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Decision support system for catchment management with focus on mining impacts and arid zones – Elqui Valley, Chile.

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment Conference Proceedings, 29 March - 3 April 2008, Concepcion, Chile  701P0208cd.(doi:10.13031/2013.24328)
Authors:   Nicole Kretschmer, Ana Buxo, Luis Ribeiro, Guido Soto, Manuel Soto, Ricardo Oyarzún
Keywords:   Keywords: Data Management, DSS, Mining, Water Quality, Watershed Management, Elqui, GIS

More than 25% of South America is arid or semi-arid. Mining is the sector with the highest environmental impact, whereas it contributes more to legal export earnings in the region than any other sector. There is a need to rigorously review the effectiveness of existing policies, and to develop new approaches to river-basin management to prevent a permanent damage to the fragile ecosystems and water resources. The Elqui river basin (30S; 71W) has been selected as the study area in Chile in the international project CAMINAR. The project seeks to develop standards, which might be used as a basis for recommended best practices or as a foundation for formal regulations/ for the sustainable management of ecosystems in those river-basins which are subject to impacts from mining. A water management DSS consists of three main subsystems integrated in an interactive manner: an information management subsystem (i.e., a database integrated in a GIS), a set of models integrated with the database and a user-interface. This allows undertaking predictive modelling of river basin flow and quality, simulations of response to a range of possible different scenarios associated with mining activities. The experiences gathered so far are being presented.

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