Sunday, June 3, 2012

Groundwater Resources in Africa

Groundwater is the major source of drinking water in Africa and its use for irrigation is forecast to increase substantially to combat growing food insecurity. As the largest and most widely distributed store of freshwater in Africa, groundwater provides an important buffer to climate change.

I ran across a recent technical study in the 2012 issue of Environmental Research Letters titled "Quantitative Maps of Groundwater Resources in Africa" by A.M. MacDonald, H.C. Bonsor, B.E.O. Dochartaigh and R.G. Taylor. It provides the first quantitative continent-wide maps of aquifer storage and potential borehole yields in Africa based on an extensive review of available maps, publications and data. The largest groundwater volumes are found in the large sedimentary aquifers in the North African countries of Libya, Algeria, Egypt, and Sudan.

The survey looks at most countries in Africa. In the Horn of Africa, the two Sudans together have by far the most groundwater storage in the region. Ethiopia has the next highest amount followed closely by Somalia. Kenya is not too far behind. Eritrea and Djibouti have very low estimated groundwater storage.

For persons interested in this topic, click here to read the article.

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