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Environmental Management, Environmental Management (Energy) Masters (MSc)
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Potter J. Samuel Rufat Eric Tate Richard Eiser Ann Bostrom Kobiyama classifies droughts in three categories: 1 climatological drought, when precipitation values are below normal figures for the area; 2 hydrological drought, when rivers and reservoirs water levels are low, and 3 edaphic drought, when the soil lacks humidity.
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Santos quotes four types of droughts. Firstly, the 1 meteorological drought is characterized by the absence of precipitation during a period of time.
The meteorological drought causes a decrease in water from rivers and reservoirs, and then the 2 hydrological drought takes place. The 3 agricultural drought implies a water deficit in soil, resulting in agriculture losses. The 4 socioeconomic drought is a consequence of the other types, bringing about poverty and economic stagnation for the affected regions. In Brazil, population from the semi-arid region deals with difficult access to water and shortage of water and foods, resulting in increased infant mortality, poor health conditions and economic constraints SANTOS, Some characteristics of this region are: intermittent rivers, periodic droughts and frequent floods, water use driven toward human and agricultural supply, reservoirs with low hydrological efficiency and small precipitation and runoff values VIEIRA, There are many wells in the region, but often their use is restricted by lack of security, maintenance and operation measures.
Beyond the drought in the Northeast region, there are variations for the problem of water shortage. Favero and Diesel emphasize that water shortages may be a consequence of drought, but may also be artificially created, as a consequence of over-exploitation of deep and surface waters, water quality degradation, inappropriate land use and decreased ecosystem's capacity for water storage. Most of the wells are irregular and not recognized by administrative agencies. Although wells ensure water safety during drought periods, many of them are affected by salinization and contamination and their illegal situation makes water management difficult in the State.
As technologies against salinization are not cost-effective, many dug wells are lost or abandoned. For an ideal management, water supply should sum up ground and surface water, as complimentary resources CARY et al. According to the UNISDR Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR, , socio-natural hazards are "the phenomenon of increased occurrence of certain geophysical and hydrometeorological hazard events, such as landslides, flooding, land subsidence and drought, which arise from the interaction of natural hazards with overexploited or degraded land and environmental resources".
Moreover, "this term is used for the circumstances where human activity is increasing the occurrence of certain hazards beyond their natural probabilities. Evidence points to a growing disaster burden from such hazards.
Socio-natural hazards can be reduced and avoided through wise management of land and environmental resources" UNISDR, Scattered sources of pollution perform one of the hazards that link water, environment and societal matters. The process starts with waste disposal in wrong places, blocking manholes. In sequence, water from precipitation does not go through manholes, causing floods in urban spaces, where most of the surface is concrete or asphalt. Water from floods melts to animals' fecal detritus and urine, dead animals, manure and other pollutants and afterwards the surface runoff carries all this mixture to houses, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and groundwater and also to treatment plants.
Problems encompass health increasing incidence of diseases environment decreasing quality in water resources and economics increasing treatment costs of supply services and cleaning of public spaces. In details, the consequences may include: death of fishes, water quality degradation, unsafe drinking water, aesthetic pollution, bacterial pollution, sediment deposition, dissolved oxygen depletion, eutrophication, impacts to aquatic life due to toxic material, contamination by heavy metals, decreasing of water resources self-purification.
Eutrophication and cyanobacteria blooming may appear as a secondary disaster, being a consequence of primary disasters, such as floods, but they also may represent a direct hazard. Nevertheless, eutrophication and cyanobacteria blooms are closely related to other hazards and disasters. Most of Brazilian reservoirs receive a great discharge of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen and there are high temperatures and constant solar radiation during most of the year.
Consequently, there is an ideal environment for the growing of blooms. There are two main driving factors for cyanobacteria blooming dynamics: phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations and water column stratification. Phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations in water are determined in particular by land use conditions in reservoirs borders.
Undoubtedly, current weather forecast applications should be extended to monitor cyanobacteria blooms.
Hazard Management and Emergency Planning
Other example of water-related socio-natural hazard is the hydric erosion. Inappropriate land use and irregular allotments in steep hills and river borders expose large areas to erosive processes. Brazilian permanent protection areas APPs , such as riparian vegetation, either prevent or minimize sediment movement from erosive processes in agricultural areas and therefore hold pesticides and pollutants buffer zones ADDISCOTT, Agricultural processes are one example more about interactions involving water, climate, weather, economics, population and environment.
Together, these factors may amount to a disaster. Agriculture has become a contributor to global environmental changes through land use change and irrigation, changing the global hydrological cycle concerning both quality and amount GORDON, It has changed river flows patterns, downstream and costal ecosystems and wetlands and lead to river depletion in many places GORDON, Charles mentions that food producers deal with increasing competition for water, land and energy and that there is a clear necessity of inhibiting the negative effect of food production on environment.
As an additional remark on the aspects involving water-related socio-natural hazards, we must consider that unsafe water poses serious threats to human population health. According to Confalonieri , "there is an interface between water and health, linked through the biophysical system of water ecosystem , the socio-economic and political system of water the hydro-social cycle and human health".
Confalonieri categorizes infectious diseases transmitted through water, as follows: they "can be directly waterborne, such as giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis and cholera; water-washed, such as schistosomiasis; or water-related, where water is an essential component of the transmission cycle, for example as a mosquito-breeding habitat for malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya fever and lymphatic filariasis". In a post-disaster situation, the disaster still happens: risk of post-flood diseases. Many diseases are directly linked to water quality, even in the absence of other disasters occurrence, characterizing a biological disaster.
