Rivers rapid assessment protocols and insertion of society in monitoring of water resources
AbstractThe degradation of water resources has been detected and changes both institutional and in the legislation have been demanded. The careless use of rivers has ecological changes as direct consequence, causing serious modifications in the landscape and fluvial regime, besides altering the availability of habitats and the trophic composition of the aquatic environment. Pressed by this scenario, scientists have been developing assessment methods that are efficient both for the evaluation itself and for supporting decision taking in the environmental management processes. In this perspective, the objective of this study is to present the Rapid River Assessment Protocols (RAPs) and to emphasize how these protocols can promote the community participation in water resources monitoring. The RAPs can used to evaluate in an integrated form the characteristics of a river section according to the conservation or degradation condition of the fluvial environment and it is characterized by its economic viability and easy applicability. In regions with poor financial resources and serious problems of water quality, the RAPs can be used in environmental management programs. By using these protocols, the integration of the community in water resources monitoring generates data which represent the quality of fluvial ecosystems throughout time, without requesting high costs or specialized professionals. The RAPs in a simplified but not simplistic tool, which can be used in activities that aim at promoting a quick and reliable assessment of the “health” of a river.
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