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Management of the solid urban residues and the impact in the water quality of irrigation in the north oasis of the Mendoza river, Argentine. Assessment and proposals of handling for the decision making.

Congress: 2008
Author(s): José Morábito,(1) S. E. Salatino,(1) María L. Feijóo (2)
1 – INA – CRA. Belgrano Oeste 210 – 3er Piso – 5500 – Mendoza, Argentina 2- Departamento de Análisis Económico. Universidad de Zaragoza. Gran Vía 2, 5005 Zaragoza. España.

Keyword(s): management of solid residues, direct costs, assessment, proposals of handling, Mendoza river, Argentina
AbstractThe province of Mendoza concentrates population, agricultural and industrial activity in the oases of its rivers, which they are born in the mountain chain of The Andes. The Mendoza river conforms the north oasis that is the most important since in it is based the population of Great Mendoza. The urban growth has advanced on originally agricultural areas, surrounding them and crossing them with a dense network of channels and water- drainages for conduction and distribution of the irrigation water which also is collector of pluvial-urban water- drainages. The anthropogenic activity uses the resource for drink, cleaning, irrigation, recreation, etc. and it overturns its surpluses to the network of irrigation and water-drainages, contaminating it. The salinity, organic and inorganic substances, heavy metals, pathogenic organisms, between others, concern so much the superficial resource, since the underground.. With only 800 Km2, the Mendoza River basin has more than 800.000 inhabitants and contributes 68 % of the provincial GDP, while 25 % of its water is used for domestic and industrial purposes. The problems of pollution generated by the solid urban residues on the riverbeds of irrigation of the Mendoza river, an environmental conflict generates and of management for the users - that it debilitates the effective control of the users' organizations (Inspections of riverbed, Associations) on the equity of the distribution and the quality of the water resource. All that affects the population in general, restricting the uses of the resource, spoiling the quality of life and generating stagnation in the process of development of the affected zone, because of the negative impact on the economic expectations of the people. The aim of the work is to evaluate the environmental impact generated by the solid residues on the riverbeds of irrigation and the consequences in the policies, the management and the practices of irrigation and production. For the evaluation and proposals of management there has been realized an analysis of the areas most affected by this situation. The direct costs being calculated that this situation is provoking them, as well as an estimation of the negative generated externality. In addition the indirect costs are calculated and the consequences on the efficiency of irrigation that supposes for the users of the water this situation. There has been compiled information about the conditions in which there develops nowadays the agriculture of the area, the farmers characterization, the agricultural companies, the social aspects and the relative thing to the administrative managing of the irrigation. With this information a diagnosis is made to quantify and to identify the environmental impact, a prediction of the linked effects and finally there are evaluated the costs of the different impacts and the actions of mitigation, which will serve to support the takers of decisions. Not action on the management of these residues will provoke a deepening of the current degradation of the basin of the Mendoza river with very serious consequences.
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