Water resources have major importance in Brazilian and global economic development because of water’s multiple uses, such as drinking, irrigation, hydroelectric generation and livestock consumption, among others. Aiming to minimize water use pressure, computational tools are under development to support the planning and maintenance of water resources at the watershed level. This article has the general objective to discuss alternatives for optimization of surface water use in the upper reach of the Uberaba River, located in the Triangulo Mineiro region of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We find that the replacement of the flow calculation on the yearly Q7,10 base by corresponding monthly base in the rainy season (December until May) and the maintenance of the yearly Q7,10 base in the dry season (June until November) can optimize the surface water use. Among the criteria for granting water use permission, the criterion of 50% of the seasonal Q7,10 brings the biggest increase of granted flow. Moreover, regarding the remaining flow in the watercourse, the morphology of the stretch of the Uberaba River studied guarantees the natural reoxygenation and maintenance of benthic area sufficient for the reproduction and development of aquatic life.
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