Deep aquifer recharge in East Africa
In large parts of the world, clean water is a scarce commodity, and groundwater is the main drinking water resource. Access to clean water for all is one of the UN’s sustainability goals. Sound water management is essential to ensure resource replenishment and sustainable water use. To ensure future water supply to East Africa, deep aquifers have proven to be prospective, with vast amounts of good quality freshwater in stacked, deep aquifers. These groundwater reservoirs cover vast areas and can potentially supply millions of people with a steady supply of clean water.
In order to estimate sustainable exploitation, i.e. extraction not exceeding replenishment, the regional water balance must be quantified.
This MSc work will form part of a collaboration between the company Ruden AS Geo Solutions working with deep aquifer mapping in Somalia in collaboration with Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs among others and in line with UN development goals. This project is the world's first mapping of deep fresh groundwater potential on a national scale.
The prospective student will estimate a regional water budget in order to evaluate groundwater recharge in the highlands and compare with integrated, available geophysical and groundwater data from wells. The student will discuss sound water management in relation to quantitative data and evaluate the risk of overconsumption (is there fossil groundwater?). The student will also put variability in annual water budgets into a climate context – e.g. is there a risk of drought?
The student is required to have basic knowledge in hydrogeology and/or hydrology and to be capable of using GIS-based software for property mapping.