Author(s): Maria Gabriela Castrellon Romero, Laura Foglia, Laura Foglia, Sidney Saavedra, Alexis Mojica, Alberto Ruiz
Linked Author(s): María Gabriela Castrellón
Keywords: Panama; Volcanic aquifer; Groundwater models; Fractured rocks;
Abstract: Panama has abundant water resources; the annual average precipitation is 2,924 mm/year. However, lack of understanding of this resource has led to poor management decisions and as a consequence, parts of the country suffer from water scarcity in dryer than average years. Groundwater is of particular interest to us since rural communities in Panama mostly depend on this resource to supply their needs, especially within the Central Pacific Region of the country, where the dry season can extend up to seven (7) months during El Niño years. Therefore, researching alternative water sources such as groundwater is crucial for securing water availability for current and future generations. The objective of this project is to study the groundwater of a small catchment within the Central Pacific Region, the Estibaná sub-catchment, located in the District of Macaracas, Province of Los Santos. In the initial stage of the project, we performed geological and geophysical explorations and collected groundwater quantity and quality data as a first step for building a robust numerical groundwater model of the study area. This paper presents a summary of our findings in the form of a preliminary hydrogeological conceptual model. Once the numerical model is built we will be able to simulate different management and climate change scenarios that would help water managers make more informed decisions.