New knowledge and opportunities for groundwater in Colombia

Published: 15 October 2014

Deltares and UNESCO-IHE are to study groundwater in Colombia. The contract was signed recently in Cali in Colombia with the Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca (CVC), the regional government authority responsible for water management in the project area.

There are problems with drought in the Valle del Cauca in the south-west of Colombia, but also with flooding. The area is a large valley, where the main activity is sugar-cane cultivation, which depends in part on irrigation with groundwater. This is the first project to look at groundwater in Colombia.

Groundwater use during droughts and floods

The aim of the ESCACES project (Evaluating groundwater SCarcity and Abundance due to Climatic ExtremeS) is to improve our understanding of groundwater, focusing particularly on how groundwater is used during critical drought periods. The role of groundwater during flooding in the Valle del Cauca will also be mapped out. The CVC already uses the Deltares flood prediction system FEWS, which will be adapted and extended using the groundwater model developed during the course of the ESCACES project. The models will be used to help CVC to regulate groundwater abstraction in the area. The project will also look at how the knowledge acquired can be scaled up to the rest of Colombia.

ESCACES will be financed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the CVC. The results of the project are expected in the spring of 2016.

Team Colombia

Team Colombia