Artificial Recharge by Means of Careo Channels Versus Natural Aquifer Recharge in a Semi-Arid, High-Mountain Watershed (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

21 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2021

See all articles by Jorge Jódar

Jorge Jódar

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Zakaluk

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Antonio González-Ramón

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ana Ruiz-Constán

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Carlos Marín-Lechado

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Emilio Custodio

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Javier Urrutia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christian Herrera

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Luis Lambán

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Juan Durán

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sergio Martos-Rosillo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

The acequias de careo are ancestral water channels, excavated and maintained by local communities, which are used to recharge aquifers in the watersheds of the Sierra Nevada mountain range (Southeastern Spain). Their main function is collecting snowmelt from the headwaters of river basins and distribute it throughout the upper parts of the slopes. This method of aquifer artificial recharge extends the availability of water resources in the lowlands of the river basins during the dry season, when there is almost no precipitation and water demand is higher. This study investigates the contribution of the careo channels in the watershed of Bérchules with respect to total aquifer recharge during the 2014-2015 hydrological year. Several channels were gauged and the runoff data were compared with those obtained from an HBV model previously developed for the same hydrological basin. The natural infiltration of meteoric waters accounted for 52% of the total, while the remaining 48% corresponded to water transported and infiltrated by the careo channels. Our results demonstrate the importance of this ancestral and efficient channel system for recharging slope aquifers developed in hard rocks. The acequias de careo are nature-based solutions for increasing water resorces availability that have contributed to prosperous life in the Sierra Nevada. They could also be applicable to —or inspire similar adaptation measures in— semi-arid mountain areas around the world and may help in mitigation of climate change effects.

Keywords: Acequias de careo, Artificial recharge, High-mountain slope aquifer, Natural based solution, Managed aquifer recharge, Natural Recharge

Suggested Citation

Jódar, Jorge and Zakaluk, Thomas and González-Ramón, Antonio and Ruiz-Constán, Ana and Marín-Lechado, Carlos and Custodio, Emilio and Urrutia, Javier and Herrera, Christian and Lambán, Luis and Durán, Juan and Martos-Rosillo, Sergio, Artificial Recharge by Means of Careo Channels Versus Natural Aquifer Recharge in a Semi-Arid, High-Mountain Watershed (Sierra Nevada, Spain). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3983975 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3983975

Jorge Jódar (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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Thomas Zakaluk

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Antonio González-Ramón

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Ana Ruiz-Constán

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Carlos Marín-Lechado

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Emilio Custodio

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Javier Urrutia

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Christian Herrera

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Luis Lambán

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Juan Durán

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Sergio Martos-Rosillo

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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