What is a watershed?
Hydrographic basins are areas of the territory or of a region composed of a main river and its tributaries, which flow into the same watercourse. They are separated by relief structures, such as hills, mountain ranges, peaks and plateaus. The waters are guided by the terrain topography. The relief forms lead to smaller water courses, such as creeks, streams and small rivers, to supply the larger rivers. Generally, the name of the watershed takes the same name as the main river.
The basins have the following structure: spring, main river, watersheds, tributaries and mouth. These elements together drain water from the basin to a larger basin or the ocean.
What is a hydrographic region?
These are basins, groups of basins or nearby hydrographic sub-basins, which drain into the same mouth, with similar natural, social and economic characteristics. This criterion for dividing the regions aims to guide the planning and management of water resources across the country.
What is a Basin Committee?
This instance of the national and state water resources management systems constitutes the “Water Parliament”, that is, a space in which representatives of public authorities, water users and organized civil society discuss and deliberate on resource management of water. It is about the horizontal, democratic and participative management of water in a hydrographic region. Learn more at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQKwFab_rLg
What is the Basin Committee Member?
It is the organization, public or private, which, after a public electoral process, becomes a participant in a Basin Committee with the right to vote in its deliberations, and may also run for positions of direction and coordination of instances, in accordance with the internal regulations of each collegiate. This member organization represents one of the segments in the collegiate body: water users, organized civil society or public authorities.
What does it mean to be a representative?
It is the individual who represents a member organization within the Collegiate. The choice is unique and exclusive to the organization that, by means of an official letter, delegates to one of its peers the right and duty to represent it within the Committee, making use of the right to vote in deliberations. You are responsible for representing your organization, your sub-segment and your segment. It can be replaced at any time by the member organization only. A member organization may have different representatives at different levels within the Committee.
What is a Water or Basin Agency?
The Water Agencies are entities whose function is to provide technical and administrative support to the Hydrographic Basin Committees, exercising, among others, the function of executive secretariat.
An integral part of the national and state water resources management systems, the viability of a Water Agency must be ensured by charging for the use of water resources in its area of operation. Among the legal attributions of the Water Agencies, the following stand out: the development of the necessary studies for the management of water resources in their area of operation, the application of the resources collected through the collection in accordance with the planning approved by the Committee, and the maintenance of the registration of water users. Its employees join through a public selection process. Learn more at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNrVYIfY1og&t=3s
What are the instances of the State Water Resources Management System in the State of Rio de Janeiro?
According to Art. 43 of State Law No. 3239/99, the following institutions are part of the State Water Resources Management System (SEGRHI):
I – The State Water Resources Council (CERHI);
II – The State Water Resources Fund (FUNDRHI);
III – The Hydrographic Basin Committees (CBHs);
IV – The Water Agencies; and
V – The federal, state and municipal public authorities whose competences are related to the management of water resources.
What is the governing body of water resources in the state of Rio de Janeiro?
It is the State Institute for the Environment (Inea), created by Law nº 5.101, of October 4, 2007.
What is CERHI?
The State Council of Water Resources of the State of Rio de Janeiro (CERHI-RJ) is a collegiate body with normative, consultative and deliberative attributions, responsible for promoting and implementing the guidelines of the State Policy on Water Resources. It was established as part of the State Water Resources Management System (SEGRHI), through State Decrees No. 27208/2000, No. 32.862/2003, No. 41.309/2007 and No. 44.115/2013.
It is incumbent upon CERHI-RJ to establish the guidelines for the formation, organization and operation of the River Basin Committees (CBHs) and Water Agencies of the State of Rio de Janeiro, to exercise arbitration, in the last administrative instance, of conflicts between The Committees, establishing the general criteria on the granting of the right to use water resources and its collection, decides on projects for the use of water resources within the state, in addition to analyzing the proposals for amending the legislation applicable to water resources and the State Policy of Water Resources.
The CERHI-RJ is made up of a plenary composed of 32 (thirty-two) incumbent councilors and respective alternates from the public power (9), civil society (9), water users (9) segments, in addition to the Basin Committees ( 5 ) chosen through elections for mandates.
What is the right to use water resources?
According to Art. 18 of State Law 3239/99, the waters in the State of Rio de Janeiro, surface or underground, can only be used after being granted by the government.
The granting of the right to use is the administrative act that expresses the terms and conditions under which the government allows, for a specified period, the use of water resources.
The system for granting the right to use water resources aims to control the use, guaranteeing access to water for all users, aiming at the multiple use and preservation of endemic or endangered species of fauna and flora.
