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Lowering of Groundwater Levels in the Sabana de Bogota

Descenso de Niveles de Agua Subterránea en la Sabana de Bogotá

Author: Alberto Lobo-Guerrero U.

Download complete PDF file of Spanish paper here >
Related publication in English about hydrogeology in Colombia (No. 13) >
Related publication about effects of aquifer overexploitation, Sabana (No. 14) >
Related publication on geology and hydrogeology of Sabana de Bogota (No. 16) >
Related publication on the Bogota Fault (No. 23) >
Related publication on geological field trip around Sabana de Bogota (No. 24) >
Related publication on the Sabana Petroleum Basin (No. 25) >
Other downloadable documents related to engineering geology >
Other downloadable documents related to hydrogeology >

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ABSTRACT
Two case studies are here presented to prove descent of groundwater potentiometric level in the western portion of the artesian Sabana de Bogotá basin. The first case, located in Facatativá, documents groundwater level descent in free aquifers of the Guadalupe Formation, during 24 years. The second, in the El Rosal region, presents descent in artesian leaky aquifers in the Sabana and Tilatá Formations, during the past five years. All groundwater users in the basin face a problem: they have to pump deeper every year, and must replace wells for others of increasing higher cost. We are transforming a renewable natural resource into a non-renewable one. This takes place precisely when surface water resources are not enough to satisfy the demand.

Grondwater level descent is the main cause of uneven compaction and land subsidence observed in surface layers of the Sabana Formation, of severe damage to constructions and pavement, and of over-pressure in deep water wells. Negative experiences in the Mexico Valley, also composed of non-consolidated lacustrine sediments, are being repeated in the Sabana de Bogotá.

Subsidence due to un-controlled groundwater extraction is now well understood by hydrogeology and may be remedied. Groundwater is indispensable for supply to several towns, agricultural irrigation and industrial applications in the Sabana de Bogotá. The region cannot continue without having a sound administration of this renewable natural resource.

RESUMEN
Para comprobar el descenso de niveles potenciométricos del agua subterránea en la cuenca artesiana de la Sabana de Bogotá se presentan dos casos de la parte occidental de la cuenca. El primer caso, en la región de Facatativá, documenta descenso de niveles en acuíferos libres de la Formación Guadalupe durante 24 años. El segundo, en la región de El Rosal, presenta descenso de niveles en acuíferos artesianos de goteo de las Formaciones Sabana y Tllatá, durante los últimos cinco años. Se ha generado un problema para todos los usuarios del agua subterránea: es preciso bombear cada vez a mayor profundidad reemplazando los pozos por otros cada vez más costosos. Estamos transformando un recurso natural renovable en un recurso no renovable. Esto sucede precisamente cuando los recursos de agua superficial ya no dan abasto.

El descenso regional del agua subterránea es la principal causa de los fenómenos de compactación y hundimiento que se observan en las capas superficiales de la Formación Sabana, de los destrozos en construcciones y pavimentos, y de sobrepresiones en pozos profundos. En la Sabana de Bogotá se está duplicando la experiencia negativa del Valle de México, también constituido por sedimentos lagunares no consolidados.

La subsidencia debida a extracción descontrolada del agua es ahora un asunto bien entendido por la hidrogeología y puede contrarrestarse. En la Sabana de Bogotá el agua subterránea es indispensable para suministro a varias poblaciones, riego en agricultura y para usos industriales. La región no puede continuar sin una buena administración de este recurso natural renovable.
 
  Download complete PDF file of Spanish paper here >
Related publication in English about hydrogeology in Colombia (No. 13) >
Related publication about effects of aquifer overexploitation, Sabana (No. 14) >
Related publication on geology and hydrogeology of Sabana de Bogota (No. 16) >
Related publication on the Bogota Fault (No. 23) >
Related publication on geological field trip around Sabana de Bogota (No. 24) >
Related publication on the Sabana Petroleum Basin (No. 25) >
Other downloadable documents related to engineering geology >
Other downloadable documents related to hydrogeology >
 
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