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A water allocation study was conducted for Yauco, Puerto Rico. This municipality faces a water deficit to a combination of high water demands by the growing population and an inadequate water supply infrastructure. The Southwest Project, a complex hydroelectric system that consists of interbasin water transfers, two hydropower plants, and five reservoirs, controls water resources in Yauco. Multiple water users are dependent on the Southwest Project for hydropower generation, land irrigation, water supply, aquatic habitat restoration, waste disposal, and flood control. In this study, the average (Q50) and safe yields (Q99) of the Southwest Project were determined based on empirical operational data. The computed water yields were compared with existing and future consumptive and non-consumptive water demands. A water allocation proposal, consistent with the current water use public policy in Puerto Rico is presented to improve the Yauco potable water system. The complex nature of the Southwest Project and the variety of the water uses, however, require immediate management actions to guarantee future water supplies. The study concludes with a list of recommendations aimed at improving water resources management in this area.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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