Despite the abundance of natural water resources, urban areas of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are facing major shortcomings in the delivery of basic services such as safe water supply. The cause is manifold and includes the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of water resources, the negative water balance caused by overexploitation, and the insufficient human capacities and governance. The conventional solutions based on built, “grey” infrastructure do not cope with the basic needs of the population so we urgently need appropriate, locally accepted technical options. In this project, managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is proposed for enhancing traditional water infrastructure with greener, nature-inspired solutions that allow for a more equitable water provisioning.
The overall goal is the development and utilisation of ICT-based tools, coupled with citizen science observations for the design and implementation of MAR as nature-inspired component of sustainable water resources management in LAC region. The efficiency of the solutions proposed will be demonstrated through success stories, by designing and implementation of small scale, demonstrative MAR schemes with active participation of stakeholders and developing capacities for sustainable urban development.
For the implementation of its objectives, the project will make use of a holistic research approach by combining content analysis, computer simulations, empirical investigations, participatory research, case studies research and capacity development. The methodology proposed includes:
Identification, analysis and promotion of best practices of sustainable groundwater management in LAC region (content analysis and case studies research);
Prediction analysis of MAR efficiency through computer simulations using a free, web-based groundwater modelling platform;
Empirical investigations for the design and optimisation of pilot-scale MAR schemes and their implementation as flagship projects in the partner countries;
Active involvement of different groups of stakeholders through stakeholders` workshops and citizens’ science projects in shaping the optimal solutions for sustainable water management (participatory research);
Develop the capacities of the decision-making stakeholders through virtual (web-based) summer schools, workshops, and specific training in the utilisation of scientific-based decision support systems (stakeholders analysis and capacity development).