Internship/Masterthesis: Upscaling artificial groundwater recharge for aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) in northern Ghana

Last updated: 26 June 2017 at 12:49


Northern Ghana has a savannah- like climate Farmers in the region irrigate their crops prevent losses. This irrigation has the potential to increase yield and even double the number of crops produced per year. Groundwater is used as a source for irrigation but this source is considered to be unsustainable. An NGO Conservation Alliance has therefore started implementing small-scale artificial recharge through infiltration in wet periods, storing water in the subsurface which is then extracted and used for irrigation in dry periods.
These systems are commonly referr ed to as aquifer storage and recovery, or ASR. Excess rainw ater is collected between May and October and discharged to a sand layer around the water pump, which allows the water to infiltrate to the subsurface.

The geological conditions in the regin are challenging for the storage of water in the subsurface. There is lots of bedrock ( sandy with a medium hydraulic conductivity). Nonetheless there is potential in upscaling these small-scale ASR systems to increase water security in the north of Ghana. Large-scale recharge through infiltration can help realize sustainable groundwater abstraction in the regin.

The research will focus on collecting relevant geohydrological data on northern Ghana to scout potentially suitable regions for the application of ASR. Additionally, geohydrological calculations will need to be performed to design and optimize the ASR system, taking into account geochemical issues.


Research Questions

  • What are suitable areas for the application of natural infiltration?
  • What is the maximum capacity/ efficiency of ASR in the region?
  • What tyype of design would maximize the capacity of the system?
  • What are the geochemical constraints?


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