PROTECT Project 4 Leader Ingrid Padilla to Participate in International Karst Research Project

PROTECT Project 4 leader Dr. Ingrid Padilla is collaborating in a new international research project, financed by the German Science Foundation, to assess the effect of climate change and extreme events on infiltration, recharge, and availability of water resources in karst regions. The project “Global Assessment of Water Stress in Karst Regions in a Changing World” involves researchers from Germany, Australia, Spain, England, and Puerto Rico, and will utilize data collected from the different regions to assess the impact of climate change at a global level. Studies on the impact of global change in Puerto Rico suggest an increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as those brought by Hurricane Maria and past droughts. The work conducted in Puerto Rico, the only portion located in America, will be used to assess the impacts in tropical karst regions.

In collaboration with a team led by Dr. Andeas Hartmann, from the University of Freiburg in Germany, and Ciudadanos del Karzo (Citizens of the Karst), a community-based organization in Puerto Rico, Dr. Padilla’s team at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez will collect data on water content and temperature of soils overlying the karst aquifer in the Tallonal Natural Reserve in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Water quality and drainage through springs in the study area will also be monitored as a function of extreme events. Results collected in Puerto Rico will be compared to those obtained in other regions to assess the impacts of climate change on the volume and quality of water recharging the karst aquifers from a global perspective.

The collaboration has received media coverage in a number of news sites in Puerto Rico.

Congratulations, Ingrid!