Issues and Targets

Blue Rock

What are the objective and questions of PCGAP?

     The goal of PCGAP is to create the foundation of a sophisticated Decision Support System (DSS) that would enable scenario analyses for decisions on the resources of Espírito Santo. The system has time series data sets in state of the art models that can be utilized by staff in National Agencies to analyze the resource base and develop predictive scenarios and appropriate interventions, with climatic and ecosystem changes in mind. The strategy for PCGAP is to use computer "hydrology/landscape" models to assimilate multi-sector information, within a "dynamic information framework (DIF),” to provide resolutions to the questions of FpV. The application of modern “landscape/hydrology” models of river basins represents a powerful tool for the analysis of coupled landscape properties, water resources, and future change scenarios (due to climate, or land use practices).

   The specific tasks of PCGAP are to:

  • Support the development and operation of distributed, landscape/hydrological models that are sensitive to climate and land cover and land use changes from field to watershed to water basin scales.
  • Provide a secure repository for the georeferenced data for Espírito Santos required for model development;
  • Facilitate updating and augmenting of the datasets as appropriate,

   With this framework in place, PCGAP can then address a set of management issues, progressing from how weather impacts the land surface, to how changes in landuse might alter water flow, and then to how changes in water and landuse might impact the mobilization of sediments:

    Issue #1. How is “weather” (rainfall, heat) translated to soil moisture, ET, and ultimately runoff and discharge across the landscape of Espírito Santo, at different time and space scales? 

  • Could the models calculate other results or products, for example soil moisture and evapotranspiration, as well as fluvial discharge?
  • If the model is maintained in an operational mode, could the actual conditions of rainfall intensity and soil moisture be monitored, and could extreme events (floods or droughts) be anticipated via the development of a preventive alert system?
  • If the hydrologic modeling is based on predictions of regional climate models, could the potential conditions of a near-term future be anticipated? Could early warning signals be adopted?
  • Is it possible to identify (construct future scenarios of) the impacts of climate change on agricultural activities and the management of water in urban areas?

Issue #2. How do changes in landuse affect the movement of water across the landscape?

  • What are the impacts of changes in the practices of agricultural activities on local and regional water balances in the short, medium, and long terms? 
  • What is the effect of the increase in forest cover on the discharge (flow) of streams and rivers?
  • Could cultivation of eucalyptus and other monocultures on high land plantations impact the hydrologic flows and water quality in the coastal zone? In what form?
  • How would the augmentation of forest cover impact indices of biodiversity in the basins? What are the priority areas for upgrading to increase biodiversity?
  • On what spatial and temporal scales is it possible to produce: scenarios of planning, maps of adaptability, and zoning for agricultural activities? What are the benefits?

Issue #3. How do changes in landuse and water movement effect the mobilization of sediments?

  • What are the impacts of changes in the practices of agricultural activities on local and regional  water quality?  
  • What is the effect of the increase in forest cover on the reduction in erosion potential and turbidity?
  • What are the priority areas for intervention to reduce turbidity via implementation of practices friendly to use of soil?
  • How has the incorrect use of land in the regions of the headwaters of the Rio Santa Maria da Vitória impacted the accumulation of sediments in the bay of Vitoria? Is it possible to measure this impact?
  • How would landuse impact the potential mobilization of atmospheric carbon?

     The aim is to apply the framework construct to the Jucú and the Santa Maria da Vitória watersheds at a relatively high resolution, to the State of Espírito Santos, at a more coarse resolution (taking advantage of the scaling of effort and availability of data required). 

     The overall strategy and logic for mobiizing the information to address these issues is given in the Portal.