Groundwater monitoring in the Orange-Fish River Basin, Namibia: Recommendations towards establishing a monitoring system

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According to a report by Bockmühl (2009), the Orange-Fish River Basin (OFRB) drains an extensive area of approximately 120,000 km2 in the southern part of Namibia, with only seven monitoring boreholes distributed over the entire area (i.e. on average, one monitoring borehole for every 17,000 km2). These monitoring boreholes are equipped with analogue chart recorders that measure the groundwater level in the boreholes on a continuous basis, while the recorder charts have to be replaced on a monthly basis by personnel of the Geohydrology Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF). During the 7th Orange-Fish River Basin Stakeholders’ Meeting held at Keetmanshoop, 19–21 August 2009, the issue of groundwater monitoring in the OFRB was discussed in some detail and the value of such groundwater monitoring was clearly demonstrated. After discussing the need for, and current shortcomings of, proper groundwater monitoring in the OFRB by a selected Working Group, a proposal was put forward to the meeting that a limited groundwater hydrocensus of the OFRB be undertaken with the aim of extending the groundwater monitoring system. The importance of community involvement in such monitoring, under the supervision of dedicated government personnel, was also discussed. Training of people identified and willing to participate in such a monitoring programme, would be necessary.

Windhoek, Namibia
Desert Research Foundation of Namibia
Series Title:
Ephemeral River Basins in Southern Africa (ERB) Project
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