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.
Responsible groundwater abstraction typically requires the development of groundwater level and quality monitoring programs to assess 1) borehole performance and 2) the long-term aquifer response to pumping. A long-term groundwater monitoring programme will generate large volumes of data that requires a data management system to enable data interpretation.
Groundwater Relief offers help to organisations with the establishment and development of monitoring programmes, development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), data management, data analysis, groundwater assessments and where appropriate, numerical modelling to simulate the aquifer response to pumping.
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 Supply in Cox's Bazar
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 2-4 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.
Since early 2019, Groundwater Relief, in partnership with Dhaka University, has been working on an International Organisation for Migration funded project to define the sustainability of groundwater resources within the District in order to support the Department for Public Health Engineering (DPHE) with providing sustained water supplies to both the Rohingya refugees and the host population.
The work has led to the remapping of the geology of the District; the development of the first regional groundwater model for the District; and the set up of a regional groundwater monitoring programme.
An online map showing data collected during this intervention is available here:
The new geological map of the district can be viewed here:
The technical report that outlines our conceptual understanding of the aquifer systems in Cox's Bazar can be viewed here:
Groundwater Assessment, Bentiu POC
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.