The first drying lake in Chile: Causes and recovery options

Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda, Pablo García-Chevesich, Juan B. Valdés, Roberto Pizarro-Tapia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Located southwest of the city of Santiago (Chile), the Aculeo Lagoon used to be an important body of water, providing environmental, social, and economic services to both locals (mostly drinking water and small-scale agricultural irrigation) and tourists who visited the area for fishing, sailing, and other recreational activities. The lagoon dried completely in May of 2018. The phenomenon has been attributed to the current climatic drought. We implemented and calibrated a surface-groundwater model to evaluate the hydrogeologic causes of the lagoon's disappearance, and to develop feasible solutions. The lagoon's recovery requires a series of urgent actions, including environmental education and significant investment in infrastructure to import water. Ultimately, there are two goals: bringing back historic water levels and ensuring the sustainability of water resources at the catchment scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number290
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Aculeo lagoon
  • Chile
  • Drought
  • Water demands
  • Water management
  • Water scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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