Groundwater resource evaluation of urban Bulawayo aquifer
Environmentek, CSIR, PO Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa; Sch. of Civ. and Environ. Eng., University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
Judicious management of a groundwater system requires an understanding of its hydrogeology and response to various recharge and pumping stresses. However, in developing countries, groundwater resource evaluations are hampered by a lack of adequate data that will allow for ils complete characterisation. Under such circumstances it is not uncommon for ad hoc groundwater management measures to be embarked upon, especially during drought conditions. These were the conditions that existed during the 1991/92 drought when the CSIR Stellenbosch evaluated the groundwater resource of an urban aquifer in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Their recommendations revealed that about 3.5×106 m 3/a could be safely abstracted from the aquifer. In this work, a more comprehensive hydrogeological investigation was carried out which included pumping tests, estimation of abstraction rates and recharge, and numerical modelling of the aquifer. The investigations indicate that the aquifer is unconfined with hydraulic conductivity and specific yield ranging from 0.1 m/d to 2.09 m/d and 0.02 to 0.11, respectively. Recharge estimates indicate an annual recharge of 105.5 mm with 38.4%, 52.1% and 9.5% accounting respectively for direct recharge, water mains and sewer leakages. Furthermore, a long-term sustainable annual abstraction of 6.1×106 m3 or 15% of current city water demand can be obtained from the aquifer.
Aquifers; Drought; Hydraulic conductivity; Hydrogeology; Mathematical models; Sewers; Abstraction rates; Pumping stresses; Pumping tests; Recharge estimates; Groundwater; aquifer; groundwater; resource assessment; aquifer; groundwater; hydrogeology; modeling; recharge; resource assessment; Africa; Bulawayo [Zimbabwe]; Eastern Hemisphere; Southern Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; World; Zimbabwe