Conference Abstracts

All Abstracts were presented at the Groundwater Conferences

Displaying 601 - 650 of 795 results
Title Presenter Name Presenter Surname Area Conference year Keywords

Abstract

Hydrogeological environments are commonly determined by the type of underlying geology; these environments may have a tremendous effect on the mobility and recovery of LNAPLs.  Hydrogeological environment include intergranular sediments and bedrocks of contrasting permeability and porosity. This paper synthesizes several case studies and conceptual models of different hydrological environments and illustrates how they affect the flow characteristics and rebound of LNAPLs.

Abstract

Numerous environmental concerns have been raised with the possible exploration and development of shale gas in the Karoo. One such concern is that deep borehole drilling and the hydraulic fracturing process may create conduits through which deep-seated groundwater could migrate to shallow aquifers.This study set out to characterise deep Karoo groundwaters and identify indicators of deep flow. It was not possible to obtain groundwater samples from the deep-seated shales that are being considered for shale gas exploration and development because no suitable deep boreholes exist. Instead, samples from thermal springs and two deep boreholes that pass through the shales were obtained as the best approximation of deep-seated groundwaters in the Karoo. Deep and shallow groundwaters were characterised and determinands were identified to differentiate these waters. A provisional guide on the limits for these determinands was developed, and at this stage, this list can be used for guidance on differentiating deep form shallow waters. The determinands that appear to be most reliable in identifying deep groundwater were grouped and prioritised for future monitoring programmes.

Abstract

Lake Sibayi (a topographically closed fresh water lake) and coastal aquifers around the lake are important water resources, which the ecology and local community depend on. Both the lake and groundwater support an important and ecologically sensitive wetland system in the area.
Surface and subsurface geological information, groundwater head, hydrochemical and environmental isotope data were analysed to develop a conceptual model of aquifer-lake interaction which would later be integrated into the three dimensional numerical model for the area. Local geologic, groundwater head distribution, lake level, hydrochemistry and environmental isotope data confirm a direct hydraulic link between groundwater and the lake. In the western section of the catchment, groundwater feeds the lake as the groundwater head is above lake stage, whereas along the eastern section, the presence of mixing between lake and groundwater isotopic compositions indicates that the lake recharges the aquifer. Stable isotope signals further revealed the movement of lake water through and below the coastal dune cordon before discharging into the Indian Ocean. Quantification of the 9 year monthly water balance for the lake shows strong season variations of the water balance components. Based on lake volume and flow through rate, it was further noted that the average residence time for water in the lake was about 6 years.
A recent increase in the rate of water abstraction from the lake combined with decreasing rainfall and rapidly increasing plantations in the catchment may result in a decrease in lake levels. This would have dramatic negative effects on the neighbouring ecosystem and allow for potential seawater invasion of the coastal aquifer.

Abstract

Changes to South African water law and policy since the mid-90s have promoted integrated water resource management (IWRM) and the wider application of the principle of subsidiarity (decentralization), underpinned by the Constitutional emphasis on equity, human rights and redress. New water management organisations aim to promote equity, universal access to water, economic prosperity and gender equality but the reality, especially for groundwater, is less inspiring. The Water Act of 1998 envisages new organisations including Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs), Water User Organisations (WUAs) and Water Service Authorities (WSAs), but in many cases these organisations have inadequate capacity or do not exist at all. Only two of the nine (formerly nineteen) CMAs have been formed in more than fifteen years, and neither is yet financially self-reliant. The onerous process necessary to found a WUA and other disincentives have meant that fully-fledged WUAs as envisaged by the Water Act are rare. Hydrogeologists are unusual at Water Service Authority level, and the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) still assesses most groundwater resources. This has stoked argument between DWS and WSAs over long-term sustainable municipal water supplies. Our mandated organisations are not delivering the outcomes for groundwater that policy makers envisaged. Municipalities campaign for surface water instead of groundwater, yet groundwater is still the mainstay of rural water supply and has the most promise for underserved areas. Intractable problems with operation and maintenance are wrongly blamed on the primary groundwater resource, or on "shortages" of one kind or another. There is a need to emphasise function and outcomes rather than trust that these will follow automatically once "the right" organisations are in place. A hybrid of top-down expertise with a genuine focus on local outcomes is called for. We currently pay a considerable opportunity cost for delays, turf-wars and finger pointing - including reputational damage to groundwater as well as less reliable water supplies for the poorest South Africans.

Abstract

The present study applied multivariate statistical analysis (MSA) to investigate the status of the hydrochemistry of groundwater Upper Berg River Catchment, Western Cape, South Africa. Factors that influence the quality of groundwater are well established. The aim of the present study was to characterize groundwater quality in the Upper Berg River Catchment, using multivariate statistical analysis methods in order to establish the evolution and suitability of such waters for agricultural use in addition to confirming major factors that explain groundwater quality in the study area. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (CA) were applied to groundwater physicochemical data that were collected from 30 boreholes. Data collection and analysis followed standard procedure. The use of a Piper Diagram showed that Na-Cl water types were the predominant groundwater facies. Furthermore, PCA extracted five major factors that explained 83.11 % of the variation in the physicochemical characteristics of groundwater. Using Varimax rotation, two main factors, namely, surface water recharge and rock-water interactions, were extracted which collectively explained 60.81% of the variation in the groundwater physicochemical data. The two factors indicate that the predominant factors affecting groundwater quality in the study area are natural (biochemical) processes in the subsurface as well as interactions between the rock matrix and passing water. Cluster Analysis extracted three major groundwater clusters based on dissimilarities in groundwater physicochemical characteristics in different sites. The first cluster included 7 borehole sites located in the Franschhoek Valley area and 14 borehole sites located in the Robertsvlei Saddle area as well as the upper catchment (behind the Berg River Dam). The second and third clusters collectively included 9 groundwater sites within the Franschhoek Valley area. These sites were located on agricultural land where extensive vineyard and orchid cultivation is done. Groundwater quality in the Upper Berg River Catchment mainly reflects the influence of natural process of recharge, rock-water interactions and microbial activity. The quality of groundwater fell within Target Water Quality Guidelines for agricultural water use published by the Department of Water and Forestry Affairs meaning such waters are suitable for agricultural use.

Key words: Dendrogram, Groundwater quality, Hierarchical Cluster Analysis, Principal Component Analysis, Physicochemical, Spatial.

Abstract

The 'maintainable aquifer yield' can be defined as a yield that can be maintained indefinitely without mining an aquifer. It is a yield that can be met by a combination of reduced discharge, induced recharge and reduced storage, and results in a new dynamic equilibrium of an aquifer system. It does not directly or solely depend on natural recharge rates. Whether long-term abstraction of the 'maintainable aquifer yield' can be considered sustainable groundwater use should be based on a socio-economic-environmental decision, by relevant stakeholders and authorities, over the conditions at this new dynamic equilibrium.
This description of aquifer yields is well established scientifically and referred to as the Capture Principle, and the link to groundwater use sustainability is also well established. However, implementation of the Capture Principle remains incomplete. Water balance type calculations persist, in which sustainability is linked directly to some portion of recharge, and aquifers with high use compared to recharge are considered stressed or over-allocated. Application of the water balance type approach to sustainability may lead to groundwater being underutilised.
Implementation of the capture principle is hindered because the approach is intertwined with adaptive management: not all information can be known upfront, the future dynamic equilibrium must be estimated, and management decisions updated as more information is available. This is awkward to regulate.
This paper presents a Decision Framework designed to support implementation of the capture principle in groundwater management. The Decision framework combines a collection of various measures. At its centre, it provides an accessible description of the theory underlying the capture principle, and describes the ideal approach for the development operating rules based on a capture principle groundwater assessment. Sustainability indicators are incorporated to guide a groundwater user through the necessary cycles of adaptive management in updating initial estimations of the future dynamic equilibrium. Furthermore, the capture principle approach to sustainable groundwater use requires a socio-economic-environmental decision to be taken by wide relevant stakeholders, and recommendations for a hydrogeologists' contribution to this decision are also provided. Applying the decision framework in several settings highlights that aquifer assessment often lags far behind infrastructure development, and that abstraction often proceeds without an estimation of future impacts, and without qualification of the source of abstracted water, confirming the need for enhanced implementation of the capture principle.

Abstract

Tailings storage facilities are significant contributors of dissolved solids to underlying aquifers and adjacent watercourses. Salt balances indicate estimated seepage loads of the order of 1 500 tonnes of chloride per year. Actual seepage loads will be determined by the hydraulic conductivity of the tailings and mechanisms of flow within the tailings. Field observations and sample analytical results from several platinum tailings facilities are presented. These indicate the development of lenses of clay sized material within coarser silty material and suggest a tortuous seepage flow path, perhaps characterised by zones of preferential flow. The implications of seepage modelling and geochemical data on the salt loads mobilised from tailings are discussed. Results suggest that tailings facilities are effective at retaining salts and that release of accumulated salts after closure may take place at long time scales. {List only- not presented}

Abstract

POSTER The Fountains East and Fountains West groundwater compartments (by means of the Upper and Lower Fountain springs) have been supplying the City of Pretoria with water since its founding in 1855. These adjacent compartments which are underlain by the Malmani dolomites of the Chuniespoort Group are separated by the Pretoria syenite dyke and are bounded to the north by the rocks of the Pretoria Group (Timeball Hill Formation). Swallow holes and paleosinkholes play important roles in recharge in karst environments. Available sinkhole data and geotechnical percussion borehole logs are being collated to compile a detailed conceptual geological model. Inorganic chemistry data (2007 - 2012) as well as spring discharge volumes (2011 - 2012) for the Upper and Lower Fountain springs, supplied by the City of Tshwane Municipality, is being used to characterise the two compartments. This is done by means of piper diagrams, stiff diagrams and temporal plots. Isotope data for the Upper and Lower Fountain springs are available for 1970 to 2007. ?D and ?18O data from the Upper and Lower Fountain springs are plotted against each other and the Global Meteoric Water Line. Other stable isotopes (including 14C and 3H) are also plotted as time trends and interpreted. Interpretation of the combined geotechnical, chemical and isotope data will aid in understanding the karst aquifer and the controls on groundwater system within and possibly between these compartments.

