Natural or green infrastructure to face the effects of extreme events, benefits and proposal of application in Chosica, Lima, Peru

Dr Sandra Paula Villacorta Chambi1, Ken Evans1,2, Nicanor Prendes3, Ignacio Villanueva4, Cesar Abad5

1Charles Darwin University, Casuarina, Australia, 2Surface Water & Erosion Solutions, Casuarina, Australia, 3Spanish Office of Climate Change, Madrid, Spain, 4University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain, 5Presidential Cabinet of Peru, Lima, Peru

In Peru, some initiatives have been launched recently to create a more favourable environment to prevent deforestation and subsequent environmental hazard development. Moreover, mechanisms to encourage investments linked to “Natural or Green Infrastructure” have been developed. For example, “Sembramos Agua” funding of the Water and Sewerage Service of Lima, has created a platform to encourage compensation mechanisms for ecosystem services and the natural infrastructure is currently recognized within the framework of investment by the Peruvian government. At the implementation level in Peru, such other growing countries, this kind of initiatives are in progress.

Local and national authorities in the Latin American region have limited knowledge of the benefits of using green technology to address geodynamic problems, such as flood and debris flow, that impact the region year after year. It should be noted that natural infrastructure for flood mitigation is one that is configured under an approach based on the conservation of ecosystems to increase resilience to floods and at the same time contributes to the improvement of a self-sustainable community. In this context, it also contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of communities (Benedict, 2006). However, although there has been created regulations, precise methodologies for targeting these interventions are needed.

This approach was tested empirically by professionals of the National Engineering University of Peru in Chasquitambo (Ancash, Peru) in 2017. It experienced by the first time the effectiveness of this kind of infrastructure in debris-flows prevention during the rainy season produced by the “Coastal El Niño” phenomenon of that year. This alternative is based on the concept that a hydrographic basin is a flow management system that “resembles” the structure of a leaf. Leaf vein development models have been used in landform evolution models of river basin (Willgoose, 1989) and the method requires the efficient use of debris-flow energy using a series of constructed drains similar to that dendritic pattern.

In this framework, this article presents the proposal to apply this option in the Carossio stream basin in the Chosica district (Lima, Peru). It is planned to use pedraplens (handcrafted rock embankments) which distribution will be designed using numerical modelling of non-Newtonian events which involve a friction formulation. This exercise will hopefully contribute to the debris flows assessment, the application of recent trends to develop sustainable environmental solutions to future crises and to promote resilient and self-sufficient cities in Peru.

Key words: Natural or Green Infrastructure, Prevention, Extreme events, rock embankment


PhD in Research, Modelling and Environmental Risk Analysis, MSc in Sustainable Use of Mineral Resource, BSc in Geological Engineering. 14 years of research experience at Geological, Minning and Metallurgical Institute, Peru. Currently, Research Fellow at Charles Darwin University (Australia). Former coordinator of Peruvian section – International Association for Promoting Geoethics

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