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    Unravelling and understanding local perceptions of water quality in the Santa basin, Peru
    (Journal of Hydrology, 2023-07-19) Sally Rangecroft ; Rosa Maria Dextre ; Isabel Richter ; Claudia V. Grados Bueno ; Claire Kelly ; Cecilia Turin ; Beatriz Fuentealba ; Mirtha Camacho Hernandez ; Sergio Morera ; John Martin ; Adam Guy ; Caroline Clason
    Water quality is an integral part of water security. Measuring the physico-chemical indicators for water quality can provide an objective picture of water health, but it does not provide information on lived experiences related to water quality, expectations of water resources, nor how the quality of water affects its usage. Perceptual information and traditional ecological knowledge on water quality can help to understand interactions between water and people, and thereby support locally appropriate sustainable water resource strategies. Accordingly, our project sought to collect and synthesise insights from local perspectives on water quality in the upper Santa River basin, Peru, a region where water quality directly relates to people’s livelihoods. Perceptual data was collected via the Nuestro Rio mobile app (N = 149) as well as walking interviews (n = 84) (July-August 2021) in two main study areas, Olleros and Catac. We find that water quality perspectives differ within, and between, study areas and communities, however four overarching themes were identified, and are explored here: i) environmental indicators for water quality; ii) water uses; and iii) perceived causes of water quality; iv) water quality perceptions behind emotions. Most rural participants felt the main cause of poor water quality was mineral pollution, likely linked to local geology, however we also found that local perceptions of water quality depend on water usage, directly linked to domestic water use and agricultural livelihoods. Qualitative data highlighted the complex relationships between water quality, perceptions and emotions. More inclusive citizen-based science that considers what people observe, think and feel about the quality of their rivers can help provide a much deeper contextual understanding of dynamic human-water systems, with further benefits for improving water management and policy implementation.
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    Characteristics of cloud properties over South America and over Andes observed using CloudSat and reanalysis data
    (International Journal of Remote Sensing, 2023-04-11) Shailendra Kumar ; Jose Luis Flores ; Aldo S. Moya-Álvarez ; Daniel Martinez-Castro ; Yamina Silva
    CloudSat profile of attenuated corrected radar reflectivity (Ze) and cloud mask data are used to investigate the cloud properties over South America (SA) during Austral Summer monsoon seasons. Deep convective core (DCC), deep & intense convective systems (DCSs & ICSs), and cloud clusters (CCs) are defined based on the Ze and cloud mask values. The spatial distributions of DCCs show that land-dominated areas have higher frequency of DCCs and Atlantic Ocean has less DCCs. The Pacific Ocean does not consist of DCCs, whereas eastern flank of Andes has higher frequency of DCCs compared to western flank of the Andes. North La Plata basin (Sierra de Cordoba) has a higher fraction of deeper (shallower) DCCs. Deep convection over the Sierra de Cordoba and South La Plata Basin is characterized by precipitation-size particles compared to cloud-size particles, whereas deep convection over north La Plata Basin is dominated by mostly cloud-size particles. The horizontal span of DCSs and ICSs is higher over south La Plata Basin and Atlantic Oceans compared to other SA areas. Sierra de Cordoba (Atlantic Ocean) has the highest (lowest) frequency of small DCSs and vice versa. DCSs and ICSs show the opposite characteristic, as all the selected areas consist of a higher fraction of large (small) sized DCSs (ICSs). CCs develop more in horizontal than in vertical direction over the high latitude and vice versa over lower latitude. The CCs distribution reflects the orography and moisture flow pattern at the east and west side of Andes. The higher Ze, which is the proxy for rainfall, occurs at the eastern flank/slope of the Andes, and related to easterly moisture loaded synoptic flow, transported from Amazon and upslope flow along the slope.