Abstract

Modelling of groundwater systems and groundwater-surface water interaction using advanced simulation software has become common practice. There are a number of approaches to simulate Lake-aquifer interactions, such as the LAK Package integrated into MODFLOW, the high conductivity and fixed stage approaches. LAK and the high conductivity approaches were applied and compared in simulating Lake- aquifer interaction in the Lake Sibayi Catchment, north-eastern, South Africa using the finite difference three-dimensional groundwater flow model, Visual MODFLOW Flex under steady state conditions. The steady state model consisted of two layers: an upper layer consisting of the Sibayi, KwaMbonambi, Kosi Bay and Port Durnford Formations which have similar characteristics, and a lower model layer representing the karst, weathered and calcareous Uloa Formation. The bottom model boundary is constrained by the impermeable Cretaceous bedrock. The model area covers the surface and groundwater catchments of Lake Sibayi which is constrained in the east by the Indian Ocean. A no-flow boundary condition is assigned to the northern, western and southern sides and a constant head boundary is assigned to the eastern side. The Mseleni River and neighbouring plantations were modelled using the River and Evapotranspiration boundary conditions respectively. Input parameters for the various boundary conditions were obtained from the previously developed high resolution conceptual model, including recharge

Abstract

Since the first decant of acid mine drainage in the West Rand in 2002, a great deal of effort has gone into researching the challenges which it poses there and in the adjacent Central Rand and East Rand Gold Fields. Short-term interventions have been implemented to maintain water at conservatively-determined safe levels and remove the worst contaminants from the water pumped from the mined. A feasibility study, looking at the long-term options has proposed treatment of water to a much higher standard, identifying a number of potential end-users of the treated water and highlighted the extremely high costs involved in responsible management. During the second half of 2010, a team of experts was convened to assess problems related to acid mine drainage in the Witwatersrand and propose solutions. A number of recommendations were made and the most urgent - the need for a short-term intervention to bring things under control and the the feasibility study for long-term management of the problems were undertaken. Nevertheless, despite the intense focus on the problem, a number of questions have remained unanswered. Throughout the period of min flooding, no detailed systematic monitoring of surface water flow has been undertaken, preventing the detailed apportionment of pollution between underground and surface sources. Ingress control measures have been proposed, but funding mechanisms, regulatory hurdles and challenges relating to long-term management have not all been comprehensively addressed. On a more positive note, the installation and operation of pumps to control the water level in the Western and Central Basins will start to provide valuable data regarding the response of the flooded mine workings to pumping, assisting in the characterisation of the hydraulic properties and behaviour of the large voids. This will facilitate the optimisation of pumping strategies and the refinement of environmental critical levels and assist in the development of more sustainable management options.

Abstract

POSTER The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is the custodian of South Africa's water and thus is imperative that it reports on its state as the National Water Act of 1998 requires regular reporting to Parliament by the Minister. Hence, the annual compilation of report entitled "The National State of Water in South Africa." This report aims to give an overview of the status and trends of water quality and quantity, further assisting with international water reporting obligations to SADC Region, African Continent, and Globally e.g. the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. This information empowers the public and provides knowledge to water managers for informed decision-making. The main purpose is to enhance quality, accessibility and relevance of data and information relating to the goal of Integrated Water Resource Management towards attaining holistic Integrated Water Management, and Integrated Water Cycle Management in future. Three distinct requirements for collecting data by DWS are: (i) assessing and comparing the status and trends for both quantity and quality; (ii) monitoring for water use and (iii) monitoring for compliance to licence conditions. Such information is further used to assess the effectiveness of policies implemented and identify the existing gaps. Various challenges to the country's water demand proper integrated water resources planning and management. The report is divided into Themes such as, Resource Management, Water Services/Delivery, Water Development and Finance, based on selected indicators. The indicators are strategically selected to provide a representative picture of the state, as well as the changes over time to the drivers, pressures, impacts and responses related to the chosen themes. These Indicators include: Climatic Conditions, Water Availability, Water Use, Water Protection, Water Quality, Water Service Delivery, Water Infrastructure, Water Finance, and Sanitation. The report for Hydrological Year 2013/2014 has been completed and it shows that the amount of water available varies greatly between different places and seasons, and from one year to another. The average total storage was around 85% of full supply capacity in September 2014. Surface water quality is generally facing a threat from eutrophication and microbial pollution emanating mainly from mismanaged water (and waste) treatment plants and related landuse activities. Groundwater quality is generally good except in some localised areas where mining and industrial activities are prevalent. With regards to infrastructure; vandalism, lack of maintenance & management skills reflect on/as non-revenue water, highlighting the need for more funding towards maintenance, especially in groundwater which is normally wrongly deemed as an unreliable resource. In the past 20 years, water services delivery to communities has improved as the Millennium Development Goals have been met and surpassed, while the sanitation access goals were likely to be met.

Abstract

This study was aimed at developing an integrated groundwater-surface water interaction (GSI) model for a selected stretch of the Modder River by considering the following five different aspects of the GSI: 1) the distribution of different aquifer systems (structural connectivity) along the river 2) the hydraulic connectivity between the aquifer systems, 3) the volumes of water abstracted from the aquifers by streamside vegetation, 4) the volumes of water replenished to the groundwater system through rainfall recharge, and 5) the exchange fluxes between the various components of the groundwater-surface water system. The distribution of the aquifer systems was investigated by means of a) geo-electrical surveys, and b) in situ slug tests while their hydraulic connectivity was investigated by hydrogeochemical routing. The volumes of water abstracted by streamside vegetation were estimated by the quantification of the transpiration from individual plants and the groundwater recharge was estimated by a root zone water balance. The water exchange fluxes between the groundwater and surface water were determined from a simple riparian zone groundwater budget. The results of the geo-electrical surveys and slug tests allowed the delineation of the riparian area aquifers (RAA) and the terrestrial area aquifers (TAA) on both the south-eastern and north-western sides of the river. Based on the results of hydrochemical analyses, saturation indices and inverse mass balance modelling, the GSI involves flow of water from the TAA to the RAA, and finally to the river on the south-eastern side while it involves flow from the river into the RAA with a limited exchange with the TAA on the south-eastern side. The dominant vegetation on the study area was found to be the Acacia karroo and Diospyros lycioides. The close similarities in isotope compositions of the xylem sap and the borehole water samples suggested that the Acacia karroo sourced its water from the groundwater storage while differences in isotope compositions suggested that the Diospyros lycioides did not source water from the groundwater storage at the time of measurement. The results of groundwater recharge estimation in the study area highlighted the fact that both the antecedent moisture and the rainfall amounts determine whether recharge to the groundwater system will take place. Finally, the results of baseflow estimation indicated that the river is a gaining stream along the south-eastern reach while acting as a losing stream along the north-western reach.

Abstract

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites detect minute temporal variation in the earth’s gravitational field at an unprecedented accuracy, in order to make estimation of the total water storage (TWS). GRACE provides a unique opportunity to study and monitor real time water variation in the hydrologic stores( snow, groundwater, surface water and soil moisture) due to increase or decrease in storage. The GRACE monthly TWS data are used to estimate changes in groundwater storage in the Vaal River Basin. The Vaal River Basin has been selected because it is one of the most water stressed catchment in South Africa; it is well-renowned for its high concentration of industrial activities and urbanized zones. Therefore, in order to meet future water demands it is critical to monitor and calculate changes in groundwater dynamics as an important aspect of water management, where such a resource is a key to economic development and social development.

Previous studies in the Vaal River Basin, where mostly localized focusing largely on groundwater quality and to a lesser extent groundwater assessment. Hydrological models have been generated for the whole of South Africa, many of this models does not take into account the groundwater. Thus, there is a significant gap in our understanding of surface and ground water dynamics in the Vaal River Basin. The paucity of data and monitoring networks is often the limitation in calculating changes in water storage over a large area, particularly in Africa. In this scenario GRACE is the only approach to estimate changes in hydrological stores as it covers large areas and generate real time data. It does not require information on soil moisture, which is often difficult to measure. The preliminary results indicate that the change in TWS anomaly derived from GRACE data is - 12.85 mm of vertical column of water at 300 km smoothing radius. The change in groundwater storage is calculated by incorporating hydrologic components to the TWS (work in progress). The results obtained from this study will be compared to existing hydrological models and results generated from models applicable to the semi-arid region of South Africa. It is anticipated that this satellite observation technique, GRACE, will provide an accurate estimate of change in groundwater storage. Furthermore, it will show the usefulness of satellite based techniques for improving our understanding of groundwater dynamic, which will improve water management practices.

