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Long‐term groundwater resource observatory for Southwestern Madagascar

Abstract : Madagascar has one of the highest poverty rates in the world and consequently the long‐term monitoring of groundwater resources is not a priority for the authorities. However, groundwater is often the only sustainable resource that has a satisfactory quality to supply the population. This is especially true in the south‐west of the country, which is a semi‐arid region and a global change hot spot (intense land use and climate changes). In response to the lack of data, the Groundwater Resource Observatory for Southwestern Madagascar (GROSoM) was established to monitor piezometry and meteorology over the longer term as part of a humanitarian response. The first site was setup in 2014 in a catchment located over a carbonate plateau; in 2018, a second site was installed in an alluvial setting within a crystalline basement catchment and a third site will be installed in 2020 to monitor groundwater dynamics in a coastal setting. The three sites, located between Toliara and Taolagnaro cities, are complementary and representative of various hydrogeological systems in Southwestern Madagascar. Each site includes a weather station and between 3 and 6 piezometric probes. The monitoring data indicate a strong inter‐annual variability in precipitation, which induces a strong variability in aquifers recharge. One of the driest years in 2016 seems to be consistent with strong El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effects observed at the global scale, while years with higher recharge appear to be related to cyclones such as Fundi in 2015 and Eketsang in 2019. Preliminary results of cross‐disciplinary studies demonstrated a link between groundwater and health issues (i.e., admissions to basic health centres). This observatory aims to produce long‐term data and has two objectives: (i) strengthening the early warning system for humanitarian crises in Madagascar; (ii) contributing to a better understanding of the effects of climate change on groundwater resources in this semi‐arid region.
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Contributor : Simon Carrière <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 6:53:57 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 9:52:02 AM


Carrière et al. 2021 - Hydrol...
Publication funded by an institution



Simon Carrière, Thomas Health, Pascale Rakotomandrindra, Chloé Ollivier, Riva Rajaomahefasoa, et al.. Long‐term groundwater resource observatory for Southwestern Madagascar. Hydrological Processes, Wiley, 2021, 35 (3), pp.e14108. ⟨10.1002/hyp.14108⟩. ⟨hal-03183854⟩



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