Field Projects

Aquifer recharge in Central Mexico

Recharging a water table is not an easy task; it involves thousands of hours of work in giant extensions of land. Together with Grupo Modelo, we are operating a project that seeks to recharge 1.3 million cubic meters of water per year to one of the most important aquifers in Mexico.

Basic information

  • Up to 70 people working in the field
  • 235 hectares of reforestation with native species
  • Project located in the plateau pulquera
  • Construction of soil retention works
  • 90% of jobs are for local people

Project Overview

The main ingredient of this nature-based solution is rain. Rainwater that falls on a slope can evaporate, run off or infiltrate the ground. When it infiltrates the subsoil it can recharge a water table and maintain the water needs of huge populations. The objective of the program is to increase the infiltration and reduce the runoff of rainwater that falls in the Apan Valley, part of the Pulquera Highlands. What we are doing is reforesting and improving the health of the ecosystem in the aquifer zone; the program includes the planting of more than 250,000 specimens of maguey, nopal, sabino, encino and pine. In addition, 12 gabion dams will be placed to prevent erosion, and more than 9 kilometers of stone barriers arranged in contours to prevent soil runoff.

Details

What is a water compensation project?

Water compensation projects consist of returning part or all of the water used in municipal, civil or industrial operations to the aquifers. They usually occur in areas of a few thousand hectares and include reforestation and other soil conservation works.

Reforestations

The program contemplates 235 hectares of reforestation, and only local species such as juniper, ocote, and of course, nopal and maguey will be used. In total, more than 250,000 plants will be planted. Reforestation is important to fight the climate crisis, and one of the reasons is that trees are great water catchers. When it rains on the bare ground the water can evaporate or run off, but when it rains on a tree the water infiltrates into the ground and can reach the aquifers. In addition, reforestations work very well to prevent soil erosion and generate ecosystems full of flora and fauna.

Gabion Dams and Accommodated Stone Barriers

When rainwater hits the surface of a degraded soil, a small portion of the soil is loosened and is then susceptible to being blown away by a gust of wind or runoff. This, on a large scale, causes the erosion of thousands of hectares each year. Soil conservation works consist of mitigating the conditions that cause erosion by placing stone barriers or other materials at strategic points on the land. The idea is to reduce the speed of water dragging so that it carries with it the least amount of soil, as well as to retain the soil that has been dragged. These works are essential to prevent erosion in degraded soils that are being restored. Rehabilitating these hectares will increase the capture of water for the subsoil and enrich the ecosystem of the area in general.

Workshops and courses

As part of the aquifer recharge program, it is important to generate relevant social alliances that promote the exchange of knowledge. We are giving workshops and courses on topics such as silvopastoral systems, agroforestry, traditional herbalism, and nursery construction. This allows the local population to gain the necessary knowledge to increase the value of the production of their plots. In 2020 alone, 42 training sessions are being held.

Security

Working safely is a priority, and a major challenge to meet when managing field operations. In the event that our rigorous safety protocols fail to prevent an accident, we train all our crew leaders in DC3-certified first aid, as well as the knowledge and equipment necessary to handle poisonous snake bites in the field.

Geographical location