270 pages | 80 B/W Illus.
Water demand in southern Africa continues to rise, as urban areas expand and as agricultural water demand rises to meet the millennium development food security goals. Water resource availability in the northern Limpopo Basin has declined over the last 30 years, and will decline further under climate change. In this study, water resources modelling is used to quantify the effect of water resources strategies and climatic conditions on water resources availability. This is coupled with water balance modelling to evaluate the potential of alluvial aquifers, which form the beds of sand rivers.
The greatest benefit for the least impact comes from strategies providing for better land and soil/water management, such as changing from maize to small grains, production of livestock fodder and conservation agriculture. Small dams are a key resource to rural communities, and change to Multiple Use Systems through abstraction of water for irrigation has clear benefits locally. There is also great potential for the exploitation of alluvial aquifers for water supply. Better management of existing large dams, together with conjunctive use of alluvial groundwater and several reservoirs could increase productive use of water and significantly improve livelihoods without the construction of new reservoirs.
IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.
PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.
IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.