Key Issues for Water Quality Monitoring in the Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique in the Context of Mining Development


Zambezi River Basin is located in Southern Africa. It is essential for the economy of its eight riparian countries. The delta and almost 11% of its total catchment area are located in Mozambique. The main stream of the river receives a run-off contribution of 1800 m3/s in Mozambique and reaches the ocean with a flow of about 4100 m3/s. Coal mining is developing fast in the Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique due to favourable geological conditions. The coal mining and other activities have an impact on the surface and groundwater quality of the river basin. ARA-Zambeze is the river basin organization responsible for the water quality monitoring in Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique. In spite of limited resources ARA-Zambeze performs surveillance monitoring, while the institutions influencing the water quality of the river are doing operational monitoring. In this paper a monitoring system for the Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique is proposed. The system includes two alternative monitoring procedures. One procedure considers improvement of the current situation, which is characterized by multiple actors doing monitoring in isolation, by standardizing the analytical methods and improving data sharing through a web-based reporting system. The other proposed monitoring procedure considers a centralized approach, by having a consulting company doing the monitoring for the whole river basin in Mozambique. The second option has the advantages of improving consistency and comparability of the data, thereby allowing for more accurate trend analyses. It is concluded that the best way forward is to implement the first procedure and slowly move to the second.

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Nhantumbo, C. , Larsson, R. , Juízo, D. and Larson, M. (2015) Key Issues for Water Quality Monitoring in the Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique in the Context of Mining Development. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 7, 430-447. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2015.75035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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