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The methodology included formulating approximations that will allow assessing water use at three levels:

  • Local level or micro properties: At this level, it is interesting to know how water is used, to assess efficiency from two points of view: physical use efficiency and economic use efficiency as currently applied. A survey of irrigated water use and a survey of other uses may be highlighted among the main outputs.
  • Middle level: At this level, where the use systems are included (irrigation systems, for example), it is interesting to assess water use efficiency, both regarding management and handling, in order to detect any inefficiencies that may be improved. As a result of this project, an assessment both of physical and management efficiency of the systems forming up the intermediate level of water basins will be available. Information on physical efficiencies will be useful to feed the hydrological operation model and to estimate the water savings expected from improvements. Together with the economic assessment, it will finally be determined what improvements will be cost-effective.
  • Global level: the global level is formed up by the entire basin and represents the level for which efficiency results are finally interesting, and a at which an efficiency optimization is required, both regarding water use as a physical good and as an economic good. Efficiency studies will be carried out to evaluate water allocation, the presence of any negative environmental impacts and control capacity.

Hydrological Simulation Model

A hydrological simulation model (MAGIC model) was also configured, which allows working with several situations and scenarios in the main water basins located in the region, by modifying the system’s most significant variables. Based on these results, the measures required to optimize use efficiency at a basin level will be recommended. Both domestic and international experiences in arid zones will be taken into account to present the above mentioned improvements.

Work Scope

The work scope was aimed at optimizing water use efficiency in the three water basins of the IV Region. A thorough knowledge on the physical use of water resources, knowledge on the conditions under which water is managed, knowledge on what is happening with water rights, knowledge on the problems related to water resources at an individual, middle and global level, the knowledge on interactions obtained from the model, knowledge on economic water efficiency, the knowledge on the ways to improve efficiency that have shown good results in arid zones, are all aspects that will be considered to deliver recommendations aimed at improving water use efficiency in this region where the resource is scarce.

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International Hydrological Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean
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