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Hydrogeological investigation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in Northern Chad – a baseline study for a sustainable management

Within the framework of the support from the Swiss Government to the Chadian Republic, through the implementation of a project by UNOSAT-UNITAR focusing on the cartography of water resources using remote sensing techniques, the Institute of Earth Sciences of Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, in collaboration with the University of N’Djaména, the Ministry of Water and Hydraulics of the Chad Republic and the Center of Hydrogeology of the University of Neuchâtel, are involved in an in-depth study of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System of Northern Chad. High-precision altimetric water points data, hydraulic gradients definition and physico-chemical and isotopic signatures from approximately available water points spread in the Nubian Aquifer System of Northern Chad will enable the design a simple semi-quantitative conceptual model on the character of the fossil underground water and will give significant insights on the development of the system in terms of exploitation. In the area of North-Eastern Chad there are several lakes and areas of shallow groundwater with palm trees plantations with high biodiversity. A severe water table decline could generate environmental and agricultural problems as already observed in the Kufra oasis, threatening food security. To develop a controlled and regulated exploitation, a conceptual model of the dynamics of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) must be developed. Additionally, without a state of the art situation regarding existing and functionality of water points, it is difficult for the Chadian Water Authority to identify the requirements in terms of water supply for the population living in Northern Chad.

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