Characterization of Groundwater Discharge to Rivers in the Shire River Basin, Malawi
American Journal of Water Science and Engineering
Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages: 127-137
Received: Oct. 10, 2019; Accepted: Nov. 4, 2019; Published: Nov. 8, 2019
Views 53      Downloads 57
Authors
Laura Kelly, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Douglas Bertram, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Robert Kalin, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Cosmo Ngongondo, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Zomba, Malawi
Article Tools
Follow on us
Abstract
This study investigates groundwater discharge to rivers in the Shire River Basin, Malawi, using the base flow index (BFI) approach. The BFI represents the baseflow component of a river and is often used as a proxy indicator of groundwater discharge to a river. The smoothed minima method was applied to river flow data from 15 gauges in the Basin (ranging from 1948 to 2012) and the Mann-Kendall (MK) statistical test was used to identify trends in the BFI. The BFI results indicate that groundwater plays an important role in contributing to river flows in the SRB, especially in the dry season. Expressing the BFI as a percentage, these values indicate that annual groundwater discharge to the river’s ranges from 19% in the Rivirivi River to 97% in the Shire River. Seasonally, minimal difference was found between the annual and the wet season BFI. Generally, the dry season BFI was higher than those of the wet season with most rivers increasing to >75%. Groundwater data supported the seasonal fluctuations identified in the BFI data, however, there were no groundwater monitoring boreholes in close proximity to any of the river gauges for in-depth analysis. The results also showed long term trends in the BFI data indicating behavioural changes in the river baseflow and groundwater discharge. In some areas, the declines in BFI indicate that groundwater discharge has been reducing over time due to declines in groundwater levels. This is a concern for the sustainable management of water resources in the Basin. The findings of this study provide important new knowledge on the seasonal and long-term behaviour of groundwater discharge to rivers in the Basin which will be crucial for supporting sustainable water resources management practices. The results will be particularly useful to the new National Water Resources Authority within the Malawian Government, who will oversee catchment management plans.
Keywords
Baseflow, BFI, Groundwater Discharge, Malawi
To cite this article
Laura Kelly, Douglas Bertram, Robert Kalin, Cosmo Ngongondo, Characterization of Groundwater Discharge to Rivers in the Shire River Basin, Malawi, American Journal of Water Science and Engineering. Vol. 5, No. 4, 2019, pp. 127-137. doi: 10.11648/j.ajwse.20190504.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
[1]
Bierkens, M. F.; Wada, Y. Non-renewable groundwater use and groundwater depletion: a review. Environmental Research Letters 2019, 14, 063002.
[2]
Gleeson, T.; Richter, B. How much groundwater can we pump and protect environmental flows through time? Presumptive standards for conjunctive management of aquifers and rivers. River research and applications 2018, 34, 83–92.
[3]
Kelly, L.; Kalin, R. M.; Bertram, D.; Kanjaye, M.; Nkhata, M.; Sibande, H. Quantification of temporal variations in base flow index using sporadic river data: application to the Bua catchment, Malawi. Water 2019, 11, 901.
[4]
Winter, T. C. Ground water and surface water: a single resource; DIANE Publishing Inc., 1998; Vol. 1139.
[5]
UNESCO Surface water and groundwater interaction. A contribution to the International Hydrological Programme. International Commision on Groundwater 1980.
[6]
Hendriks, D.; Kuijper, M.; Van Ek, R. Groundwater impact on environmental flow needs of streams in sandy catchments in the Netherlands. Hydrological Sciences Journal 2014, 59, 562–577.
[7]
De Graaf, I. E.; Gleeson, T.; van Beek, L. R.; Sutanudjaja, E. H.; Bierkens, M. F. Environmental flow limits to global groundwater pumping. Nature 2019, 574, 90–94.
[8]
Mukherjee, A.; Bhanja, S. N.; Wada, Y. Groundwater depletion causing reduction of baseflow triggering Ganges river summer drying. Scientific reports 2018, 8, 12049.
[9]
International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Changes GRAPHIC. 2006.
[10]
Donoso, M.; Di Baldassarre, G.; Boegh, E.; Browning, A.; Oki, T.; Tindimugaya, C.; Vairavamoorthy, K.; Vrba, J.; Zalewski, M.; Zubari, W. International Hydrological Programme (IHP) eighth phase: Water security: responses to local, regional and global challenges. Strategic plan, IHP-VIII (2014-2021). 2012.
[11]
Liu, D.; Chang, J.; Tian, F.; Huang, Q.; Meng, X. Analysis of baseflow index based hydrological model in Upper Wei River basin on the Loess Plateau in China. Proceedings of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences 2015, 368, 403–408.
