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Examining the potential of using spring waters for domestic and irrigation farming activities: Case study of Liwonde, Malawi. AMCOW. A Russel C.G. Chidya ( MSc ) Prof Wapulumuka O. Mulwafu Ass Prof Samson S.M.I Sajidu A Corresponding author: E-mail: [email protected]

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Examining the potential of using spring waters for domestic and irrigation farming activities: Case study of Liwonde, Malawi.

AMCOW

A Russel C.G. Chidya (MSc)

Prof Wapulumuka O. Mulwafu

Ass Prof Samson S.M.I Sajidu

ACorresponding author: E-mail: [email protected]

University of Malawi – Chancellor College

Date: 31st Oct – 2nd Nov 2012

13th WaterNet/WARSFSA/GWP-SA International Symposium on IWRM

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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Presentation Outline

  • Introduction & Literature Review
  • Aim and Objectives
  • Methods and Materials
  • Results & Discussion
  • Conclusion & Recommendations
  • Acknowledgements

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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1. Introduction & Literature review

  • Water is a finite natural resource essential for the well being of mankind (GWP, 2010).
  • Important water sources:
    • surface water i.e. springs, streams and rivers ponds, lakes &seas.
    • ground water i.e.: located in aquifers – related to wells, boreholes &springs
  • In Malawi, existence of rivers, springs, L. Malawi, L. Chilwa and other smaller lakes provide fresh water resources.
  • However, climate variability, poor agricultural practices, poor waste disposal, poor water use and poor management of catchment areas etc pose daunting challenges which could result in quality & access to water resources being strained in the near future (Kass et al, 2005; GWP, 2010).

NEPAD SANWATCE

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Intr‘d cont.../...

  • Springs are an important source of water for various purposes i.e. domestic, irrigation, & fishing (Spechler &Schiffer, 1995; WHO, 2008).
  • Previous studies by UNEP & GPF showed that Liwonde is one the areas in Malawi that have both hot and cold spring water sources.
  • However, there is no established data on the exact location & capacity of these springs. No attempt has been made to assess the socio-economic use, management & governance systems of these springs.
  • Further, no data is available on the physico-chemical characteristics of the spring waters and their implications for domestic and irrigation use.

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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2. Aim & specific objectives

  • Main Aim:
  • To examine the potential of using cold and hot spring waters for domestic and irrigation farming activities in Liwonde, Malawi.
  • Specific Objectives
  • To assess the socio-economic use and governance systems of spring water resources.
  • To study the physico-chemical characteristics of spring water resources and their implications for domestic and irrigation use.
  • To examine the water discharge and capacity of springs to support large-scale domestic and irrigational farming activities.

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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3. Methods & Materials

  • 3.1 Description of the study area – Liwonde
  • Situated in Southern Malawi & lies at 470 – 531 m above sea level.
  • experiences tropical climate, &receives a relatively low rainfall.
  • Is one of the hottest areas (mean max T of 39 °C).
  • Lies in Shire R plain & is partly surrounded by Mts.

To Lilongwe

SW1

Mts

Liwonde Township

SW3

SW10

SW11

SW4

SW2

SW12

N

SW6

SW5

SW7

SW8

SHIRE RIVER

SW9

From Blantyre

Fig 1A: Map of Africa & Malawi showing location of Study Area

Fig 1B: Location of sampling sites

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3.2 Water sample collection

  • 13 Hot & cold springs were identified, most connected to boreholes.
  • Water samples collected in triplicate using 0.5 L cleaned plastic bottles;transported &preserved in accordance with std methods (APHA, 1998; WII, 2008).

Spring water flow thru borehole

Borehole

Aquifer system

Fig 3: A hot spring in Liwonde

Fig 2: Schematic diagram of a borehole connected to a spring

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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3.4 Irrigational water quality indices

  • The following equations were used to determine: SAR, %Na, MHR, & RSC(Bauder et al., 2008):

- - - - - - - - - - [1]

- - - - - - - - - - [2]

- - - - - - - - - - [3]

- - - - - - - - - - [4]

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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3.5 Socio-economic data collection

  • The socio-economic activities making use of springs in the study area investigated thru:
    • Field visits,
    • Observations,
    • key informant interviews
    • literature review
  • 3.6 Statistical Analysis
  • Social-economic data evaluated by repeated reading &content analysis.
  • Water quality &discharge data analysed by Microsoft Excel (Windows 2007) to compute means, standard deviations & Pearson Correlation C (2-tailed at 95%)

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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4. Results & Discussion

4.1 The socio-economic activities and spring water management

  • 12 cold & hot springs identified& most (75%, n=12) wereassociated with boreholes.

