Water and the Problems exploitation of groundwater and aquifers are

2. Water and the Problems exploitation of groundwater and aquifers are

extremely limited and unproductive.

The Northwest Line aqueduct, which supplies the Monción Dam, built on the Mao river, supplies Under normal conditions, the city of Santo water to approximately 500,000 people in Domingo, the capital of the country, with nearly 3.5

Paused by Urbanization

the northwest of the country, from Navarrete, million people, receives about 410 million gallons of

Esperanza, Valverde Mao and Monción to water every day, through the Santo Domingo Water

Sabaneta, Villa Vásquez and Monte Cristi, showing and Sewerage Corporation (CAASD) of which 142

that virtually the entire Cibao Valley relies on million gallons per day are obtained from surface

surface water stored in dams, polluted by urban sources in Isa, Mana, Duey, Guananitos, Haina,

expansion without sewerage, industrial liquid Isabela and Barrera Salinidad Ozama, 138 million

waste discharged directly into rivers and streams; gallons per day are drawn from wells built by

landfills located on the banks of rivers and streams, CAASD and 130 million gallons a day are provided

agricultural activities using toxic chemicals, by the western dam of Valdesia, indicating that the

livestock activities that dump animal manure into city of Santo Domingo is supplied in almost equal

adjacent streams and rivers; and acidic waters, proportions by three sources: a group of surface

laden with heavy metals from open pit mining rivers, an excellent aquifer on coralline limestone,

operations on sulfurous mineral deposits, without and a large dam which, in addition to providing six

proper government regulation.

cubic meters per second for the aqueduct, supplies The greatest exploitation of groundwater in

20 cubic meters per second for irrigation channels the Dominican Republic is concentrated in the and 54MW of electrical power, although private

South, Southeast and Southwest regions, where wells may be contributing approximately 100 there are extensive aquifers in recent coralline million gallons a day.

limestone, tertiary lithographic limestone and The city of Santiago de los Caballeros, the alluvial fans of coarse gravels and sands, with the second largest city, with nearly 700,000 inhabitants,

largest underground exploitation being located in obtains 100% of its water from the Tavera and Bao

Santo Domingo (33% of daily supply), Boca Chica dams, which supply about 125 million gallons per

(100%), Punta Cana (100%), Bávaro (100%), San day, and virtually none from groundwater in view

Pedro de Macoris and La Romana (partial delivery), of the fact that Santiago is built on impermeable

especially the communities of Punta Cana and calcareous clays deposited on impermeable clay Bávaro that constitute the main tourist destination shales that do not constitute aquifers; the same

in the Caribbean region, where, due to the absence way that the city of Moca, located east of Santiago,

of surface water sources, hotels have been forced to with nearly 100,000 inhabitants, is also supplied by

resort to the widespread use of coastal aquifers of the Tavera and Bao dams, which provide 20 million

recent coralline limestone, and where at the same gallons a day, because since the city of Moca has no

time, the overexploitation of groundwater has surface rivers, it has no significant local catchments,

caused saltwater intrusion processes in Bávaro to and as it is built on impermeable clays, it cannot rely

advance 4 kilometers inland, and 15 kilometers inland on groundwater either.

in Boca Chica. Coupled with the pollution caused The cities of Central Cibao, such as La Vega,

by the proliferation of filter wells that discharge with nearly 400,000 inhabitants; San Francisco de

residential and hotel wastewater into the aquifer, Macorís, with approximately 180,000 inhabitants;

and landfills without protective waterproofing, this Bonao, with about 125,000 inhabitants; and Cotuí,

has seriously damaged groundwater throughout the with roughly 75,000 inhabitants, are supplied by

area, endangering future supplies.


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