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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

versão impressa ISSN 1405-3322


DAVILA PORCEL, René Alberto  e  GOMEZ, Héctor de León. Importance of urban hydrogeology; key science for sustainable urban development. Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex [online]. 2011, vol.63, n.3, pp.463-477. ISSN 1405-3322.

Urban expansion as a result of continuous population growth as well as the creation of a large variety of industries and the parallel high human population density require a sufficient supply of clean water. In many cities around the world groundwater is the main source of potable water. In turn, anthropogenic activities discharge large volumes of waste water and industrial effluents. The use of a variety of chemicals and hydrocarbons causes pollution of groundwater supplies and soils. The complex interaction between groundwater flow systems and cities (infrastructure, city process, activities and discharge) requires increasingly complex studies, which is why a new branch of science has emerged under the name of "urban hydrogeology", considered to be a specialization within the hydrogeological sciences. This paper provides a general vision of urban hydrogeology that allows understanding its conceptual aspects, its scope of application and management. The information presented refers to the interdependence of cities and groundwater use. The paper details the processes and mechanisms studied through this new branch of knowledge as well as their effects in relation to the physical and chemical properties of water quality (pollution processes). Case studies are discussed in order to have a variety of viewpoints on environmental impacts, theoretical development and technological advances developed in order to seek efficient solutions. We highlight guidelines and models for sustainable groundwater management in urban settings that have been developed with the aim of protecting the environment and urban residents’ public health through an integral analysis.

Palavras-chave : hydrogeology; city; recharge; subsidence; pollution; water management.

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