Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Print version ISSN 0100-0683
ZOLIN, Cornélio Alberto et al. Soil loss minimization as a function of forest size and location in a "water conservation program". Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2011, vol.35, n.6, pp. 2157-2166. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832011000600030.
As conflicts related to the water use in Brazil are increasing, the implementation of policies that can mitigate these problems has become crucial. In this context, the concept of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) has been widely accepted and applied around the world and also in Brazil. The municipality of Extrema, in the State of Minas Gerais, was the first in Brazil to implement a PES program, known as "Conservador das Águas". This study aimed to evaluate soil losses in the watershed Posses and determine the potential of the PES program to conserve soil in this watershed; moreover, to maximize the soil conservation environmental service for a given forest size and location. Therefore, the effectiveness of soil conservation was analyzed in 14 areas with different soil use and forest cover. The Geographic Information System (SIG) and the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) were used for this purpose. Soil losses in the Posses watershed were estimated before and after implementing the water conservation program, at 30.63 and 7.06 Mg ha-1 year-1, respectively. Conservation could be optimized by implementing soil conservation practices on pasture and by optimizing the location of forest areas.
Keywords : water; watershed; water conservation program; sustainability; soil conservation; sediment production.