Proceedings of the International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability vol:1 pages:633-640
International Congress on Development, Environment and Natural Resources: Multi-level and Multi-scale Sustainability location:Bolivia date:11-13 july 2007
The Pampa del Tamarugal Aquifer (PTA) is one of the most important sources of water
in northern Chile. Situated in the Atacama Desert, the estimation of the groundwater
recharge based on conventional hydrological methods is subject to large uncertainties.
To account for variations in the groundwater balance, caused by uncertainties in the
average recharge rates, random values of the recharge were generated, and simulated
using a groundwater model. Results show that evaporation and groundwater outflows
are insensitive to the uncertainties in the recharge, while storage is very sensitive.
Considering projections of groundwater abstractions and random recharges, it is
unlikely that the cumulative discharge volume from the aquifer, after a 45 years
simulation period, will be larger than 12% of the estimated groundwater reserve.
Simulated groundwater heads fluctuations due to uncertainties in the recharge are more
noticeable in certain areas, likely explaining the anomalies in the observed groundwater
heads in these areas.