Water scarcity is one of the major challenges facing development in Botswana. Current water resources are not capable of meeting increasing demand and recent droughts have resulted in a reduction in available groundwater. In light of this, there is a need to explore artificial recharge to augment the current water supply. The use of wastewater in addition to storm water is being considered as a means to recharge aquifers.
The aims of this PhD study are:
- To identify all available sources of water to meet increasing demand and to artificially recharge underground water resources. Possible sources to be considered will include effluent from conventional activated sludge and biological treatment, storm water, storm water mixed with surface water and raw wastewater;
- To investigate which technologies (soil aquifer treatment, infiltration ponds, injection wells etc) can be used to recharge underground water economically and safely;
- To work closely with national stakeholders, in particular the Department for Water Affairs, to ensure the outputs of the project can complement the national strategy towards artificial recharge and water security.
National data on aquifers will be reviewed and fieldwork will take place throughout Botswana, to investigate particular sites of interest for artificial recharge, and to engage stakeholders local to those sites. The project will also gain knowledge from experiences and developments in Namibia and South Africa while fostering collaboration for water security issues within the Southern African region. The outcomes of the project will be directly disseminated with the Department for Water Affairs such that the findings may have direct relevance to the national water security strategy, and assist the government in improving water security within Botswana.