Groundwater

"Water that fills voids, cracks, or other spaces between particles of clay, silt, sand, gravel or rock within a saturated zone or formation (aquifer) below the soil surface." (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, n.y.)

Sources

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. "A Glossary  of Water-Related Terms", by Brian Benham. Publication 442-759

Related Content

Article

Interview with Dr Khalid Mahmood, Assistant Professor at the University of the Punjab

Could you describe your professional career and/or personal experiences related to space technology and water? Where does your interest in those sectors come from?

I started my research career in 2013, with research interests revolving around various environmental concerns that were deeply rooted in water related issues of Pakistan. Having an educational background in Space Science, it was quite intuitive to possess understanding of the very high potential of applicability of Geospatial technologies in the water sector.

Interview with Prof. Hesham El-Askary

Prof. Hesham El-Askary works at Chapman University in the Earth Systems Science Data Solutions (ESsDs) lab. Here, he supervises students on the use of satellite earth observations for topics including agriculture, water resources, air quality and climate action, and makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Prof. El-Askary is researching natural and anthropogenic pollution’s influence on the environment and is particularly interested in the concept of “glocal” impact—how what’s happening globally in terms of climate affects us locally. He believes that one of the biggest challenges in implementing sustainable water management is the lack of data to monitor progress, and advocates for space technologies to mitigates this shortage.  

Est ce que les Technologies Spatiales Peuvent Améliorer les Provisions WASH dans les Camps et Quartiers Informels

Le droit humain à l'eau et à l'assainissement 

À quoi ressemble votre routine matinale ? Pour la plupart des lecteurs, je suppose que vous utilisez les toilettes, vous vous lavez les mains et peut-être que vous prenez une douche. Cependant, vous arrive-t-il de vous arrêter pour réfléchir à l'eau que vous utilisez sous la douche ou au savon que vous utilisez pour vous laver les mains ?

Space technologies in the detection, monitoring and management of groundwater

Global groundwater supplies

Groundwater accounts for 30% of Earth’s freshwater resources (Shiklomanov 1993) (Figure 1) and is estimated to globally provide 36% of potable water, 42% of irrigation water, and 24% of industrial water – indicating its significant value (Global Environment Facility 2021). Groundwater affords a host of benefits, from providing better protection against drought and microbiological contamination than surface waters, to being generally low cost and accessible to many users.

Global Precipitation Mission: Improved, accurate and timely global precipitation information

Continuous and reliable global precipitation information is crucial for myriad of weather, climate and hydrological applications. The importance of precipitation in the form of rain, hail, sleet, snow etc. is known to science and clear to a layman. However, it’s quite tricky to measure past precipitation trends or predicting accurate future forecasts. There are three main categories of precipitation data sets available: ground based, satellite-based and blended products of ground and space data (Climate Data Guide, 2014).

How has space revolutionised subsidence?

Introduction

Land subsidence is a global phenomenon and is defined as:

“a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth's surface due to removal or displacement of subsurface earth materials”  - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2021)

From Jakarta to Nusantara: Land subsidence and other pressing water challenges in a sinking mega city

Jakarta, “the sinking city”, is the current capital city of Indonesia. Located on the Java Sea, this coastal city is home to nearly 30 million people within the greater-Jakarta area. Jakarta has grappled with water management issues for decades, leading to several current day water-related crises. Access to a reliable, potable water supply is extremely limited as there is a significant disparity between those with piped water access and those without. Citizens without piped water access have consequently relied heavily on groundwater and have dug thousands of unregulated wells as a result. This has led to a second water crisis – the chronic overextraction of Jakarta’s underground aquifers. Land subsidence is of the utmost concern as this sinking city is placed at high flood risk from the surrounding ocean. Approximately 40% of Jakarta now lies below sea level as a result and predictive models suggest that the entire city will be underwater by 2050 (Gilmartin, 2019). Compounding these problems, the climate crisis has led to significant sea level rise as glaciers and ice caps continue to melt (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2019; Lindsey, 2022). As the city of Jakarta continues to sink and sea levels rise, millions of citizens within Jakarta are at extremely high risk of flooding, particularly during monsoon season. Thousands of residents have already been forced to abandon their homes in search of improved conditions and higher ground (Garschagen et al., 2018).

