The planting guarantees the protection of the water sources and favors forest regeneration, offering the soil sufficient conditions to retain rainwater.
There are more than 300 thousand springs that flow into the Doce River. Of these, five thousand will be recovered over a period of 10 years by the Springs Recovery Program. In the first year, 511 were fenced in partnership with the Earth Institute (Instituto Terra), and now planting has begun of 306 thousand seedlings. This action guarantees the protection of the water sources and favors forest regeneration, offering the soil sufficient conditions to retain rainwater.
The choice of springs recovery priority areas was selected by the Doce River Basin Committee (CBH-Doce), responsible for the management of the basin. According to the president of the CBH-Doce, Lucinha Teixeira, the choice was based on the Vulnerability Map of the Doce River, prepared by the Bio-Atlantic Institute and approved by the Committee in 2015. The map takes the following into account: water availability, land use and occupation, positive biodiversity, soil degradability and adaptability, calculated based on the Municipal Human Development Index and water use data.
Now the areas have been defined and mapped, the mobilization of the property owners of each region begins. Participation is voluntary, and the rural owner has a lot to gain with a recovered spring. The benefits range from improved availability of water on the property, which can increase agricultural production, treatment of tributaries with the installation of septic tanks, or mini Wastewater Treatment Systems (ETEs) and retention basins to improve the infiltration of water on the property.
The protection of springs is done in partnership with several institutions, which are fundamental for the contact with the rural producers and feasibility of the works, such as the regional offices of the State Forestry Institute (IEF) – Rio Doce and Teofilo Otoni -, the Itambacuri, Jampruca and Frei Inocêncio Municipal Government, the Itambacuri Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company (Emater), and the River Basin Committees (CBH) of the Doce, Suaçui, Santa Maria do Doce and the Doce River Pontoons and Lagoons, the Espirito Santo Agroforestry Defense Institute.