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Wanke, H., Nakwafila, A., Hamutoko, J.T., Lohe, C., Neumbo, F., Petrus, I., David, A., Beukes, H., Masule, N. and Quinger, M. 2014. Hand dug wells in Namibia: An underestimated water source or a threat to human health?. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 76–78: 104-113


Description:

Hand dug wells in Namibia: An underestimated water source or a threat to human health?.

Summary / Notes:

rnThe rural population of parts of northern and western Namibia uses hand dug wells for their domestic water supply, partly because no other source (e.g., deep tube wells) is available, but also as a substitute for pipeline water that is often perceived as being too expensive. The water quality of these wells is usually not monitored or controlled, thus a study has been carried out in four study areas in Namibia: southern Omusati/Oshana area, Okongo/Ohangwena area, Omatjete/Omaruru area, Okanguati/Kunene area. Hand dug wells have been tested for on-site parameters: electric conductivity, pH and temperature while samples were taken for major inorganic constituents and several minor and trace constituents including fluoride and nitrate. In addition a sampling campaign in 2010 included the determination of coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli. Results were classified according to the Namibian Water Guidelines. The constituents making the water unfit for human consumption are fluoride, nitrate, sulphate and total dissolved solids. Contamination by E. coli was indicated in nearly all wells that are used for livestock watering. For the Omatjete/Omaruru study area an isotope based study on the source of nitrate has indicated manure as a source. The range of recharge values obtained for the studied villages ranges from 1 mm/a to locally more than 100 mm/a. Overall the water resource in the shallow perched aquifers in the study areas is in many places inappropriate for human consumption. Treatment to improve the quality or introduction of protection measures is necessary to bring this resource to an acceptable quality according to national and/or international standards. Keywords: Hand dug well, Namibia, Water quality, Groundwater recharge, Chloride mass balance method.

Year: 2014

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1474706515000054


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