Groundwater is a highly precious resource that brings great social and financial benefits to a region if properly developed and managed.
It is therefore vital that groundwater resources are protected and utilised effectively.
Aquifers need to be monitored, modeled and protections put in place to reduce the risks of groundwater contamination and mining.
Groundwater Relief offers help to organisations with the set up and development of monitoring programmes, data management, data analysis, groundwater assessments, modelling the subsurface, the maintenance and the rehabilitation of groundwater infrastructure.
To aid our work we have also developed two resources:
An open access groundwater database to enable charities and others to collect, preserve and share borehole logs and other groundwater data.
A low cost water level monitoring tool
Groundwater Assessment, Bentiu POC, South Sudan, March 2016
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) commissioned Groundwater Relief to assess the groundwater infrastructure at the Bentiu POC, hosting over 120,000 people at the time of the assessment.
Groundwater Relief’s assessed the capacity and efficiency of each of the boreholes at the camp through carrying out pumping tests on the existing boreholes and borehole camera surveys to investigate borehole condition. Recommendations were made to improve the utilisation of the existing groundwater supply infrastructure (primarily by installing higher capacity pumps and lowering pump intake depth) improving output from the existing boreholes by an additional 50%, dramatically increasing water output for the camp population.
The work resulted in a robust hydrogeological conceptual model of the site area being developed. Two distinct aquifer units were observed, ‘upper’ and ‘lower’, each with differing hydraulic properties and water chemistry, separated by a laterally extensive (semi) confining clay layer. Geological logs were built into a 3D geological model, which was used to investigate this two aquifer system. This advanced hydrogeological understanding will allow long term impacts of groundwater extraction to be understood better, and inform the drilling of future boreholes.
In addition a groundwater monitoring programme was established for the site using automatic and manual instrumentation. Local and international site staff were trained in basic hydrogeological data collection, to ensure the long term success of the monitoring. This monitoring programme will provide highly valuable information about the long-term aquifer water levels and allow IOM to make technically sound decisions regarding future groundwater supply at the camp.
IOM has been very pleased with the work done by Groundwater Relief. The groundwater investigation was sound and comprehensive, with results clearly presented and understandable for technical and non-technical audiences, which allowed IOM to advocate for the improved provision of safe drinking water for the internally displaced populations residing at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) camp in Bentiu.
Antonio Torres, WASH Coordinator, IOM, South Sudan
Groundwater support to WASH cluster, Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh
Groundwater Relief has been working in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh since November 2017. Five hydrogeologists have been embedded with Medecins Sans Frontieres Holland (MSF-OCA), on 2 month rotations supporting the drilling of multiple wells in the Kutupalong Mega camp. Many improvements in well installation and groundwater development have been implemented over this time in collaboration with MSF-OCA engineers.
Groundwater Relief has also investigated groundwater resources availability at Leda refugee camp in the southern part of the Cox's Bazaar peninsular on behalf of the International Organisation for Migration. Findings from a Pilot Drilling Programme, carried out in Leda, can be viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2
As part of the work an online GIS map was developed to bring together field based information collected: https://arcg.is/1y850P
Currently Groundwater Relief is working with the IOM and Dhaka University with further support from the Department for Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) to develop a regional groundwater monitoring programme in the Cox's Bazaar Peninsular and to develop the first groundwater model of the aquifers underlying the Kutupalong Mega Camp. This model will be used to support the sustainable management of the groundwater resources in the District.