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Remote communities in the Peruvian Andes, as well as communities downstream, depend on the water from melting glaciers and mountain ecosystems to provide them with food and power, and to support industry.
But climate change is increasingly putting that in jeopardy, posing a serious threat to future water resources and having potentially severe implications for the vulnerable populations living in river basins fed by the glaciers.
Research - Project - Effects - Changes - System
Now a major research project is looking to establish the precise effects future changes in the glacial system might pose, and how agencies and the communities themselves can work together to mitigate the potential effects of changing water quantity and quality as the glacier retreat.
The project is being led by the University of Plymouth and the Geophysical Institute of Peru, and draws together glaciologists, hydrologists, geographers, environmental and social scientists.
UK - Newton - Fund - Natural - Environment
It is being funded in the UK through the Newton Fund, awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), while the Peru researchers are supported by CONCYTEC, the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation.
The key objectives of research include:
Role - Melt - Water - Budget - Glacier
Identifying the dynamic role of glacial melt in the basin water budget, building upon existing glacier and hydrological monitoring networks in the Cordillera Blanca and remote sensing data;
Developing a conceptual model determining the links between upstream pressures and downstream responses through identification of sources of water, sediment and contaminants from both glacier and non-glacier-fed areas;
Impact - Variability - Water - Supply - Contaminant
Evaluating the downstream impact of variability in water and sediment supply on contaminant levels and environmental quality;
Establishing local capacities to mitigate supply challenges through co-design of a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) model, designing a response to a long-term trend of decreased water availability and increased (competing) demands on resources.
Research - Research - Projects - University
The research will build on research projects led by the University...
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