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Sustainable Water Resources Management

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 163–178 | Cite as

Inventory of managed aquifer recharge schemes in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • José P. Bonilla Valverde
  • Catalin Stefan
  • Adriana Palma Nava
  • Eduardo Bernardo da Silva
  • Hugo L. Pivaral Vivar
Original Article

Abstract

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is being used worldwide as a tool to overcome distinct water management challenges. An analysis of MAR case studies from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was carried out as part of a larger study focused on the compilation of a global inventory of MAR schemes which aims at providing guidance for the planning and implementation of new MAR projects. The MAR case studies were collected from freely available scientific publications. These were classified according to the specific MAR type developed, main objective and the source of the influent water. Most reported cases (>60%) were found in Brazil, followed by Mexico and Chile. The main MAR type reported in LAC is in-channel modification, which represents more than half of the reported MAR schemes, and the main influent water used is river water and storm water (together accounting for >90% of cases). Approximately two-thirds of the MAR cases in LAC were developed to maximize natural storage. Publication of freely available scientific reports on MAR in LAC is scarce; however, this is not due to lack of MAR projects, but rather suggests insufficient motivation in sharing experiences with the international scientific community. Nevertheless, MAR has been successfully implemented in at least ten LAC countries. For four of these, estimates of annual recharge volume are availableMexico (156 Mm3), Cuba (115 Mm3), Peru (36 Mm3) and Costa Rica (4 Mm3)—and a further 30 Mm3 are crudely but conservatively calculated for the remaining LAC countries (mostly in Brazil) bringing the total to approximately 340 Mm3. The application of MAR is expected to grow further as a sustainable and reliable tool to address challenges related to climate, population and economic changes.

Keywords

Managed aquifer recharge Latin America and the Caribbean Global inventory of MAR schemes MAR per population index 

Abbreviations

EC

Electrical conductivity

EMBRAPA

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation

IGRAC

International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre

IMTA

Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua (Mexican Institute of Water Technology)

INTA

Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (National Agricultural Technology Institute)

LAC

Latin America and the Caribbean

MAR

Managed aquifer recharge

MOP

Ministerio de Obras Públicas

UN

United Nations

UNSD

United Nations Statistics Division

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was partly funded by the Programa de Innovación y Capital Humano para la Competitividad (PINN) of Costa Rica through a fellowship grant provided to José Pablo Bonilla Valverde, by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) through a fellowship grant provided to Eduardo Bernardo da Silva and Hugo Pivaral Vivar and by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research through a research grant provided to the Junior Research Group INOWAS, project no. 01LN1311A. The authors would like to thank the reviewers and the editor for the suggestions made to improve the manuscript.

Author contributions

Catalin Stefan conceived and designed the methodology and provided final corrections. José Pablo Bonilla Valverde collected and analyzed the results and wrote the first draft of the paper. Eduardo Bernardo da Silva collected and analyzed the data from Brazil and Hugo Leonel Pivaral Vivar collected and analyzed the data from the rest of the Latin American countries. Adriana Palma collected and analyzed the data from Mexico and provided feedback on the written manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The founding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y AlcantarilladosSan JoseCosta Rica
  2. 2.Department of HydrosciencesTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  3. 3.Instituto de IngenieríaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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