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Title: Multidisciplinary approach to support the design of a local policy of payment for hydrological ecosystem services, in a microwatershed located in northern Veracruz, Mexico
Author: Fuentes, Jorge Luis Chagoya
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 6615
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2009
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It is common to assume that a deforestation processes affects the availability of fresh water in domestic pipelines. It is also frequent to read in ecosystem protection policies that one strategy to resolve water supply problems is to protect the natural forests in the headwaters. In Latin America, schemes of Payment of Hydrological Ecosystem Services (PHES) are proposed like to be an answer to confront water supply problems (i. e. FONAGEcuador, PSA-Costa Rica and PSAH-Mexico, among others). Unfortunately, these policies are supported in cause-effect assumptions without scientific evidence, and enclose the risk of generating false expectations among water users and politicians. With the target to understand the complexity involved in the design of PHES policies, this thesis developed a methodology to generate basic information that will be used in the construction of local PHES policy. The methodological proposal was tested in a micro-watershed located in northern Veracruz, Mexico, and consisted in nine steps: 1) to review the Federal and State laws that could regulate the implementation of a local scheme of PHES; 2) to identify communities with water supply problems; 3) to locate springs and to delimitate their recharge area (RA); 4) to measure spring base flows; 5) to identify main land uses in the RA and to determine their soil hydrologic behaviour; 6) to calculate the Opportunity Cost (OC) of the natural forests located in the RA; 7) to identify highland landlords points of view regarding a payment scheme to protect natural forest, to identify water user points of view regarding payment of land OC; and 9) to establish the feasibility to implement a local scheme of PHES with base in all the information generated. Results indicated that biophysical (i. e. geology, hydrology, land use, soil type and weather), socioeconomic (i. e. land use culture, water use culture and population growth), and other factors (i. e. hydraulic infrastructure and land tenure rights) need to be taken into account to design local PHES policies. For example; biophysical information helps avoid false expectations about land use change effect in the hydrological cycle. Socioeconomic data indicated that communities' organization is an activity that needs to be developed prior to the implementation of a PHES policy. Other information revealed that hydraulic infrastructure needs to be modernized with the objective of storing and distributing the fresh water released by the aquifer. In conclusion, the information generated with the multidisciplinary methodology proposed in this research indicated that a PHES policy is one part of the strategy to confront the water supply problem in the rural communities under study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available