Published Article

Assessing heavy metal contamination using biosensors and a multi-branch Integrated Catchment Model in the Awash River Basin, Ethiopia

The Awash River Basin in Ethiopia faces rising heavy metal concentrations due to poor wastewater management and loose enforcement of regulations around effluent discharge. Acute toxicity of surface and wastewater samples was measured using new molecular biosensor technology based on engineered luminescent bacteria. A multi-branch Integrated Catchment model (INCA) simulating tannery discharge under different treatment scenarios indicates that a 50% reduction in effluent concentrations could produce a 20 to 50% reduction in heavy metal concentration in the river over two years.

Water chemistry poses health risks as reliance on groundwater increases: A systematic review of hydrogeochemistry research from Ethiopia and Kenya

This article systematically reviews groundwater chemistry results from 160 studies from Ethiopia and Kenya to evaluate potential health risks. The results indicate that chemical contaminants occur widely in groundwaters used for drinking but not regularly monitored: 78% of studies reported exceedance of contaminants that have direct health consequences, and 81% reported exceedance of aesthetic parameters. This demonstrates that universal and equitable access to safe drinking water will not be achieved without wider implementation of groundwater treatment.

Hydrochemical and isotopic characteristics of the Lodwar Alluvial Aquifer System (LAAS) in Northwestern Kenya and implications for sustainable groundwater use in dryland urban areas

This paper assesses the Lodwar Alluvial Aquifer System (LAAS), a crucial resource to northwestern Kenya amid its drylands and unreliable surface water supply. The researchers aimed to study the aquifers hydrochemical and isotopic characteristics to better understand how to manage this groundwater system. Therefore, during the May 2018 wet season, they collected 112 water samples to establish isotopic compositions of rain, spring, surface water and groundwater. Understanding recharge sources and aquifer vulnerability of similar strategic aquifers can help scientists appropriately advise policymakers and the water community who develop sustainable water use, aquifer protection and conservation strategies. As well as providing insight in this regard, the study contributes scientific evidence of isotopic compositions of groundwater in the Horn of Africa.

Hydrogeologic Constraints for Drinking Water Security in Southwest Coastal Bangladesh: Implications for Sustainable Development Goal 6.1

This article analyzes drinking water security in southwest coastal Bangladesh, through an in-depth field investigation. It reveals that the exponential growth of groundwater-based technologies, such as tube wells, does not necessarily indicate the actual safe drinking water coverage in coastal areas, due to complex hydrogeology with the high spatial variability of groundwater salinity risks.

Spatio-temporal variability and potential health risks assessment of heavy metals in the surface water of Awash basin, Ethiopia

Increasing urbanization and industrialization in the Awash River basin, Ethiopia, is impacting water quality. Physico-chemical and heavy metal spatio-temporal variability and associated risks to human health and ecology were assessed across twenty sampling stations. Contamination indicators suggest variable but significant health risks to people exposed to untreated water in the sampled area, including cancer risk from heavy metals which enter basin waters due to human activities and natural erosion.

Intra-seasonal rainfall and piped water revenue variability in rural Africa

Rainfall patterns influence water usage and revenue from user payments in rural Africa. The authors explore these dynamics by examining monthly rainfall against 4,888 records of rural piped water revenue in Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda and quantifying revenue changes over 635 transitions between dry and wet seasons.

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