Water sustainability assessment for the region of Curitiba

Caroline Oliveira de Castro

Óliver Cristian Santos Loureiro

Andreia Vieira Santos

Juvancir Silva

William Bonino Rauen

ABSTRACT: The Watershed Sustainability Index (WSI) allows for integrated analyses of social, economic and environmental matters that can affect sustainability in a watershed, in a water-centric approach. It is subdivided into four categories: hydrology, environment, life and policy, each of them analysed through a three-tier indicator system, namely for pressure, state and response. As such, the index accounts for present conditions, trends and ongoing corrective actions. This paper reports on a sustainability assessment undertaken using WSI for a region encompassing Curitiba, capital of the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. Water resources are managed via the river basin committee COALIAR, which includes the Upper Iguaçu river and affluents of the Upper Ribeira river. Such a water management remit area supports over three million people (93% urban) and includes one of the most polluted rivers in Brazil (the upper reaches of the Iguaçu river, in Curitiba). Several data repositories were used and a comparison of results obtained using different indicator and calculation approaches was made, both to assess the robustness of the diagnostic assessment and to inform future WSI application. Possible pathways to improve water sustainability are indicated based on the assessment results.

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