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Protecting Natural Water Infrastructure in Espírito Santo, Brazil

Stefano Pagiola, Gunars Platais () and Marcos Sossai ()
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Stefano Pagiola: World Bank, Washington DC, USA
Gunars Platais: World Bank, Washington DC, USA
Marcos Sossai: Instituto Estadual de Meio Ambiente, Vitória ES, Brazil

Water Economics and Policy (WEP), 2019, vol. 05, issue 04, 1-24

Abstract: After years of attempting to address rising turbidity in its water supplies with engineering solutions, Vitória, the capital of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo, is turning to watershed conservation. Degradation in the watershed of the Santa Maria da Vitória River, from which Vitória obtains almost 40% of its water supplies, has resulted in a significant increase in water treatment costs; investments in improved filtration have only managed to slow. To reduce erosion in the watershed, a program of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) is being implemented, initially in a micro-watershed that has been identified as contributing disproportionately to sediment loads. This paper estimates the impact of watershed degradation on Vitória’s water treatment costs and undertakes a cost–benefit analysis of the benefits of watershed conservation. These interventions will benefit both downstream water users, in the form of lower water treatment costs, and upstream landholders, in the form of higher income from farming activities and payments for conservation.

Keywords: Natural infrastructure; green infrastructure; domestic water supply; water treatment; erosion; sedimentation; watershed management; payments for environmental services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1142/S2382624X18500273

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