Vale Central in Costa Rica is an area larger than 400km2, home to over three quarters of the population. It also bears the capital city San José, the most populated city in the country. In this region there is a significant demand for groundwater and the Government wants to assure that this precious resource is sustainably used.

The goal of this project is to optimize the groundwater exploitation in Vale Central, applying advanced techniques of geological and hydrogeological analysis, including numerical modelling to calculate the sustainable production limits. The model’s outcomes are then used to determine the best practices in what concerns the groundwater use, assuring its protection along with its sustainable production to meet the present and future needs. For that, the technical team draws different scenarios, considering: diverse consumptions rates, land use changes and climate change.

Some of the tasks involved in this project:

  • Definition of an hydrogeological model to understand the groundwater’s behaviour in the Vale Central region;
  • 3D modelling of the groundwater system to predict the dynamic responses to different situations;
  • Formulation of different scenarios, according to the predicted changes in land use, climate change and considering diverse exploitation rates of the groundwater;
  • Presentation of an exploitation plan of the groundwater system in Vale Central.

[Project sponsored by BCIE – Banco Centroamericando de Integración Económica]