Quantifying increased groundwater demand from prolonged drought in the East African Rift Valley

Evan A. Thomas, Joseph Needoba, Doris Kaberia, John Butterworth, Emily C. Adams, Phoebe Oduor, Denis Macharia, Faith Mitheu, Robinson Mugo, Corey Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Millions of people in the arid regions of Kenya and Ethiopia face water scarcity and frequent drought. Water resource forecasting and reliable operation of groundwater distribution systems may improve drought resilience. In this study, we examined three remote sensing data sets against in-situ sensor-collected groundwater extraction data from 221 water points serving over 1.34 million people across northern Kenya and Afar, Ethiopia between January 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. In models containing rainfall as a binary variable, we observed an overall 23% increase in borehole runtime following weeks with no rainfall compared to weeks preceded by some rainfall. Further, a 1 mm increase in rainfall was associated with a 1% decrease in borehole use the following week. When surface water availability is reduced during the dry seasons, groundwater demand increases. Our findings emphasize the imperative to maintain functionality of groundwater boreholes in these regions which often suffer drought related emergencies. Funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the National Science Foundation, and the Cisco Foundation. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1272
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume666
DOIs
StatePublished - May 20 2019

Fingerprint

Drought
rift zone
Rain
Groundwater
Boreholes
drought
rainfall
groundwater
borehole
Arid regions
Water
World Bank
Water resources
arid region
Surface waters
water availability
distribution system
dry season
Remote sensing
water resource

Keywords

  • Drought
  • Ethiopia
  • Groundwater
  • Kenya
  • Remote monitoring
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Cite this

Quantifying increased groundwater demand from prolonged drought in the East African Rift Valley. / Thomas, Evan A.; Needoba, Joseph; Kaberia, Doris; Butterworth, John; Adams, Emily C.; Oduor, Phoebe; Macharia, Denis; Mitheu, Faith; Mugo, Robinson; Nagel, Corey.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 666, 20.05.2019, p. 1265-1272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thomas, EA, Needoba, J, Kaberia, D, Butterworth, J, Adams, EC, Oduor, P, Macharia, D, Mitheu, F, Mugo, R & Nagel, C 2019, 'Quantifying increased groundwater demand from prolonged drought in the East African Rift Valley', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 666, pp. 1265-1272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.206
Thomas, Evan A. ; Needoba, Joseph ; Kaberia, Doris ; Butterworth, John ; Adams, Emily C. ; Oduor, Phoebe ; Macharia, Denis ; Mitheu, Faith ; Mugo, Robinson ; Nagel, Corey. / Quantifying increased groundwater demand from prolonged drought in the East African Rift Valley. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 666. pp. 1265-1272.
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