Signs of a chronic problem: need for water governance to promote basin committees, coordinate plans and manage Information
Abstract The current water governance in Brazil contributes to the increase of water scarcity problems in the São Francisco basin, contributing to conflicts over water use. This paper assesses the challenges and barriers of water governance in the São Francisco river basin based on a robust collection and analysis of data from various repositories and institutions at the national, state, river basin and municipal levels. The methodology includes an analysis of institutional interaction by examining the coordination of water resources plans, a review of the implementation of basin tributary committees and the quantity and quality available data related to water management. Most tributaries’ river plans were developed by the government; therefore, many of the plans analyzed conflicted with other regional plans due to a lack of coordination of proposed actions. In addition, the semiarid region has implemented few tributary river committees and the basin as a whole lacks an appropriate mechanism for generating, updating and sharing comprehensive information relevant to water management. It is therefore imperative to improve coordination between plans using integrated assessment and decision-making tools, and to reinforce public participation through tributary committees. Further, a collaborative data platform should be adopted, from which it will be possible share information generated in different sectors of society.