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Aquifers, Renewable Energy and Desalination in Baja California · PDF file...

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  • Aquifers, Renewable Energy and Desalination in Baja California Sur: Integrated Energy and Water Responses to Development and Climate Changes


    Andrés Aranda Martínez, Centro Mario Molina Magdalena AK Muir, Associate Adjunct Research Scholar,

    Columbia Climate Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University; Visiting Scholar, Center for Carbon-free Power Integration and

    Mangone Center for Marine Policy, University of Delaware; Researcher, AINA; and Associate Professor, Aarhus University

    Kyle Leinweber, Engineer in Training, Calgary for

    IWA International Water, Energy and Climate Conference 2014 in Mexico City, May 23, 2014 This is Fulbright Research for Baja California Sur Aquifer Desalination

    Renewable Energy Project Jointly Implemented with IMPLAN Los Cabos, Centro Mario Molina, SCI Energy Lab and Coastal and Marine Union (EUCC).

  • Presentation and Discussion

    1. Energy and Water Nexus for Baja California Sur

    2. Baja California Sur aquifers, hydraulic sub- basins and precipitation maps

    3. Aquifers within Muncipalities of Los Cabos and La Paz

    4. Renewable Energy and Desalination in Public and Private Sector in Baha California Sur

    5. IMPLAN Los Cabos PDU 2040: The Water Case

    6. Centro Mario Molina sustainable water case for Municipalities of Los Cabos and La Paz

    7. Suggested Next Steps for Baja California Sur Aquifer Desalination Renewable Energy Project

    8. Appendix (provided separately)

  • Energy and Water Nexus • Baja California Sur is arid region that relies on

    primarily on precipitation for water resources.

    • This precipitation becomes groundwater and is collected in aquifers and aquifer systems.

    • There is a public desalination concession in Los Cabos (2006). A second desalination concession has been proposed for Los Cabos, and an initial concession has been proposed for La Paz.

    • Many hotels, golf courses and marinas have private desalination and waste water treatment.

    • Most electricity is generated by diesel generation.

    • While water resources and desalination are required to support economic growth, renewable energy has a role for water resources.

  • CONAGUA Baja California Sur Hydrologic Sub-basins

  • CONAGUA Baja California Sur State Aquifers

  • CONAGUA Baja California Sur Precipitation 1971 to 2000

  • CONAGUA Baja California Sur Precipitation 2011

  • Baja California Sur Study Region: Los Cabos and La Paz Municipalities

  • Geology of Baja California Study Region

  • Baja California Sur Aquifers

    • Sustainability of aquifer and aquifer systems can be considered for quantity factors (i.e., flow volumes, recharge, discharge, time, scale, permeability, storage and pressure).

    • Sustainability of the aquifers and aquifer based on quality (i.e., land-based and coastal contamination, saline intrusion, and diffusion through aquifers and connected aquifer systems).

    • Further knowledge required of capacity and dimensions of aquifers for the Municipalities of Los Cabos and La Paz, including issues such as whether the aquifers are connected in aquifer system which has quantity and quality implications.

  • CONAGUA Aquifer Clave No

  • CONAGUA: Estimates of Aquifer Water Availability

  • IMPLAN Los Cabos Baja California Sur Precipitation

  • Aquifers in Municipality of Los Cabos .

  • Aquifer Analysis: Porosity

    Porosity is the fraction (or percentage) of void space within the aquifer formation.

    Water can be stored in pores.

    Pores can be interconnected.

    � = �����

    � �� = � −

    � ��


    Where: � : Porosity (-)

    ����� : Volume of empty space (m^3)

    � �� : Volume of sample or aquifer (m^3)

    � �� : Density of sample or medium (kg/m^3)

    �������� :Density of rock particles


  • Aquifer Analysis: Permeability

    Permeability is the property of a porous material to transmit fluids under a pressure differential.

    Flow of a fluid in porous media characterized by Darcy’s Law

    There is no direct relationship between porosity and permeability

    Darcy’s Law:

    � = ��

    μ ��

    Where: � : Volumetric flow rate (m^3/s)

    � : Permeability (m^2)

    μ : Viscosity (kg/(m*s) )

    � : Pressure (kg/(m*s^2))

    � = ( �

    �� � +

    �� +


    ) : i, j, and k are

    unit vector components with respect to the directions of x, y, and z respectfully

  • Pore Contamination

  • Diffusion of Contaminants

    Diffusion is the natural phenomenon of a substance moving from a state of high concentration to low.