Comment l'espace a révolutionné les affaissements?

 Traduit de l'anglais par Mussa Kachunga Stanis

Introduction


L’affaissement de terrain est un phénomène mondial et se définit comme :

    "Un tassement progressif ou un affaissement soudain de la surface de la Terre dû à l'enlèvement ou au déplacement de matériaux terrestres souterrains" - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2021)

Can space technologies help improve WASH provision in camps and informal settlements?

The Human Right to water and sanitation

What does your morning routine look like? For most readers I’d assume you use the toilet, wash your hands, and maybe take a shower.  However, do you ever stop to consider the water you use to shower, or the soap you use to wash your hands? Often, especially in developed countries, these things are taken for granted, rightly considering access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) as basic Human Rights (Figure 1).

United Nations/Ghana/PSIPW - 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management

From 10 to 13 May 2022, the United Nations Officer for Outer Space Affairs organized the 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management. The conference was hosted in a hybrid format in Accra, Ghana, by the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani on behalf of the Government of Ghana. The event was attended by several senior government representatives of the host country including Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, the Honorary Minister of Education Dr.

Interview with Amin Shakya, PhD Candidate at the University of Twente

We present an interview with Amin Shakya, a PhD candidate at the ITC Faculty of Geo-information science and earth observation at the University of Twente. We delve into Amin’s first engagements with geospatial technologies, his current PhD research on river discharge estimation using earth observation, as well as his prior work on groundwater analysis using space technologies. Further, Amin is engaged with the youth community particularly with the Groundwater Youth Network. We discuss his take on the role of youth in climate change adaptation. Throughout this interview, we touch upon various water challenges across the globe, from disaster risk management in Nepal, to urban water challenges in Mexico, to his current PhD research focused in Europe and in Africa.

Interview with Hannah Ritchie, PhD student in WASH at Cranfield University

Hannah has always had a love for the outdoors and especially for being by the sea. From her interest in both hydrogeology and development, developed during her undergraduate studies in geology and her travels respectively, she is now undertaking a PhD in WASH, researching water security in rural communities in Kenya. Hannah undertook a six-month internship with Space4Water at UNOOSA in 2021, where she developed her understanding of the importance and application of space-based technologies in the water sector. She believes that groundwater and sanitation are two areas where space technologies are currently under-exploited but in which they hold a lot of potential.

Interview with Naledi Msiya

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water (and space technologies). Please indicate whether an experience is related to water or to both, space and water).

I have always had an interest for science and the environment and before starting university I was introduced to hydrology which really caught my interest and led me to studying a BSc Degree in Hydrology and Geography.

Interview with Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado

Name of the community

Maya

Short description of community and hydrogeology of the area

Yucatan is located in the southeast portion of Mexico. The total area of Yucatan is 124, 409 km2 and the population (by 2018) was ca. 2.1 million inhabitants. The landscape of the area is defined by a highly permeable karstic soil, a notable absence of rivers or permanent freshwater resources in the surface, and a high number of natural wells or sinkholes (locally called cenotes, from the Maya word t´sonot).  

Interview with Claudia Ruz Vargas, Researcher at IGRAC

Claudia Ruz Vargas is a civil engineer, graduated from the University of Santiago, Chile, with an international master’s degree in Groundwater and Global change. Her master thesis focused on groundwater modelling for recharge and saline intrusion risk assessment under climate change scenarios, in Cape Verde. Claudia has six years of work experience as a project engineer and researcher. She is currently a researcher at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), where she is involved in projects of high impact on the groundwater sector. In this interview, we talked to her about her career path, and how she has contributed to an improved and more sustainable management of groundwater resources, at a regional and global levels.

Interview with Dr Khalid Mahmood, Assistant Professor at the University of the Punjab

Could you describe your professional career and/or personal experiences related to space technology and water? Where does your interest in those sectors come from?

I started my research career in 2013, with research interests revolving around various environmental concerns that were deeply rooted in water related issues of Pakistan. Having an educational background in Space Science, it was quite intuitive to possess understanding of the very high potential of applicability of Geospatial technologies in the water sector.

