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Sustainability of Groundwater in Africa Solves Water Scarcity Issues - Energy And Water Development Corp

Sustainability of Groundwater in Africa Solves Water Scarcity Issues


According to a research funded by the University of Texas at Austin, tapping into underground water can assist African communities in diversifying their water sources and strengthening their drought defenses.

The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, looked at long-term water storage gains and losses in Africa’s 13 major aquifers and revealed opportunities for sustainable underground water removal over much of the continent.

The scarcity of water in Africa

KENYA-WATER

(Photo : IMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)
Pupils carry plastic containers to collect swamp water in Mwea, 98km from the capital Nairobi, on March 20, 2015. In an annual report, the UN said abuse of water was now so great that on current trends, the world will face a 40-percent “global water deficit” by 2030-the gap between demand for water and the natural replenishment of it.


According to Down to Earth, the new coronavirus pandemic has stalled years of hard-won victory against another pandemic, cholera, a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera. The bacteria spread by excrement and infects through contaminated water and food.

Since 1817, the ailment has accumulated from Asia’s aboriginal areas in seven epidemic waves that have affected utmost of the world.

It is still endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it causes occasional outbreaks in communities already burdened by conflict, inadequate infrastructure, poor health systems, and malnutrition.

The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, looked at long-term water storage gains and losses in Africa’s 13 major aquifers and revealed opportunities for sustainable groundwater removal over much of the continent.

“The statistics show that, while specific Sub-Saharan aquifers experienced water level drops at times, the levels consistently and quickly retrieved during monsoon season, which helps guard against excessive usage,” said lead author Bridget Scanlon, a senior scientist at the University Of Texas Bureau Of Economic Geology, as per ScienceDaily.

Read more: First Wild Case of Polio Outbreak Detected in Africa After Over Five Years

The study highlighted different regions across Africa

The study discovered that most aquifers in Sub-Saharan Africa increased their water supply over time.

The researchers discovered that these oscillations were strongly associated to climatic phenomena that had an influence on the region, such as El Nio, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and La Nia.

This tendency suggests that, while dry years may result in considerable decreases in water storage, rain eventually returns and swiftly replaces the aquifers when it does occur. This, according to Scanlon, protects groundwater from long-term depletion.

Water quality takes a hit on the country

Even though Africa is the least urbanized continent, the Sub-Saharan area, which includes 46 nations and numerous emerging cities, has witnessed increasing urbanization. As a result, basic amenities including sanitation have become more difficult to provide.

This is a grueling expectation for utmost Africans who live in pastoral and peri-urban regions or informal agreements.

According to Williams Ngwakwe, project director of the non-profit Golden Change, which focuses on water and sanitation systems in northern Nigeria, the Chida community in the Kwali area chapter of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) produces a lot of cassava but infrequently washes it before eating it.

Because of the scarcity of water, they just peel, grind, and consume. Hand hygiene is also lacking before meals. Ngwakwe continues, one can imagine what a girl kid goes through in such areas during her menstrual cycle, and the sort of disease breakouts that such environmental and personal hygiene might result in.

Also Read: Disappearing Groundwater: An Unrealized Threat to Our Future


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