ICCS2004 Application Submission/Review

Abstract for
"Complexities of River Basin Management, The Case of the Pitimbu River in Brazil."


Complexities of River Basin Management, The Case of the Pitimbu River in Brazil. This research proposes to answer the question: What is the most efficient allocation of water resources between the diverse stakeholders in the Pitimbu River Basin in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil? The World Health Organization estimates that 1.7 million people die each year from diseases related to contaminated water (WHO 2002). In the northeast of Brazil, 34% of the residents lack running water, while over 60% are without adequate sanitation (World Bank 2002). Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (RN), capital of one of the northeast states, relies on the Pitimbu River for approximately 40% of its water (Borges 2002). The city is one of many stakeholders along the Pitimbu; others include hotels, agribusiness firms, paper mills, agricultural producers, and other municipalities. The Pitimbu River has been the focus of several ongoing environmental protection activities (Souto Filho 2002, SERHID/RN 2001). However, most projects have been directed at enforcement of regulatory violations by industries along the river. This project utilizes the Policy Relevant Monitoring Systems (PRMS), a model designed to monitor systems that have direct relevance to the management of natural resources (Hazell et al, 2001). This research extends the PRMS model to specifically include health-related water issues. The complex interrelationships between the diverse stakeholders make river basin management an ideal topic for exploration with system dynamics modeling. Stella system dynamics modeling software will be used to model the Pitimbu River Basin PRMS.