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Bosque (Valdivia)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9200


BASCUNAN WALKER, Francisco. Urban growth and CO2 balance in the Elqui river basin (Chile). Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2010, vol.31, n.2, pp. 109-116. ISSN 0717-9200.

The study aimed to establish the relationship between the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by the growth of urban population and its rural surroundings fix capacity. We studied the catchment of the river Elqui, Coquimbo region, and determined the total amount of CO2 generated by its population. Per capita emission of that gas was linked to income and projected population growth of the territory under consideration. In parallel, the binding capacity of these plantations in the watershed was determined; which was compared with total production of carbon dioxide, by defining a maximum threshold of population growth. The study showed that the relationship of sustainability for Elqui basin was 1:61, i.e. the emission of CO2 in one hectare of urban housing growth would be set by 61’s of tree growth. In connection with the case study, the total CO2 emitted exceeds the binding capacity of the basin at 77 %. It was concluded that to avoid a cumulative increase of CO2, the binding capacity of the territory analyzed plantation and the producing property (building permits) should be directly linked.

Palabras clave : urban growth; CO2; sustainability; fixation capacity.

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