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Assessment of a large watershed in Brazil using Emergy Evaluation and Geographical Information System

Texto completo
Agostinho, Feni [1] ; Ambrosio, Luis Alberto [2] ; Ortega, Enrique [1]
Número total de Autores: 3
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, State Univ Campinas, Food Eng Sch, Ecol Engn Lab, BR-13083862 Campinas, SP - Brazil
[2] Ctr Milk Bovines, Zootechnol Inst, BR-13462000 Nova Odessa, SP - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 2
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: ECOLOGICAL MODELLING; v. 221, n. 8, p. 1209-1220, APR 24 2010.
Citações Web of Science: 27

Humanity's future depends on the preservation of natural ecosystems that supply resources and absorb pollutants. Rural and urban productions are currently based on chemical products made from petroleum, which are responsible for high negative impacts on the Biosphere. In order to prevent those impacts, efficient public policies seeking for sustainable development are necessary. Aiming to assess the load on the environment (considering the gratuitous contributions of natural systems a donor's perspective) due to human-dominated process, a scientific tool called Emergy Evaluation has been applied in different production systems, including crops and farms. However, there is still a lack of emergy studies in the context of watersheds, probably due to the difficulty of collecting raw data. The present work aims to carry out an assessment of Mogi-Guacu and Pardo watershed, through the combined use of Emergy Evaluation and Geographical Information System. The agricultural and natural land uses were considered, while urban areas were excluded. Emergy flows (expressed in seJ ha(-1) yr(-1)) obtained for all agricultural and natural land uses were expanded for the whole watershed and the emergy indices were calculated. The results show that the watershed has: low renewability (%R = 32%); low capture of natural resources through high external economic investment (EYR = 1.86); low dependence on natural resources (EIR = 1.16); and moderate load on the environment (ELR = 2.08). Considering a scenario where sugar-cane crops, orchards and pasture areas are converted from conventional to organic management, watershed's emergy performance improved, reaching a new renewability of 38%, but it is still not enough to be considered sustainable. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 02/06685-0 - Diagnóstico ambiental da agricultura no estado de São Paulo: bases para um desenvolvimento rural sustentável
Beneficiário:Ademar Ribeiro Romeiro
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Temático