Water is considered to be essential for all forms of life. The multiple uses of water and the consequences of its inadequate use, as well as the socio-economic conflicts arising from the inappropriate management of water resources, are discussed. The impact of the marked differences in development between the regions which result from the large size of Brazil must be taken into account. Policy decisions regarding management of water basins will determine the form of participation of the different sectors in water resources use with priority given to human uses for direct consumption and hygiene, and to uses of the soil associated with floods. A variety of methods may be used for data collection, analysis, interpretation and storage. These methods range from manual equipment to large main frame computers. The purpose of the creation of a ‘National System for Water Resources Management' is to organize and institutionalize, whenever necessary, a dynamic and efficient system for the adequate management of water resources.

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