Zimbabwe

Summary

There are a large number of references available on the hydrogeology. These reflect research work undertaken by BGS of Precambrian Basement Complex aquifers, the impact and mitigation of drought upon groundwater systems, the development of collector well systems and support by DFID to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources during the post independence period of 1980-2000.

References

There are 279 references available. Currently 156 of these are available to download in PDF format.


Key References

Discussion

Amongst the mass of information available for Zimbabwe are sections dealing with groundwater in the annual reports of the Southern Rhodesia Geological Survey 1931-1947 as well as reports on changes in climate by Maufe (1930), the use of geophysical surveys for investigation of groundwater by Shaw (1935) and mineral springs by Maufe (1933). During 1983-1984 UK personnel staffed the Primary Water Supply Unit responsible for the location of groundwater sources in refugee resettlement schemes mainly located in the east of the country. Following this project continued assistance was provided to the Groundwater Branch of the Ministry of Water during 1985-1988. The BGS undertook a major study of Basement Complex aquifers during 1984-89 including the application of remote sensing, geophysical and hydrofracturing techniques to optimise site selection and borehole development. This work progressed into the application of collector well technology during 1989-1992 that was followed by the development of collector wells for small scale irrigation from Basement Complex aquifers during 1992-1998 centered upon pilot studies in the Chiredzi area and reported by Lovell et al. (1996).

Other important hydrogeological studies include the compilation and analysis of hydrogeological information by Gear (1977 and 1979) to produce the first assessment of groundwater occurrence in Zimbabwe. This assessment formed the basis of groundwater section of the National Master Plan for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation produced by Interconsult (1985). This report was accompanied by the first hydrogeological map of Zimbabwe at scale 1:1 000 000 in 4 sheets. The analysis of data obtained during the installation of rural water supply boreholes in Victoria Province added greatly to understanding of groundwater occurrence in weathered and fractured Precambrian Basement Complex aquifers. The groundwater resources of Zimbabwe were reviewed by the UNDP in 1989. Groundwater information availability in Zimbabwe was again reviewed by Groundwater Consultants Bee Pee and SRK Consulting in 2002 as part of the SADC hydrogeological mapping project. During the 1980's the Blair Institute advanced the low tech use of pumps and borehole/well installation through the production of a series of manuals and equipment (Morgan, 1984, 1988 and 1988 and Laver, 1986). Following initial studies of shallow alluvial aquifers by Owen (1989) a series of studies have been undertaken of sand river aquifers notably along the lower reaches of the Umzingwane River by students from Lund University.