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Brazil Decides to Suspend Rights for New Hydro Projects in Pantanal Region

  • Brazil, September 20, 2018: Brazil’s National Water Agency (ANA) has decided to suspend rights to utilise water resources for new hydropower projects in the Pantanal region until mid-2020.

    This move will impact those projects that did not commence operations before July this year, reported BNamericas.

    According to the water agency, this decision is aimed at preventing dams from impacting economic activities such as tourism and fishing in the area.

    ANA was quoted by the news agency as stating: “Studies for the use of the resources of the Paraguai hydro basin region identified these projects as a possible threat to the Pantanal’s natural system.”

    Pantanal has the  largest tropical wetland area in the world. Mostly this area is located in the Mato Grosso do Sul state of Brazil while some portions are extended to Bolivia and Paraguay.

    During the period of suspension, ANA plans to undertake studies to probe the environmental impact of dams such as on water quality or changes in the hydrological system.
    Studies have been conducted for 144 hydropower projects in the region, and of these, most of them are small.

    According to the water agency,  seven large hydro facilities are operating in the Paraguai basin, in addition to 29 small scale hydropower projects and and 11 hydroelectric generators, totaling 1,111MW.

    Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL) estimates that the region has a potential for another 1,172MW hydropower generation.

    ANA is responsible for implementing the National System of Water Resources Management to ensure use of rivers and lakes sustainably.