Abstract

Different biological and chemical transport results are evaluated in this study. Ecoli and PDR1 were selected as the biological tracers with salt and rhodamine as chemical tracers. The transport experiments were evaluated through the primary aquifer material found at the University of the Western Cape research site. A series of controlled experiments under laboratory and field conditions was conducted. Each provides a different kind of data and information. The results from laboratory studies could be used to better design the field studies. In both cases, the data collected was to provide information on fate and transport of microbes in groundwater. The field design phase of the experiment was an up-scaling of the laboratory phase of this project. The amount injected into the aquifer was increased in proportion to the size of the research site. Tracer tests using chemical and microbial tracers were carried out simultaneously. Results of laboratory tests show a 5 times slower transport of microbes, compared to salts.. The salts at field scale show a breakthrough occurring after 2 days whereas the microbes never managed to breakthrough with the experiment stopped after 45 days. A new borehole was drilled closer to reduce distance/ travel time, but this had no effect on field results for the microbes. {List only- not presented}

Abstract

Natural attenuation describes a set of natural processes which decrease the concentrations and/or mobility of contaminants without human intervention. In order to evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of natural attenuation, regular long term monitoring must be implemented. This entire process is called Monitored natural attenuation (MNA). The focus of MNA is generally placed on hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents but according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) MNA can be used for various metals, radio nuclides and other inorganic contaminants. MNA was deemed the best method to reduce the concentration and mobility of contaminants impacting the groundwater environment, at a fertiliser plant in the Free State. A number of improvements in infrastructure were made in 2013which were assumed to have prevented further release of contaminants into the groundwater system, from the source areas on site. MNA was also considered to be the most effective affordable solution for the site as groundwater in the vicinity is not used for domestic purposes (low risk). Cl, NO3 and NH4 were used to monitor the movement of the contamination off site and the effectiveness of MNA. With regards to the inorganic contaminants emanating from the site, sorption, dispersion, dilution, and volatilization are the main attenuation mechanisms. These mechanisms are considered to be non-destructive attenuation mechanisms. Denitrification, nitrate reduction through microbial processes, may also facilitate in the attenuation of the in organic constituent nitrate. Denitrification is considered a destructive mechanism. Classed posts and temporal graphs of the Cl, NO3 and NH4 concentrations between 2008 and 2014 were utilised to show the movement and change in size and shape of the contamination plumes and subsequently, monitor MNA. The data indicates that the NO3, Cl and NH4 contamination plumes from the various source areas on the site have detached from the site and are currently moving down gradient along the natural drainage. Contaminant concentrations at the site have generally decreased in recent monitoring events while concentrations downstream of the site have remained stable. This indicates that MNA is currently an effective method of remediation for the site and monitoring should be continued to ensure that it remains effective.

Abstract

The colliery is situated in the Vereeniging-Sasolburg Coalfield, immediately southwest of Sasolburg in the Republic of South Africa. The stratigraphy of this coal field is typical of the coal-bearing strata of the Karoo Sequence. The succession consists of pre-Karoo rocks (dolomites of the Chuniespoort Group of the Transvaal Sequence) overlain by the Dwyka Formation, followed by the Ecca Group sediments, of which the Vryheid Formation is the coal-bearing horizon. Mainly the lava of the Ventersdorp and Hekpoort Groups underlie the coal. The Karoo Formation is present over the whole area and consists mainly of sandstone, shale and coal of varying thickness. The underground mine was flooded after mining was ceased at the colliery in 2004. The colliery is in the fortunate position that it has a very complete and concise monitoring programme in place and over 200 boreholes were drilled in and around the mine throughout the life of the mine. To stabilise mine workings located beneath main roads in the area, an ashfilling project was undertaken by the colliery since 1999. A key issue is if the mine will eventually decant, and what the quality of the water will be. This is important for the future planning of the company, as this will determine if a water treatment plant is necessary, and what the specifications for such a plant will be, if needed. Therefore it was decided to do a down-the-hole chemical profile of each available and accessible borehole with a multi-parameter probe with the aim of observing any visible stratification. Over 90 boreholes were accessible and chemical profiles were created of them. From the data collected a three - dimensional image was created from the electrical conductivity values at different depths to see if any stratification was visible in the shallow aquifer. The ash-filling operations disturbed the normal aquifer conditions, and this created different pressures than normally expected at a deeper underground colliery. From the three-dimensional image created it was observed that no stratification was visible in the shallow aquifer, which lead to the conclusion that in the event that if decant should occur, the water quality of the decanting water will still be of very good quality unless external factors such as ash-filling activities is introduced. It is not often that it is possible to create chemical profiles of such a large number of boreholes for a single colliery and as a result a very complete and informative three-dimensional electrical conductivity image was created. This image is very helpful in aiding the decision making process in the future management of the colliery and eventually obtaining a closure certificate, and also to determine whether ash-filling is a viable option in discarding the ash.

Abstract

The Saldanha / Langebaan area is expanding at a significant rate, increasing the water demand for the area. The expansion comes from the industrial, residential and tourism sector. In addition there are economically viable deposits of silica and phosphate in the area. Ecosystem functioning in the area is also to a degree dependent on groundwater. All of these factors require an improved understanding of the geohydrology of the area. The geology of the area consists of basement Cape Granite and Malmesbury Group rocks that underlie the sediments of the Sandveld Group. The unconsolidated formations present, are (in order of oldest to youngest) as follows: - Elandsfontyn Formation (oldest): This formation overlies the bedrock in depressions and palaeo-channels in the bedrock. This formation is about 40 m thick and is composed of upward fining quartz sediments. - Varswater Formation: This formation is composed of marine deposits and is restricted to the western (seaward) parts of a bedrock depression to the east of the Langebaan Lagoon and Saldanha. The formation is characterized by rounded quartz grains. - Langebaan Formation: This formation consists of calc-arenites. The sediments are generally grey to cream coloured and consist of quartz and shell fragments, the grain size ranges from coarse to fine and the consolidation is variable. - Witzand Formation (youngest). This formation consists of light-coloured, calcareous, coastal dune sand that can be distinguished from the underlying consolidated Langebaan Formation. The Elandsfontyn Aquifer System (EAS) and the Langebaan Road Aquifer System (LRAS) are the main aquifer systems in the area. These aquifer systems are defined by palaeo-channels that have been filled with gravels of the Elandsfontyn Formation and represent preferred groundwater flow paths. Within each of these aquifer systems (EAS and LRAS) two aquifer units are present. Namely, the confined Lower Aquifer Unit (LAU) geologically consisting of the basal gravels of the Elandsfontyn Formation and the Upper Aquifer Unit (UAU) composed of consolidated sands and calcrete. The two units are separated by a clay aquitard. A numerical model has been established for the area, and extends from the Berg River to the Langebaan Lagoon. Granite outcrop and river system define the other boundaries of the model. Extensive logging of groundwater levels by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has enabled the accurate establishment of a model. In addition extensive field work and a detailed hydrocensus, as well as the capture of a lot of historical information has resulted in a comprehensive GIS which assists with the refinement of the numerical model. The model provides a valuable tool in modelling potential impacts whether they been from planned groundwater abstraction or artificial recharge. {List only- not presented}

Abstract

We contend that borehole drilling costs on the Zululand Coastal Plain, South Africa can be much reduced by assisting low cost drillers in drilling 6" diameter boreholes using light weight, maneuverable rigs with trained teams which are more cost-effective and provide optimal value for money invested over the lifespan of the borehole. The improved drilling package will allow local drillers to tap into the deeper more sustainable aquifer identified in the area and provide for better borehole construction. The remoteness of the rural population in the Maputaland area, northern KZN, South Africa, influences the degree of groundwater development. Rural water supply infrastructure is minimal and 40 per cent of the rural community is forced to rely on surface water as well as shallow, low cost drilling for water supply. A number of these low cost drillers were investigated to determine their expertise. Results showed that formal training in drilling technology is unavailable in the area. The inexperience of the drillers results in poor borehole construction. Currently low cost drilling is not cost effective as most of these boreholes collapse after a short time. The correct method of drilling in the area is by Direct Mud Rotary (DMR). Professional DMR drilling and borehole construction costs are in excess of US$ 125/m, unaffordable for poor households. We propose that with limited training and suitable equipment the local drillers can halve existing drilling costs, provide quality work as well as focus on good management practices. This will create jobs as well solve the pending water crisis in the area (and elsewhere in Africa).

Abstract

A groundwater assessment was conducted to identify and predict the contamination and transport properties of a groundwater system. The motivation for the study was the rising concern of a farm owner about the deteriorating water quality of the aquifer system. An investigation of the surface and groundwater quality indicated that two fertilizer dumpsites were the sources of pollution. Water analyses revealed elevated concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, F, NO3, SO4, Mn and NH4 within boreholes near the pollution sources. The NH4 and NO3 concentrations were exceptionally high: 11 941 mg/L and 12 689 mg/L, respectively. These high concentrations were the direct result of the dumping of fertilizer. The rise in these concentrations may also have been catalysed by the nitrogen cycle and the presence of the Nitrosomonas bacterium species. Due to the high solubility of NO3, and because soils are largely unable to retain anions, NO3 may enter groundwater with ease, and could migrate over large distances from the source. Elevated NO3 in groundwater is a concern for drinking water because it can interfere with blood-oxygen levels in infants and cause methemoglobinemia (blue-baby syndrome). A geophysical study was undertaken within the area of investigation to gain insight on the underlying geological structures. The survey indicated preferential flow paths within the aquifer system along which rapid transport of contaminant is likely to occur.
Key words: aquifer system, groundwater quality analyses, fertilizer, nitrogen cycle, Nitrosomonas species, geophysics.

