Water transfer effects on peri-urban land use/land cover: A case study in a semi-arid region of Mexico
|Water transfer effects on peri-urban land use/land cover: A case study in a semi-arid region of Mexico
|Year of Publication
|Díaz-Caravantes, RE, Sánchez-Flores, E
There is an extensive body of literature that links land use/land cover (LULC) changes with population dynamics. In this study, a new variable, water transfers, is included in this land–livelihood relationship. By including water transfers, which are defined as a reallocation of water among water users, we expand the scope of land studies, exploring a broader and more complex explanation for LULC changes. Water transfers from peri-urban to urban areas dramatically affect the livelihoods of peri-urban residents, and as a consequence, LULC in the peri-urban area is transformed. This study evaluated the LULC change dynamics and their effects in the peri-urban area of the city of Hermosillo, Sonora (Mexico) by combining interviews and remote sensing analysis. This study demonstrates that urban expansion causes at least two other types of LULC changes beyond the urban fringe that are not usually detected or explained in common LULC change studies. The first of these is the loss of agricultural land due to water transfers from peri-urban communities to the city. The second is the transformation of grazing lands to recreational ranchettes (known as lotes campestres) acquired by urban families, where a decrease of vegetation cover takes place. Thus, we demonstrated that in the peri-urban area, water is a critical factor that produces LULC changes and we identified a new land use type, recreational ranchettes.