[12]
Frohlich, K.; Frohlich, W.; Wittenberg, H. Determination of groundwater recharge by baseflow separation: regional analysis in northeast China. IAHS Publications-Series of Proceedings and Reports-Intern Assoc Hydrological Sciences 1994, 221, 69–76.
[13]
Kouanda, B.; Coulibaly, P.; Niang, D.; Fowe, T.; Karambiri, H.; others Analysis of the Performance of Base Flow Separation Methods Using Chemistry and Statistics in Sudano-Sahelian Watershed, Burkina Faso. Hydrol Current Res 2018, 9, 2.
[14]
Ngongondo, C. S. An analysis of long-term rainfall variability, trends and groundwater availability in the Mulunguzi river catchment area, Zomba mountain, Southern Malawi. Quaternary International 2006, 148, 45–50.
[15]
Hughes, D. A.; Parsons, R.; Conrad, J. E. Quantification of the groundwater contribution to baseflow; Water Research Commission, 2007.
[16]
Lee, J.; Kim, J.; Jang, W.; Lim, K.; Engel, B. Assessment of baseflow estimates considering recession characteristics in SWAT. Water 2018, 10, 371.
[17]
Zhang, J.; Zhang, Y.; Song, J.; Cheng, L. Evaluating relative merits of four baseflow separation methods in Eastern Australia. Journal of hydrology 2017, 549, 252–263.
[18]
Singh, S. K.; Pahlow, M.; Booker, D. J.; Shankar, U.; Chamorro, A. Towards baseflow index characterisation at national scale in New Zealand. Journal of Hydrology 2019, 568, 646–657.
[19]
St. Jacques, J.-M.; Sauchyn, D. J. Increasing winter baseflow and mean annual streamflow from possible permafrost thawing in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Geophysical Research Letters 2009, 36.
[20]
Bosch, D. D.; Arnold, J. G.; Allen, P. G.; Lim, K.-J.; Park, Y. S. Temporal variations in baseflow for the Little River experimental watershed in South Georgia, USA. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 2017, 10, 110–121.
[21]
Ahiablame, L.; Chaubey, I.; Engel, B.; Cherkauer, K.; Merwade, V. Estimation of annual baseflow at ungauged sites in Indiana USA. Journal of Hydrology 2013, 476, 13–27.
[22]
Government of Malawi. National Water Resources Master Plan 2017. Annex 1: Surface Water Resources. 2017.
[23]
Gustard, A.; Bullock, A.; Dixon, J. Low flow estimation in the United Kingdom; Institute of Hydrology, 1992.
[24]
Esralew, R. A.; Lewis, J. M. Trends in base flow, total flow, and base-flow index of selected streams in and near Oklahoma through 2008, Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5104. U.S Department of the Interior, U.S Geological Survey 2010.
[25]
Zuzani, P.; Ngongondo, C.; Mwale, F.; Willems, P. Examining trends of hydro-meteorological extremes in the Shire River Basin in Malawi. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 2019.
[26]
Jury, M. R. Malawi’s shire river fluctuations and climate. Journal of Hydrometeorology 2014, 15, 2039–2049.
[27]
Government of Malawi. State of the Basin Report for Shire River Basin. Ministry of Argriculture, Irrigation and Water Development 2016.
[28]
Pavelic, P.; Giordano, M.; Keraita, B.; Ramesh, V.; Rao, T. Groundwater availability and use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of 15 countries; International Water Management Institute (IWMI), 2012.
[29]
Government of Malawi. National Water Resources Master Plan 2017. Main Report: Existing Situation. 2017.
[30]
Chitete, S. The Nation “Malawi drying up” https://mwnation.com/malawi-drying-up/ (accessed Apr 16, 2019).
[31]
Kumambala, P. G. Sustainability of water resources development for Malawi with particular emphasis on North and Central Malawi (unpublished PhD thesis), 2010.
[32]
Chimtengo, M.; Ngongondo, C.; Tumbare, M.; Monjerezi, M. Analysing changes in water availability to assess environmental water requirements in the Rivirivi River basin, Southern Malawi. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 2014, 67, 202–213.
[33]
Government of Malawi. Water Resources Investment Strategy. Component 1 - Water Resources Assessment. Annex I (ii) - WRAs 11-17 2011.
[34]
Government of Malawi. Water Resources Investment Strategy. Component 1 - Water Resources Assessment. Annex II - Surface Water 2011.
[35]
Government of Malawi. Malawi Hydrogeological and Water Quality Atlas 2018. Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development 2018.
[36]
Government of Malawi. Shire River Basin Atlas. Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development 2016.
[37]
Government of Malawi. The Shire River Basin Planning Portal. http://shirebasinplanning.wris.info/ 2017.
[38]
Fraser, C. M.; Kalin, R. M.; Rivett, M. O.; Nkhata, M.; Kanjaye, M. A national approach to systematic transboundary aquifer assessment and conceptualisation at relevant scales: A Malawi case study. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 2018.