Abstract

Identifying and characterising the vertical and horizontal extent of chlorinated volatile organic compound (CVOC) plumes can be a complex undertaking and subject to a high degree of uncertainty as dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) movement in the subsurface is governed most notably by geologic heterogeneities. These heterogeneities influence hydraulic conductivity allowing for preferential flow in areas of higher conductivity and potential pooling or accumulation in areas of lower conductivity. This coupled with the density-induced sinking behaviour of DNAPL itself and the effects of groundwater recharge in the aquifer result in significant challenges in assessing the distribution and extent of CVOC plumes in the subsurface. It has been recognized that high resolution site characterization (HRSC) can provide the necessary level of information to allow for appropriate solutions to be implemented to mitigate the effects of subsurface contamination. Although the initial cost of HRSC is higher, the long-term costs can be substantially reduced and the remedial benefits far greater by obtaining a better understanding of the plume characteristics upfront. The authors will discuss a case study site in South Africa, where ERM has conducted HRSC of a CVOC plume to characterise the distribution of the source area and plume architecture in order to assess the potential risk to receptors on and off-site. The source of impact resulted from the use of a tetrachloroethene (PCE)-based solvent in an on-site workshop. The following methods of characterization were employed:
- Conducting a passive soil gas survey to identify and characterise potential source zones and groundwater impacts;
- Vertical characterisation of the hydrostratigraphy, contaminant distribution and speciation in real time using a Waterloo Advanced Profiling System (APS) with a mobile on-site laboratory;
- Using the Waterloo APS data to design and install groundwater monitoring wells to delineate the vertical and lateral extent of contamination; and
- Conducting a vapour intrusion investigation including sub-slab soil gas, indoor and outdoor air sampling to estimate current risk to on-site employees.
In less than a year, the risk at the site is now largely understood and the strategies for mitigating the effects of the contamination can be targeted and optimised based on the information gained during the HRSC assessment.

Abstract

The mineral rich Northern Cape Province produces 84% of South Africa's iron ore, while the Kalahari basin holds 92% of the world's high grade manganese deposits, with diamond and lime mining operations to a lesser degree. Mining expansion programs and new mines planned in the Northern Cape drive the region's economic development and growth strategy. The planned mining expansion depend on water being available for mining water needs and related increased demands for domestic water supplies.

Current water supplies consist of local groundwater resources (boreholes and mine dewatering) and bulk water supply from the Vaal Gamagara (VGG) Pipeline Scheme. In 1992 the Kalahari East water supply pipeline was incorporated to supply domestic and stock water to an area of approximately 1.4 million ha.

The VGG scheme consists of 370 km pipes, was built in the late sixties and is nearing its useful life expectancy. Increased water supply interruptions are being experienced while operating at capacity. The pipeline has the capacity to convey and import water of approximately 15 million m3/a into the D41J and D41K quaternary catchments. Water demand projections show an increase to 40.1 million m3/a in 2030.

Various options were investigated to upgrade the VGG water supply scheme. One option considers groundwater resources to augment the water from the Vaal River from four indentified target areas (SD1 to SD4).

Major fault zones in Banded Iron Formations (BIF) are targeted for groundwater resource development in the SD4 area, located east of Hotazel. This area is largely covered by Quaternary age sand and located near the endpoint of the VGG scheme and therefore prioritized as investigation area.

The primary objective of the hydrogeological investigation was to identify the existence of exploitable resources for additional source development. Secondary objectives were to assess the contribution groundwater can make to augmenting pipeline water; providing a source to an area and thus diminish reliance on the pipeline; and providing an independent source, which could prevent the need for pipeline extensions.

The paper will discuss the use of an airborne magnetic and Time Domain Electromagnetic's (TDEM) survey combined with gravity ground surveys as a key success factor in adding to the geological and structural information of the area. The paper will also present the results of exploration drilling (> 60 boreholes) over a large area and related borehole test pumping with water sampling to identify a sustainable and potable water supply of 2.5 million m3/a.

Abstract

Groundwater is used extensively in the Sandveld for the irrigation of potatoes. The groundwater resources are plentiful and of good enough quality for the production of potatoes, however there has been a significant increase in potato production especially from the period 1975 to 2008. The area planted has increased from 2 369 Ha to 6 715 Ha in this period. The rate of increase has reduced significantly since 2008 and is now quite consistent at approximately 6 800 ha/a. In the region groundwater is vital for the proper functioning of ecosystems and it is also the sole source of water for five towns in the area and supplies most of the domestic water for the farms in the area. Thus the abstraction of groundwater for agriculture needs to be carefully assessed to ensure impacts on other systems and users do not occur.

For this reason Potatoes South Africa has taken the responsible approach of investing in the on-going monitoring of groundwater levels (quantity) and groundwater quality in the Sandveld. PSA appointed the groundwater consultancy, GEOSS to do this monitoring and they have continually committed to this monitoring for the past 10 years. The long term monitoring data has been very valuable in that it shows groundwater trends and the spatial distribution of the measured parameters. Regarding the trends it is clear that certain areas are being over-abstracted and groundwater levels are dropping. In the more critical areas, intervention has occurred - boreholes were closed down and the points of abstraction distributed over a much wider area. This region (Lower Langvlei River) is showing clear signs of recovery both in terms of groundwater levels and quality. The other localized areas where negative trends are evident the land owners have been informed and are aware of the problems. In some critical areas continuous groundwater level loggers have been installed to monitor trends.

The long-term groundwater monitoring, has helped significantly in addressing the negative perception about the widespread impact on groundwater resources due to potato cultivation in the Sandveld. It is important the monitoring continues and regular feedback provided to land owners. The monitoring that the local municipality and the Department of Water Affairs do also needs to be integrated into a single database. It is evident that the initial abstraction of groundwater in the pioneer days of potato cultivation did impact groundwater resources and associated ecosystems in the Sandveld, however currently as the rate of expansion has reduced and stabilized, the groundwater resources closely mimic rainfall patterns and the areas that are being impact are localized, well known and being addressed.

Abstract

South Africa is a semi-arid country. Its average rainfall of roughly 464 mm/a is much lower than the world average of 860 mm/a. Due to a shortage of surface water, groundwater plays an important role in the water supply to domestic, industrial, agricultural and mining users. Groundwater exploration has become increasingly dependent on the use of geophysical techniques to gain insight into the subsurface conditions to minimise the risk of drilling unsuccessful production boreholes. Dolerite dykes and sills are often targeted during groundwater exploration programmes in Karoo rocks. Due to the high pressures and temperatures that reigned during the emplacement of these structures, the sedimentary host rocks along the margins of the intrusive structures are typically strongly altered. These altered zones are often heavily fractured and, as a result, have increased hydraulic conductivities as compared to the unaltered host rock. The altered zones often act as preferential pathways for groundwater migration, making them preferred targets during groundwater exploration.
In conjunction with magnetic methods, electromagnetic (EM) methods are the techniques most often used for groundwater exploration in Karoo rocks. In South Africa, the ground EM system most commonly used is the Geonics EM34-3 frequency-domain system. This system has already been in use for a few decades, yet a great deal of uncertainty still remains regarding the interpretation of anomalies recorded over geological structures associated with lateral changes in electrical conductivity. This uncertainty results from the fact that the Geonics EM34-3 system employs measurements of the out-of-phase components of the secondary magnetic field relative to the primary magnetic field to calculate an apparent conductivity for the subsurface. The apparent conductivity profiles across lateral changes in conductivity often do not make intuitive sense.
This project focuses on the development of guidelines for the interpretation of anomalies recorded with the EM34-3 system across intrusive structures of geohydrological significance in Karoo rocks. Geophysical surveys were conducted across known dykes and sills in an attempt to systematically investigate the responses recorded across these structures. Data from magnetic and two-dimensional electrical resistivity tomography surveys, as well as from geological borehole logs in some cases, were used as controls to assist in the interpretation.

Abstract

The Elandsfontein aquifer is currently under investigation to assist with the management of the system and to ensure the protection of the associated Langebaan lagoon RAMSAR site. The Elandfontein aquifer unit is situated adjacent to the Langebaan Road aquifer in the Lower Berg River Region and is bounded by the Langebaan Lagoon, possible boundary towards Langebaan Road aquifer, the Groen River bedrock high and the Darling batholith. The study will investigate the boundaries and hydraulic characteristics of the different aquifers and aquitards (Elandsfontein clay layer) in the Elandsfontein unit and their relationship to the Langebaan Lagoon. A literature review and baseline study has been completed to determine groundwater flow patterns and the general distribution of water quality, using historic data to characterize the different aquifers and aquitards of the system. An initial conceptual model has been formulated based on this data. Pumping tests will be used to acquire hydraulic characteristics of the Elandsfontein aquifer where data gaps exist, together with water quality and stable isotope sampling. Future plans are to construct a groundwater numerical flow model of the Elandsfontein system to assist with the management of the complex relationships between the recharge areas, flow paths through the different aquifer layers and aquitards towards the Langebaan Lagoon discharge. Results will be presented using graphical methods such as time series graphs amongst the monitoring boreholes over the years, piper diagrams to show water type characterization (Na-Cl type water) and initial results from the groundwater flow model. The expected results are envisaged to advance knowledge on groundwater availability and quality to inform the decision about water resource protection and utilization. Therefore this study is designed to provide large-scale background information that will improve the knowledge and understanding of the Elandsfontein aquifer unit and provide a basis for potential future studies of a more-detailed nature.

