges of potential erosion decrease (ED) from soil and water conservation proposals estimated from the Universal Soil Loss Equation. Changes in land use and land cover (LULC) result in many alterations of the basin water balance. Therefore, to contribute to the methodological development of Brazilian PES, this paper proposes a quantification of hydrological benefits based on conservation measures. We propose basing the PES program on adding the potential water storage increase (WSI) parameter estimated from the runoff curve number model. Two LULC change scenarios were run considering conservation measures on degraded areas. We found that indicators of ED and WSI were compatible tools for driving the eligibility of soil and water conservation measures. However, the water storage parameter seems to be better at managing the PES mechanism because it is based on water prices and can contribute to appreciation of the efforts performed by the rural producers. The use of the SCS-CN method presents greater feasibility as a tool for the implementation of PES programs in ungauged basins. Thus, an analysis of the success of the innovation proposal of the Brazilian PES program allows inferences to be made about the quantification and financial valuation of hydrological benefits of the potential storage increase and current water price.
KeywordsWater erosion Hydrological services Land use change SCS-CN method USLE model
The authors thank the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Foundation to Support the Development of Education, Science and Technology of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul (Fundect), and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, Process 2011/11653-0 and 2008/58161-1) for supporting the study.
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