Coastal environments, especially wetlands, provide a valuable range of ecological services. These services benefit nearby communities that often make use of the resources that these ecosystems provide. Climate change and demographic changes can become a threat to their stability and a trigger for inter-community conflict. In this context, the characterization of water resources acquires high importance when determining the vulnerabilities and potential impacts associated with global change.
This study presents a quantitative characterization of the Huaura aquifer and its relationship with the Albufera de Medio Mundo wetland, in the central coast of Peru. A MODFLOW numerical groundwater model was constructed and calibrated to analyse the behaviour of the hydrogeological system. From the water balance analysis, it was possible to determine that the main recharge of the aquifer is related to agricultural activities, while the main discharges are to the ocean. Through the WETSPASS methodology, it was determined that in average, 23% of the water used for irrigation recharge the aquifer.
Two types of simulation were performed. First, a land use change from bare soil to an urbanized area in the surroundings of the Albufera. The simulations showed a small sensitivity from the system to this land use change, mainly because the main recharge to the aquifer comes from the agricultural activity in upgradient lands.
Afterwards, the MODFLOW model was linked with WEAP software to obtain an integrated groundwater-surface water decision support system. Due to the limitations of the study, only a steady state model could be developed. However, since WEAP simulates monthly stress periods, it was possible to link MODFLOW to WEAP and obtain seasonal variations and projections for the climate change scenarios HADCM3-A1, HADCM3-A2 and HADCM3-B1.
This work was framed as a methodological basis for the generation of an integrated DSS that consider surface and groundwater management. Through the input of more information and the creation of a robust database, it will be possible to develop more accurate estimations and improve the information access during the decision-making process of water resource management in Huaura catchment