Centro de Pesquisas de Águas Subterrâneas

CEPAS |USP

Centro de Pesquisas de Águas Subterrâneas

Instituto de Geociências da Universidade de São Paulo

Instituto de Geociências IGc-USP

Coqueiral: Challenge of water quality in urban environmental issue: Recife aquifers and land use. How to face groundwater salinisation and contamination under global environmental change in its societal context
2011 - 2015

Due to an increasing demographic pressure, the Metropolitan Region of Recife (RMR, the fifth largest metropolitan area in Brazil), went through remarkable water and land use changes over the last decades. These evolutions gave rise to numerous environmental consequences, such as a dramatic decline of the piezometric levels, groundwater salinization and contamination. This degradation of natural resources is linked to the increase of water demand, punctually amplified by drought periods which induced the construction of thousands of private wells, hindering global political solutions. The RMR thus appears as a typical "hot spot" illustrating the problems of emerging countries such as urbanization, unequal distribution of wealth, limited effects of political decisions, rapid industrial and touristic development. All these factors induce high pressures on water resources both on quantity and quality in the context of global social and environmental changes. Under these conditions, the COQUEIRAL project proposes an interdisciplinary research program aiming to study the human impact on coastal overexploited aquifers. The project is structured in three principal converging axes: (1) the analysis of pressures on the groundwater resources and their societal and structural reasons, (2) the identification of sources and mechanisms of groundwater quality and quantity degradation, focusing on the physical and chemical processes as vectors of the reaction of the system to the external pressures and (3) the assessment of the regional impact of global changes on water ressources. COQUEIRAL will approach the degradation of the groundwater resources by questioning the specific conditions of urbanization and water administration in Recife at multiple levels: the macro-sociological level with the political and institutional stake of water management; the meso-sociological level with the waters, collective stakes and their perceptions; and the micro-sociological level.

Integrantes: (Ricardo Hirata), Veridiana Martins, Reginaldo Bertolo, Edson Cezar Wendland, Suzana Maria Gico Lima Montenegro, Emmanuelle Petelet-Giraud, Lise Cary, Jose A. Marengo, Helene Pauwels, Enjôlras Medeiros.
Financiador(es): Agence Nationale de la Recherche - Auxílio financeiro / Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - Auxílio financeiro / Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco - Auxílio financeiro.