Interview with Joshua Ubah, Geospatial Environmental Engineer

Joshua is a Master’s student in Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering at Technische Universität of Darmstadt. His interest is focused on hydrogeological processes, groundwater modelling, application of remote sensing and GIS in environmental studies, water management and climate change. He also works as a graduate Intern at AgriWatch BV, a company that applies geospatial solutions for precision Agriculture. As a graduate intern, he applies his interdisciplinary knowledge in developing smart-farming solutions using space-based technologies to farmers in the Twente region of the Netherlands. He deploys satellite imagery, field studies and machine learning algorithms to predict the effect of climate change on arable crops. He also utilizes precipitation data to predict rainfall events to aid farmers in determining planting and harvesting periods. Joshua earned a bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences, his bachelor’s thesis research aimed at carrying out paleoenvironmental reconstruction using paleocurrent indicators of water flow and direction, and application of ArcGIS to produce maps. Currently, he is working on his master’s thesis with emphasis on the impact of the ancient climate on the paleoenvironment particularly on vegetation, where he tries to research plants response to long-term greenhouse periods and short-term warming events on various timescales throughout Earth's history. His research interests revolve around the application of space technologies in providing solutions and tackling climate change.

Interview with Prof. Hesham El-Askary

Prof. Hesham El-Askary works at Chapman University in the Earth Systems Science Data Solutions (ESsDs) lab. Here, he supervises students on the use of satellite earth observations for topics including agriculture, water resources, air quality and climate action, and makes use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Prof. El-Askary is researching natural and anthropogenic pollution’s influence on the environment and is particularly interested in the concept of “glocal” impact—how what’s happening globally in terms of climate affects us locally. He believes that one of the biggest challenges in implementing sustainable water management is the lack of data to monitor progress, and advocates for space technologies to mitigates this shortage.  

Call for abstracts - until 31 August - for the 5th SADC Groundwater conference

The SADC Groundwater Management Institute will host its 5th SADC Groundwater Conference on 16, 17 & 18 November 2022.

The conference is held annually, with the primary objective of providing a platform for the advancement of knowledge sharing on sustainable management of groundwater at national and transboundary levels across SADC Members States

This year the event will be physically held in Windhoek, Namibia with an online participation option.

Call for local perspectives: Groundwater challenges

Local perspectives and case studies

The aim of the local perspectives and case studies feature is to learn about gaps in water resource management from affected individuals, communities, civil society, professionals, researchers or organisations in the field to identify needs or potential solutions that space technologies could contribute to.

European Space Agency’s “Water Scarcity” Kick-Start

The challenge

Water is one of the most important substances on Earth and covers 70% of the planet. However, freshwater makes up a very small fraction with 97% being saline and ocean-based. While the amount of freshwater on the planet has remained fairly constant over time, the world’s population has exploded, meaning that freshwater is threatened by significant forces, like overdevelopment, polluted runoff, and global warming. 

Interview with Claudia Ruz Vargas, Researcher at IGRAC

Claudia Ruz Vargas is a civil engineer, graduated from the University of Santiago, Chile, with an international master’s degree in Groundwater and Global change. Her master thesis focused on groundwater modelling for recharge and saline intrusion risk assessment under climate change scenarios, in Cape Verde. Claudia has six years of work experience as a project engineer and researcher. She is currently a researcher at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), where she is involved in projects of high impact on the groundwater sector. In this interview, we talked to her about her career path, and how she has contributed to an improved and more sustainable management of groundwater resources, at a regional and global levels.

Interview with Joshua Ubah, Geospatial Environmental Engineer

Joshua is a Master’s student in Tropical Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering at Technische Universität of Darmstadt. His interest is focused on hydrogeological processes, groundwater modelling, application of remote sensing and GIS in environmental studies, water management and climate change. He also works as a graduate Intern at AgriWatch BV, a company that applies geospatial solutions for precision Agriculture. As a graduate intern, he applies his interdisciplinary knowledge in developing smart-farming solutions using space-based technologies to farmers in the Twente region of the Netherlands. He deploys satellite imagery, field studies and machine learning algorithms to predict the effect of climate change on arable crops. He also utilizes precipitation data to predict rainfall events to aid farmers in determining planting and harvesting periods. Joshua earned a bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences, his bachelor’s thesis research aimed at carrying out paleoenvironmental reconstruction using paleocurrent indicators of water flow and direction, and application of ArcGIS to produce maps. Currently, he is working on his master’s thesis with emphasis on the impact of the ancient climate on the paleoenvironment particularly on vegetation, where he tries to research plants response to long-term greenhouse periods and short-term warming events on various timescales throughout Earth's history. His research interests revolve around the application of space technologies in providing solutions and tackling climate change.