The following are subject to a grant in the state of Rio de Janeiro: the derivation or abstraction of a portion of the water existing in a water body, for consumption (except for the use of small population centers to meet the basic needs of life and uses considered insignificant); the extraction of water from aquifers; the discharge, into a body of water, of sewage and other liquid or gaseous waste, treated or not, for the purpose of its dilution, transport or final disposal; the use of hydroelectric potentials; and other uses that alter the regime, quantity or quality of water existing in a water body.
Where do the resources used in the projects of the Guandu-RJ Committee come from?
The resources come from charging for the use of water. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, this resource is managed by the State Water Resources Fund (FUNDRHI). FUNDRHI is part of the State Water Resources Management System and is a fund of an accounting nature and individualization, with unlimited validity, intended to develop government water resources and environmental management programs.
Its main sources of revenue are those originating from charging for the use of water resources, from the financial compensation that the state receives as a result of hydroelectric developments in its territory and others described in the State Policy on Water Resources.
According to current legislation, of the amount collected from charging for the use of water resources owned by the state, 90% must be applied in the hydrographic region that generated the resources, in actions and projects included in the Investment Plan approved by the respective Basin Committee and , the other 10%, in the managing agency of water resources in the state.
Through this resource, the Guandu-RJ Committee carries out projects aimed at improving the quality and availability of water in the hydrographic basin of the Guandu, Guarda and Guandu-Mirim rivers.
What is the water use charge?
The charge for the use of water is provided for by the National and State Water Resources Policies, instituted by Law No. 9,433/97 at the federal level and regulated in the State of Rio de Janeiro by Law No. 3239/99. According to Art. 27 of Law No. 3239/99, charging for the use of water resources aims to recognize water as an economic good and give the user an indication of its real value, in addition to encouraging the rationalization of water use and obtaining financial resources for the financing of the programs and interventions contemplated in the Hydrographic Basin Plans (Strategic Plan of Water Resources).
This charge is not a tax or tariff charged by water distributors in the city, but rather a remuneration for the use of a public good. Any and all users that capture, release effluents or carry out non-consumptive uses directly into water bodies need to comply with the established value.
The amount of the charge is stipulated by the Hydrographic Basin Committees (CBHs).
What are Basin Plans?
The Basin or Water Resources Plans are planning instruments that serve to guide society and decision makers for the recovery, protection and conservation of water resources in the corresponding basins or hydrographic regions.
In the Guandu-RJ Committee, it is called the Water Resources Strategic Plan, being the guiding document for the Committee’s decisions and one of the pillars of the integrated and participative management of water resources in Hydrographic Region II (RH II). It is a strongly agreed upon and integrated planning instrument, which allows the Committee, the management bodies and other components of the Water Resources Management System with responsibility for the region to effectively and sustainably manage their surface and groundwater resources in benefit of present and future generations. Access the Guandu-RJ Committee’s Water Resources Strategic Plan at: LINK TO THE PLAN.
What is the framing of water bodies?
It is the establishment of the water quality goal or objective (class) to be achieved or maintained in a water body segment, in accordance with the main intended uses, over time.
What is the classification of water bodies?
It is the qualification of fresh, brackish and saline waters according to the predominant uses (class system) present and future.
What is quality class?
It is the set of conditions and water quality standards necessary to meet the main current and future uses.
What are the surface freshwater classes?
SPECIAL CLASS – water intended for: supply for human consumption, with disinfection; preservation of the natural balance of aquatic communities; and preservation of aquatic environments in strict protection conservation units.
CLASS 1 – water that can be destined for: supply for human consumption, after simplified treatment; protection of aquatic communities; and primary contact recreation (swimming, water skiing and diving), according to CONAMA 274/00; irrigation of vegetables consumed raw and fruits (close to the ground) and that are eaten raw without removing the skin; and protection of aquatic communities in Indigenous lands.
CLASS 2 – water that can be destined for: supply for human consumption, after conventional treatment; protection of aquatic communities; primary contact recreation (swimming, water skiing and diving), according to CONAMA 274/00; irrigation of vegetables and fruit plants, parks and gardens and others with which the public may have direct contact; and aquaculture and fishing activity.
CLASS 3 – water that can be destined for: supply for human consumption, after conventional or advanced treatment; irrigation of tree, cereal and forage crops; amateur fishing; secondary contact recreation; and watering of animals.
CLASS 4 – waters that can be used for navigation and landscaping (without contact).