    Concentration is the driving force.

    Transmits contaminants through pores and fractures.

    Fick’s 2nd Law

    # �$%

    ��$ =



    Where: # : Diffusivity constant (m^2/s)

    % : Concentration (mol/m^3)

    � : Distance (m)

    � : Time (s)

  • Graphical Illustration of Diffusion

  • San Jose del Cabo: Surface land use and possible contamination of San Jose Aquifer

    San Jose del Cabo

  • La Paz Aquifers La Paz aquifers is in basin to the south and south east of the Municipality of La Paz.

    The precipitation model shows that the heaviest precipitation occurs in higher areas away from coast.

    Precipitation runoff will flow towards the lower lands near La Paz.

    Best area for groundwater in basin may be in southeast fractured granite.

    Vulnerability to saline intrusion in coastal areas of La Paz basin.

  • La Paz Basin

  • Aquifer exploitation in La Paz Basin

  • La Paz Basin and Elavation Map

  • La Paz Basin Geology Model

  • La Paz Basin Precipitation Model

  • Las Paz Basin Distribution of Recharge Areas

  • Proposed Gold Mining Projects in Sierra De La Luna Mountains and Aquifer/Basin Implications

    • Estimated 1.7 million ounces of gold, which will be worth more than $2 billion.

    • Argonaut Gold San Antonio mine is largest with surface area of 46,000 hectares.

    • Open pit heap leach mine with 7 hills tops and 200 M tonnes rock to be processed.

    • 50 M tonnes rock to be processed with cyanide, 150 M tonnes piled in exposed hills.

    • Naturally occurring arsenic in rock.

    • Water concessions from nearby ranches, or use groundwater, seawater or desalinated water.

  • Argonaut Gold San Antonio Mining Concession

  • San Antonio Mine and Aquifer Impacts

    • Historic mining and contamination has occurred in Sierra De La Luna Mountains and San Juan de Los Planes basin.

    • Size and nature of current proposed gold mining operations is immense.

    • San Juan de Los Planes is nearby agricultural region, and possible contamination risks for aquifer.

    • Important questions are possible risks of proposed San Antonio Mine and other proposed mines to aquifers in the La Paz Basin and San Jose Aquifer that Los Cabos and La Paz municipalities depend upon.

  • North America

    North West Mexico

    Baja Peninsula

    Baja California Sur Estate


    • Cabo San Lucas: 128,057

    • San José del Cabo: 87,488

    • Total: 215,545


    • Cabo San Lucas: 3,641 Ha.

    • San José del Cabo: 4,234 Ha.

    • Corridor: 1,438 Ha.

    • Total: 9,313 Ha

    Average annual temperature:

    • 18 to 22 Celsius

    200 mm of rain per year

    Main economic activity:

    • Tourism (12,621 hotel rooms available in the area)


    • 1970 to 2010 = 20 events.

    IMPLAN: Los Cabos Context

    San José del Cabo

    Cabo San Lucas

  • Desalination and Renewable Energy Public and private desalination projects underway in the Municipality of Los Cabos.

    Los Cabos Municipality receives water from a desalination project operated under a concession, and a further concession is being considered.

    A public desalination project operated under a concession is being considered for the Municipality of La Paz.

    Subject to private finance and concession, Los Cabos is considering renewable energy project.

    Los Cabos uses hydrocarbons to generate power.

    Extensive private desalination projects in Los Cabos in tourism sector due to tariffs and water shortfalls.

    Large and small scale examples of renewable energy and desalination briefly explored.

  • Built in 2007 with an investment of $30 Million, it has been financed by the Fondo de Inversión en Infraestructura (FINFRA), a credit by the Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos, S.N.C. (BANOBRAS) and Risk Capital Investment by (Grupo OHL).

    This is the first large scale desalination plant to be constructed in Mexico, and the Los Cabos Plant has a capacity of 17

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