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Author Topic: The role of the water-energy security nexus in Brazils water basin committees: The example of hydropower development in the Amazon Region.
olimar
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Post The role of the water-energy security nexus in Brazils water basin committees: The example of hydropower development in the Amazon Region.
on: January 30, 2012, 13:36

Rapidly increasing pressures on water resources challenge the effectiveness of conventional policy making. In countries such as Brazil, more than 70 per cent of the electricity production comes from hydropower. Most importantly, hydroelectric power represents over 90 per cent of the electrical energy consumed in Brazil. National energy policies still project hydropower as the main source of energy for the next 30 years, despite projections of droughts and hydrological variations that will impact hydropower production and lessen energy security. Furthermore, water-basin committees are often only consulted when energy decisions are related to hydropower. They are otherwise left out of consultations about alternative energy sources and land planning, even though such decisions have a direct impact on water resources. Therefore, it is necessary to develop integrated national frameworks for water and energy decision-making. The disjointed understanding of the water and energy nexus is the result not having an integrated decision-making framework. This paper will use the Amazon basin as a case study to determine the effectiveness of an integrated decision-making framework and will propose a roadmap for incorporating new tools and information to the process. It will build upon the existing water basin committee structure in Brazil and propose a new decision making mechanism that will include new scientific instruments such as hydrological predictions and drought, as well as mandate committee input on all planning decisions that affect water supply. By presented how new scientific tools and further researching the effects of drought related phenomena in the basin, one can better propose better hydropower projects and therefore, better the decision making process. This will better integrate water and energy management and promote more informed stakeholders’ participation. The roadmap developed during this research can be applicable to other drought threatened areas heavily dependent in hydropower.

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