Contrasting American and Brazilian systems for water allocation and transfers

Dulce B B Rodrigues, Hoshin Vijai Gupta, Aleix Serrat-Capdevila, Paulo T S Oliveira, E. Mario Mendiondo, Thomas Maddock, Mohammed Mahmoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The United States and Brazil both deal with water-related problems associated with being large territorial areas having uneven distribution of water resources and population. Water transfer projects have been widely considered to be feasible solutions to the mitigation of local water shortages. This paper contrasts American and Brazilian water allocation systems and water transfer projects, located in the Colorado and Piracicaba River basins, seeking potential exchanges between these two water management systems and analyzing their adaptability to trends in water demand and climate. This evaluation indicates that the American system could potentially benefit from some of the principles present in Brazilian framework, including (1) participatory approach involving government, users, and citizens; (2) recognition of the economic value of water; and (3) prioritization of drinking water supply during shortage times. In turn, the Brazilian system could benefit from certain characteristics of American water management, including reduced bureaucracy and a more efficient decision and operation process. Interestingly, both countries have found it useful to employ soft-path solutions to ensure system adaptability to future water demand and supply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04014087
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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