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Environment/Energy (Climate change)

Study on the Impact of Glacier Retreat on Water Resource Availability for the Cities of La Paz and El Alto Monitoring from an Eye in Space: Securing Water for a City of 2 Million Above the Clouds

Principal Investigator (Affiliation)
  • SDGs13
  • SDGs6
Prof.
TANAKA Hitoshi
(Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University)
Research Institutions in Japan Tohoku University / Fukushima University / Tokyo Institute of Technology / Nihon University
Research Institutions in Bolivia San Andrés Main University's Instituto de Hidráulica e Hidrología(IHH-UMSA), etc.
Adoption fiscal year FY 2009
Research Period 5 Years
ODA Recipient Country The Plurinational State of Bolivia
General Description of the Research Project

Climate change is threatening an enormous reservoir of pure water with extinction
Climate change is causing the glaciers in Bolivia to accelerate melt, and there are concerns that water resources may run dry in the future. One study found a 56% glacier loss in the past 50 years. This project will work to develop monitoring techniques for securing sustainable water resources. Efforts will focus on projecting the amount of glacier melting that will occur in the future and estimating the changes in water demand accompanying urban population growth. The project will also consider reservoir sediment management and water environment, as well as the water quality of alternative water sources, and will include modeling to support water resource policy from a multifaceted perspective.

Water resources viewed from a multifaceted perspective to develop new management models
Satellite data will be used to analyze changes in glacier and snow area in the Andes highlands. The project is also working on projecting the accumulation of sediment in reservoirs, assessing water quality, examining changes in demand for water in the capital La Paz and the neighboring city of El Alto, and conducting water quality surveys of alternative water sources. The results of these studies will be integrated to reveal the impact of melt water from glaciers on water resources, and used in the creation of water resource management models for La Paz and El Alto.

Photo gallery
Wetlands extend throughout the area downstream of the glacier. Water and energy cycle will be observed in this unique environment of tropical and arid regions at an elevation of 4,500 m.

Wetlands extend throughout the area downstream of the glacier. Water and energy cycle will be observed in this unique environment of tropical and arid regions at an elevation of 4,500 m.

The Condoriri Glacier, the major source of water for the cities of La Paz and El Alto

The Condoriri Glacier, the major source of water for the cities of La Paz and El Alto

Field survey by Bolivia & Japan research team at altitude about 4500m

Field survey by Bolivia & Japan research team at altitude about 4500m

Topographical survey of glacier

Topographical survey of glacier

Research Project Web site http://grande.civil.tohoku.ac.jp/index_e.html
Press Release
Reports
Links “What we can learn from international research collaborations: Global environmental issues and Japan's role in science and technology”
Highlighting Japan, February, 2015

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