Water Supply Source Evaluation in Unmanaged Aquifer Recharge Zones: The Mezquital Valley (Mexico) Case Study
The Mezquital Valley (MV) hosts the largest unmanaged aquifer recharge scheme in the world. The metropolitan area of Mexico City discharges~60 m 3 /s of raw wastewater into the valley, a substantial share of which infiltrates into the regional aquifer. In this work, we aim to develop a comprehensive approach, adapted from oil and gas reservoir modeling frameworks, to assess water supply sources located downgradient from unmanaged aquifer recharge zones. The methodology is demonstrated through
... onstrated through its application to the Mezquital Valley region. Geological, geoelectrical, petrophysical and hydraulic information is combined into a 3D subsurface model and used to evaluate downgradient supply sources. Although hydrogeochemical variables are yet to be assessed, outcomes suggest that the newly-found groundwater sources may provide a long-term solution for water supply. Piezometric analyses based on 25-year records suggest that the MV is close to steady-state conditions. Thus, unmanaged recharge seems to have been regulating the groundwater balance for the last decades. The transition from unmanaged to managed recharge is expected to provide benefits to the MV inhabitants. It will also be likely to generate new uncertainties in relation to aquifer dynamics and downgradient systems.