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Comparative study of urban development and groundwater condition in coastal areas of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rodrigues Capítulo, Leandro, Carretero, Silvina C., Kruse, Eduardo E.
Hydrogeology journal 2017 v.25 no.5 pp. 1407-1422
aquifers, coasts, groundwater, tourism, urban development, Argentina
The geomorphological evolution of a sand-dune barrier in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is analyzed as a factor regulating the fresh groundwater reserves available. The impact of geomorphological evolution and the consequences for the social and economic development of two coastal areas are assessed. This is one of the most important tourist destinations in the country; for study purposes, it was divided into a northern sector and a southern sector. In the southern sector, the exploitable groundwater is associated with the Holocene and upper Pleistocene geomorphological evolution, which generated three interrelated aquifer units, constituting a system whose useful thickness reaches at least 45 m. In contrast, the northern sector is restricted to two Holocene aquifer units, whose total thickness is on the order of 12 m. The morphological characteristics and the occurrence of the largest fresh groundwater reserves in the southern sector are indicators of better conditions for economic growth, which is mainly reflected on the expansion of real estate ventures. The relationships of transmissivity vs area of real estate ventures (Arev), and total water consumption vs Arev, are indicators for the sustainable management of the water resources. The approach chosen may be used by decision makers in other regions to assess the feasibility of future tourism projects on the basis of the availability of water resources associated with geomorphological features.