[39]
Government of Malawi. Water Resources Investment Strategy. Component 1 - Water Resources Assessment. Annex I(ii) - WRAs 1-4 2011.
[40]
Miller, A.; Nhlema, M.; Kumwenda, S.; Mbalame, E.; Uka, Z.; Feighery, J.; Kalin, R. M. Evolving water point mapping to strategic decision making in rural Malawi. 2018.
[41]
Truslove, J. P.; VM Miller, A.; Mannix, N.; Nhlema, M.; Rivett, M. O.; Coulson, A. B.; Mleta, P.; Kalin, R. M. Understanding the functionality and burden on decentralised rural water supply: Influence of Millennium Development Goal 7c coverage targets. Water 2019, 11, 494.
[42]
Kalin, R. M.; Mwanamveka, J.; Coulson, A. B.; Robertson, D. J.; Clark, H.; Rathjen, J.; Rivett, M. O. Stranded assets as a key concept to guide investment strategies for sustainable development goal 6. Water 2019, 11, 702.
[43]
Rivett, M. O.; Miller, A. V.; MacAllister, D. J.; Fallas, A.; Wanangwa, G. J.; Mleta, P.; Phiri, P.; Mannix, N.; Monjerezi, M.; Kalin, R. M. A conceptual modelbased framework for pragmatic groundwater-quality monitoring network design in the developing world: Application to the Chikwawa District, Malawi. Groundwater for Sustainable Development 2018, 6, 213–226.
[44]
Government of Malawi. Final Report for consultancy services related to detailed design of the upgraded Kamuzu Barrage. Extracts from Main Report Chapters 4 - 11 related to Hydrology - Hydraulics - Water Demand. Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation 2013.
[45]
UNESCO Southern Africa FRIEND Phase II 2000-2003; 2004.
[46]
Institute of Hydrology. Low Flow Studies Report No 3; Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, UK, 1980.
[47]
Mann, H. B. Nonparametric tests against trend. Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society 1945, 245–259.
[48]
Kendall, M. G. Rank correlation methods; 4th ed.; Griffin, London, 1975.
[49]
Shu, Y.; Villholth, K. G. Analysis of flow and baseflow trends in the Usangu Catchment, Tanzania. 2012.
[50]
Zhang, X. S.; Amirthanathan, G. E.; Bari, M. A.; Laugesen, R. M.; Shin, D.; Kent, D. M.; MacDonald, A. M.; Turner, M. E.; Tuteja, N. K. How streamflow has changed across Australia since the 1950s: evidence from the network of hydrologic reference stations. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 2016, 20, 3947.
[51]
Techamahasaranont, J.; Shrestha, S.; Babel, M. S.; Shrestha, R. P.; Jourdain, D. Spatial and temporal variation in the trends of hydrological response of forested watersheds in Thailand. Environmental Earth Sciences 2017, 76, 430.
[52]
Addinsoft XLSTAT statistical and data analysis solution. Long Island, New York, USA 2019.
[53]
Beck, H. E.; van Dijk, A. I. J. M.; Miralles, D. G.; de Jeu, R. A.; Bruijnzeel, L. A. (Sampurno); McVicar, T. R.; Schellekens, J. Global patterns in base flow index and recession based on streamflow observations from 3394 catchments. Water Resources Research 2013, 49, 7843–7863.
[54]
Ahiablame, L.; Sheshukov, A. Y.; Rahmani, V.; Moriasi, D. Annual baseflow variations as influenced by climate variability and agricultural land use change in the Missouri River Basin. Journal of hydrology 2017, 551, 188–202.
[55]
Ngongondo, C. S.; Xu, C.-Y.; Tallaksen, L. M.; Alemaw, B.; Chirwa, T. Regional frequency analysis of rainfall extremes in Southern Malawi using the index rainfall and L-moments approaches. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 2011, 25, 939–955.
[56]
Palamuleni, L. G. C. Land cover change and hydrological regimes in the Shire river catchment, Malawi, 2009.
[57]
Killian, C. D.; Asquith, W. H.; Barlow, J. R.; Bent, G. C.; Kress, W. H.; Barlow, P. M.; Schmitz, D. W. Characterizing groundwater and surface-water interaction using hydrograph-separation techniques and groundwater-level data throughout the Mississippi Delta, USA. Hydrogeology Journal 2019, 1–13.
[58]
Palamuleni, L. G.; Ndomba, P. M.; Annegarn, H. J. Evaluating land cover change and its impact on hydrological regime in Upper Shire river catchment, Malawi. Regional Environmental Change 2011, 11, 845–855.
ADDRESS
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
U.S.A.
Tel: (001)347-983-5186