Application of Invest`s Sedimentation Retention model for restoration benefits forecast at Cantareira Water Supply System

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1 Application of Invest`s Sedimentation Retention model for restoration benefits forecast at Cantareira Water Supply System Introduction Healthy forests regulate water flows, protect watercourses and maintain water quality by reducing sediment and filtering pollutants. The population that live in main Brazilian urban centers depend on major watersheds, such as the Piracicaba-Capivari-Jundiaí (PCJ), which headwaters feed the Cantareira Water Supply System, that provides water to 50 percent of São Paulo Metropolitan Area population (9 million people). Loss of the forest has contributed to soil erosion, polluted waterways, change in seasonal water flow, and a decline in water quality. Restoration and protection of ecosystems located at these strategical watersheds for water supply can provide a significant increase of ecosystem services that millions of people rely upon to meet their basic water needs. The Water Producer Program (WPP), an original concept developed by the Brazilian Water Agency (Agência Nacional de Águas ANA) in 2004 and supported by The Nature Conservancy at its very beginning, is now the Brazilian constituent of Latin American Water Funds Partnership, a bold initiative launched by The Nature Conservancy, FEMSA Foundation, Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), and Global Environment Facility (GEF). A Water Fund is an innovative way to collect money in recognizing of nature s services and reinvest that money in conservation. Since a healthy watershed minimizes water treatment costs, the funds attract voluntary contributions from large water users downstream, like water utilities, hydroelectric companies, or industries. Revenue from these investments is directed to recover or preserve key lands upstream that filter and regulate the water supply, as well as to create incentives for sustainable economic opportunities that have a positive impact on local communities. WPP is providing financial compensation to farmers living in critical water production areas in return for reforestation of degraded areas and protection of existing forests on their properties, and soil conservation practices as well. The program is based on the notion that the people who benefit from a service, such as clean water, should compensate the provider of that service. This financial compensation can come from water user fees, government programs and voluntary payments. The first Water Producer project, in Extrema municipality, started in 2006 and it was the first public Payment for Ecosystem Services project in Brazil. The Water Producer program is applying modeling tools that can provide a technical basis for supporting the decision-making on the best alternatives for land use management in a basin, towards to ameliorate or preserve hydrological ecosystems services offer, such as natural filtration of sediments and nutrients. One of these tools is the model package INVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs), the ecosystem services modeling initiative from Natural Capital Project (supported by Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy and WWF). The Natural Capital Project developed the Invest package to map ecosystem services and quantify the value of natural capital in a clear, practical and reliable way, demonstrating the potential return that comes from investment in nature conservation and restoration.

2 Study Area The Cantareira Water Supply System, located at the northeast of São Paulo s Metropolitan Region, is a complex of 5 headwater watersheds (4 of them being part of Piracicaba basin) that are interconnected by tunnels that promote the water transposition of 33 cubic meters per second for Upper Tietê basin, where it will be treated and delivered for 9 million inhabitants of the biggest metropolis in South America. The total area of watersheds asset is hectares ( acres), of which little more than 24 % was covered by natural vegetation in 2010 (ISA, 2012); despite the fact that deforestation rates have significantly decreased in this region in the last 20 years, water quality has being affected by former forest conversion and present agricultural and grazing use in hydrological sensitive areas as riparian areas and steep slopes. Stream buffers, slopes steeper than 45º, and hill tops, that are defined by Brazilian Forest Code as Permanent Protection Areas (APP in portuguese), cover an area of ha of Cantareira System; by law these areas should keep its natural vegetation. However, a land use assessment (ISA, 2012) showed a very concerning scenario: only 30% ( ha) of these areas were effectively preserved, while 70% ( ha) of them were deforested and were used for economical activities, as grazing, in its majority. Since 2006, The Nature Conservancy acts on Cantareira System through Water Producer Program, by supporting ecological restoration activities associated with implementation of Payment for Ecosystem Services schemes that also includes the financial support for other activities as natural remnants conservation and soil conservation practices. Until now, about 200 hectares of degraded areas have being restored to its original cover (forests, wetlands and grasslands) and more than hectares of natural remnants are protected by PES contratcs, signed with more than 125 landowners. By leveraging investments in restoration, TNC expects to significantly change the landscape and improve ecosystem services offer at this strategic water supply system.

3 Map 1 Cantareira Water Supply System, showing also São Paulo Metropolitan Region

4 Map 2 Land Use at Cantareira Water Supply System in 2010 Methods For Cantareira Water Supply System, we have applied Invest`s Sedimentation Retention model to estimate the reduction of sediment production that could be brought by restoration and conservation actions in the most susceptible to erosion areas. There is a scientific consensus that natural vegetation can act as a sediment trap, by catching the soil particles carried by upslope runoff. The Sedimentation Retention model allows the simulation of erosion and sedimentation dynamics at different scenarios of land use, which can be built using GIS tools, in order to allow a comparative analysis of sedimentation abatement considering different land use scenarios, related to different management approaches and interventions intensities, in the same area of study. With this exercise we are trying to have a prognosis about how much of sediment export that could be avoided by the restoration activities planned for the Cantareira Water Supply System. Another major outcome from Sediment Retention model application is the identification of most sensitive (in terms of sediment production) inside this region, what can allow us to concentrate our restoration efforts at these areas, since we hope that benefits in terms of sediment reduction would be proportionally bigger if we prioritize the intervention at these very places. As a baseline scenario we used the best available land use map of this region, developed by Instituto Socioambiental, in 2012 (ISA, 2012), that reflects the land use condition in We simulated the ecological restoration of these areas by developing an hypothetic land use maps that represents 2010 land use scenario with restoration of most fragile (greatest potential sediment production) degraded parcels. For the elaboration of this Land Use

