Assessment of surface water availability in Solwezi River Basin, NothWestern Province, Zambia
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This study assessed surface water availability in Solwezi River basin in Northwestern Province of Zambia. The main objective was to quantify various components of the water balance to ascertain surface water availability in Solwezi River Basin in view of the increasing water demand. Climate data collected comprising rainfall, temperature and water abstraction were analyzed using Runoff coefficient approach, Thornthwaite and Water Balance methods to determine inflows and outflows in the catchment. The water balance model developed revealed that the total inflows of the surface runoff generated in the catchment was 985,841m3/day while the outflows amounted to 1,078,209.8 m3/day. The outflows were comprised of 885,938m3/day of water lost via evapotranspiration, 42,678.9 m3/day water abstracted for anthropogenic activities, 13,599.36m3/day environmental flow and 135, 993.6m3/day water leaving the catchment as stream flow. The inflows were exceeded by the outflows such that the water balance results indicated a negative value of -92,368.86m3/day of the surface water available in the catchment. Consequently, there was a surface water deficit indicating that there is no surplus water in the catchment to meet the current water demand. However, the river was still flowing because of the groundwater recharge which was not accounted for as the study only focused on the surface water runoff generated from rainfall received in the catchment. Overall, it is concluded that there is inadequate water in Solwezi River Basin to meet the current water demand. The local water utility company is encouraged to find additional water sources to meet the apparent current surface water deficit in Solwezi River basin.
University of Zambia
Post Grad. Dip. in Integrated Water Resources Management
- Mines