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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2006)

Groundwater resources potential assessment in Alamata sub-basin, Northern Ethiopia

Berhie, H.S.

Titre : Groundwater resources potential assessment in Alamata sub-basin, Northern Ethiopia

Auteur : Berhie, H.S.

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2006

Résumé
The Alamata Sub basin is found in north-eastern Ethiopia on the western shoulder of the AfarDepression making its own trough surrounded by volcanic hills. The basin fill is mainlycomposed of unconsolidated material ranging from gravel to clay. The study site covers anarea of 1030.3 km2. The main purpose of this work was to study the potential groundwaterrecharge and characterize the groundwater from a hydrogeological and chemical point ofview.The annual groundwater recharge is estimated to be 120 Mm3/year which was verifiedthrough manual calculations and groundwater modeling. This would equate a potential(maximum) groundwater availability of the same order of magnitude. The potentiality of theaquifers in the area has been classified from high (>500 m2/day) to weak (< 0.5-5 m2/day)based on the transmissivity values calculated using different methods. In general the highpotentiality aquifers were found mainly on the western margin of the valley.The groundwater in the study area is mainly of a Ca-Mg-HCO3 or Mg-Ca-HCO3 type. Ingeneral the chemical composition of the ground water is controlled by chemical weathering ofsilicate minerals which make up the surrounding basaltic rocks. Some samples indicatedhigher than recommended values for NO3 and SO4 and this could be attributed to humaninterference. In this regard, it is found that the groundwater is suitable for both agriculturaland domestic useFrom a hydrogeological and chemical point of view, the Alamata Sub-basin has a goodgroundwater potential. Proper management of the prevailing potential including a moredetailed and multi-disciplinary study with a view to further analyzing the resource endowmentas well as figuring out its sustainable use seems mandatory and is in the interest of improvingthe increasing water shortage problems of the area.

Sujets  : aquifer recharge groundwater modelling groundwater recharge groundwater resources hydrogeology Ethiopia

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