Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Analysis of future land use changes and water availability in the Nicaraguan Southwest as a result of the construction of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal

Version 1 : Received: 11 September 2017 / Approved: 11 September 2017 / Online: 11 September 2017 (16:57:08 CEST)

How to cite: Muñoz Ardila, A.; Rebscher, A.; Hack, J. Analysis of future land use changes and water availability in the Nicaraguan Southwest as a result of the construction of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal. Preprints 2017, 2017090045 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201709.0045.v1). Muñoz Ardila, A.; Rebscher, A.; Hack, J. Analysis of future land use changes and water availability in the Nicaraguan Southwest as a result of the construction of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal. Preprints 2017, 2017090045 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201709.0045.v1).

Abstract

Nicaragua is preparing the construction of an interoceanic canal that will be the longest and largest canal on earth. An environmental and social impact assessment has been published in 2014 supporting a general viability of the canal. Nonetheless, several scientist and societal actors raised serious concerns regarding the social, economic and ecological sustainability. Despite an open dispute within the Nicaraguan society, no independent, transparent and scientifically sound assessment has been carried out. Only the environmental and social impact assessment, charged by the canal constructor, has so far been realized. The aim of this study is to contribute to an open scientific debate through an objective and independent quantification of land use and hydrological impacts. This article presents a transparently documented and comprehensible impact assessment investigation of the West Canal Segment of the Nicaragua Canal. Based on publically available data and scientifically sound and recognized methods land use, hydrological (water availability) and socio-economic impacts (streets, population) are described, quantified and compared with official declarations in the impact assessment. While some results support official declarations other do not. The number of affected population and the water use of the Brito Lock resulted much higher in this study, for instance. Hence, society and water availability could be affected much higher than estimated in the impact assessment.

Subject Areas

Interoceanic Canal; Nicaragua; environmental impact; water availability; land use classification

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