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    Potential contributions of pre-Inca infiltration infrastructure to Andean water security

    Ochoa-Tocachi, Boris F. and Bardales, Juan D. and Antiporta, Javier and Pérez, Katya and Acosta, Luis and Mao, Feng and Zulkafli, Zed and Gil-Ríos, Junior and Angulo, Oscar and Grainger, Sam and Gammie, Gena and De Bièvre, Bert and Buytaert, Wouter (2019) Potential contributions of pre-Inca infiltration infrastructure to Andean water security. Nature Sustainability, 2. pp. 584-593. ISSN 2398-9629

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    Water resources worldwide are under severe stress from increasing climate variability and human pressures. In the tropical Andes, pre-Inca cultures developed nature-based waterharvesting technologies to manage drought risks under natural climatic extremes. While these technologies have gained renewed attention as a potential strategy to increase water security, limited scientific evidence exists about their potential hydrological contributions at catchment scale. Here, we evaluate a 1,400-year-old indigenous infiltration enhancement system that diverts water from headwater streams onto mountain slopes during the wet season, to enhance the yield and longevity of downslope natural springs. Infiltrated water is retained for an average of 45 days before resurfacing, confirming the system’s ability to contribute to dry season flows. We estimate that upscaling the system to the source water areas of the city of Lima can potentially delay 99 million m3 yr-1 of streamflow and increase dry season flows by 7.5% on average, which may provide a critical complement to conventional engineering solutions for water security

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the published article, which is available at Ochoa-Tocachi, B.F., Bardales, J.D., Antiporta, J. et al. Potential contributions of pre-Inca infiltration infrastructure to Andean water security. Nat Sustain 2, 584–593 (2019).
    Keywords: nature-based solutions; natural infrastructure; indigenous knowledge; ecosystem services; water harvesting;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 13800
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Sam Grainger
    Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 17:03
    Journal or Publication Title: Nature Sustainability
    Publisher: Nature Research
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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