An Intro To São Paulo's Watershed

The group, joined by the Brazilian students and professor Waverli, travel to see and hear about the Sistema Cantareia, the system of reservoirs and tunnels that bring water to the 20 million residents of São Paulo. This is their first translated lecture, which takes some adjusting to. After a morning lecture, the group gets a visual tour of one of the reservoirs. For lunch, everyone is bussed to a traditional buffet style restaurant, located in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais. The restaurant offers some regional delicacies to taste. After the meal, the group travels to Extrema, where they hike to see clear-cut fields where cattle now graze, once the Atlantic Rainforest. They are guided by The Nature Conservancy’s Aurelio Padovezi, Restoration Coordinator for the Atlantic Forest and Central Savannas Program. He explains some of the politics of the region: payments to farmers for ecosystem services, Brazilian environmental law, protection of streams/rivers and relation to overall watershed management. After another information-packed day, the group heads back to São Paulo.