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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609


VEGA, L.; ORDONEZ, J. I.  and  PINILLA, G.. Towards a systemic assessment of environmental impact (SAEI) regarding alternative hydrosedimentological management practice in the Canal del Dique, Colombia. Ing. Investig. [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.3, pp.41-48. ISSN 0120-5609.

The Canal del Dique, located on the Colombian Caribbean Coast, can be seen as an "artificial" branch of the River Magdalena. Since its inception in 1650, it has undergone a series of interventions aimed at optimising river navigation between Cartagena and the interior of the country, little consideration having been paid to institutional, economic, social and environmental impacts. This paper presents a systemic assessment of environmental impact (SAEI) methodology, based on systemic parameterisation of the environment, proposed by Vega [2011], for the strategic environmental assessment of policy, plans, programmes or large-scale projects, considering a case study of the Canal del Dique environmental rehabilitation as proposed by the Colombian government. Information arising from the framework of an inter-administrative agreement between the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Regional Autonomous Corporation for the Rio Grande de la Magdalena (CORMAGDALENA) was used for studying the environmental restoration of and navigation in the Canal del Dique [UN-LEH, 2008]. The authors developed and summarised SAEI regarding six alternatives for hydrosedimentological management in the canal to obtain results concerning environmental impairment or improvement regarding each factor considered, and the degree of aggressiveness or betterment involved in each alternative. Alternative 4, an enhanced version of current condition (ECC) would have produced the greatest environmental benefit (i.e. limited dredging plus optimising channel-wetland interconnection) requiring the narrowing of three straight reaches along the canal and the construction of a sluice-gate system in the Strait of Paracuica (near the town of El Recreo).

Keywords : Systemic assessment of environmental impact; strategic ecosystem; environmental impact; hydrosedimentological management.

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