Costa Rica launches groundwater plan in July.
Juan Fernando Lara S., Periódico La Nación, 10/5/2017, Costa Rica.
Using high resolution maps and images to locate aquifers and recharge zones, Costa Rica begins to assess the status and potential of its groundwater to ensure the future’s resource and to better plan water use. To achieve this, the Ministry of Environment and Energy announced the launch by July of a joint project with the United States Geological Survey, in which they worked since December 2015. Research will provide high-resolution maps and images of the water resource, maps based on remote sensing developed by the USGS, will provide information on spatial distribution of water, flow directions, confining conditions of the liquid and recharge areas.
With high resolution maps and images, Costa Rica will begin to assess the status and potential of groundwater in another way to secure the resource of the future. To achieve this, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) announced the launch in July of a joint project with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), with which they have been working since December 2015. The idea is that maps and High resolution images allow aquifers and recharge zones to be located, which would allow better planning of the use of the liquid.
At present, there are no national baseline assessments of groundwater potential in the country. Consequently, there are no water resource planning programs or climate change resilience plans either. The Guanacaste communities are the ones that have faced the biggest crisis due to lack of water.
There is a lot of information on the subject, very dispersed, so we are trying to gather the will of different institutions, said José Miguel Zeledón, in charge of the Water Directorate of the Minae. The study, valued at $ 1.4 million, would begin in July and conclude 14 months later. It would be financed with funds from the entity.
The study will combine remote sensing data collected by several USGS-owned satellites – such as the Landsat type, orbital radars and the Shuttle Radar Field Mission – SRTM – with field data and groundwater information already in place in the country. This involves the participation of several entities linked to water.
Among the institutions involved are the Ministry of Health, the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA), the National Service of Underground Waters, Irrigation and Drainage (Senara), the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the National Metereological Institute and the National Geographic Institute.
The utility and scope of remote sensing maps (WATEX technology developed by the USGS) will allow for information such as spatial distribution of water, flow directions, confining conditions of the liquid and recharge areas.
The field work will include two complete equipments with navigation and groundwater exploration systems-GENS. This equipment will allow in real time to characterize the areas analyzed in relation to their underground water potential. This knowledge would represent an important input for the State when deciding whether to authorize new drilling or to create policies for the proper management (protection, exploitation) of the underground water resource.
The US Geological Survey UU. (USGS) is an agency dedicated to the research of the natural sciences and is considered the largest in the world in this activity for accumulating the greatest amount of technical knowledge specialized in geology, hydrology, geography and biology research.
His multidisciplinary research in the field of groundwater is attributed, for example, to the development of mathematical algorithms to model the flow of groundwater that has become the most widely used computer model in the industry. Geospatial and geophysical methods have been developed to determine the hydraulic properties of fractured rocks largely thanks to access to multiple space satellites.
• More information
Human activity threatens the earth’s reserves of groundwater
Salinization of aquifers takes its toll on coastal areas
Global water resources could be scarce by 2050