As part of German support to the water sector reform in Zambia, BGR is implementing with WARMA the Groundwater Resources Management Support Programme (GReSP). The programme aims to strengthen the technical capacities of the Water Resources Management Authority and its related Catchment and Sub-catchment Councils in sustainable groundwater management.
BGR is focusing its support on developing and implementing groundwater management plans in the Kafulafuta and Kafubu Catchment including the Mpongwe Karst Area (see map) to protect the groundwater resources and to secure potential drinking water supplies. This includes advocacy work for groundwater management within planning institutions, awareness-raising on the governmental and non-governmental level and training for WARMA and related institutions.
Map of the focus area (blue circle) --Kafulafuta/Kafubu and Mpongwe karst areas, Source BGR 2016
The sustainable use of groundwater is based on profound and reliable knowledge of the quality and quantity of the resources. In cooperation with BGR, WARMA undertakes field campaigns and data collection from water users and drilling companies in order to assess and monitor Zambia’s groundwater resources. BGR supports the application of a Groundwater Information Management System (GrIMS) within WARMA through the upgrading of technical components, training courses and intensive on-the-job training with partner staff. GrIMS is a tool for the further analysis of data and their presentation, for example, in GIS maps.
The focus area of GReSP encompasses the Kafulafuta and Kafubu river catchments and the Mpongwe karst area, which are situated primarily in the Copperbelt province. This particular province is the center of Zambia’s copper production and therefore one of the most economically significant provinces in Zambia. In addition to the province’s economic growth, towns and the population are growing and there is more agricultural pressure to produce more efficiently. The groundwater aquifers and resources in this catchment are limited, not well explored, and under risk of over-extraction of and pollution by acid mine drainage from the copper mines. Therefore, WARMA and BGR have agreed to focus the project’s activities, especially those related to the development a groundwater management plan, on this area of Zambia.
Since 2005, BGR has been implementing projects in the water sector in Zambia. The projects focused on groundwater resources in Southern Province and Lusaka Province. Hydrogeological maps, including the geological characteristics and hydraulic potential of aquifers, at different scales were developed.
A groundwater vulnerability map (scale 1:75,000) was produced for the Lusaka area. The design and legend of the maps follow international guidelines and can be adopted as a national standard for groundwater maps of other regions. GrIMS and the thematic maps support efforts on exploring, managing and protecting groundwater resources in Zambia.
Current Results and Outlook
BGR has begun upgrading and extending the borehole database for GReSP’s Groundwater Information System and will implement related training. BGR continues to provide technical advice and advocacy work for groundwater management within WARMA. BGR field work and training are focused on the Upper Kafue Catchment. There, BGR is supporting WARMA in establishing a Sub-catchment Council Office in Ndola for the regional management of groundwater resources. Relevant field work is carried out with WARMA staff and partners from related institutions such as the Provincial Water Offices.
The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, BGR) is the national geoscientific center of excellence within the German Federal Government providing neutral and independent advice and information on all geoscientific and natural resource issues. BGR falls under the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). BGR manages geoscientific projects for the international technical cooperation on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Reports and Links:
1. Groundwater Resources for Lusaka
2. Groundwater Resources for Southern Province
3. GReSP Activities at Youtube
Increasing awareness on the importance of ensuring ground water resources are protected has been at the core of GReSP’s work. This has been done through production of awareness materials including the “Worldwide Adventures of Droppy”, a story book in cartoon format that chronicles where the ground water comes from and what happens if it is not well taken care of. Dissemination of such information has taken place where GReSP has been operating as well as through distribution of materials at exhibitions and on the internet as well as through other forms of media.
Link to Droppy’s Adventures: