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Underground water could be a solution for NMB

Home Business Management Disaster Management Underground water could be a solution for NMB

DOCTORAL candidate in the Geosciences Department at Nelson Mandela University, Carla Dodd is working on answering some of the water-related questions raised by the drought in Nelson Mandela Bay.

An article by Dodd and Dr Gavin Rishworth, a senior lecturer in the Zoology Department, looks at the opportunities and threats of groundwater use in urban settings by reviewing global and national research.

Water has always been paramount to human development and has dictated where humans decide to settle. Coastal urbanisation has increased considerably over time, with about 40% of the global population living within 100 km of the coast. Human consumption and industrial development along the coast has therefore increased, putting strain on water infrastructure as well as supply. However, compared to surface water resources, groundwater management is often “out of sight and out of mind”.

Groundwater resides in aquifers underneath our feet. For both the Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay municipalities, these aquifers may contain good-quality water from the Table Mountain Group rock formation and the Atlantis and Algoa Group aquifers, respectively. This water can potentially satisfy or supplement the need for water during periods of drought, especially as these municipalities grow.

Sustainable management strategies for this water supply need to consider potential threats that inland and surface water supplies do not suffer from. This includes ecological threats like saltwater intrusion, a reduced recharge rate into the subsurface water level, and coastal flooding and erosion. Anthropogenic threats include pollution, overuse, and land subsidence.

Read the full article here

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