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Monitoring Groundwater Resource Status at a Regional Level Using Indicator Boreholes and a Groundwater Stress Index

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  Freda Jonck
E-mail: jonckf@dws.gov.za
   
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  12 March 2010
  10 July 2009
   
   
   
   
   

A recurring issue in groundwater resource management is how to present a synoptic overview of the changing status of groundwater resources in a way that is useful to senior managers and other decision managers. At small scales, and with an abundance of data, contour maps of changes in water levels might be the most appropriate tool. However at the regional scale that the workers were asked to deliver a product there is simply too much heterogeneity in aquifer characteristics, and too little data, for water level contours to indicate useful information. The data can be presented in long reports with many graphs, but this does not give a synoptic geographic overview. A compromise approach was therefore selected of using water levels from indicator boreholes, depicted geographically on a map, using "groundwater stress" as a backdrop. (Groundwater stress is defined here as groundwater use divided by groundwater exploitation potential).

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