Abstract

The karst aquifer downstream of the actively decanting West Rand Gold Field (a.k.a. the Western Basin) has for decades been receiving mine water discharge. Evidence of a mine water impact in the Bloubank Spruit catchment can be traced back to the early-1980s, and is attributed to the pumping out of so-called "fissure water" encountered during active underground mining operations for discharge on surface. Rewatering of the mine void following the cessation of subsurface mining activities in the late-1990s resulted in mine water decant in 2002. The last five hydrological years (2009?'10 to 2013?'14) have experienced the greatest volume and worst quality of mine water discharge in the 45-year flow and quality monitoring record (since 1979?'80) of the Bloubank Spruit system, causing widespread alarm and concern for the receiving karst environment. The focus of this attention is the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, with earlier speculation fuelled by an initial dearth of information and poor understanding of the dynamics that inform the interaction of surface and subsurface waters in this hydrosystem.

Oblivious to these circumstances, the natural hydrosystem provides an invaluable beneficial function in mitigating adverse impacts on the water resources environment at no cost to society. The hydrologic and hydrogeologic framework that informs this natural benefaction is described in quantitative physical and chemical terms that define the interaction of allogenic and autogenic water sources in a subregional context before highlighting the regional benefit. The subregional context is represented by the Bloubank Spruit catchment, a western tributary of the Crocodile River, which receives both mine water and municipal wastewater effluent and therefore bears the brunt of poor quality allogenic water inputs. The regional context is represented by the Hartbeespoort Dam catchment, which includes major drainages such as the Crocodile River to the south and its eastern tributaries the Jukskei and Hennops rivers, and the Magalies River and its southern tributary the Skeerpoort River to the west. Each of these drainages contribute to the quantity and quality of water impounded in the dam, and an analysis of their respective contributions therefore provides an informative measure of the temporal mine water impact in a regional context.

The result indicates that amongst other metrics, the total dissolved solids (TDS) load delivered by the Bloubank Spruit system in the last five hydrological years amounted to 11% of the total TDS load delivered to Hartbeespoort Dam in this period, ranking third behind the Jukskei River (49%) and the Hennops River (30%), and followed by the Magalies River (5%), Crocodile River (4%) and Skeerpoort River (1%). By comparison, the long-term record reflects changes only in the contributions of the impacted Bloubank Spruit (10%) and pristine Skeerpoort River (2%). The difference is attributed mainly to the intervention of Mother Nature.

Abstract

POSTER Pine plantations require large amount of water for transpirational demand and the amount of water depend on the area of plantation and the rooting depth of plants.
The large amount of water required may result in disturbance of the natural water table equilibrium to meet the demand and insure growth.
The lake Sibayi catchment area is covered by the 65 km2 freshwater lake sibaya, 70km2 of pine and eucalypts woody plantations and crops.
The lake is recharged dominantly from groundwater and it is a water resource for local communities.
A large extraction of groundwater by plantations will decrease the water table and the lake level and that will decrease the amount of water available for local residences.
The main aquifer is composed of tertiary to quaternary age sediments which form a thin covering which blankets most of the Maputaland coastal plain and rests on a cretaceous system.
Shallow marine and beach deposits of tertiary origin overly the cretaceous aged silt, while the quaternary age sediments which constitute most of the cover are predominantly of Aeolian origin.
The Uloa formation of tertiary age is identified to be the most promising aquifer in the region consisting of coarse grained shelly sandstone with calcarenite associated with it.
The aquifer is approximately 40m in depth and it is recharged dominantly from rainfall through infiltration.
Rainfall averages 900mm per annum over the catchment but varies between 1200mm per annum in the south east and 700mm per annum in the west and evaporation equals to ? 1420 mm per annum (Pitman and Hutchinson, 1975).
Lake Sibayi is a freshwater lake of 65km2, in surface area and it is a water resource for surrounding communities and other inhabitants.
The sandy substrate surrounding Lake Sibayi limit the amount of surface runoff and consequently the water level within the lake are maintained by groundwater recharge.
The growth of plantations is influenced by the ability of trees to extract soil water from the intermediate zone below the root zone and the capillary fringe.
The water supply depends on the depth of the water table and on the structure of deposited soil layers and the water table depth is determined by the rate at which vegetation extracts water for transpiration and the recharge rate of groundwater.
The specific yield of a soil determines the amount of water that percolates to recharge groundwater and because vegetation extracts water from layers of soils above the water table they decrease the amount of recharge for groundwater.

Abstract

The national water balance is primarily based on the availability of surface water and the historic allocation thereof. The changes that are required the next 20 years to ensure sustainable development of the nation will be painful, but is unfortunately at present not part of the public discussion, it is essentially ignored in favour of more "popular water topics".This paper intends to look at a few core aspects, they include the current water allocation in the national water balance, the relative value of the utilisation, the position of groundwater resources in changing the current relative allocation and the current groundwater utilisation. The paper further intends to be a less formal presentation of these aspects with the required data, references and conclusions available for distribution afterwards.

Abstract

Throughout the world, climate change impact is the main concern for sustainability of water management and water use activities like agricultural production. Climate changes alter regional hydrologic conditions and results in a variety of impacts on water resource systems. Such hydrologic changes will affect almost every aspect of human well-being. The goal of this thesis is to assess the impact of climate change on the hydro climatology of Fincha Sub-basin located in upper Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia. The GCM derived scenarios (HadCM3 A2a & B2a SRES emission scenarios) experiments were used for the climate projection. The statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM) was used to generate future possible local meteorological variables in the study area. The down-scaled data were then used as input to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to simulate the corresponding future stream flow in of Fincha Sub-basin located in upper Blue Nile Basin. A semi distributed hydrological model, SWAT was used to simulate future stream flow. Three benchmark periods simulated for this study were 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. The time series generated by GCM of HadCM3 A2a and B2a and Statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM) indicate a significant increasing trend in maximum and minimum temperature values and a slight decreasing trend in precipitation for both A2a and B2a emission scenarios in both Shambu and Neshe stations for all three bench mark periods. The hydrologic impact analysis made with the downscaled temperature and precipitation time series as input to the SWAT model suggested an overall decreasing trend in annual and monthly stream flow in the study area, in three benchmark periods in the future. This should be considered by policymakers of water resources planning and management. The hydrologic impact analysis made with the downscaled temperature and precipitation time series as input to the hydrological model SWAT suggested for both A2a and B2a emission scenarios. As a result, at the out let of the watershed the projected on average annual flow decrease by 5.59%,9.03%,11% and 2.16%,4.15 and 3.46% for the 2020s,2050s and 2080s for both A2a and B2a emissions scenarios. Potential evapotranspiration in the watershed also will increase annually on average 3 - 16% for the 2020s and 4-19% for the 2050s and 2080s for both A2a and B2a emissions scenarios. {List only- not presented}

Abstract

The city of Bloemfontein is currently entirely dependent on remote surface water sources for its potable water supply. The water is purified at great cost, before being pumped over large distances to the reservoirs of the city. However, the surface water resource is unreliable and susceptible to droughts. In addition, large volumes of the purified water are lost before reaching the users. These losses are due to various factors, including leakages in the pipelines transporting the water to Bloemfontein and illegal connections. To reduce the city's dependence on remote surface water sources, this investigation aims to assess the potential for using groundwater resources to augment the municipal water supply. A prominent ring-dyke underlying the city is thought to be associated with strong aquifers. Our geophysical investigations have shown that this dyke yields large and well-defined magnetic and resistivity anomalies that allow easy interpretation of the geometry of the dyke. Future investigations will include the installation of boreholes at positions as determined from an interpretation of the geophysical data. Hydraulic tests will be performed on the aquifers intersected by the boreholes to determine the hydraulic parameters and sustainable yields. The groundwater quality will be assessed to evaluate its suitability for human consumption.

Abstract

Cape Town... Home to over 3 and a half million people, the second most populated city in South Africa was born in the shadow of the Table Mountain. The mountain offered all the elements vital for human settlement... most importantly WATER. The reports of the abundance of fresh water and fertile land at the foot of the mountain and surrounds inspired the VOC to set up a refreshment station at the Cape. By the late-1800s, spring water was solely used for domestic supply to the settlers of Cape Town. Until the 1930s, the Stadsfontein or Main Spring was still being used as a source of drinking water but because of on-going concerns about the safety of the water for human consumption, and sufficient water being available from the new schemes like Steenbras and Wemmershoek, a decision was taken to discontinue using the Stadsfontein for drinking water purposes. Since then most of the water joined the stormwater to the sea, until 2010 when the City recommenced using the water for irrigation at Green Point Stadium and the Commons. City of Cape Town faces a number of water supply challenges. These include managing the ever increasing demands on the current water supply. The City of Cape Town Springs Study was born from this 2001 Water Demand Management study and it aims primarily to examine the possibility of using spring water as an alternative source of water for non-potable supply. Of these, the springs which hold the most potential for use are found in two areas - the CBD area of Oranjezicht, home to the Field of Springs

Abstract

POSTER Vanwyksvlei had always experienced problems with water supply and quality of drinking water. The town relies on 6 boreholes to supply the town with drinking water. Since 2011 the town was told not to use the water that was supplied from the borehole called Soutgat. This meant that the town could now rely only on the water being supplied from the other 5 boreholes.From 2011 till present the town has experienced a lot of problems regarding water supply, due to the fact that the Soutgat could not be used anymore. Extra stress was put on the other boreholes and these were pumped almost dry. The two aquifers are currently failing and monitoring data since 2009 shows that the water levels of the town are decreasing. Due to low rainfall, recharge to the boreholes are much lower, which exacerbates the problem. This poster will examine the effectiveness of using the Blue Drop system in small towns with limited water supply, at the hand of a case study of Vanwyksvlei. This review will take into account factors such as the point at which water quality is tested in the water supply system, the type of water treatment available for the town and a review the usefulness of certain standards in the Blue Drop system which may indicate failure of supply sources.

