Factors that Contribute to Contamination of the Surface Water

2.3 Factors that Contribute to Contamination of the Surface Water

2.3.1 Water Overexploitation

The Lagoon of Asososca, considered to be a huge an average extraction of 17 million gallons per day. open-air natural well, i.e., part of the aquifer, was

The water is of very good quality and fulfills all the main source of water for Managua until the

the potability parameters based on international beginning of the 90s. The increase in population

standards. Different external factors represent a risk caused rapid exploitation of the lagoon. Beginning

to the water quality of the Asososca Lagoon if they in the 80s, its overexploitation became evident when

are not controlled: 1) The growth in spontaneous the levels dropped so much that the underground

settlements that do not have adequate sanitation; intrusion of water from Lake Managua made the

2) Extraction of sand and other materials in the lagoon susceptible to the danger of contamination.

surrounding areas without regulating or measuring This is a water resource that is basically fed by the

the impact on the quality of the water resource and inflow of groundwater (Figure 2.8). The contribution

its environmental vulnerability; 3) Spontaneous by surface water is minimal; however, the lagoon

dump sites around the lagoon and the bad habits of is an endoreic surface waterbody. Therein lies the

the visitors to the nearby Las Piedrecitas Park, who importance of identifying and regulating the throw rubbish into the lagoon; and 4) The lack of sources of contamination. With a water volume of

land zoning for the lagoon’s underground watershed

44.4 MMC, it has been a source for the potable water (and in general in the city of Managua) that affects supply for the city of Managua since 1914. It currently

the recharge areas, both as to quantity and quality supplies 50% of the population of Managua with

of the water infiltrating into the zone.

424 URBAN WATER CHALLENGES IN THE AMERICAS

2.3.2 Solid Urban Waste

Solid urban waste is generated by the population and regulate the waters that descend and act as a barrier disposed of without any sort of control in open areas

for collecting sediments. In the middle and lower that are not allocated for that purpose. The wastes

parts, the channels are covered in concrete, stones come from residential sectors that are not connected

and other stable materials; however, due to the to the municipal collection service; areas that are

change in land use, many of them have hydraulic outside the reach of the public sanitation service.

deficiencies (The Mayor’s Office of the Municipality This is of course also due to bad hygienic habits of

of Managua, 2004).

the citizens. The lack of solid waste control is another The situation related to solid waste is serious in source of contamination for water resources.

the city of Managua because the channelss are used The primary rainwater drainage system in the

as illegal dumping sites and liquid wastes converge city of Managua is made up of nine main channels

with all sorts of waste (domestic and industrial) (the Mayor’s Office of Managua, 2010). In the high

in large quantities (Figure 2.9a). This is due to the part of the watershed, they run parallel in their

fact that the population does not use the garbage natural state, from south to north and are backed

dumps and some sectors with small businesses and up by a protection system in the middle part (small

companies (workshops, eateries, etc.) do not hook dams made of earth and concrete curtains) to up to the municipal collection system. According to

Figure 2.9a Solid and Liquid Waste in the drainage canals Figure 2.9b Sediment in the drainage canals in the City in the City of Managua that are Carried to Lake Xolotlán

of Managua that is Carried to Lake Xolotlán

Source: El Nuevo Diario. 2011.

Source: El Nuevo Diario. 2011. Figure 2.10a Tiscapa Lagoon, waterbody that Receives

Figure 2.10b Clean-up Work in the drainage canals Liquid and Solid Wastes

Carried Out by the Mayor’s Office of Managua

Source: El Nuevo Diario. 2011.

Source: El Nuevo Diario. 2011.


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