Interview with Amin Shakya, PhD Candidate at the University of Twente

We present an interview with Amin Shakya, a PhD candidate at the ITC Faculty of Geo-information science and earth observation at the University of Twente. We delve into Amin’s first engagements with geospatial technologies, his current PhD research on river discharge estimation using earth observation, as well as his prior work on groundwater analysis using space technologies. Further, Amin is engaged with the youth community particularly with the Groundwater Youth Network. We discuss his take on the role of youth in climate change adaptation. Throughout this interview, we touch upon various water challenges across the globe, from disaster risk management in Nepal, to urban water challenges in Mexico, to his current PhD research focused in Europe and in Africa.

Interview with Hannah Ritchie, PhD student in WASH at Cranfield University

Hannah has always had a love for the outdoors and especially for being by the sea. From her interest in both hydrogeology and development, developed during her undergraduate studies in geology and her travels respectively, she is now undertaking a PhD in WASH, researching water security in rural communities in Kenya. Hannah undertook a six-month internship with Space4Water at UNOOSA in 2021, where she developed her understanding of the importance and application of space-based technologies in the water sector. She believes that groundwater and sanitation are two areas where space technologies are currently under-exploited but in which they hold a lot of potential.

Interview with Naledi Msiya

Describe your professional (and/or personal) experience relating to water (and space technologies). Please indicate whether an experience is related to water or to both, space and water).

I have always had an interest for science and the environment and before starting university I was introduced to hydrology which really caught my interest and led me to studying a BSc Degree in Hydrology and Geography.

PSIPW announces winners for its 10th Award (2022)

On 5 June 2022, the Prize Council, under the chairmanship of the president of King Saud University Dr. Badran Al-Omar, and under the direction of PSIPW President HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, approved the winners for the 10th Award (2022) of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW).

Call for local perspectives: Groundwater challenges

Local perspectives and case studies

The aim of the local perspectives and case studies feature is to learn about gaps in water resource management from affected individuals, communities, civil society, professionals, researchers or organisations in the field to identify needs or potential solutions that space technologies could contribute to.

Interview with Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado

Name of the community

Maya

Short description of community and hydrogeology of the area

Yucatan is located in the southeast portion of Mexico. The total area of Yucatan is 124, 409 km2 and the population (by 2018) was ca. 2.1 million inhabitants. The landscape of the area is defined by a highly permeable karstic soil, a notable absence of rivers or permanent freshwater resources in the surface, and a high number of natural wells or sinkholes (locally called cenotes, from the Maya word t´sonot).  

Capacity Building and Training Material

ARSET - Water Resource Management Using NASA Earth Science Data

Overview:

This online course covers precipitation (rainfall and snow fraction), soil moisture, evapotranspiration, runoff and streamflow, groundwater, and lake level heights. Participants are introduced to a number of NASA data products.

Objective:

Participants will be able to use NASA remote sensing observations and land-atmosphere models to: 

Introduction to Modflow and Model Use

This course provides basic knowledge about MODFLOW and Model Muse, which can be used to develop, run, and post-process models. MODFLOW in Model Muse combines many of the capabilities found in MODFLOW 6, MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-NWT, MODFLOW-USG, and MODFLOW-LGR, and provides a platform for adding packages.

Webinar: Groundwater for Water Security in Africa

Overview

This webinar is meant to contribute to the AMCOW Pan African Groundwater Programme (APAGroP) and its various capacity building actions. The webinar is intended to support African Member States and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement evidence-based groundwater policy and practice in Africa for improved lives and livelihoods. 

ARSET - Groundwater Monitoring using Observations from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Missions

Overview:

Groundwater makes up roughly 30% of global freshwater. It also provides drinking water for the world’s population, and irrigation for close to 1/3rd of global agricultural land. Because of this level of reliance, monitoring groundwater is crucial for water resources and land management. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE-Follow On (GRACE-FO) missions from NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) provide large-scale terrestrial water storage estimation from mid-2000 to present.

