Evaluation of contamination risk of aquifers of the Limoncocha Biological Reserve, Ecuadorian Amazon Region
Groundwater is one of the main supply sources of the inhabitants of Limoncocha and Pompeya parishes, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon region. The Limoncocha Biological Reserve (Spanish acronym, “RBL”) is located in this region, and its area of influence (AI) has an underground ecosystem which receives a substantial supply of water from external flows. Traditionally, groundwater has been considered "protected" by the subsoil. However, the disposal of stable pollutants from human activities in areas favorable to infiltration could cause the contamination of this resource, risking the health of the population and the reserve's sustainability. Consequently, it was proposed that an assessment be done of the risk of groundwater contamination of the RBL and AI by overlapping the vulnerability map of the aquifer using the GODS method with an inventory of pollutant loads by the POSH method. In this way, measures for the protection of this resource might be prioritized. In most of the study area there was no danger of groundwater contamination. Nevertheless, areas of moderate and high risk were found. Measures to prevent the deterioration of the underground water quality were therefore proposed.
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