PRACTICAL ADAPTATIONS OF ANCESTRAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GROUNDWATER ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE MANAGEMENT OF MANGLARALTO COASTAL AQUIFER, ECUADOR
Free (open access)
375 - 386
PAÚL CARRIÓN, GRICELDA HERRERA, JOSUÉ BRIONES, CRISTHIAN SÁNCHEZ, JONNY LIMÓN
UNESCO Universal Declaration about Cultural Diversity of 2001 establishes that traditional and ancestral knowledge are heritage whose value goes beyond the originating communities. In fact, they are a source of creativity and innovation. Also, their recognition promotes social inclusion and participation. In rural areas such as Manglaralto, which is part of the coastal zone of Ecuador, its residents face the challenge of managing water. Community participation and ancestral practices have been relevant mechanisms to handle water problems. Both elements have allowed the inhabitants to develop and adapt techniques to recharge aquifers, which are a natural underground storage. The aim of this research is to analyze the practical adaptation for improving the application of artificial recharge through ancestral knowledge in a community research project with the support of ESPOL Polytechnic University for the management of coastal aquifer Manglaralto. Therefore, the methodological process includes: i) the Participatory-Action-Research (PAR) cycle through observation-reflection with the concurrence of the Manglaralto community through the Regional Board of Water in Manglaralto; ii) the sequential registers of community practices that respond to the growing demand for water in the river-aquifer context; and iii) an analysis of the practical adaptations for artificial aquifer recharge. The research study includes the implementation of dykes, “tapes” (historical term in Spanish for “dykes”), as part of ancestral knowledge. The dykes were made by the community with the technical support of the university and the interactive participation of the population. Hence, the tapes have been developed and improved through the trial and error method under the PAR framework. Currently, the dyke has evolved, as it has had several modifications from its first artisanal design to its technical construction within a pragmatic, economic and functional scheme. Consequently, the community shows how ancestral knowledge provides solutions for handling complex issues such as the artificial recharge of the aquifer.
ancestral knowledge, aquifer, artificial recharge, PAR methodology