The Ecohydrological Approach in Water Sowing and Harvesting Systems: The Case of the Paltas Catacocha Ecohydrology Demonstration Site, Ecuador

Marco Albarracín, Galo Ramón, Jorge González, Carlos Iñiguez-Armijos, Thomas Zakaluk, Sergio Martos-Rosillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Water sowing and harvesting (WS&H), a term adopted from Latin America, is an ancestral process that involves gathering and infiltration (sowing) of rainwater, surface runoff, and groundwater to recover it (harvesting) later and/or elsewhere. The WS&H systems follow the approaches of integrated water resource management, nature-based solutions and the recovery of ancestral knowledge for water management. In this paper, we present some representative types of WS&H in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, and then, we focus on the Paltas Catacocha Ecohydrology Demonstration Site in southern Ecuador as a study case. The recovery of such local ecohydrological knowledge in the study case has made enabled the regulation and retention of water in the aquifers through the restoration of artificial wetlands (cochas) and stream dams (tapes or tajamares). Also, this ancestral way of water management has recently supported and reactivated several biological aspects and human activities. The experience of the Paltas Catacocha site shows that there are more appropriate and sustainable alternatives to gray infrastructure projects for water resources management and denotes the need to study ancestral water and soil management systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcohydrology and Hydrobiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank to the Master Program in Water Resources Management of the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana. Thanks to the Municipality of Paltas, the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Nature and Culture International, and the Intergovernmental Hydrological Program (IHP) of UNESCO for their continuous help in the implementation of ecohydrology in Ecuador. Additionally, we thank to the Universidad de Granada, Spain, for financial support of one of the authors (Ref. P18-RT-3836). We also thank the Ibero-American Program of Science and Technology for Development (CYTED) for the financial support of the network WS&H in Natural Protected Areas (Siembra y Cosecha del Agua en Áreas Naturales Protegidas) (Grant 419RT0577).

Funding Information:
The research was done according to ethical standards. The authors thank to the Master Program in Water Resources Management of the Universidad Polit?cnica Salesiana. Thanks to the Municipality of Paltas, the Universidad T?cnica Particular de Loja, Nature and Culture International, and the Intergovernmental Hydrological Program (IHP) of UNESCO for their continuous help in the implementation of ecohydrology in Ecuador. Additionally, we thank to the Universidad de Granada, Spain, for financial support of one of the authors (Ref. P18-RT-3836). We also thank the Ibero-American Program of Science and Technology for Development (CYTED) for the financial support of the network WS&H in Natural Protected Areas (Siembra y Cosecha del Agua en ?reas Naturales Protegidas) (Grant 419RT0577).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Keywords

  • ancient practices
  • Andes
  • artificial wetlands
  • ecohydrology
  • Ecuador
  • Ibero-America
  • water management
  • water sowing and harvesting

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