Next Article in Journal
Farmers’ Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change and Their Implications in the Zou Department of South Benin
Next Article in Special Issue
Evaluation of Alternatives for the Passenger Road Transport Sector in Europe: A Life-Cycle Assessment Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Environments in 2017
Previous Article in Special Issue
System-Based Assessments—Improving the Confidence in the EIA Process
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Environments 2018, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5010014

An Open-Data Based Assessment of Expected Changes in Land Use and Water Availability as a Result of the Construction of the West Segment of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal

1
Engineering Hydrology and Water Management, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Franziska-Braun-Str. 7, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
2
Institute of Applied Geosciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Mornewegstr. 32, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4240 KB, uploaded 17 January 2018]   |  

Abstract

Nicaragua is preparing the construction of an interoceanic canal that will be the longest and largest canal on Earth. An environmental and social impact assessment was published in 2014 supporting a general viability of the canal. Nonetheless, several scientists and societal actors raised serious concerns regarding the social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Despite an open dispute within the Nicaraguan society, no independent, transparent, and scientifically sound assessment has been carried out. This article presents a transparently documented and comprehensible impact assessment of the West Canal Segment of the Nicaragua Canal. Based on publicly available data and scientifically sound and recognized methods, land use, hydrological (water availability), and socio-economic impacts (population, transportation/communication) are described, quantified, and compared with official declarations in the impact assessment. The examination of official declarations discloses significant ambiguities concerning the methodology and data used for the impact assessment. Consequently, the results presented are at least partly doubtful. When compared with official declarations, the main results of this study reveal: (1) significantly more forested areas (+53.7 km2) and areas of extensive agriculture/near nature (14.4 km2), but far less urban and intensively used areas (−39.6 km2) are affected by the canal; (2) A population of nearly 16,500, and several regional or locally unique transportation and communication routes are directly affected by the canal construction; and (3) a slightly lower water availability (−6.6%) and a much higher water demand for lock operations (+31.8%) were estimated. Accordingly, only about 20% of the lock water demand could be met by locally-available discharge. View Full-Text
Keywords: interoceanic canal; Nicaragua; environmental impact; water availability; land use classification interoceanic canal; Nicaragua; environmental impact; water availability; land use classification
Figures

Figure 1

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Muñoz Ardila, A.; Rebscher, A.; Hack, J. An Open-Data Based Assessment of Expected Changes in Land Use and Water Availability as a Result of the Construction of the West Segment of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal. Environments 2018, 5, 14.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Environments EISSN 2076-3298 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top