Abstract

Estimating groundwater recharge response from rainfall remains a major challenge especially in arid and semi-arid areas where recharge is difficult to quantify because of uncertainties of hydraulic parameters and lack of historical data. In this study, Chloride Mass Balance (CMB) method and Extended model for Aquifer Recharge and soil moisture Transport through unsaturated Hardrock (EARTH) model were used to estimate groundwater recharge rates. Groundwater chemistry data was acquired from the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Global Project Management consultants, while groundwater samples were collected to fill-in the identified gaps. These were sent to Council for Geoscience laboratory for geochemical analysis. Rainfall samples were also collected and sent for geochemical analysis. An average value of rainfall chloride concentration, average groundwater chloride concentration and mean annual precipitation (MAP) were used to estimate recharge rate at a regional scale. Local scale recharge was also calculated using chloride concentration at each borehole. The results were integrated in ArcGIS software to develop a recharge distribution map of the entire area. For EARTH model, long term rainfall and groundwater levels data were acquired from the South Africa Weather Services and DWS, respectively. Soil samples were collected at selected sites and analysed. These were used to determine representative values of specific yield to use on EARTH model. 60% of the groundwater levels data for 5 boreholes was used for model calibration while the remaining 40% was used for model validation. The model performance was evaluated using coefficient of determination (R2), correlation coefficient (R), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) and Mean square error (MSE). Regional recharge rates of 12.1 mm/a (equivalent to 1.84% of 656 mm/a MAP) and 30.1 mm/a (equivalent to 4.6% MAP) were calculated using rainfall chloride concentrations of 0.36 and 0.9 mg/L, respectively. The estimated local recharge rates ranged from 0.9-30.2 mm/a (0.14 - 4.6%) and 2 - 75 mm/a (0.3 - 11.4%) using chloride concentration of 0.9 and 0.36 mg/L, respectively. The average recharge rate estimated using EARTH model is 6.12% of the MAP (40.1 mm/a). CMB results were found to fall within the same range with those obtained in other studies within the vicinity of the study area. The results of EARTH model and CMB method were comparable. The computed R2, R, RMSE and MSE ranged from 0.47-0.87, 0.68-0.94, 0.04-0.34, 0.16-3.16, and 0.50-0.79, 0.68-0.89, 0.07-0.68, 0.15-8.78 for calibration and validation, respectively. This showed reasonable and acceptable model performance. The study found that there is poor response of groundwater levels during rainy season which is likely to be due to lack of preferential flows between surface water and groundwater systems. This has resulted in poor relationship between estimated and observed groundwater levels during rainfall season.

Key words: ArcGIS, CMB, EARTH, Groundwater recharge, rainfall

Abstract

Model calibration and scenario evaluations of 2D and 3D groundwater simulations are often computationally expensive due to dense meshes and the high number of iterations required before finding acceptable results. Furthermore, due to the diversity of modelling scenarios, a standardised presentation of modelling results to a general audience is complicated by different levels of technical expertise.

Reducing computational time
In this presentation we look briefly at the use of Reduced Order Models (ROM's), which is one of the recent developments in groundwater modelling. The method allows significant speed-up times in model calibration and scenario evaluation studies. In saturated flow for example, these approaches show speed-up times of >1000 when compared to full models created with Finite Element of Finite Difference methods. These methods are demonstrated to a case study in the Table Mountain Group, in which we show a simplified parameter calibration and scenario evaluation study.

Standardising presentation
In order to present the results to as wide an audience as possible, the use of a web-browser as a GUI is proposed, where the web-page is coupled to a geo-spatial database and data is presented in a spatial and numeric format. The use of the spatial database manager PostgreSQL with PostGIS is proposed. Through a browser interface, users can run modelling scenarios using the ROM, which is evaluated in near real-time. Following the evaluation of the model, we show how PostGIS can spatially present data on a base-map such as google maps. In keeping with the current trends in online map customisation, viewers can interactively choose to overlay the base-map with a data-type (such as pressure or hydraulic head contours or flow direction) that is most intuitive for their level of familiarity with the data.

Conclusion
In using advanced modelling techniques and a simplified browser based presentation of results, high-level decisions in water resource management can be significantly accelerated with the use of interactive scenario evaluations. Furthermore, by reaching a broader audience, public participation will be significantly enhanced.

Abstract

Studies showed that the primary origin of salinity in river flows of the Sandspruit in the Berg Catchment located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa was mainly due to the weathering of the shales, while atmospheric deposition contributed a third of the total salinity. The salts are transported to rivers through surface runoff and subsurface flow (i.e. throughflow and groundwater flow). The purpose of this study was to determine the relative contributions of subsurface flow and surface flows to total flows in the Sandspruit River, Berg Catchment. Three rain events were studied. Water samples for two rain events were analyzed for environmental tracers ?18O, Silica (SiO2), Calcium (Ca2+) and Magnesium (Mg2+). Tracers used for two component hydrograph separation were ?18O and SiO2. These tracers were selected as Ca2+ and Mg2+ provided inconsistent contributions of both subsurface flow and surface flow. Two component hydrograph separations indicated that groundwater is the dominant contributor to flow, while surface runoff mainly contributes at the onset of the storm event. Groundwater response to precipitation input indicated that boreholes near the river have a greater response than boreholes further away from the rivers, which have minor response to the input of precipitation.
Keywords:
Stable Isotopes, Sandspruit River, Tracers, Hydrograph separation, Salinity

Abstract

The aquifer vulnerability of the Molototsi (B81G) and Middle Letaba (B82D) quaternary catchments of the Limpopo Province was assessed to determine the influence of the vadose zone on the groundwater regime. The aquifer vulnerability was assessed by developing a new method, RDSS, which evaluates the vadose zone as a pathway for pollutants by using the following four parameters: Recharge, Depth to water table, Soil type (saturated vertical hydraulic conductivity) and Slope. Recharge was estimated using the Chloride-mass balance method and the depth to the water table was measured in the field using dipmeter. The seepage behavior (soil type) was determined as hydraulic conductivity from in-situ infiltration and percolation testing. (SABS 0252-2:1993 and double ring infiltrometer). The slopes were determined with the digital elevation method using ArcGIS software. The four parameters were overlaid using Weighted Sum, Weighted Overlay and Raster Calculator to produce the vulnerability map. Different weightings were attributed in the methods and the best selected. The results obtained indicated high vulnerability on the lower and upper parts of both catchments. The benefits of the method described are: (a) the easy quantification of the parameters through fairly simple methods and (b) the exclusion of arbitrary index values.

Abstract

The anticipated exploration and exploitation of Shale Gas in the Eastern Cape Karoo through hydraulic fracturing has raised considerable debate regarding the benefits and risks associated with this process for both the Karoo, and the country as a whole. Major concerns include the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on ecological, environmental and especially scarce water resources. The Eastern Cape Karoo region is a water stressed area and with further climate change it will become increasingly so. Thus, effective and reliable groundwater management is crucial for sustainable development in this region. This research aims to hydrochemically characterise both the shallow groundwater (<500m) and deeper saline groundwater in the vicinity of the Shale Gas bearing formations, based on major and trace elements, as well as gas isotope analyses. Sampling will include water sampling and gas measurements from shallow boreholes (<300m), SOEKOR drillholes (oil exploration holes drilled in the 60's and 70's up to 4km deep) and thermal springs (source of water >500m).

To-date, a desktop study includes the collation of information determining the areas with the highest potential for Shale Gas Exploration throughout the Eastern Cape Karoo, from which the research area has been determined. This includes the identification of the respective oil companies' exploration precincts. A Hydrocensus has been initiated across this area, which includes slug testing and electrical conductivity profiling of open, unequipped boreholes. Further borehole selection will be finalised from this acquired information. The boreholes will be sampled and analysed a minimum of three times per year, which will occur after summer (April/May) and winter (October/November), after which the hydrochemistry will be analysed. The sampling will be preceded by purging of all inactive boreholes. The possible hydraulic connectivity between the shallow and deep aquifers will be tested, particularly in those areas where dolerite intrusions as well as fault systems may enhance preferential flow of water, using the chemical forensics complemented with passive seismic profiling/imaging and deep penetrating Magneto-Telluric (MT) imaging.

The data collected will form a record against which the impact of fracking can be accurately determined. The research is a critical first step towards the successful governance of groundwater in light of the proposed Shale Gas development. In its absence, effective regulation of the sector will not be possible.

