Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 29

The flow was fed from the meting glaciers
in the Andes, which towered above the
city. A local hydrologist worried that the
streamflow was eventually going to stop
because the glaciers were melting and would
eventually disappear, at which point the
river would cease to flow.
Concern was expressed over Copiapó's
water supply - mainly groundwater. The
local economy is built upon silver and
copper mining and agriculture (table grapes,
olives and tomatoes) and both industries
compete for water. Conflicts over water
were on the horizon, and could easily be
exacerbated by the melting glaciers. In fact,
that was the reason for my visit - to talk
about water conflict.
Note that groundwater storage of the
glacial meltwater would not be a permanent,
sustainable solution to freshwater shortages.
It might provide a buffer to permit the
development of alternatives to ensure
survival of ecosystems and humans.
So where in the world could this
be done?

Surface storage in the Alps
For the moment let's forget about
groundwater storage and just examine
the glacier melt process and storage.
Something akin to my idea has been
proposed by Farinotti et al. (2016) who
worked in the Alps, where the glaciers
are also melting unsustainably and will
produce a peak flow before they melt
completely. Farinotti et al. proposed that
dams could be built to store this 'peak
runoff' from the melting glaciers. Their
abstract: "The potential exploitation of
areas becoming ice-free in response to
ongoing climate change has rarely been
addressed, although it could be of interest
from the water management perspective.
Here we present an estimate for the potential
of mitigating projected changes in seasonal
water availability from melting glaciers by
managing runoff through reservoirs. For the
European Alps we estimate that by the end
of the century, such a strategy could offset
up to 65% of the expected summer-runoff
changes from presently glacierized surfaces.
A first-order approach suggests that the
retention volume potentially available in the
areas becoming deglacierized is in excess
of the volume required for achieving the
maximal possible mitigation by more than
one order of magnitude. Obviously, however,

such a strategy cannot compensate for the
reduction in annual runoff caused by glacier
ice depletion. Our estimates indicate that
by 2070-2099, 0.73 ± 0.67 km3 a−1 of this
non-renewable component of the water cycle
could be missing in Alpine water supplies."
They did estimate that it would take only
about a dozen dams in the deglaciated areas
to provide the storage required. Take a look
at Figure 1 in their paper - very informative.
They did not consider groundwater
storage, which might not have been an
option in their area. But their approach
could be used to calculate the amount of
water available. It's a good template for the
work I envision.

Back to the Andes
No, not to Copiapó, but just to the
north - Peru. Maria Gibson and I pursued
a grant from USAID. The mission officer
was intrigued but we needed to get the
government of Peru on board, which we
could not do. Next time, perhaps.
I actually think Copiapó would be a
good candidate and when I mentioned
this approach in 2009 to the gentleman
who hosted my visit, he, too was intrigued,
but like Peru, we could not get beyond the
'intrigued' stage.

Potential geographic
areas and problems

Enough water and need. Most of the
world's great mountain ranges have the most
important element: a sufficient source of
water in the form of glaciers. To that end,
the following mountain ranges should be
examined: Alps; Andes; Rockies; Cascade
Range; Caucasus; Zagros; Alburz; Greater
Himalayas (Pamirs, Karakoram, Hindu Kush,
Kunlun, Tian Shan, etc.); Tibetan Plateau.
The aforementioned list is not exhaustive;
other mountain ranges may be important
locally depending upon how much water is
needed. The main assumption for each of
these areas is that there is need for glacial
meltwater to be recharged. In many of the
aforementioned areas there is probably no use
for stored water. No need, no bother.
Hydrogeology. Is the area suitable for a
MAR/ASR operation? Does it have the right
kind of geologic formations? How about
the chemistry of the water in the receiving
aquifer - is it compatible with the glacial
meltwater? Are the aquifers near the point
of use?