Water-ForCE Webinar: Water and Agriculture

Water-ForCE Webinar: Water and Agriculture

During this webinar, we will be discussing water quality (run-off from agriculture, pollution of surface water for irrigation) and quantity of water (drought, extreme rainfall, groundwater level, soil moisture) to tackle the water and agriculture domains for the Copernicus Roadmap.

Speakers:

Event

Local Perspectives Case Studies

Decline in Groundwater levels and quality

Photo of a cenote in Merida Yucatan, CC license
Decline in groundwater quality is the challenge I have observed and experience in my country. Groundwater systems are particularly important in places where no rivers flows on the surface. In Yucatan, Mexico, for example, there are no rivers on the surface but we can find the Yucatán Peninsula Aquifer one of the biggest aquifers in the world. Today, the peninsula only has a population of 2 million, yet groundwater is being overexploited and polluted. In the peninsula, all socio-economic sectors rely directly or indirectly on groundwater. The main users – agriculture and industry – are causing high levels of pollution and severely overexploiting the cenotes. The quality of groundwater is also being affected by the construction of roads, buildings and other modifications that include pumping wells, infrastructure for tourism and the use of technology to extract and modify groundwater. In addition, warmer temperatures and increasingly unpredictable rainfall during the year are making it harder to store water. Another factor is that the large number of cenotes and lack of reliable hydrological data are making it difficult for users to monitor and control their usage of groundwater. Consequently, the population faces a greater risk to its groundwater reserves than is currently recognized. I would like use time–space evidence from the natural and social sciences for Earth information systems, but to find approaches to better integrate Indigenous knowledge and in situ observations from local communities that can be used to identify/estimate parameters that can support the management of aquifers.Y

Project / Mission / Initiative / Community Portal

Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product

Groundwater is an essential factor for ecosystems and humanity alike. It ensures ecosystem stability, energy and food security, and promotes human health. Groundwater is the largest component of global liquid freshwater resources in the water cycle, providing about 30% of the total freshwater. Groundwater accounts for 33% of the global water withdrawals by mankind, with more than two billion people depending on groundwater as primary water resource. However, despite its importance, groundwater is often not included in sustainable water management actions and plans.

Socio-groundwater toolbox

To date, hydrological issues are playing a key role in the implementation of the goals in which water has a crosscutting role linked to many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) set in the 2030 Agenda. According to SDG 6, there is a need to monitor eight different interrelated targets globally. At present, several global tools and initiatives for water monitoring exist. A prerequisite for their implementation is to have a thorough knowledge of the system and a consistent database, usually collected at a country and global scale worldwide.

Stakeholder

Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation of the TU Wien

Geodesy and Geoinformation take on key roles in our modern society as provider of information about geographical locations, environmental processes, physical fundamentals and are pivotal in enabling access to social relevant spatial data. Since its early days in the 19th century, the TU Wien hosts scientists and engineers undertaking geospatial data research. Today, a multitude of research fields in the evolving domain of geodesy and geoinformation is in the scope of our academic institution.

Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab, University of the Punjab

The emerging demand of GIS and Space Applications for Climate Change studies for the socio-economic development of Pakistan along with Government of Pakistan Vision 2025, Space Vision 2047 of National Space Agency of Pakistan, and achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impelled the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) to establish Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab (RSGCRL) at University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre

The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) facilitates and promotes international sharing of information and knowledge required for sustainable groundwater resources development and management worldwide. Since 2003, IGRAC provides an independent content and process support, focusing particularly on trans-boundary aquifer assessment and groundwater monitoring.

University of Energy and Natural Resources

The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) was established by an Act of Parliament, Act 830, 2011 on December 31, 2011. The University is a public funded national institution which seeks to provide leadership and management of energy and natural resources and be a centre of excellence in these critical areas.

Rural Water Supply Network

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is the global network for rural water supply professionals, with 11,000 members in more than 150 countries. RWSN is a strategic global platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration in the water sector with a central focus on the achievement of universal access to safe, affordable water supplies.

