Can renewable energy technologies improve the management of stressed water resources threatened by climate change? Argentine drylands case study | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Diciembre 2013
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

This work addresses increasing concerns about water management for rural productive activities in the vast dry regions of Latin America by assessing renewable energy technologies (RETs) that could be suitable for localized needs. Forecasted trends in climate change and variability make this analysis very relevant, in an area where very little published work exists. While Argentina is widely known for its fertile pampas, around 75 % of the country consists of dry lands. In addition, erosion is increasing by up to 650,000 hectares each year. The coordinated adoption of a set of actions, including land use planning and strengthening productive activities that guarantee access to water and improve water and soil management is needed. Renewable energies could help towards achieving these aims, if water is made available at affordable costs and with suitable technologies. This paper evaluates experiences with three RETs—photovoltaic pumping from deep wells, small wind turbine pumping, and high-power wind turbines, and discusses a potential role for use in rural Argentina. Although cheaper and more reliable renewable alternatives to energy sources such as diesel could be used for pumping from groundwater resources in isolated locations, limitations arise when pumping head and/or water volume requirements are large or highly seasonal. The cost increases and technical challenges of accessing this deeper water, as indicated by case studies, emphasize the importance of planning and support schemes development.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Nadal, Gustavo Horacio
Bravo, Gonzalo
Girardin, Leonidas Osvaldo
Gortari, Sebastián


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