Sao Francisco is one of the major rivers of Brazil. Its basin is about 640.000 km2 and hosts a huge variety of climates, ecosystems as well as population. A project of deviation of its waters has been discussed in the country since mid of 19th century, to provide water to the arid Northeast region of Brazil. The project was detained for shortages in technologies and capabilities for such a major undertaking. It was then relaunched by President Getúlio Vargas and, later, Fernando Cardoso. A final proposal was approved in 2005 by Lula government, with an initial budget of 2 billion dollars. The plan was to divert massive quantities of water (1.4% of the river natural flow) from the main river to the northeastern regions of Ceara, Río Grande do Norte, Paraiba y Pernambuco, to take water to cities, irrigation facilities and industries. Lula government contracted the companies Ecology and Environment do Brasil, Agrar Consultoria and Estudos Técnicos e JP Meio Ambiente to carry out the Environmental Impact Study to be submitted to IBAMA. This was presented in 2004, and the project was finally given the current name "Projeto de Integração do Rio São Francisco com as Bacias Hidrográficas do Nordeste Setentrional". Finally the project was approved with the resolution 47/2005 (17/1) by the Conselho Nacional de Recursos Hídricos (CNRH). Works started in 2009 and are scheduled to finish by 2025. Costs rose to more than 8 billion Reais, more than the double of the original cost estimation, provided by the Programa de Aceleração ao Crescimento (PAC I e II). Strong opposition came from people living along the river, including Bishop Luis Cappio who went into a hunger strike. In 2011, the Plataforma Dhesca Brasil published an impacts assessment report, the "Relatório da Missão à Petrolina e região do Rio São Francisco" .