Water to clean the Doce river
As part of the compensation programs, efforts to restore 40,000 hectares of Permanent Preservation Areas (APP) along the entire Doce river basin in the next ten years are taking place in tandem with the recovery of 5,000 springs over the same period. These are the watersheds that will generate the water to clean the river streambeds and improve river quality.
The first step is to fence and protect the springs and to regenerate the vegetation to ensure there are 1,200 native plants per hectare.
“Our expectation is that in the near future we will be able to speed things up and make scale gains to truly recover the springs and riparian vegetation, which will filter all mineral waste moving towards the river”, said Sebastião Salgado, the founder of institute Terra, which mobilized 217 rural property owners containing the springs – 103 in Minas Gerais and 114 in Espírito Santo. “We are increasing this pace of recovery to expand the flow of water that will clean out the stream beds and therefore enable the river’s environmental recovery”.
At the same time, we are sourcing the organization that will help us decide where to plant 40,000 hectares, most of which will restore the sections of riparian vegetation along the Doce river. “This recovery will embrace the territory as a whole, including small and large rural properties” stated Roberto Waack, president of Renova Foundation. We will also identify the nurseries that will produce the saplings of typical species in the Atlantic forest biome to be planted. “If I could make one suggestion, I would tell them to put these young people to work because in addition to studying they know the region like the back of their hands. I wish a speedy recovery for the Doce river, that trees be planted upstream and fish released. If you are kind to nature, it responds in kind. Nature is very grateful. I hope I can swim in it and purify my soul”, said Joelma Fernandes Teixeira, 42, a fruit and vegetable producer in the community ilha Brava, in Governador Valadares.
Joelma Fernandes Teixeira By Alexandre Battibugli
Training young people and adults to work in this huge effort to protect springs and restore permanent conservation areas is an opportunity we have already identified and will be put into practice with the support of organizations like institute Terra.
Thousands of water and sediment samples have been collected since the dam breach to ascertain the impact and propose remediation actions. The long-term monitoring of the Doce river’s drainage basin and of Espírito Santo’s coastline requires an ongoing water quality monitoring system. The final definition of this permanent, systematic qualitative and quantitative water and sediment monitoring program (PMQQS) is nearing completion. We are installing a large network of meters in four sections of the basin and also in the coastal and estuary areas of Espírito Santo.