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Toward the sustainable use of groundwater springs: a case study from Namibia

Soetaert, Fanny; Wanke, Heike; Dupuy, Alain; Lusuekikio, Vanessa; Gaucher, Eric C.; Bordmann, Vincent; Fleury, Jean-Marc; Franceschi, Michel


Fanny Soetaert

Alain Dupuy

Vanessa Lusuekikio

Eric C. Gaucher

Vincent Bordmann

Jean-Marc Fleury

Michel Franceschi


The water supply in drylands mainly relies on groundwater, making it a crucial resource. Springs in southern Africa are often underutilized, and are neither protected nor monitored. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate their quality in a sample area in northwestern Namibia and to propose solutions for the sustainable use of springs. In total, 35 springs and hot springs were evaluated in the study area located in the drier part of Namibia (Pmean = 150-400 mm/year), an area highly impacted by ongoing climate change with longer and more frequent drought seasons. The springs there are mostly uncaptured and the discharge is in the form of surface runoff, which is mainly lost to the atmosphere by evaporation. Most of the studied springs were perennial, despite a severe drought period. Local communities rely on the springs mainly for livestock and human consumption, as well as for irrigation. However, 71% of the springs do not have any protective measures. The temperature, pH, conductivity and alkalinity were tested in situ. In total, 20 samples were collected and analyzed for major ions (boron, fluoride, silica and strontium) and total dissolved solids (TDS). The physical and inorganic results mostly indicated good and excellent quality water for human consumption, while the hot springs tended to have poor water quality in terms of Namibian standards, indicating that the water was not fit for human consumption.


Soetaert, F., Wanke, H., Dupuy, A., Lusuekikio, V., Gaucher, E. C., Bordmann, V., …Franceschi, M. (2022). Toward the sustainable use of groundwater springs: a case study from Namibia. Sustainability, 14(7), Article 3995.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 28, 2022
Publication Date Mar 28, 2022
Deposit Date Mar 31, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 5, 2022
Journal Sustainability
Print ISSN 2071-1050
Electronic ISSN 2071-1050
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 7
Article Number 3995
Keywords Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law; Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Geography, Planning and Development
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