Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 172, Issue 1–4, pp 493–505 | Cite as

Nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the Yucatán littoral: An approach for groundwater management

  • Nancy ArandaCirerol
  • Francisco Comín
  • Jorge Herrera-Silveira


Human activities have altered the balance of ecosystems to the detriment of natural environments. Eutrophication is a serious risk in Yucatán, a state in the eastern peninsula of México where groundwater supplies the only freshwater to a karst shelf environment. While economic development in Yucatán is increasing, environmental awareness is lagging, and efficient waste treatment systems are lacking. To assess potential nitrogen and phosphorus inputs into the coastal zone of Yucatán, we analyzed government reports and the chemical composition of groundwater and aquaculture wastewater. Swine, poultry, and tourism are revealed as the main continental nutrient sources, while groundwater with high nitrate concentrations is the principal coastal nutrient source, a pattern similar to other river discharges around the world. This study demonstrates that environmental risk management practices must be implemented in the Yucatán region to protect groundwater quality.


Groundwater Eutrophication Nitrogen Yucatán aquifer Water management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy ArandaCirerol
    • 1
    • 3
  • Francisco Comín
    • 2
  • Jorge Herrera-Silveira
    • 3
  1. 1.Departament de Ecologia, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Pirenaico Ecología-CSICZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Recursos del MarCINVESTAV-IPN MéridaMéridaMéxico

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