B

A

C

Fig 4 (A, B, C): Pictures showing spring flow through boreholes in Liwonde. (Photos: Russel Chidya)

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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Results & Discussion cont‘d

  • Preliminary results revealed that spring waters in the area are used for:
  • domestic purposes. i.e. washing, bathing, cooking & drinking.
  • small-scale subsistence &commercial farming (vegetables, rice, sugarcane, & maize).
  • moulding of bricks,
  • fish ponds

Fig 5: Pictures showing multiple uses of spring waters. (Photos: Russel Chidya)

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Fig 6: Photos showing multiple use of springs waters. (photos: R Chidya)

  • Watering of nursery & tree seedlings
  • Growing of vegetables

NEPAD SANWATCE

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Results & Discussion cont‘d

  • Major problems observed
  • ANY POSSIBLE INTERVENTION?
  • Integrated approach in spring water usage and management, hence IWRM i.e. to address:
      • Hygiene & Sanitation
      • Water quality & quantity
      • Access to water

Poor management

Congestion (>300 households)

Poor Sanitation (photo by Russel Chidya)

Lack of maintenance

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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4.2 Physico-chemical characteristics

WHO limit (6.5 – 8.5)

  • Spring waters slightly basic;
  • pH range 7.7 – 9.1
  • Most sites (67%, n=12) registered pH > upper WHO (2008) limit, hence deemed not suitable for consumption
  • Both EC &TDS were within MBS (2005) limit (EC 700 – 1500 (µS/cm).
  • However, springs near Shire R showed slightly higher EC & TDS, hence depict high ionisation and dissolution of minerals.

NEPAD SANWATCE

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4.2 Physico-chemical characteristics ... cont’d

Table 2: Results on physico-chemical characteristics of the spring water

T: water temperature. Nd: not determined. bdl: below detection level. MBS: Malawi Bureau of standards. WHO: World Health Organisation. NA: not available. Nh: not of health concern at levels found in drinking water. *taste threshold value

NEPAD SANWATCE

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Results & Discussion – cont‘d

  • Based on WHO (2008) hardness classification, all samples registered ‘soft class’ (0-70 mg/L CaCO3).
  • SO42-, Cl-, Mg, Ca, Na, Cu, & Mn were below WHO (2008) limits at all sites, hence water generally safe for domestic use. However, due to presence of Cd & relatively high levels of Na at some sites, further water quality studies needed to justify this claim.
  • Suitability of water for irrigation:
    • Based on SAR, 4 sites fell under excellent ‘S1class’ (0-10); 2 sites registered ‘good’ (SAR 10-18), 1 site doubtful (SAR 18-26) and 5 sites ‘unsuitable classes’ (SAR>26).
    • But, based on RSC & %Na by Bauder et al., (2008) all sites were unsuitable for irrigation due to elevated CO32-, HCO3-and Na+ ions that tend to affect irrigable soil properties.

NEPAD SANWATCE

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5. Conclusion

This study has shown that the springs have both socio-economic value and capacity to support large-scale farming & domestic use.

However, major challenges faced include poor sanitation, governance & management systems. Further, water quality analyses indicated that some springs are of poor quality.

RECOMMENDATIONS & FURTHER STUDIES

Integrated approaches (i.e. IWRM) are needed for sustainable use, governance &proper management of the springs.

Further studies are needed on hydrology and aquifer systems of the area, microbiological tests & human health; & soil analysis for sustainable farming.

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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6. Acknowledgements

Authors would like to express their sincerely gratitude to the following:

  • NEPAD SANWATCE– for sponsorship towards the student’s expenses to attend the conference.
  • SADC WaterNet-Malawi Chapter for partially sponsoring the research study.
  • 13th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Secretariat for accepting our abstract & manuscript
  • Department of Chemistry – Chancellor College (University of Malawi) – for provision of lab space

NEPAD SANWATCE

www.nepadwatercoe.org

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THE END

THANK YOU!!

ZIKOMO

“Let there be work, bread, water & salt for all”

-Nelson Mandela-

(Adapted from: Water, Energy & Development 2012 by ESKOM)

NEPAD SANWATCE

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