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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350685

Research Project: Towards Resilient Agricultural Systems to Enhance Water Availability, Quality, and Other Ecosystem Services under Changing Climate and Land Use

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Characterization of drought and climate change in Zacatecas, Mexico

Author
item Velasco, Israel - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas
item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Davila, Francisco - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas
item Alonso, Martha - Autonomous University Of Zacatecas

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2013
Publication Date: 10/15/2013
Citation: Velasco, I.V., Garbrecht, J.D., Davila, F.M., Alonso, M.G.R. 2013. Characterization of drought and climate change in Zacatecas, Mexico. In: Mojarro Davila, F., de Leon Morjarro, B., Junez Ferrera, H.E., Bautista Capetillo, C.F., editors. Agua subterranean en Zacatecas. Zacatecas, Mexico: Agua y Sociedad. p. 135-152.

Interpretive Summary: In the years 1940 to 1970, the development of the State of Zacatecas was based on extractive mining to sustain development. From 1965 to 1980, the attention turned to agriculture, particularly to the development of groundwater resources for irrigation. Due to the lack of a long-term plan for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources, severe problems in the soil, natural vegetation and water degradation have become a concern of the state and federal governments. In the Calera Aquifer Region, Mexico, limited rainfall and low agricultural water use efficiency in combination with fast growing industrial and urban water demand are contributing to groundwater depletion at an unsustainable rate. Limited data and planning tools were available for local government and nonprofit agencies to investigate groundwater management alternatives and develop strategies for sustainable agricultural, industrial and urban groundwater utilization. The objective of this chapter is to analyze drought and climate change characteristics in the Calera Aquifer region. Drought and climate change are regional phenomena and the climate change trends represent an average for the region. Two potential climate change scenarios are evaluated (A2 and A1B). One scenario shows a decreasing trend in annual precipitation (-30 mm per century) and the other an increase in mean air temperature (+4 oC per century). Both precipitation and air temperature trends are unfavorable and lead to increases in groundwater pumping if no action is taken to regulate groundwater extraction of the Calera and other regional aquifers.

Technical Abstract: In the years 1940 to 1970, the development of the State of Zacatecas was based on extractive mining to sustain development. From 1965 to 1980, the attention turned to agriculture, particularly to the development of groundwater resources for irrigation. Due to the lack of a long-term plan for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources, severe problems in the soil, natural vegetation and water degradation have become a concern of the state and federal governments. In the Calera Aquifer Region, Mexico, limited rainfall and low agricultural water use efficiency in combination with fast growing industrial and urban water demand are contributing to groundwater depletion at an unsustainable rate. Limited data and planning tools were available for local government and nonprofit agencies to investigate groundwater management alternatives and develop strategies for sustainable agricultural, industrial and urban groundwater utilization. The objective of this chapter is to analyze drought and climate change characteristics in the Calera Aquifer region. Drought and climate change are regional phenomena and the climate change trends represent an average for the region. Two potential climate change scenarios are evaluated (A2 and A1B). One scenario shows a decreasing trend in annual precipitation (-30 mm per century) and the other an increase in mean air temperature (+4 oC per century). Both precipitation and air temperature trends are unfavorable and lead to increases in groundwater pumping if no action is taken to regulate groundwater extraction of the Calera and other regional aquifers.