Riparian Buffer Strip Width Design in Semiarid Watershed Brazilian

The use of riparian areas as water quality management tools, primarily derived from the studies of agricultural watersheds, where low phosphorus and large nitrate reductions in the suspended sediment are observed. A riparian strip performs many key functions, such as nutrient uptake, trapping of sediment or pesticides. Therefore, a number of different forms of protection strips have been applied in the field according to relief, steepness and location for use. Studies assessing technologies to design riparian strips using plant covers, based on sediment yield in river basins, are required for environmental protection. The removal of semi-shrubby, native vegetation in the Brazilian semiarid region, has contributed to the degradation of semiarid basins. The aim of this study was to design a riparian strip for the Jacu River in the semiarid region of Pernambuco as a function of sediment yield. Experiments were conducted during the years 2008-2011 in the Jacu River basin at Serra Talhada, Pernambuco State, Brazil. The sediment yield in the Jacu River channel was obtained by measuring suspended and background solid discharge. The riparian strip width estimated in the riparian areas of the Jacu River basin was 15 m. It was concluded that for this study, the sediment yield time and observation of hydrological data were important factors for determining the riparian strip width with greater security.

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