Deepwaters.ai

DeepWaters AI uses satellite data and AI to find underground drinking water and pipe leaks. It has created a map of the Earth’s underground water, with up to 98% accuracy. It was awarded a European Space Agency AI Kickstart contract in 2018. DeepWaters AI is supported by Esri, Amazon and Nvidia startup programs. It is a UK based social impact startup, that donates 51% of profits to water philanthropy. DeepWaters AI combines neural networks with ESA Sentinel 1 & 2 satellite data.

Deltares

Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. Throughout the world, we work on smart solutions, innovations and applications for people, environment and society.

Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water

The Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) is a scientific prize with a focus on innovation. Established in 2002 by HRH Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, it rewards the efforts made by scientists, inventors and research organizations around the world which contribute to the sustainable availability of potable water and the alleviation of the escalating global problem of water scarcity.

Person

picture showing the person

Hafsa Aeman

Senior Research Officer - Geoinformatics, CGIAR International Water Management Institute

Hafsa Aeman is a Senior Research Officer at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Pakistan. In this capacity, she is deeply involved in various projects, notably the Water Resource Accountability in Pakistan (WRAP) and NEXU Gains initiatives, both supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO). These projects are geared towards augmenting capacity for water resource management at the provincial and district levels.

Photo of Claudia Ruz Vargas

Claudia Ruz Vargas

Researcher International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre

Claudia Ruz Vargas is a researcher at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), in Delft, the Netherlands. Through her work at IGRAC, she became a steward for the Essential Climate Variable (ECV) Groundwater at the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), a programme co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), UN Environment, and the International Science Council (ISC).

Space-based Solution

Collaborating actors (stakeholders, professionals, young professionals or Indigenous voices)
Suggested solution

Background information on the geology of Kenya

The geology of Kenya was studied to develop several maps with ArcGIS to understand the geological and topographical setting of the locations of the communities. The maps were obtained from the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (see sources). 
The geology of Kenya shows Metamorphic rocks in the western part due to high metamorphic processes. 
Tertiary and Quaternary Volcanic rock are located in the East due to the split of the East African Rift System  causing volcanic activity during these periods. 

Geology map of Kenya
Figure 1: National Atlas of Kenya - Geological Map. (n.d.). European Commission, Joint Research Centre. ​

Location of Samburu in the geological map of Kenya

The geology of Samburu County is mostly magmatic with Quaternary elements (for details see Figure 3). 

 

Geology map of Samburu County Krhoda et al. (2015).
Figure 3: Detailed geological map of Samburu County (Krhoda et al. 2015).

Location of the communities SW of Samburu County 

Map of important community locations
Figure 4: Map of locations of the community, from where water access would be needed in the vicinity.
Legend of the map of community locations

Samburu County's topographic map 

A topographic map from Samburu County was developed to understand where the major recharge zones are located. These zones in arid areas can also be indicated by the Normalised Differentiated Vegetation Index (NDVI). 

  1. Topographic map of Samburu province in Kenya
    Figure 5: Topographic map of Samburu province in Kenya. Credit: Topographic Map (2023)

    Location of water sources

The type and location of water sources in the Samburu District were studied with a map provided by the KSA. With the study of the geological maps and the water sources map, a geological and hydrological comparison was made, to understand where groundwater could be located. 
Fig.6. Samburu District - Type and Location of Water Sources, Key Landforms, and Soils (Symbols - See Map 11). (n.d.). European Commission, Joint Research Centre. https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/samburu-district-type-and-locati… (visited: 19.10.2023)

  1. Map of water sources in Samburu county, Kenya.
    Figure 6: Water sources in the Samburu county. Map provided by Kenya Space Agency. Source: G. de Sourza, Dept. Geography, University of Nairobi, J. Keza, Ministry of Water Development.

Development of the maps 

With the support from datasets obtained from the Kenya Space Agency a  differentiated vegetation map (NDVI), an elevation map (DEM), and a water points map were developed using ArcGIS Pro 3. 

