Responsible Development in Tulum, Mexico: Considering Water Quality and Subaqueous Cave Locations
Water quality results show that nitrate contamination is within acceptable limits according to Mexican water standards. These results would likely be very different if the samples had been taken during the dry season when nitrate contamination is more concentrated. Chloride and sodium concentrations are well above Mexican water standards; the water supply that the city of Tulum relies upon is already experiencing salinization. It is likely that higher future withdrawals from this water source will be increasingly more saline, which may necessitate a different freshwater source for the city. Mapping of the known subaqueous caves shows that the vast majority of the network (81%) is overlaid by forest and is therefore less likely to be contaminated from the surface. Future development according to the UDP of Tulum will occur above a substantial area of subterranean caves. To protect water quality, the UDP should be altered to take cave locations into consideration. High impact development should be resituated and land above the cave systems should be zoned for limited, if any, development.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:yucatan water quality
Date of Publication:04/24/2009