The Recharge Potential of Groundwater in the Mokonde Community in Southern Sierra Leone


Understanding the hydrologic budget is crucial in planning for community based water supply. The water budget includes rainfall intensity, groundwater recharge, interception, evapotranspiration, and surface runoff. The percentage of rain going to recharge groundwater, rivers, and lakes is very important from the standpoint of human water consumption and ecosystems service. The objective of this work is to determine the recharge potential of groundwater in the Mokonde Community, Southern Sierra Leone. The community is dependent on wells as the main source of domestic water supply. This research need was born out of the absence of available data to show the relationship between rainfall amounts and groundwater recharge in the study area. In this study we monitored groundwater in a well at the United Methodist Church (UMC) compound at Ngegba Street. Automatic water logging devices were deployed to take readings in water level fluctuations every 15 minutes. Monitoring continued throughout the hydrological year of Sierra Leone. A rain gauge was deployed at neighboring UMC Primary School, and daily rainfall records taken at 9:00 a.m. Our team members also deployed at the well on a daily basis to collect data on abstraction of water. The results revealed, through a 29-year rainfall data and the Specific Yield, that 1170 mm of rainfall (48%) was the maximum potential of rainfall that would make groundwater a convenient source of water supply in the area. This demand was higher with the recent 1-year rainfall data. Increase in settlement had likely led to reduction in pervious area, and hence more and more rainfall needed for recharge. The time it took for maximum recharge (4 weeks) was shorter than that for maximum discharge (28 - 30 weeks). Groundwater flowed southwards towards the Gbengitay stream, which drained into the Tia River. These results would inform first step in delineating the water balance in the study area. Future studies could include the quality aspect, stream/river flow, interception and evapotranspiration. These pieces of information are required to help informed decision for water security.

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Mansaray, A. , Gogra, A. and Massaquoi, A. (2015) The Recharge Potential of Groundwater in the Mokonde Community in Southern Sierra Leone. Natural Resources, 6, 543-552. doi: 10.4236/nr.2015.611052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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