Abstract

In 2009 it was announced that South Africa and Australia would be in competition for the race of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). In 2009 the MeerKAT project was started in the Karoo near the core site of the SKA, which set out to demonstrate that South Africa was able to build the infrastructure of the SKA. The SKA required water for the building of roads, the dishes and the foundations of the dishes at the MeerKAT site. This poster explains the groundwater monitoring that is being performed at the MeerKAT site from 2011 till present in order to illustrate how good monitoring and management of groundwater can ensure sustainable groundwater use at sites like these. {List only- not presented}

Abstract

Coastal wetlands are complex hydrogeological systems in which groundwater have a significant influence on both its water balance and hydrochemistry. Differences in groundwater flow and groundwater chemistry associated with complex hydrogeologic settings have been shown to affect the diversity and composition of plant communities in wetland systems. A number of wetlands can be found across the flat terrain of the Agulhas Plain, of which the most notable is the Soetendalsvlei and the Vo?lvlei. Despite the ecological and social importance of the Vo?lvlei, the extent to which local, intermediate and regional groundwater flow systems influences the Vo?lvlei is poorly understood. The aim of this work is to characterize the spatial and temporal variations in surface water and groundwater interactions in order to demonstrate the influence of groundwater flow systems on the hydrology of the Vo?lvlei. The specific objectives of the study are; 1) to establish a geological framework of the lake sub-surface, 2) to determine the physical hydrological characteristics of the Vo?lvlei and 3) to determine the physical-chemical and isotopic characteristics of groundwater and surface water. Data collection will be done over the period of a year. Methods to be used will include the use of geophysical (electrical resistivity) to determine high water bearing areas surrounding the wetland, a drilling investigation (the installation of piezometers at 5-10m depths and boreholes at 30m depth, sediment analysis (grain size analysis, colour and texture), hydraulic (slug testing to determine hydraulic properties; hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity), hydrological (to estimate groundwater discharge; Darcy flux and hydraulic head difference between groundwater level and lake level), physical-chemical (electrical conductivity, temperature and pH) and stable environmental isotopic (oxygen and hydrogen) analysis of surface water and groundwater, to determine flow paths and identify processes. Thus far, results obtained for the geophysical survey has revealed that the sub-surface of this wetland system is highly variable. Three traverses were done on the South-Western, South-Eastern and Northern side of the wetland (See Figure 1). In VOEL1 (South west), the upper couple of meters show areas of very low resistivity, which is associated with clays, poor water quality and water which has high dissolved salts. The changing of medium to high resistivity values on the North-eastern side is usually indicative of weathered sandstone (Table Mountain Group). VOEL2 (South eastern), indicates that the subsurface is of low resistivity. These low values are the result of noticeable salt grains in the sand. VOEL3 (Northern), indicated upper layers of low resistivity, while the lower depth indicate areas of high resistivity. It is expected that the results of this study will provide a conceptual understanding of surface water-groundwater interactions and the processes which control these interactions, in order to facilitate the effective management and conservation of this unique lacustrine wetland.

Abstract

POSTER The human interferences in river catchments includes impoundment construction, sediment mining, bank revetment and artificial cutoff, which eventually leads to changes in the hydrology system and channel transportation ability, and may reduce channel stability. In past 10 years the Kuils River had been upgraded between Van Riebeeck Road and the Stellenbosch Arterial route to reduce flood levels. The stretch of the river between the R300 and Van Riebeeck Road was also upgraded: reducing any possibility of flooding, by concrete-lining of some areas of the river that are within the Kuilsrivier Municipal Area. Producing a cross-section of a river channel is of great importance in river studies. To determine the discharge one should survey the profile of a feature such as a meander or riffle, it is necessary to produce a cross-section of the river. In order to focus on restoration requirements of a river, a map of the river is needed. This provides an indication of what exactly the river currently is. Habitat mapping is intended to access the stream. Woody debris, substrate, aquatic vegetation is measured continuously throughout a river, to be able to identify conservation and restoration needs. The cross section 1.3 of site 1 indicates that the channel width from January 2002 is almost similar in width of September 2012. The depth of the channel is about 0.5m deeper when compared to January 2002. The Kuils River banks are covered in grassy vegetation, with some trees with deep and large roots that provide protection against undercutting along rivers. The banks of Site 1 are covered long weeds and annual grasses with shallow root systems, which don't provide stability when the banks were saturated after high rainfall. The Kuils River area is used for various types of land uses and this also impacts the channels eg. Urban, Industrial and Agricultural use. Because of canalization occurring upstream one can see evidently the changes within the channel.

Abstract

The groundwater quality of the Orange Water Management Area (OWMA) was assessed to determine the current groundwater status. Groundwater is of major importance in the Orange Basin and constitutes the only source of water over large areas. Groundwater in the OWMA is mainly used for domestic supply, stock watering, irrigation, and mining activities. Increase in mining and agricultural activities place a demand for the assessment of groundwater quality. The groundwater quality was assessed by collecting groundwater samples from farm boreholes, household boreholes, and mine boreholes. Physical parameters such as pH, temperature and Electrical Conductivity (EC) were measured in-situ using an Aquameter instrument. The groundwater chemistry of samples were analysed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Ion Chromatography, and Spectrophotometer for cations, anions and alkalinity respectively. The analyses were done at Council for Geoscience laboratory. The results obtained indicated high concentration of Nitrate (NO3), EC, sulphate (SO4), Iron (Fe), and dissolved metals (Chromium, Nickel, Copper, Zinc, and Lead). The concentrations were higher than the South African National Standards (SANS) 241 (2006) drinking water required guideline. The OWMA is characterised by the rocks of the Karoo Supergroup, Ventersdorp Supergroup, Transvaal Supergroup, Namaqua and Natal Metamorphic Province, Gariep Supergroup, and Kalahari Group. Groundwater is found in the sandstones of the Beaufort Group. Salt Mining occurs in the Namaqua Group, hence the high concentration of EC observed. High EC was also found in the Dwyka Group. The salt obtained from the pans underlain by the Dwyka Group rocks has relatively high sodium sulphate content, this probably results from oxidation of iron sulphate to sulphate. Therefore, high concentration of SO4 is due to the geology of the area. High concentration of NO3 is due to agricultural activities, whereas high concentration of EC, Fe, SO4 and dissolved metals is due to mining activities.

Abstract

The National Water Act (NWA) 36 of 1998 is regarded as providing a platform for an innovative way of managing the country's water resources. However, demands on the nation's water resources are intensifying as more and more catchments are coming under increasing stress. This may be attributed to significant changes in land-use and poor water resource governance which negatively affects the Environmental Water Requirement (EWR) flows of rivers in many catchments in South Africa. EWR refers to the flow needed by a river to sustain a healthy ecosystem. It is vital that the determined EWR flows are met and to ensure that all water-users receive their allocated water supplies. To ensure effective water management and water provision, it is critical to understand transmission losses considering that it is a key component of the water balance or hydrological budget. Quantitative investigations of transmission losses are necessary in order to calculate flows in a river and appropriately allocate water for different users. The Groot Letaba River situated in the north-eastern region of South Africa is a prime example of a river system where uncertainties in channel losses and gains are complicating effective water management. The Groot Letaba River is a model river where Strategic Adaptive Management (SAM) is currently being implemented to ensure adaptive and sustainable water resource management. This unique approach is facilitated by the institutional interaction between dam operators (from the upstream Tzaneen Dam) and stakeholders including Kruger National Park. However, there are huge uncertainties surrounding natural water losses (e.g. evapotranspiration) or gains (e.g. groundwater discharge) in the real-time model currently being used by dam operators. This study aims at attempting to narrow down the uncertainty by understanding and quantifying the natural hydrological processes between the two dominant land-uses along this river, i.e. agriculture and protected areas. In particular, the project will investigate the hydrological connectivity between groundwater and surface water along the Letaba River. This project will contribute significantly to management strategies by using a precise hydrological approach which will aid in improving estimates of water supply in the Groot Letaba River. Furthermore, this project could contribute to the development of appropriate water management strategies not only in the Letaba catchment but other similar Lowveld catchments as well.

Abstract

POSTER Since June 2010 and still ongoing today, the Lower Orange River Valley has experienced over a 1168 tremors(a) and earthquakes in the vicinity of Augrabies. Of these 1168 tremors, 71 quakes registered above 3 on the Richter scale and on 18 December 2011, the area was struck with an earthquake that registered 5 on the Richter scale. Four thermal springs are also located near this earthquake zone and the temperature of the water have a range of between 38?C -46.6?C, according to Kent LE. (1949/1969). 25?C is the division between thermal and non-thermal waters and the thermal gradient for the Riemvasmaak area(b) is 24?C, clearly indicating that the four springs are thermal when looking at the temperature difference. The Department of Water Affairs has been monitoring these springs monthly since 2011 and has been taking field measurements and chemical analyses. The aim of this study is a) to see if the tremors and earthquakes have an effect on the chemistry of the thermal springs, b) to create a data set for the thermal springs, as these springs was recorded and mentioned in Kent LE. reports of 1949 and 1969 but no samples were collected and analysed, c) to see if the water source for the groundwater in the area and the thermal springs are connected and d) to see if the recent floods may have had an influence on the earthquake zone seeing as the Orange River runs through the zone. The following sources are used to describe the earthquakes and water quality: (a) Earthquake data from the Council of Geosciene (b) ZQM data on NGA temp range between 21-28?C depending on the season with 24?C being the mean.

Abstract

Characterization of Groundwater Potential in the northern parts of the Limpopo Province, South Africa: Results from Integrated Geophysical Studies across the Sagole and Tshipise Hot Springs.
The Sagole and Tshipise hot springs are located in the northern Limpopo Province of South Africa. The geology of the area consists of dykes, dolerite sills, quartzite and undifferentiated meta-sediments. Regional-scale airborne magnetic data and satellite images were used for mapping structures and lithological boundaries in order to identify permeable zones that are associated with thermal groundwater aquifers. Various filtering techniques were used to enhance the magnetic signatures that correspond to structural features. Modeling of airborne magnetic data indicated that the heat source depth was an anticlinal structure at a depth range of 3 km to 5 km. Based on results of interpretation of the magnetic and satellite images, ground follow-up targets were identified. Detailed ground geophysical surveys were carried out across the identified targets using the frequency-domain electromagnetic (EM), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and magnetic methods.
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The result of interpretation of magnetic data was combined with two-dimensional modeling EM and (ERT). Modeling of the electrical conductivity of the subsurface layers was constrained using existing borehole data. Interpretation of the airborne magnetic data revealed the presence of number of NE-SW striking lineaments that transect the metasedimentary rocks of the Soutpansberg Supergroup. In addition, these structures are manifested by a number of hotsprings that are aligned along major lineaments. The interpretation of 2D modeling of ERT data revealed a highly conductive layer with a depth ranging from surface to 40 m that may be attributed to elevated moisture content. Two-Dimensional modeling of frequency-domain electromagnetic data was carried out to delineate lateral and vertical variation of electrical conductivity. Electrical conductivity values in the range 50 mS/m to 100 mS/m were obtained, indicating the presence of water bearing zones or fractures. Results of the study have shown that hot water rises to the surface along near vertical faults or fractures.

