water resources

Water resources of Puerto Rico

Wilson, H.M., 1899, Water resources of Puerto Rico, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 32

WATER BUDGETS OF FORESTED AND AGRICULTURALLY-DEVELOPED WATERSHEDS IN PUERTO RICO

WATER BUDGETS OF FORESTED AND AGRICULTURALLY-DEVELOPED WATERSHEDS IN PUERTO RICO

Abstract: 
Accurate assessment of water budgets is critical for effective management of water resources, especially on small, densely-populated islands with extremely limited storage capacity such as Puerto Rico. A water budget defines a balance between inputs, outputs, and storage. The water budgets described herein provide a generalized summary of the inputs, extractions, and outputs from four watersheds in and near the Luquillo mountains using rainfall, runoff, and public-supply extraction data as well as estimates of groundwater losses and inputs such as cloud drip and infiltration from septic tanks. Mean annual rainfall accumulation during a 7-year study (1991 to 1997) ranged from 1,722 mm in the Canóvanas watershed, to 4,235 mm in the Icacos and Mameyes watersheds; the Cayaguás watershed had 2,172 mm. Combined runoff, groundwater flow and withdrawals ranged from 47 to 73 percent of inputs (combined rainfall, cloud drip and septic tank infiltration). Evapotranspiration, calculated as the water budget residual, amounted to 27, 40, 44, and 53 percent of total moisture inputs in the Icacos, Cayaguás, Mameyes, and Canóvanas watersheds, respectively.

ANALYSIS OF 2OTH CENTURY RAINFALL AND STREAMFLOW TO CHARACTERIZE DROUGHT AND WATER RESOURCES IN PUERTO RICO

Larsen, M.C., 2000, Analysis of 20th century rainfall and streamflow to characterize drought and water resources in Puerto Rico: Physical Geography, v. 21, p. 494-521.

Abstract: 
During the period from 1990 to 1997, annual rainfall accumulation averaged 87% of normal at the 12 stations with the longest period of record in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island with a 1999 population of 3.8 million. Streamflow in rivers supplying the La Plata and Loíza reservoirs, the principal water supply of the San Juan metropolitan area, was at or below the 10th flow percentile for 27% to 50% of the time between December 1993 and May 1996. Diminished reservoir levels in 1994 and 1995 affected more than 1 million people in the San Juan metropolitan area. Water rationing was implemented during this period and significant agricultural losses, valued at $165 million, were recorded in 1994. The public endured a year of mandatory water rationing in which sections of the city had their water-distribution networks shut off for 24 to 36 hours on alternate days. During the winter and spring of 1997–1998, water was rationed to more than 200,000 people in northwestern Puerto Rico because water level in the Guajataca reservoir was well below normal for two years because of rainfall deficits. The drought period of 1993– 1996 was comparable in magnitude to a drought in 1966–1968, but water rationing was more severe during the 1993–1996 period, indicating that water management issues such as demand, storage capacity, water production and losses, and per capita consumption are increasingly important as population and development in Puerto Rico expand.

Integrated Water Resources Management in the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: An Evolving Process

Ortiz-Zayas, J.R. and F.N. Scatena. 2004. Integrated Water Resources Management in the
Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: An Evolving Process. Water Resources Development. 20 (3): 387-398.

Abstract: 
The ecologically unique forest ecosystems of the Luquillo Mountains in Eastern Puerto Rico and the scenic value of its forests, rivers and surrounding beaches have promoted population growth, tourism and light industry, thus increasing regional water demands. In light of further increases in future water demand, integrated water resources management (IWRM) initiatives are rapidly evolving in this area. In an effort to seek international collaboration and information exchange on IWRM, the Luquillo Mountains joined the Hydrology for the Environment, Life, and Policy (HELP) Programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/International Hydrological Programme (IHP) in 1999. The paper was prepared to document existing IWRM efforts and to promote internal discussion for further IWRM development in the region.

Future Trends and Research Needs in Managing Forests and Grasslands as Drinking Water Sources

Abstract: 
The management of forest and grassland watersheds for drinking water supplies has been, and will continue to be, a major activity of the Forest Service and other natural resource agencies. However, these watersheds will continue to support other uses, including providing timber products, recreation, mining, fisheries, grazing, and the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, relatively new uses like using forests for carbon and nutrient sequestration (DeLucia and others 1999) or the recycling of wastewater (Cole and others 1986, Sopper and Kardos 1973) will increase. The future is also expected to bring increased competition for existing water resources (Postel 1998) and changes from point source to watershed-based pollution management (U.S. EPA 1997). How these watersheds will be managed in this increasingly competitive, watershed-based, multiuse environment will be affected by site-specific knowledge of environmental change, technological change, and social and administrative considerations.
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