Water use, economics, ecosystems.
Is the water use sufficient to justify the
project? Do the economics 'work?' What
about ecosystems (including marine, if any)
reliant on the glacial runoff? Effects must
be evaluated.
Legal and institutional. Are the legal,
regulatory, and political environments
favorable? Are there any water or other
rights (e.g., land, mineral) issues?
Downstream problems?
Socio-cultural. Any such barriers?
Unforeseen issues. Are there issues we
don't know that we don't know? Of course
there are!
Subsurface storage of accelerated
glacial meltwater is a potential alternative
to 'losing' glacial meltwater that could
otherwise be stored in the subsurface. It
would likely be less costly than surface
storage for later use. It is not a sustainable
solution, but neither are melting
glaciers sustainable.
As a final note, Maria Gibson and I are
working on a similar project in the Yakima
Basin of Washington State. There, we will
be looking for areas in the Columbia River
Basalt aquifers to store 'excess' Yakima
River flow that would be pumped out in the
summer to enhance streamflow for salmon
and irrigation.
Any suggestions are welcomed. ■
Michael E. Campana is professor of
hydrogeology and water management at
Oregon State University and technical
director of AWRA. He is also president
of the NGWA Foundation and the Ann
Campana Judge Foundation and chair of
the Oregon Water Resources Department's
Groundwater Advisory Committee. Campana
enjoys many things, but mostly he enjoys
his status as an inveterate WaterWonk
who opines about melting glaciers and all
that water. He blogs at www.waterwired.
org and Tweets @WaterWired. Contact:
aquadoc@oregonstate.edu.

References

Campana, M.E., 2016. Great Minds and All That:
Groundwater Storage, Meet Melting Alpine Glaciers!
http://bit.ly/2uk6t0q [Accessed 11 July 2017]
Campana, M.E., 2017. Storing Accelerated Glacial
Meltwater with Managed Aquifer Recharge. http://bit.
ly/2sijE1r [Accessed 10 July 2017]
Farinotti, D., A. Pistocchi, and M. Huss, 2016. From
dwindling ice to headwater lakes: could dams replace
glaciers in the European Alps? Environ. Res. Letters
11 (2016) 054022 Available at: http://bit.ly/2uk6t0q
[Accessed: 10 July 2017]

Volume 19 * Number 5 www.awra.org * 29


http://www.waterwired.org http://www.bit.ly/2uk6t0q http://bit.ly/2sijE1r http://www.bit.ly/2uk6t0q http://www.awra.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017

President’s Message
Growing Up…with Managed Aquifer Recharge
Aquifer Storage and Recovery as Means to
The Regulatory Environment of Managed
The ASCE-EWRI Standard Guidelines
Managed Aquifer Recharge:
Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Global Perspective
What’s Up with Water? Sisyphus, Heraclitus and WOTUS
The New Economics of Water: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Bay Delta Could Reverse Erosion
Domestic Well Aquifer Storage and Recovery Using Seasonal Springs
Philosophy and Ethics: The Rio Grande and the Ganges Rivers: How Human ‘Success’ is Choking the Life out of Two Great River-Spirits
ASR: Aquifer Storage Rescues a Small Water Supply District
Putting Aquifers to Work: MAR Applications in Nutrient Removal
Summer Conference Recap
Harvesting Glacial Meltwater with Managed Aquifer Recharge
AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
In Memoriam: Peter E. Black
Herbert Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-2018 Announced
August JAWRA Highlights
2017-2018 Editorial Calendar
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - intro
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover1
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover2
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 3
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 4
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - President’s Message
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Growing Up…with Managed Aquifer Recharge
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 7
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Aquifer Storage and Recovery as Means to
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 9
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 10
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The Regulatory Environment of Managed
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 12
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 13
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The ASCE-EWRI Standard Guidelines
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 15
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 16
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Managed Aquifer Recharge:
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 18
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 19
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Managed Aquifer Recharge: A Global Perspective
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 21
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 22
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 23
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 24
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 25
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 26
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 27
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 28
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 29
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - What’s Up with Water? Sisyphus, Heraclitus and WOTUS
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 31
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - The New Economics of Water: Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Bay Delta Could Reverse Erosion
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Philosophy and Ethics: The Rio Grande and the Ganges Rivers: How Human ‘Success’ is Choking the Life out of Two Great River-Spirits
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - ASR: Aquifer Storage Rescues a Small Water Supply District
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 35
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Summer Conference Recap
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 37
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - In Memoriam: Peter E. Black
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - Herbert Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017-2018 Announced
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 41
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - 2017-2018 Editorial Calendar
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover3
Water Resources - IMPACT - September 2017 - cover4
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