The São Francisco River is one of the longest rivers in South America and the longest river running entirely on Brazilian territory. Nearly 3,000 km long, it crosses seven Federative Units and its drainage basin covers an area of more than 600,000 km2. This project aims to upgrade the current River Basin Management Plan (2004-2013) for the next decade (2016-2025).

This project posed a few important challenges: the stretch of territory includes an extremely diverse set of physical, biotic and socioeconomic conditions; there are different national, federal, municipal and institutional entities managing different issues and different parts of the territory; it involved a strong public participation component, with a central role in the development of the plan; and it requires the management of particularly critical technical and social issues related to water demand and distribution.

The plan included the development of the following tasks:

  • Update of territorial and institutional issues: characterization and diagnosis;
  • Quantitative and qualitative assessment of surface and groundwater;
  • Analysis of water uses and needs;
  • Evaluation of different prospective scenarios;
  • Proposition of guidelines and criteria for the improvement of water resources policies’ instruments;
  • Evaluation of priority actions and goals for the river basin;
  • Structuring of the river basin’s data base;
  • 24 public consultations (over 3,000 participants) and 21 technical workshops on five different subjects (over 700 experts and users from different sectors).