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    Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Black Carbon in Peru from the Analysis of Biomass Burning Sources and the Use of Numerical Models
    ( 2023-04-08) Moya-Álvarez, Aldo S. ; Estevan, René ; Martínez-Castro, Daniel ; Silva, Yamina
    The spatial and temporal distribution of biomass burning in Peru and neighboring countries was analyzed during the 2018–2020 period, with emphasis on 2019. To determine the glaciers most affected by BC as a consequence of vegetation burning, simulations were carried out with the WRF-CHEM model, and to diagnose the origin of BC particles received by the Huaytapallana glacier, backward trajectories were built with the HYSPLIT model. It was found that, during the studied period, the burning of biomass emitted large amounts of BC into the atmosphere, while the number of fires in Peru began its most notable increase in the month of July, with maxima between August and September. Comparisons of the number of outbreaks with the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) measured at the Huancayo observatory showed a significant correlation. The Ucayali region is the one that contributes the greatest number of outbreaks and the greatest emissions are produced in the south of Loreto. The WRF model showed that the concentrations in July are still low in relation to the August–October period. The mountain ranges that received the greatest impact from BC emissions were Huaytapallana, Huagoruncho, and Vilcabamba. BC transport is mainly oriented from north to south, moving the particles from the areas of greatest burning to the glaciers located in the center and south of the country. BC concentrations over the Cordillera Blanca were lower. The diagnosis of the backward trajectories corroborated the results of WRF-CHEM and showed trajectories mostly from the north.
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    Mapping the benefits and the exchange values of provisioning ecosystem services using GIS and local ecological knowledge in a high-Andean community
    ( 2023-04-06) Madrigal-Martínez, Santiago ; Puga-Calderón, Rodrigo J. ; Castromonte-Miranda, Janina ; Cáceres, Vladimir A.
    Ecosystem services and their contribution to local economies and livelihoods still need to be fully understood and recognized by many policymakers. The primary purpose of this research is to integrate land use and land cover data and local ecological knowledge-based data with geographical information systems through a participatory approach to enhance natural resource management. We selected the Pariac-Rajucolta watershed as a study area because it is a typical landscape in the high-Andean mountains, with half of its territory inside a protected area. The methods involved a six-month participatory approach quantifying the benefits and exchange values of 33 provisioning ecosystem services, compiling the primary data from the locals and spectral information from Sentinel-2A. The results show that only agricultural and artificial areas delivered multiple benefits and offered the highest commercialization value of ecosystem ser- vices. The community mainly benefits from nutrition, materials, or energy from cultivated terrestrial plants, reared animals, wild plants, and surface water at the watershed level. At the same time, the services with high exchange proportions were mainly short -only meat of guinea pigs, manure, wild fruits, mushrooms, and wild plants for food. The abundance and the spatial distribution of benefits and exchange values of ecosystem services displayed a pattern of high quantity for the downstream and low in the basin’s top and midstream of the watershed (inside the protected area). In conclusion, the study shows the importance of knowing ecosystem services benefits and exchange values as an initial approach to developing participatory strategies for managing and conserving natural resources.
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    Payment for ecosystem services in Peru: Assessing the socio-ecological dimension of water services in the upper Santa River basin
    (Ecosystem Services, 2022-08) Rosa María Dextre ; María Luisa Eschenhagen ; Mirtha Camacho Hernández ; Sally Rangecroft ; Caroline Clason ; Laurence Couldrick ; Sergio Morera
    Increasing pressures on ecosystems in the Latin American region, as well as the adoption of multilateral conservation commitments, have led to the implementation of instruments that are economic in nature but oriented towards the recovery, conservation, and functioning of ecosystems such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). In the Peruvian Andes, hydro-climatic factors and land-use changes are affecting the capacity of the ecosystems of the glaciated Cordillera Blanca to provide water services, in terms of both quality and quantity, to the main users of the Santa River basin. Thus, this study analyses how the socio-ecological interactions affect, and are affected by, the planned introduction of water-related PES in the Quillcay sub-basin, the most populated sub-basins along the Santa River basin. We use a conceptual model based on the current evolution of the water metabolism approach to integrate into a common language of analysis the multiple dimensions of water: water as an ecological fund, as a service, and as a political asset. To explore the interface of these three domains of analysis we rely on a mixed-method data collection: primary data collection through a stakeholder survey and interviews and a review of information from secondary sources. The result of our case study shows that both the ecological dimension and the social dimension affect on the PES project and vice versa. These complex interactions could result in the design of a mechanism in which not all stakeholders benefit equally. This raises the need to recognise the multidimensional nature of water in the design and implementation of policies, and the importance of identifying processes and barriers which affect the success of these policies without making invisible the direct effect they also have on social-ecological systems.