Keywords: Aquifer, geophysics, groundwater, thermal spring

Abstract

In order to meet the increasing national and international demand for coal, substantial expansion plans for existing as well as new coal mines were put forward in recent years. The mine developments are often proposed in environmentally sensitive areas and require an appropriate assessment of potential environmental impacts, including impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems. This paper describes the development of a conceptual and numerical groundwater model as part of a wetland reserve determination in the Witbank coalfields. The model was used to assess potential mining related impacts on the shallow groundwater flow, including surface seepages and spring discharges feeding hill slope and valley bottom wetlands as well as pans. A number of shallow monitoring boreholes were sited, drilled and tested in the focus area around a pan to characterise the shallow perched and weathered aquifers. While these aquifers were generally found to be very low to low yielding, higher yields were encountered in a coarser grit layer intersected by two of the eight boreholes. The grit layer represents a potential preferential groundwater flow path towards the pan and was subsequently further delineated based on the exploration drilling logs from the mine. The different aquifers, the target coal seam, and over 60 mapped hill slope and valley bottom wetlands as well as pans, were incorporated into a numerical groundwater flow model. A free seepage boundary was assigned to the entire surface area to evaluate if the model is able to represent the observed seepages and spring discharges. The simulation of unsaturated flow processes (Richard's equation) was found to be crucial for the representation of discharges from perched aquifers. Following a satisfactory calibration of the model, different open cast mine layouts were then incorporated into the model to assess their impacts on the groundwater contribution to wetlands. The presented quantitative simulation of groundwater contributions towards wetlands and pans based on site specific groundwater investigations and data is considered a best practice example in assessing the groundwater component for a wetland reserve determination.

Abstract

The SADC Grey Data archive http://www.bgs.ac.uk/sadc/ provides a chronology of groundwater development within the constituent countries of the SADC region. Early reports show how groundwater development progressed from obtaining water by well digging to the mechanical drilling of boreholes for provision of water for irrigation, township development, transport networks and rural settlement. During the 1930s steam driven drilling rigs were supplanted by petrol engine driven cable tool percussion drilling. Dixey (1931), in his manual on how to develop groundwater resources based on experiences in colonial geological surveys in eastern and southern Africa, describes aquifer properties, groundwater occurrence and resources as well as water quality and groundwater abstraction methods. Frommurze (1937) provides an initial assessment of aquifer properties in South Africa with Bond (1945) describing their groundwater chemistry. South African engineers transferred geophysical surveying skills to the desert campaign during World War II. Paver (1945) described the application of these methods to various geological environments in South Africa, Rhodesia and British colonial territories in eastern and central Africa. Test pumping methods using electric dippers were also developed for the assessment of groundwater resources. Enslin and others developed DC resistivity meters, replacing early Meggar systems, produced data that when analysed, using slide rules with graphs plotted by hand, identified water bearing fractures and deeply weathered zones. Tentative maps were drawn using interpretation of aerial photographs and heights generated using aneroid altimeters. The problems faced by hydrogeologists remain the same today as they were then, even though the technology has greatly improved in the computer era. Modern techniques range from a variety of geophysical surveying methods, automated rest level recorders with data loggers to GPS location systems and a whole host of remotely sensed data gathering methods. Worryingly, using such automated procedures reduces the ability of hydrogeologists to understand data limitations. The available collection of water level time series data are surprisingly small. Surrogate data need to be recognised and used to indicate effects of over abstraction as demand grows. As the numbers of boreholes drilled per year increases the number of detailed hydrogeological surveys undertaken still remains seriously small. Has our knowledge of hydrogeological systems advanced all that much from what was known in the 1980s? Case histories from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania illustrate a need for groundwater research with well-judged sustainability assessments to underpin safe long-term groundwater supply for the groundwater dependent communities in the region.

Abstract

The current study investigated the subsurface of aquifers in Heuningnes Catchment focusing on aquifer characteristics for groundwater resource assessments. Surface geophysical resistivity method was adapted for mapping the shallow subsurface layers and hydrogeologic units at selected sites within the catchment. The aim was to provide a preliminary overview of the subsurface nature of aquifers within the study area, by establishing features such as geological layers, position of weathered zones, faults and water bearing layers. The multi-electrode ABEM SAS 1000 resistivity meter system, using the Wenner array, was used to obtain 2D resistivity data of the subsurface. The acquired data was processed and interpreted using Res2DINV software to produce the 2D resistivity models. The analysis of the resistivity models of the subsurface reveals maximum of four layers; sandstone, shale, poor clayed and brackish water saturated layer. On comparing the model results with the surficial geological formation of the catchment geological map, the identified layers were found to correspond with the geology of the area. The findings i) provide insights on sites that can be drilled for groundwater exploration, ii) show possible water-type variations in the subsurface. Although the results are not conclusive but they provide basis for further research work on quality and flow dynamics of groundwater.

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Key words: aquifer properties, hydrogeologic units, geo-electric model, electrical-resistivity method

Abstract

For a long time, professionals regarded social media as a superficial, unprofessional platform where internet users would submerge themselves in a virtual world, detached from real-life issues. Slowly, the myths and stigmas surrounding the use of social media has faded as more and more professionals and scientists have realized that these social platforms could be positively exploited in a professional manner which could be beneficial. In a digital age where information at our fingertips is the norm, professionals should co-evolve and ensure that their work is just as accessible and appealing, without the unnecessary jargon. Currently, science is mostly restricted to a very particular audience and conveyed in one direction only. Using a social media platform such as Twitter-which limits messages to only 140 characters-challenges scientists to convey their work in a very concise manner using simpler terminology. Furthermore, it dismisses the usual one-way form of communication by opening dialogue with fellow Twitter users. At conferences, Twitter can serve as a useful tool for active engagement which will not only "break the ice" between delegates but also ensure that important information is communicated to a much wider audience than only those in attendance. This idea was tested at the 2014 Savanna Science Network Meeting held in Skukuza, Kruger National Park, where the hashtag #SSNM was used. More than 63% of the Twitter users who participated in the #SSNM hashtag were actually not present at the conference. These external "delegates" were interested individuals from five different continents and in different professions besides Science. This highlights how social media can be exploited at conferences to ensure that key messages are conveyed beyond the immediate audience at the event.

Abstract

The Table Mountain Group (TMG) Formation in the Uitenhage region, in the Eastern Province of South Africa, has many groundwater users, which could result in the over-exploitation of the underlying aquifer. Consequently, several investigations have been conducted to help in the planning and management of groundwater resources within the region. Traditionally, these investigations have considered groundwater and surface water as separate entities, and have been investigated separately. Environmental isotopes, hydrochemistry and feacal colifom bacteria techniques have proved to be useful in the formulation of interrelationships and for the understanding of groundwater and surface water interaction. The field survey and sampling of the springs, Swartkops River and the surrounding boreholes in the Uitenhage area have been conducted. After full analysis of the study, it is anticipated that the data from the spring, Swartkops River and the surrounding boreholes show interannual variation in the isotope values, indicating large variation in the degree of mixing, as well as to determine the origin and circulation time of different water bodies. ?D and ?18O value for the spring ranges from ?18.9? to ?7.4?, and 5.25? to 4.82?, respectively, while ?D values for borehole samples range from ?23.5? to ?20.0? and ?18O values range from ?5.67? to ?5.06?. In the river sample, ?D values ranges from ?12.1? to ?4.2?, ?18O from ?3.7? to ?1.13?, respectively. The entrobacter aerogen and E.Coli bacteria were detected in the samples. E. coli population for spring and the artesian boreholes indicated low value while the shallow boreholes had higher values are relatively closer to those of the middle ridges of the Swartkops River. The EC values for the spring samples averages at 14 mS/m, borehole samples ranges from 21 mS/m to 1402 mS/m, and surface water ranges from 19 mS/m to 195 mS/m. Swartkops River is an ephemeral, therefore it is expected that diffuse recharge occurs into the shallow aquifer.

Abstract

Based on a modified DRASTIC model and GIS techniques, shallow groundwater vulnerability assessment was carried out in the Federal Capital City of Abuja, Nigeria. The results indicate that the studied area can be divided into three zones, namely: low groundwater vulnerability zone (vulnerability index <100) which covers about 60% of the City; moderate vulnerability zone (vulnerability indexes 100-140) which covers 35% of the City and high vulnerability zone (vulnerability index >140) which covers only 5% of the City. The highest groundwater vulnerability zone mainly locates in the central solid waste disposal site area in the outskirt of the City. The findings correlate well with the results of the physicochemical and microbiological investigation. The general low contamination vulnerability signature of the City may be attributed to absence of industries, limited agricultural activities, and preponderance of clayey top soil which effectively forms the first defence against contamination of the underlying aquifers as well as the presence of central sewage collection facility that covers about 25% of the City.