Mary-Belle Cruz Ayala Abstracts

    

 

     Mary-Belle Cruz Ayala

     Ph.D. Candidate

    Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP

 

 

 

The 10th International Symposium on Managed Aquifier Recharge (ISMAR 10)

Madrid, Spain

May 20-24, 2019

 

In Northern Mexico, expansion of irrigated agriculture, changes in consumption habits and urbanization, and other factors have increased groundwater pumping, which is becoming a threat to sustainable development. In addition, according to scientific models, climate change will affect hydro-meteorological events. Severe drought and warmer temperatures are projected to affect arid northern México, with impacts on agricultural and drinking water. To face new hydrological scenarios, it is imperative to develop a portfolio of alternatives for groundwater management, such as improving water efficiency in agriculture, matching water quality with use, and increasing Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). For water-stressed countries like Mexico, MAR can be an option to improve water management, including mitigation of droughts and water scarcity. Throughout the world, policies implemented to address water scarcity have largely been grounded in hard-path strategies. Mexico has not been the exception; its policies have been focused on creating new infrastructure to deliver water (hard-path strategies) and finding new water sources. Projects to manage water demand, recycle water, build small-scale decentralized infrastructure (soft-path strategies) have been little explored in Mexico. Particularly in water-stressed regions, hard and soft-path strategies coexist, and their conjunctive implementation can help to increase water resilience in arid regions. In the first section of this paper, we describe MAR projects developed in Mexico, their geographical distribution and the method used for recharge. In the second part, we explore how small MAR projects in Mexico can be part of the soft-path solutions and the role that MAR can play to increase water reuse. In the last section of the paper, the regulatory framework for MAR is examined and some suggestions for improving it are offered. The perspective proposed in this paper, which includes the joint implementation of soft and hard-path strategies, is innovative regarding MAR and it will fill a gap in the literature. Overall, it is feasible for water-stressed countries like Mexico to contemplate MAR as an option to increase water resilience.

Abstract for Lay Audience

In Northern Mexico, the expansion of irrigated agriculture, changes in consumption habits and urbanization, among other factors, have increased groundwater pumping, which is becoming a threat to sustainable development. In addition, according to scientific models, severe drought and warmer temperatures are projected to affect arid northern Mexico, with impacts on agricultural activities and drinking water. To address water scarcity and uncertainty regarding water availability, a portfolio with options to increase water sources for human consumption should be developed. One option is increasing aquifer recharge or Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR). MAR refers to diverse methods that aim to augment or store groundwater resources during times when water is available and recover water from the same aquifer in the future when it is needed. Worldwide, MAR projects have been growing as an option to recover aquifers and as an additional source for water supply. In Mexico, several MAR pilot projects have been developed with successful results, and there are a few facilities that are running. In the first section of this presentation, we describe MAR projects developed in Mexico, their geographical distribution, the method used for recharge, and type of water used for recharge. In the second part, we explore how small-scale MAR projects in Mexico are helping to recover aquifers and the role that MAR can play to increase water reuse. Finally, we examine the regulatory framework for MAR and propose some suggestions for improving it. The presentation will communicate scientific results on MAR that can help influence the future groundwater policy in Mexico.

Last updated 11 Jun 2019