DEM map in ArcGIS Pro3

  1. Add your Samburu county map dataset to the project. You can do this by going to the "Map" tab and using the "Add Data" button to import your county shapefile or feature class.
  2. Add Samburu Elevation Data: To create an elevation map, you need elevation data. Download the  Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data. Once downloaded, add the DEM to your map.
  3. Symbolize Elevation Data: Symbolize the elevation data to represent different elevation ranges. You can do this by right-clicking on the DEM layer, selecting "Symbology," and choosing a suitable color ramp and classification method.
  4. Add Legend: Insert a legend to the map by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "Legend." Configure the legend properties to display the layers and symbology correctly.
  5. Add North Arrow and Scale Bar: Insert a North arrow and scale bar by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "North Arrow" and "Scale Bar." Adjust the properties to suit your map layout.
  6. Adjust Map Layout: Go to the "Layout" tab to set up the map layout. Adjust the size of the map, add a title, and organize the legend, scale bar, and north arrow as desired.
  7. Save and Export: Save your project, go to the "Share" tab, and export the map as an image, PDF, or any other desired format.
Samburu county elevation map
Figure 7: Elevation Map made with QGIS. Version 3.32.3 / Version 3.28.11 LTR.

NDVI map in ArcGIS Pro3

ArcGIS Pro involves using the raster calculator to perform the necessary mathematical operations on the input bands. NDVI is typically calculated using the near-infrared (NIR) and red bands from a multispectral image.

  1. Add county dataset: Add your Samburu county dataset to the map. You can do this by going to the "Map" tab and using the "Add Data" button to import your county shapefile or feature class.
  2. Add satellite imagery: import Samburu County Landsat or Sentinel imagery containing the necessary bands (Red and Near Infrared) for NDVI calculation. You can add the imagery by going to the "Map" tab and selecting "Add Data" or using the "Add Raster Data" option.
  3. Calculate NDVI: Open the "Image Analysis" window by going to the "Analysis" tab and selecting "Tools." Use the "NDVI" tool to calculate NDVI from the available bands. 
  4. The equation of NDVI is as follows: NDVI = ((IR - R)/(IR + R)); IR = pixel values from the infrared band and R = pixel values from the red band
  5. Symbolize NDVI: Symbolize the NDVI layer to visually represent vegetation health. Typically, healthy vegetation appears in shades of green, while less healthy or bare areas might be represented in browns or grays.
  6. Add legend: Insert a legend to the map by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "Legend." Configure the legend properties to display the NDVI layer and symbology correctly.
  7. Add North Arrow and Scale Bar: Insert a North arrow and scale bar by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "North Arrow" and "Scale Bar." Adjust the properties to suit your map layout.
  8. Adjust map layout: Go to the "Layout" tab to set up the map layout. Adjust the size of the map, add a title, and organize the legend, scale bar, and north arrow as desired.
  9. Save and export: Save your project, go to the "Share" tab, and export the map as an image, PDF, or any other desired format.
Samburu NDVI map
Figure 8: NDVI made with QGIS. Version 3.32.3 / Version 3.28.11 LTR. 

Water points map in ArcGIS 3

  1. Add county dataset: Add the Samburu county dataset to the map. You can do this by going to the "Map" tab and using the "Add Data" button to import your county shapefile or feature class.
  2. Add water points dataset: Import your water points dataset into the map. Use the "Add Data" button to add the water points layer. Make sure the dataset contains information about the location of water points.
  3. Symbolize water points: Symbolize the water points on the map. Right-click on the water points layer, go to "Symbology," and choose an appropriate symbol to represent water points. You may want to use a distinctive symbol like a blue dot.
  4.  Add legend: Insert a legend to the map by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "Legend." Configure the legend properties to display the water points layer and its symbol correctly.
  5. Add North arrow and scale bar: Insert a North arrow and scale bar by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "North Arrow" and "Scale Bar." Adjust the properties to suit your map layout.
  6. Adjust map layout: Go to the "Layout" tab to set up the map layout. Adjust the size of the map, add a title, and organize the legend, scale bar, and north arrow as desired.
  7. Save and export: Save your project, go to the "Share" tab, and export the map as an image, PDF, or any other desired format.
Map showing the Samburu county water points
Figure 9: Elevation Map made with QGIS. Version 3.32.3 / Version 3.28.11 LTR.

