Date of Completion

Spring 4-29-2016

Thesis Advisor(s)

Amvrossios C. Bagtzoglou

Honors Major

Environmental Engineering


Earth Sciences | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Monitoring | Hydrology | Water Resource Management


Groundwater in Panama is a valuable and poorly understood resource. Its exploitation has increased 75% in the past decade, reaching a total value of 700,000 m3/day or 185 million gallons per day (MGD). Climate change has caused a lengthening of the dry season, which has reduced precipitation and streamflow, resulting in surface water scarcity during this period. Nevertheless, it has not been possible to determine the extent to which groundwater sources have been affected by these factors since systematic monitoring of groundwater levels has not been implemented in Panama. With support from National Institution of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation of Panama (IDAAN), information was gathered to develop a hydrogeological conceptual model of the La Villa River Watershed, located in south central Panama. Starting from May 2015, groundwater levels have been measured on a monthly basis in 37 inactive IDAAN wells within the selected watershed. In general, groundwater levels increased during the study period (May to October 2015), and it was determined that water table response time to precipitation changes is about one to two months. Drilling logs obtained from IDAAN’s archives revealed the existence of an important layer of tuffaceous agglomerate underlying the lower portion of the watershed and also illustrate the region’s complex geology. It was concluded that in order to better understand the groundwater behavior in La Villa Watershed, more information needs to be gathered and a mathematical groundwater model needs to be constructed.