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Water 2017, 9(1), 4; doi:10.3390/w9010004

Water Supply Source Evaluation in Unmanaged Aquifer Recharge Zones: The Mezquital Valley (Mexico) Case Study

1
Hydrogeology Group, Earth Sciences Division, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), C.P. 04510 Mexico City, Mexico
2
Department of Geomagnetism and Exploration, Institute of Geophysics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), C.P. 04510 Mexico City, Mexico
3
Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos, C.P. 03700 Ciudad de México, Mexico
4
Department of Geodynamics, Faculty of Geological Sciences, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
5
GEOTEM Ingeniería, S.A. de C.V., C.P. 14640 Mexico D.F., Mexico
6
Institute of Engineering, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), C.P. 04510 Mexico City, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Polya
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [23270 KB, uploaded 24 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

The Mezquital Valley (MV) hosts the largest unmanaged aquifer recharge scheme in the world. The metropolitan area of Mexico City discharges ~60 m3/s of raw wastewater into the valley, a substantial share of which infiltrates into the regional aquifer. In this work, we aim to develop a comprehensive approach, adapted from oil and gas reservoir modeling frameworks, to assess water supply sources located downgradient from unmanaged aquifer recharge zones. The methodology is demonstrated through its application to the Mezquital Valley region. Geological, geoelectrical, petrophysical and hydraulic information is combined into a 3D subsurface model and used to evaluate downgradient supply sources. Although hydrogeochemical variables are yet to be assessed, outcomes suggest that the newly-found groundwater sources may provide a long-term solution for water supply. Piezometric analyses based on 25-year records suggest that the MV is close to steady-state conditions. Thus, unmanaged recharge seems to have been regulating the groundwater balance for the last decades. The transition from unmanaged to managed recharge is expected to provide benefits to the MV inhabitants. It will also be likely to generate new uncertainties in relation to aquifer dynamics and downgradient systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquifer; groundwater exploration; water supply; well logs; geophysical prospection; TDEM; pumping test; unmanaged recharge; wastewater irrigation; Mezquital Valley aquifer; groundwater exploration; water supply; well logs; geophysical prospection; TDEM; pumping test; unmanaged recharge; wastewater irrigation; Mezquital Valley
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hernández-Espriú, A.; Arango-Galván, C.; Reyes-Pimentel, A.; Martínez-Santos, P.; Pita de la Paz, C.; Macías-Medrano, S.; Arias-Paz, A.; Breña-Naranjo, J.A. Water Supply Source Evaluation in Unmanaged Aquifer Recharge Zones: The Mezquital Valley (Mexico) Case Study. Water 2017, 9, 4.

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