Characterization of the primary Kalahari aquifers using hydrogeochemistry and isotope techniques to develop a groundwater monitoring network, Kavango East and West regions, Namibia

Itengula, Josephine I N
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General Introduction: The problem of water security in Namibia is growing, not just for the Central Areas of Namibia (CAN) but for the entire country at large. Governmental discussions concerning water require that the development of additional sources of water is fast-tracked, to ensure water security in a changing climate regime. The former Kavango Region was divided into Kavango East and Kavango West regionsi n 2013, through the 4th Delimitation Commission under the Integrated Regional Land Use Plan (IRLUP). The capital of the Kavango Eastand West regions (hereinafter also referred to as the Kavango Region) are the towns of Rundu and Nkurenkuru, respectively. The Region is bordered by the important perennial Okavango River, which supports the livelihood of the inhabitants living nearby. Despite the strategic advantage the Okavango River provides, inhabitants that live further from the resource are in dire need of water and depend on groundwater resources. More importantly, however, the Okavango River which is shared amongst Namibia, Angola, Botswana, and to a lesser extent Zimbabwe has been earmarked to supply water to the CAN area via the Eastern National Water Carrier( ENWC). According to the Integrated Water Resources Management Plan (IWRM Joint Venture Consultants Namibia, 2010) set out for the Okavango-Omatako Basin, the ENWC would transfer both surface water and groundwater to the central, eastern,and western parts of Namibia. Discussions for such a pipeline from the river are underway, although they will involve major implications for all the countries involved. The project would be the largest water supply infrastructure in Namibia upon implementation. An assessment of hydrogeological researchesdone in the regions shows that a few groundwater studies have been conducted thus far, however, a lot more work needs to be done. Studies point towards the existence of groundwater bodies in the Kavango, and these bodies are currently being utilized. On the other hand,these aquifers have not been characterised; there is no information regarding the potential of the resource, recharge rates, aquifer behaviour, isotopic composition, and other important hydraulic parameters. This study has conducted hydrogeochemical and environmental isotope studies to aid in further understanding these aquifers ...
A research report submitted to the School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (in Hydrogeology), 2022