Climate and Hydrology Research

This program has two main objectives:

1) To generate meteorological data and information about water resources, as this type of data, which has significant value for the use of natural resources is scarce in the region.

2) To analyze the data in order to create recommendations for actions and technical and scientific strategies.

The information is generated at four levels:

1) The ICC’s Weather Station Network
The ICC operates a network of 30 weather stations that generate data for seven variables every 15 minutes. The information is available in real time on our platform:

2) The ICC’s Hydrometric Station Network
The ICC has committed to creating a network of hydrometric stations that will allow it to monitor the flow of rivers in the Pacific Slope in real time. This network currently consists of three stations. However, because the project is still in its initial stage, the data generated from these stations is managed internally within the ICC.

3) The capacity of rivers in the dry season
The ICC generates information that is used as a principal material to guide technical roundtables and committees regarding the use of water in a rational manner. In addition, the ICC measuring the flows of 52 rivers are being carried out and have generated more than 6,000 data points each year (season 2018-19). The information generated has contributed to fulfilling the main objective of the local technical roundtables: Ensuring that the water, which is a common good, arrives to the mouth of the river on a permanent basis.

4) The levels of community wells
a. Groundwater is a strategic resource on the south coast. Around 40% of the population lacks running water at home and relies on wells to access groundwater. The ICC monitors 249 wells four times a year to follow changes in the water levels and to anticipate any problems that might occur in the region.

The analysis of generated data allows the ICC to work in six main research areas:

1) Meteorology:
Analysis of meteorological data generated by the ICC’s Weather Station Network; annual meteorological summary; standardization of rain gauges used in the area; analysis of temperature inversion; analysis of intensity of rainfall; determination of the water balance; monitoring of storms and weather events that could affect the country; and, the of creation of a bulletin related to El Niño.

2) Agrometeorology
Analysis of weather conditions and their influence on the crops; development of a controlled-burn system; analysis of crop productivity and its relationship to climate; and, development of studies for the projection of pests and the drift of areal applications based on the weather conditions.

3) Climatology
Statistical analysis of climatic variables; analysis of the beginning and end of the rainy season; characterization of the occurrence of the canícula (the short drought in the rainy season) in the south coast of Guatemala; characterization of meteorological droughts and wet periods (floods); and, characterization of the wind’s direction.

4) Hydrology
Analysis of hydrological processes; analysis of hydrometric information; and, flood zoning on the south coast of Guatemala.

5) Water management
Generation of materials and recommendations for the management of water on the south coast; monitoring of and communication with users to support the coordination of water use; and, generation of annual reports.

6) Groundwater
Generation of basic knowledge regarding the operation of groundwater systems in the region; maps of the piezometric level; characterization of the subsoil using geophysical surveys; water quality analysis; numerical models; isotope analysis; hydrological balance; and, saline intrusion studies.

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