Performance of water usage charge in the Nation’s domain as a water resource management tool in the São Francisco River basin

ABSTRACT The present work consists in a study on the performance of usage charge as a management tool in the São Francisco River Basin in the period between 2010 and 2013, according to the objectives defined by the law 9.433/97. The objectives of this study considers: assessment of user participation in the amounts billed and type of use; comparative analysis of charged and collected amounts in the basin to observe user compliance to payments; analysis of the application of financial resources obtained from the revenue particularly the actions set forth by the basin investment plan, review of the evolution of uses: withdrawal, consumption, organic load discharge to assess the influence of usage charge on the rational use of water resources and comparison of pricing mechanisms of the Paraíba do Sul river, Piracicaba-Capivari-Jundiaí rivers, Doce river and São Francisco river basins for major uses. It is noted that the compliance by users to the usage charge is increasing gradually. Even though over 91% of the payments were on time by users in 2013, the financial resources obtained and the management to employ them do not meet the actual needs for investments in the basin conservation actions. With regards to the use of water withdrawal it is not observed the effect of the usage charge. For the uses of consumption and organic load discharge, the results were minor but positive. It is recommended a review of the reference flow and parameters of charging for water resources uses, and also it is suggested a study of the mechanisms of usage charge models implemented in the Paraíba do Sul river, Piracicaba-Capivari-Jundiaí river and Doce river basins, which uses the granted and measured flows for adjustments in the usage charge model, in the São Francisco river basin. All in all, the implementation of water usage charge in the São Francisco River basin despite it being recent, it is a process that will gradually be consolidating and contributing to environmental sustainability of the basin.