Reservoirs

South American reservoirs occur at a wide range of latitudes, from the tropics to the Temperate Zone, but are particularly numerous in Brazil. Table 2 summarizes some morphometric parameters and theoretical residence times of 55 South American reservoirs. Two periods can be distinguished in South American reservoir construction: (i) end of 19th century-middle 20th century, and (ii) final decades of 20th century-present. In the early period the main objectives were local water storage for domestic and agricultural purposes, fish production and small-scale hydroelectricity production. Thus, reservoirs were small with relatively simple morphometry and volumes less than 100 million m3. In the second period of construction, size, volume and morpho-metric complexity increased and uses extended to large-scale hydroelectric power generation, irrigation and fishery. Particularly, hydroelectric power generation is of paramount importance in South America and will further increase in future years. For instance, Brazil generates >93%, Paraguay nearly 100%, Peru 74%, Venezuela 73%, Ecuador 68%, Colombia 68%, and Chile 57% of their electrical energy from hydropower (Figure 2).

The need for reservoir management dramatically increased after the second phase of large-scale reservoir construction. Nevertheless, this management is complicated due to the morphometric, functional and operational characteristics of large reservoirs. As a consequence, many limnological studies were developed in the rivers prior to the reservoir

Table 2 Morphometric parameters and theoretical residence times of some South American reservoirs

Reservoir

Latitude

Longitude

Elevation

Area

Mean

Max

Theoretical

(m.a.s.l.)

(km2)

depth (m)

depth (m)

residence time (days)

Gurí

6°59'N

62°40'W

270

4250

30

170

Aguada Blanca

2°16'S

72°16'W

3666

3980

Tucuri

3°4'S

49°12'W

72

2430

17.3

75

51

Yacyreta

27°30'S

56°48'W

82

1600

13.1

26

Itaipu

25°33'S

54°37'W

223

1460

21.5

140

40

Trees Marias

18°15'S

44° 18'W

585

1120

6.8

~30

29

Chongon

2°13'S

80°06'W

15

1100

El Fraile

16°08'S

71°08'W

4000

1087

72

Bonete

32°49'S

56°25'W

1070

32

150

Ezequiel Ramos Mexia

39°30'S

69°00'W

381

816

24.7

60

422

Salto Grande

31 °00'S

57°50'W

35

783

6.4

33

12

Jurumirim

23°29'S

49°52'W

568

446

12.9

40

322

Los Barreales

38°35'S

68°50'W

421

413.1

67

120

864

Casa de Piedra

38°15'S

67°30'W

285

360

11.1

39

375

Petit Saut

5°05'N

53°15'E

360

35

150

Palmar

33°03'S

57°27'W

320

15

16

Piedra del Aguila

40°20'S

70° 10'W

590

305

41.3

120

202

Boa Esperanca

6°45'S

43°34'W

304

300

~35

196

Río Hondo

27°30'S

65°00'W

275

296.7

5.3

24.5

173

Volta Grande

20°10'S

48°25'W

222

10.2

25

El Pane

15°18'S

71°00'W

4500

185

Mari Menuco

38°36'S

68°37'W

414

173.9

79.3

140

432

Cabra Corral

25°18'S

65°25'W

1037

115

27

67

936

Baygorria

32°53'S

56°25'W

100

20

3

El Nihuil

35°04'S

68°45'W

1325

96

4

20

141

Urre Lauquen

38°05'S

65°49'W

219

95

1.6

Urugua-i

25°55'S

54°22'W

197

88.4

13.5

69

Amutui Quimey

43°03'S

71°42'W

485

86.7

64.7

368

Betania

Colombia

564

74

28

Tucupido

9°31'N

70° 18'W

260.5

68.6

27

72

Alicuraí

40°40'S

71°00'W

705

67.5

48.4

110

137

Florentino Ameghino

43°42'S

67°27'W

169

65

24.6

61.5

Guatape

Colombia

1887

63.4

Río Tercero I

32°12'S

64°27'W

661

54.3

13.5

46.5

303

Paranoaí

15°48'S

47° 75'W

1000

40

14.3

38

300

Arroyito

39°14'S

68°40'W

315

38.6

7.7

15

5

Boconoí

9°31'N

70° 18'W

260.5

38.4

26

52

Quebrada de Ullum

31 °30'S

68°39'W

768

32

15

40

Los Molinos

31 °50'S

64°32'W

765

21.1

16.3

53

368

San Roque

31 °22'S

64°27'W

643

15

14.1

35.3

231

El Cadillal

26°35'S

65° 14'W

611

13.5

17.8

72

184

Cerro Pelado

32°12'S

64°40'W

876

12.4

29.8

46

368

Guavio

Colombia

1640

11.6

Cruz del Eje

30°45'S

64°45'W

567

10.9

9.5

37.2

476

Agua del Toro

34°35'S

69°05'W

1240

10.5

36.2

119

112

Neusa

Colombia

2997

9.5

Jacareí-Pepira

22°26'S

48°01'W

800

3.7

3.0

12

Pampulha

19°55'S

43°56'W

2.4

5.0

16

120

La Fe

6°06'N

75°30'W

2156

1.39

20

Agua Fría

10°24N

67° 10'W

1700

0.44

13.2

38

Das Garcas

23°39'S

46°37'W

798

0.09

2.1

46

69

Dourada

22°11'S

47°55'W

715

0.08

2.6

~6.3

Monjolinho

22°01'S

47°53'W

812

0.05

1.5

30

-10

Jacareí

22°18'S

47°13'W

600

0.003

0.9

~2.2

11

Poechos

4°03'S

80°02'W

98

46

Sources: Tundisi and Matsumura Tundisi (2003) and Calcagno et a/. (1995). Refer to Table 1 and further readings section.

Sources: Tundisi and Matsumura Tundisi (2003) and Calcagno et a/. (1995). Refer to Table 1 and further readings section.

m2000

Asia

United States Central Western Europe Africa and South America

United States Central Western Europe and South America

Figure 2 Comparison of electric energy consumption and hydropower contribution to total electric generation.

construction so that environmental changes could be anticipated and subsequently documented. Such is the case of those studies developed on Itaipú reservoir. Predicted effects of reservoir aging and watershed uses have become important tools in reservoir management and operation in South America.

Thus, to maintain a sustainable use of reservoirs, the need of tightly coupled interaction between fundamental research and reservoir management becomes evident. As an example, the management of drinking water reservoirs in the Metropolitan Region of Sacó Paulo (Brazil) was improved by studies on phytoplankton ecology and biogeochemical cycles.

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