Mapping Honduras’ water supply

Science of The Total Environment (2022). DOI: 10.116/j.scitotenv.2022.156941″ width=”800″ height=”530″/>

Graphic abstract. Credit: Science of the total environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156941

In Tegucigalpa and surrounding areas, Hondurans often wait weeks for tap water.

A new study designed and co-authored by Ricardo Sánchez-Murillo, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Texas at Arlington, could change that.

In a region highly vulnerable to climate change and climate variability, Honduras’ water resources are also burdened by rapid population growth, increasing land use and extreme weather events. A lack of historical hydro-meteorological data has limited the government’s knowledge of where, when and how the country’s water supply is recharged.

“Water availability is one of Honduras’ most challenging public services,” Sánchez-Murillo said. “During extended dry seasons, many people have to resort to buying expensive bottled water or water imported from other basins.”

To find solutions, Sánchez-Murillo and an international team of researchers have spent the past three years tracing Tegucigalpa’s water supply, from rainstorm to tap. They monitored rainfall at various elevations and collected rainfall samples from groundwater and surface water sources, including wells, artesian wells, boreholes and streams. Using this data, they created mathematical models to understand where the water is being recharged, which is what happens when rainwater is absorbed by aquifers after storms.

This allowed them to create detailed maps of water resources in the Choluteca River basin, mapping for the first time geographic areas integral to water replenishment for municipal water regulation, protection and conservation.

The team’s findings, reported in the journal Science of the total environmentshow that areas critical for recharging are currently burdened by agricultural land use, deforestation and forest degradation caused by an invasive insect.

Equipped with this information, Sánchez-Murillo and colleagues translated their maps for Honduran authorities and recommended stricter urbanization and agricultural regulations to conserve water and protect vital landscapes.

Related Post

In his native Costa Rica, the government pays landowners a per-acre allowance to comply with conservation practices, Sánchez-Murillo said. Such arrangements help ensure consistent environmental services and groundwater replenishment.

By providing data and guidance to water managers, Sánchez-Murillo hopes to improve the quality of life of residents of central Honduras.

“Right now, many people are choosing to leave the country as part of climate-induced migrations in search of stable resources,” Sánchez-Murillo said. “Together we can solve this problem, improve people’s lives and ensure a sustainable home.”


Releasing non-native fish to fight mosquitoes is often ineffective and harmful to the environment


More information:
S. García-Santos et al, Water stable isotopes reveal complex rainfall to groundwater connectivity in central Honduras, Science of the total environment
(2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156941

Provided by the University of Texas at Arlington

Quote: Mapping Honduras’ Water Supply (2022, September 29) retrieved September 29, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-09-honduras.html

This document is copyrighted. Other than fair dealing for personal study or research, nothing may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

Jacky

Recent Posts

Bear Grylls makes a visit to Kyiv, and offers some hints for a new programme with Zelensky

Zelensky joins Bear Grylls survival academy! Former SAS soldier visits Kyiv and hints at new…

11 mins ago

Inside Germany’s miserable World Cup ending: A ‘s*** mood’ and silence in the dressing room

The aftermath of Germany's miserable exit from the World Cup in Qatar has been exposed…

13 mins ago

US designates members of Pakistan armed groups as ‘terrorists’

The designation includes leaders of the South Asia-based al-Qaeda branch and the so-called Pakistani Taliban.Islamabad,…

16 mins ago

Shamima Begun insists that her jihadi husband is happy to have them married

Shamima Begum's husband insists their marriage was a happy one and they even spent time…

18 mins ago

During power cuts, Switzerland will ban electric vehicles from the roads

Switzerland will ban the use of electric cars for 'non-essential' travel if the country runs…

23 mins ago

Pregnant Molly Mae Hague cosies up when she goes out for Christmas shopping in Manchester

It won't be long before she has her first baby with boxer boyfriend Tommy Fury.…

23 mins ago