5 Intervention Map, we first ran Invest s sediment retention model using the current land use situation, i.e. the 2010 land use map of Cantareira System. Then, we have analyzed the output raster of sediment export rate by pixel (s_export output file) and we have selected all pixels that showed a potential sediment production bigger than 0.28 ton/pixel (7 ton/ha, since pixel area is 400 sq mts); then, after using a majority filter for pixel clumping and having selected only patches inside pasture, bare soil, mining or agriculture land uses, we replaced these patches in the original land use map with pixels considering forest cover (hypothetical restoration) parameters, or agriculture with soil conservation practices parameters, according to former land use (forest restoration in pasture, mining or bare soil and soil conservation in agricultural areas). The sedimentation modeling processing was done considering 2 land use scenarios: 1) 2010 land use and 2) 2010 land use considering restoration or soil conservation of most fragile degraded areas. Results According to the screening criteria related above, we have been able to identify land patches with higher sediment delivery potential (higher than 7 ton/ha/yr), that sum 9.815,7 ha, as is shown in the table below. As we can see in the table, most of these fragile areas are occupied by grazing activities, which can increase the risk of erosion at these areas due to cattle movement. Table 1 Land Use at areas identified as priority for interventions in Cantareira Water Supply System Cantareira Water Supply System (Total Area 227,893.0 hectares) Eligible Land Use for Priority Areas (ha) Land Use % of total area interventions Post interventions Pasture 9.314,5 Forest 4,09% Agriculture 255,6 Agriculture with 0,11% Soil Conservation Bare Soil 165,3 Forest 0,07% Mining 80,3 Forest 0,04% TOTAL 9.815,7 4,31% After running these before and after land use scenarios we achieve the following estimated results: - The current erosion rate (USLE) for Cantareira System was estimated in 18.1 ton/ha/year, and the calculated sediment delivery was 2.6 ton/ha/year, indicating a sediment delivery rate of 14.4%. - Considering the restoration or soil conservation of the most potentially sediment producing areas (equivalent to 9.8 thousand hectares, or 4,3% of total area), we estimated an erosion rate (USLE) of 15.7 ton/ha/year, and a sediment exportation of 1.2 ton/ha/year, which corresponds to a sediment delivery rate of 7.9%.

6 - Comparing the Intervention Land Use Scenario erosion and sediment delivery rates with these from 2010 Land Use Scenario, we noticed a hypothetical reduction of 11.4% in erosion rates, and a reduction of 52.5% in sedimentation rates. Table 2 Erosion and Sediment Delivery estimative in Cantareira Water Supply System at current and post-interventions scenarios. Cantareira Water Supply System AREA (Ha) Scenario Total Erosion (ton/yr) 227,893 Current Land Use (2010) 227,893 Current Land Use (2010) considering interventions in priority areas Average Erosion (ton/ha/yr) Total Sediment Delivery (ton/yr) ,3 18, , ,5 15, ,2 Average Sediment Delivery (ton/yr) ABSOLUTE REDUCTION PERCENTUAL REDUCTION ,1 2, ,0 1,4 11,4% 11,4% 52,5% 52,5% Map 2 Priority areas identified at Cantareira Water Supply System

7 Discussion and Conclusions We can notice that the hypothetical reduction in terms of sedimentation can be significantly bigger than the erosion rate reduction; it probably happens because we are locating restoration interventions at relative small but strategic portions of the watershed; despite the fact that the erosion rate is not being dramatically reduced (because we are decreasing erosion on a small portion of the whole system), riparian areas along water bodies and other areas as steep slopes, if covered with forests or other natural vegetation, would trap most of soil detached locally and upslope, and would avoid this eroded soil to reach lower portions of the watershed, mainly water bodies. By doing this prioritized kind of intervention, we can obtain impressive gains in terms of sedimentation reduction and water quality increase, with smaller efforts of restoration. Although we know we still need to calibrate Invest s Sediment Retention model using field measuring values (very hard to find in Brazil) for adjusting model precision, it already gives us a very informative picture about the most expected benefit of restoration activities at Cantareira System, that is the improvement of water quality by sediment reduction; besides that, Invest s Sediment Retention Model has proven to be a powerful tool for the Cantareira Project restoration activities, by helping us to define the highest priority areas to continue expanding our efforts towards the water ecosystem services improvement at Cantareira Water Supply System. REFERENCES ISA (Instituto Socioambiental) -Cantareira 2006 : um olhar sobre o maior manancial de água da Região Metropolitana de São Paulo / Marussia Whately, Pilar Cunha. São Paulo : Instituto Socioambiental, ISA (Instituto Socioambiental) 2012 Cantareira System Land Use Map 2012 Imagery Natural Capital Project InVest Beta User s Guide, 2012

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