Estimation of Glacier Melt Water Contribution for Human Consumption in the Royal Andes Considering Temperature Measurement Errors


Glaciers from the West side of the Royal Andes are an important source of fresh water for some of the most important Bolivian cities like El Alto. Temperature is an important datum for hydrological modelling and for glacier melt estimation. All temperature measurement devices have some degree of uncertainty due to systematic errors; thus, any temperature measurement has some errors. It is important to estimate the influence of such errors on the results from hydrological models and the estimation of melt water. The present study estimates the melt water contribution from the glaciers Tuni and Huayna West as a source of water supply for human consumption of El Alto considering the errors from temperature measurements. The hydrologic response of the basins was simulated with a hydrologic model. The glacier melt contribution was estimated as the difference between the discharge from the current scenario (with glaciers) and the discharge from a scenario without glaciers. Several volumes of melt water were estimated considering the temperature measurement and its possible errors. The uncertainty of such melt water volume was addressed by performing a Monte Carlo analysis of the possible melt water. The melt water contribution from glacier Tuni and Huayna West during the hydrologic year 2011-2012 was between 1.37 × 106 m3 and 1.72 × 106 m3. Such water volume is enough to meet the yearly water demand of between 6.81% and 8.55% of El Alto.

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Quiroga, V. , Mano, A. , Asaoka, Y. , Udo, K. , Kure, S. and Mendoza, J. (2014) Estimation of Glacier Melt Water Contribution for Human Consumption in the Royal Andes Considering Temperature Measurement Errors. Open Journal of Modern Hydrology, 4, 27-43. doi: 10.4236/ojmh.2014.42003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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