22-27 September 2019
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)
Europe/Madrid timezone

Spanish Careos and Peruvian Amunas. Comparative analyses for pioneer managed aquifer recharge systems

23 Sep 2019, 16:00
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)

Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)

Av. de José Ortega y Gasset, 201 29006 Malaga, Spain
Poster Topic 3 - Groundwater sustainability and governance Poster with refreshments


Dr Enrique Fernandez (Tragsa Group)


The most ancient written references for MAR Recharge are the Careos, in the South of Spain, and the Peruvian Amunas. Both high mountain systems are complex and present extraordinary analogies and differences, despite being chronologically Pre-Columbian structures in the case of Amunas. From both there are written chronicles since the XII Century and both evolved in parallel, although disconnected, with amazing similarity.

After studying in detail 10 Careos and 6 Amunas from a construction techniques perspective, they have been decomposed in 24 different components. All these units have been compared, studying their analogies and differences according to the employed materials, hydraulic masonry, mortar types, carved stones, layout, profiles, relationships between the different elements, water origin and treatment and water recharge. Units’ pathology and recovery measures have also being studied by means of polygonal, linear or punctual structures.

Some common points are the low rainfall conditions, temporal water availability from snow smelt and runoff, induced recharge by means of infiltration fields, canals, ditches and simas, subsurface and deep groundwater transit and recovery from springs or irrigation ponds.

Some of the differences are based on the form of carving the stone and masonry, maximum flowrate capacity from 200 l/s to 800 l/s, distance between consecutive canals, time of transit (15 days to 7 months), recovery flow rate from 1 to 5 l/s (respectively for Amunas and Careos), etc.

In both MAR cases, ancient structures work as a hydrogeological and socio-cultural complex system, with values, norms and traditions scarcely evolved in 8 centuries. Water management is accompanied by land and crops management too, to the extent that both can be considered a cultural met in the distance or “cosmovision of water”, as there are certain evidence of synchrony in their temporary development.

Both systems fit the definition for Adaptive Complex System (Murray, 2010) as a articulated group of subsystems with self-similarity, complexity, and self-organization, rather than a Multi-Agent or system, defined as a composed system with multiple agent in permanent interaction (Wooldridge, 2002, for artificial intelligence).

Finally, the article recommends some improvement advices, based on their cross-comparison. It also studies the possibilities of replicability for other ridges of mountains in the world and suitability to face climate change adverse impacts.

Primary authors

Dr Enrique Fernandez (Tragsa Group) Dr Jon San Sebastian (Tragsa Group)

Presentation Materials

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