The Dry Corridor is a hydroclimatic region in central Guatemala covering an area of 11,000 km2 and characterized by frequent droughts affecting water supply for competitive uses during summer. Hydrogeologic data for the Department of El Progreso has been integrated in order to evaluate water availability. Water well inventory and characterization reveal two different hydrogeologic settings: a) a geothermal system hosting groundwaters contaminated with sodium, chloride, and boron, and b) a low yield (0.63-2.2 L/s) fractured-schist shallow aquifer. Monthly river discharge monitoring by wading identifies strong seasonal variations associated with changes in mean precipitation in the wet season from May to November (30 – 228 mm) and in the dry season from December to April (0 – 15 mm). Summer baseflow varied from 0.186 to 0.555 m3s-1 during the critical year 2017. Water availability during summer is also highly affected by water withdrawal without regulation for irrigation and by a dam constructed for domestic water supply causing streamflow depletion. In order to meet the socioeconomic needs of water for the local population during summer it is essential to design a water resources management plan focusing on inventory and organization of water users and water use efficiency.
Keywords Guatemala, Water resources, Dry corridor, Drought, Water availability.