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Table 3 Timeline of the historical events leading to the modification of the lower Capibaribe River

From: Integrated approach to the understanding of the degradation of an urban river: local perceptions, environmental parameters and geoprocessing

Decade Event or activity Consequences Description Use
1980-1989 Community established (1980) Occupation of land once used as sugarcane plantations Clean river Bathing
Plantations of okra and cassava Uninformed Washing clothes and dishes
Discharge of “juice” from the Tiúma sugar refinery Bad-smelling water, fish mortality, and capture of intoxicated fish. Many fish Drinking water
Increase in the number of houses (1987) Initial population growth Fishing
1990-1999 Tiúma refinery closes (1994) Discharge of “juice” ends Clean river (until 1998) Uninformed
Fish stocking in adjacent areas (1994) Appearance of carpa, tambaqui, and cará-trovão Many fish (until 1998)
Flood (1994) Destruction of houses
Streets paved (1998) Uninformed River begins to “get much worse” (1998/1999)  
Major growth in the size of the community (1998/1999) Increase in the discharge of sewage, garbage and dead animals into the river
2000-present day Garbage truck collection begins on a regular basis (2000) Reduction in the discharge of solid refuse into the river River polluted since 2000 Uninformed
Houses built (2000) Increase in the discharge of sewage into the river
Dicharge of a “juice” of unknown origin (2002) Uninformed
Appearance of the beta, known as the “sewage fish” (2004) Uninformed
Flood (2011) Destruction of houses
  1. Timeline of the historical events leading to the modification of the lower Capibaribe River, produced from the information supplied by informants interviewed in the Beira Rio community, São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco, Brazil