The Lake Chad Basin is one of the largest sedimentary groundwater basins in Africa. It is composed of three main groundwater bearing geological formations (aquifers): the Quaternary (alluvial aquifer), the Lower Pliocene and the Continental Terminal (both sands and sandstone). Since the main source of water recharge to these aquifers is from surface waters (e.g. Lake Chad), the aquifer system is highly sensitive to climatic changes.
To support the management of groundwater resources in the Lake Chad Basin, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is jointly implementing with the Lake Chad Basin Commission the technical project “Consultation of the Lake Chad Basin Commission on Groundwater Management”. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of the Federal Republic of Germany. The duration of the project is from July 2011 to June 2018 with a total budget of 4 million Euros.
The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the competencies of the LCBC to improve the transboundary groundwater resource management in the Lake Chad Basin.
Period I (2011 - 2014)
The first phase of the project concentrated on the interaction between surface water and groundwater in the inundation plain of the Logone River that extends from the Lake Chad in the north to the Mandara Mountains in the south of Cameroon. The investigation area comprises the Yaéré plain with some 8,000 km² in Cameroon and the Naga plain with 4,500 km² in Chad and is very important for recessional agriculture, fishing, and animal breeding.
Annual field campaigns have been performed measuring water table and collecting water samples. Chemical and isotope analyses took place at the BGR laboratory in Germany. Analyses comprised complete anion and cation species, and trace elements. In-situ parameters (temperature, pH and electric conductivity) were measured by means of a multi-sensor set.
Period II (2015 - 2018)
In the current phase the project aims to:
- further train LCBC experts in hydrogeological methods;
- collect additional data on groundwater and surface water in the Lake Chad Basin;
- improve the monitoring system of groundwater resources;
- develop thematic maps with focus on groundwater resources;
- foster knowledge exchange between focal points and the LCBC;
- develop recommendations for actions concerning groundwater management.
- LCBC and focal points