Conclusion of the social involvement diagnosis for the river basin management plan of the São Francisco, Brazil

The social involvement diagnosis for the new river basin management plan of the São Francisco was recently finished by Nemus and it was an astonishing success.

The most visible part of this phase that lasted for four months, was the direct contact with the population and specialists of several different areas of knowledge, that was promoted through 12 public consultation sessions and 21 thematic workshops, covering five states, 27 municipalities and four physiographic regions of the river basin.

1,385 people (15% more than initially predicted) participated in the public consultation sessions, that were open to everyone interested. The thematic workshops counted with 710 experts (almost twice the 380 participants predicted) of many different areas of knowledge. Hydroelectricity, navigation, fisheries, tourism, sanitation, agriculture (large scale and traditional), industry, mining and native and traditional communities were all largely debated. All the participations and conclusions will be used to complete and enrich the technical diagnosis produced in an initial phase, that was based only in numbers and figures provided by institutional and official sources.

The social involvement diagnosis has also counted on the usefulness of other instruments such as: questionnaires (1,226 were validated and considered in the analysis), interviews, debates and institutional meetings (around 120 so far) and analysis of the press (640 publications were analysed).

The report on the social involvement diagnosis was formally presented and discussed with the client on the 2nd of July, in Belo Horizonte. In this meeting, Nemus had the opportunity to transmit what are the main issues that the populations complain about in what concerns the water, and had the chance to communicate some of the solutions that people suggested to be included in the plan. This phase had an amazing participation of the people and the users in general, showing that they are interested in being involved and that they can provide useful and relevant information for the water management process.

The river basin management plan of the São Francisco 2016-2025 is an updating of the former plan (2004-2013). The São Francisco river is almost 3,000 km long and is one of the most important water courses in Brazil and South America. More about this Nemus’ project in here.