Some key results:
Groundwater shows a high salinity in many regions of the lower Shire in Malawi and at some sites water can only be used for washing (photo Rolf D. Vogt, UiO).
- Groundwater resources in the lower Shire region in Malawi show high salinity, and hydrogeochemical and geophysical techniques are used to map the source of salinity and mechanism of groundwater salinisation. Preliminary results suggest that the high salinity is caused by deeper saline formations communicating with more shallow groundwater through conducting faults;
- Annual, seasonal and monthly rainfall in Malawi were found to be highly variable both temporally and spatially. Low spatial correlations were found for different time resolutions, indicating that the data may not be suitable for spatial interpolation. However, some spatial correlation structure could be observed when aggregating the data at 50 mile intervals. The annual and seasonal rainfall series were dominated by trends towards drier conditions;
- Gridded precipitation at 50 km resolution (from the WATCH Forcing Data) were found to agree well with independently observed time series of monthly rainfall in Malawi. The data were subsequently used to analyse temporal and spatial characteristics of major meteorological droughts in the period 1960-2000, identifying 1992 and 1994-95 as the most severe regional events.