Estimation of water erosion in the Necaxa system, Puebla, Mexico


Rodrigo Roblero
Jesús Chávez-Morales
Laura A. Ibáñez-Castillo
Oscar L. Palacios-Vélez


erosion, basin management, map algebra.


Objective: To estimate the potential and current water erosion in the Necaxa system and to propose alternatives aimed to reduce the siltation problem in the hydraulic infrastructure.
Design/methodology/approach: The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was applied, using a Geographic Information System to process the map algebra.
Results: The current estimated water erosion was 159 t ha-1 per year; this factor impacts the loss of farmland and soil nutrients, the accumulation of matter towards urban areas, the siltation of riverbeds and dams, and the loss of the system’s hydraulic works capacity.
Study limitations/implications: No data about runoff plots in the field is available; therefore, it is not possible to compare current water erosion values with those obtained by the USLE applied, using the map algebra technique.

Findings/conclusions: The reforestation and conservation agriculture proposal would help to reduce erosion to 16 t ha -1 per year. However, if control actions are not carried out and the current vegetation cover is not preserved, the problem can increase until it reaches potential erosion values >200 t ha -1 per year.

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