Assessment of Concentration levels of contaminants in groundwater of Soutpansberg Region, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Kanyerere, T

Groundwater contribution towards improved food security and human health depend on the level of contaminants in the groundwater resource. In rural areas, many people use groundwater for drinking and irrigation purposes without treatment and have no knowledge of contaminants levels in such waters. The reason for such lack of treatment and knowledge is due to the parachute type of research which emphasizes on scientific knowledge and records only and do not develop skills and outputs on groundwater quality for improved human health and food security in communities. This study argued that parachute research type exposes groundwater users to health hazards and threaten food security of communities. Concentration levels of contaminants were measured to ascertain suitability of groundwater for drinking and irrigation use. 124 groundwater quality samples from 12 boreholes and 2 springs with physiochemical data from 1995 to 2017 were assessed. This study found high concentration levels of contaminants such F-, NO3-, Cl- and TDS in certain parts of the studied area when compared to international and national water quality standards. In general, groundwater was deemed suitable for drinking purposes in most part of the studied area. Combined calculated values of SAR, Na%, MH, PI, RSC and TDS determined that groundwater is suitable for irrigation purposes. The discussion in this paper showed that scientific knowledge generated on groundwater quality is not aimed at developing skills and outputs for improved human health and food security but rather for scientific publication and record keeping leaving communities where such knowledge has been taken devoid of knowledge and skills about the groundwater quality. In this study, it was recommended that skills and outputs on groundwater quality should be developed and shared with groundwater users through various initiatives as it will enhance the achievement of SDG’s.

Presenter Name
Presenter Surname
Conference year