Suggested aquifer location map

  1. Add the geological map of Kenya dataset: You can do this by going to the "Map" tab and using the "Add Data" button to import your county shapefile or feature class.
  2. Add Water points dataset: Import your water points dataset into the map. Use the "Add Data" button to add the water points layer. Make sure the dataset contains information about the location of water points. Delete the ones that are not relevant to the communities 
  3.  Add legend: Insert a legend to the map by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "Legend." Configure the legend properties to display the water points layer and its symbol correctly.
  4. Add North arrow and scale bar: Insert a North arrow and scale bar by going to the "Insert" tab and selecting "North Arrow" and "Scale Bar." Adjust the properties to suit your map layout.
  5. Adjust map layout: Go to the "Layout" tab to set up the map layout. Adjust the size of the map, add a title, and organize the legend, scale bar, and north arrow as desired.
  6. Save and export: Save your project, go to the "Share" tab, and export the map as an image, PDF, or any other desired format.
Map showing possible groundwater resources in the Samburu County based on the geology
Figure 10. Suggested aquifer locations in Samburu County based on the geology.

Interpretation

An aquifer could be located  in a magmatic/metamorphic basement, which suggests they moderate productivity and low groundwater potential. This is due to the fact that magmatic rocks have low permeability and therefore the groundwater recharge is low. 

Ideal outcome: A possible groundwater source exists near the communities homes and a borehole could be developed.

Conclusion

The communities are located in the SW of the Samburu District. The geology of the area is mostly magmatic and metamorphic. This suggests that the ground has very low permeability. However, near the location of the communities, there are two springs. These springs point to an aquifer in the area, where a well for the communities in the area could be developed. Ideally, various groundwater sources could be located with the maps and the support from space technologies. The next steps to be taken are with external actors, e.g. drilling and pumping tests approved by the local authorities

Future steps

  1. Work with hydrogeologists to prepare a borehole siting report as well as an Environmental Impact Assessment. Groundwater relief has some trusted hydrogeologists in their network in Kenya who could implement that and submit the information to the Kenya Water Resources Agency.
  2. Kenya Water Resources Agency needs to grant permission for drilling.
  3. Drilling and pumping test: A contractor performs drilling and a pumping test. The latter is to identify the appropriate pump to be used.
  4. Study the groundwater level, type of aquifer, groundwater recharge, groundwater vulnerability.
Relevant publications
Related space-based solutions
Sources

Barasa, M., Crane, E., Upton, K., Ó Dochartaigh, B.É. & Bellwood-Howard, I. (2018): Africa Groundwater Atlas: Hydrogeology of Kenya. British Geological Survey. Accessed [22.09.2023]. http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/Hydrogeology_of_Kenya

Kuria, Z. (2013): Groundwater Distribution and Aquifer Characteristics in Kenya. Developments in Earth Surface Processes, Elsevier. 16, 8, p. 83-107.

Krhoda, G., Nyandega, I. & Amimo, M. (2015): Geophysical investigations of Suyien Earthdam in Maralal, Samburu County, Kenya. International Journal of Physical Sciences. 2, p.33-49.

Makinouchi, T., Koyaguchi, T., Matsuda, T., Mitsushio, H. & Ishida, S. (1984): GEOLOGY OF  THE NACHOLA AREA AND THE SAMBURU HILLS, WEST OF BARAGOI, NORTHERN KENYA. African Study Monographs, Supplementary Issue 2, p. 15-44.

Touber, L. (1986): Landforms and solid of samburu District, Kenya. A site evaluation for rangeland use. The Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research. Report 6. 

Data sources (maps)

National Atlas of Kenya - Geological Map. (n.d.). European Commission, Joint Research Centre. https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/national-atlas-kenya-geological-map (visited: 19.10.2023). 

Samburu District - Type and Location of Water Sources, Key Landforms, and Soils (Symbols - See Map 11). (n.d.). European Commission, Joint Research Centre. https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/content/samburu-district-type-and-location-water-sources-key-landforms-and-soils-symbols-see-map-11 (visited: 19.10.2023)

Software
QGIS: A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System. Version 3.32.3 / Version 3.28.11 LTR. 
ArcGIS Pro. Version ArcGIS Pro 3.

Keywords (for the solution)
Climate Zone (addressed by the solution)
Dry
Habitat (addressed by the solution)
Region/Country (the solution was designed for, if any)
Relevant SDGs