After natural disasters, such as floods, some of these diseases may characterize a secondary disaster. This relationship is specially known concerning leptospirosis. A piece of this document, reproduced below, highlights guidance and directions for epidemiological surveillance institutions under Health secretariats:.
Every year during summertime, an increase in number of leptospirosis cases is one of the main epidemiological occurrences after floods. In natural disaster situations, such as floods, individuals or groups of people who had contact with contaminated water may infect themselves and show symptoms of the disease" BRASIL, Santos et al. Also concerning the link between water quality and human health, the "Special Report for Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation" IPCC, conducted a study case for cholera, emphasizing that the prevention of contact between a hazardous exposure and susceptible host includes promoting access to clean water and reducing the likelihood of population displacement.
Furthermore, some specific types of disasters, such as floods, modify Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes' ecosystems, leading to dengue fever and malaria outbreaks IPCC, Diseases outbreaks are caused either by a disruption on water supply and sanitation systems after a disaster or by deficient hygiene conditions, as in people conglomerates. Other diseases are also related to disasters, although this relation may not be straightforward.
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The World Commission on Water states the necessity of doubling global investments in water and sanitation to comply with the increasing demand and to reduce the number of people without clean water 1 billion and sanitation 3 billion Ramos, ; World Water Council, In addition to an increasing demand for water, the expected scenario for next decades includes impacts of global environmental changes on water systems.
A single event can produce effects on local, regional, national, and international levels. These effects could have been the direct result of the event itself - as a consequence of the event - or through indirect impacts such as a reduction in food production or a decrease in available resources IPCC, Some of the global projections for future pointed by the IPCC's report IPCC, include an increase on diarrhea incidence due to deficient access to good quality water and changes in spatial distribution and population dynamics of infectious and parasite endemic disease vectors, such as mosquitoes related to dengue and malaria.
Brazil would be further impacted in relation to infectious endemic diseases, such as malaria, leishmaniosis, leptospirosis and dengue; and problems concerning water supply, due to the salinization of natural depositions underground, as a consequence of sea level raise IPCC, It poses the challenge to improve management programs to prevent disasters accordingly. Recommendations for prevention and mitigation of water-related disasters. In this item we suggest some structural and non-structural measures to improve risk management of water-related disasters in Brazil, especially for prevention and mitigation issues.
Natural phenomena which may cause disasters may increase in frequency and intensity in some regions IPCC, Increased problems are also expected concerning urban expansion, overexploitation of water supplies, agricultural losses, erosion, and pollution. Establishing an effective risk management is crucial to deal with disaster triggers and amplifiers.
The UNISDR defines disaster risk management as "the systematic process of using administrative directives, organizations, and operational skills and capacities to implement strategies, policies and improved coping capacities in order to lessen the adverse impacts of hazards and the possibility of disaster". Administrative directives and organizations for disaster risk management have evolved last years in Brazil, mainly through Brazilian Law Nevertheless, there are different and separated institutions dealing with water resources, environment, urbanization, health and disasters in Brazil.
It is necessary to analyze the interrelation of various responding organizations HEIDE, and to promote coordination among the various agencies involved in risk management. It is not advisable to wait for a disaster outbreak to plan inter-institution communication when the event is happening. All aspects concerning this communication must be planned beforehand and, whenever it is possible, through formal signed agreements.
During emergence situations, information must flow quickly and clearly and decisions must be immediate.
Flood Response and Disaster Management: A Comparative Perspective | SpringerLink
Adjusting different communication strategies to specific groups or agencies performs a crucial task in water-related disaster management. In addition, many reports use jargons addressing science professionals, resulting in either misunderstandings or insufficient understanding from members of emergency response organizations. An appropriate planning must include efficient communication strategies in one side and efficient capacity building programs on the other side. Operational skills and capacities must be fostered to recognize vulnerabilities, identify solutions and gather efforts to minimize disaster risks and face disaster events.
Determining predictable and recurrent problems is essential to draw a preparedness disaster plan HEIDI, Strategies, policies and improved coping capacities must objectively analyze disaster characteristics, such as location, type, duration, and foresee possible difficulties and solutions. Ideally, policies have to integrate sanity, housing, environmental issues and civil defense.
In Brazil, the Ministry of Cities tackles territorial exclusion and environmental degradation in Brazilian municipalities: an advance towards socio-environmental disasters policy Brasil It is expected that these agencies strengthen their interactions to work synergistically. Other strategies should target: water management to create multifunctional agricultural ecosystems with better understanding of landscape ecology processes and acknowledgement of ecosystems services beyond food production GORDON, ; land use policies beyond restrictive actions, suggesting uses compatible to water conservation and articulated protection guidelines Santoro et al.
Heidi points that "organizations evolve to take care of common community problems. Disasters, however, pose unique problems often different even from the more routine emergencies that organizations face on a day-to-day basis. To deal with this unfamiliar condition imposed by disaster situations, a risk management must be, first of all, a knowledge management, including technical-scientific knowledge, risk scenarios and geographic database. Data collection concerning disasters in Brazil encompasses meteorological, hydrological and geotechnical data.
Government agencies, such as ANA, INMET and Cemaden are working at the enlargement of current observational system, through installation of automatic and semi-automatic pluviometers, hidrometeorological stations and meteorological radars. Data integration should be made with computing systems able to deal, represent and extract information from this big, growing and heterogeneous dataset Big Data. For both formats the functionality available will depend on how you access the ebook via Bookshelf Online in your browser or via the Bookshelf app on your PC or mobile device.
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