Groundwater map now available online

19 October 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The third edition of the Hydrogeological Map of Namibia was launched last week by the agriculture ministry.

The map comes with six inset maps and an updated handbook which gives a detailed explanation of how the map was developed with a description of how to use it.

According to the deputy director for public relations at the ministry, Chrispin Matongela, the ministry was inspired to use the latest technology to develop a digital application to make the hydrogeological map available to the Namibian people and groundwater stakeholders.

Real-time water data

“The digital application will allow us to move with changing times, giving access to real-time groundwater data including water quality and groundwater levels as it is collected from the national monitoring network.”

He said the updating of the hydrogeological map and the handbook was completed in a relatively short period of time.

According to Matongela this speedy revision has been made possible by the use of geographic information system technology, giving easy access to a significant volume of groundwater datasets.

The rigorous analysis of these extended datasets has enabled a new perspective using trend analyses of the groundwater resources in Namibia.

“The additional twenty years of data has provided a much more detailed historical evaluation of aquifer recharge, storage including alluvial riverbeds and aquifer vulnerability.”

He added that aquifer vulnerability is particularly pertinent where there is a high risk of pollution or where the demand for groundwater resources is growing, for example from irrigation schemes in the older established areas of Stampriet and Karst, and newer areas such as Summerdown (in Omaheke Region) and to the south east of Otavi (in Otjozondjupa Region).

“This increased demand demonstrates the importance of an effective permitting system which is needed to support the ministry’s prime responsibility as the custodian of groundwater resources in Namibia.”

The ministry has updated the map with financial assistance from the Southern African Development Community - Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI).

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