EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Management of groundwater sustainability and contamination - a Mozambique case study

Isabel Margarida Horta Antunes1 and Ameno Bande2
Isabel Margarida Horta Antunes and Ameno Bande
  • 1University of Minho, Department of Earth Sciences, Portugal (
  • 2Pedagogic University, Matundo, Tete, Mozambique

Groundwater is vulnerable to contamination from natural and anthropogenic activities. The agricultural and human activities associated with hydrological characteristics influence the quality of groundwater. The City of Tete is in the Nharthanda Valley (Zambezi River, Central Mozambique). The city faces a set of serious structural issues of access to water such as a precarious public water supply system, including a lack of network management, water rationing, and a poor sewerage system. Groundwater is collected from the aquifer for the public water supply system of the old city of Tete and a for a traditional agro-livestock farm, which is irrigated by artesian wells. Groundwater abstraction has increased in the last few decades, and it was identified as a risk for groundwater quality and quantity. Groundwater physic-chemical and microbiological parameters obtained from fifteen boreholes and eleven wells have been determined to assess water quality. The presence of potential contaminant activities throughout the Nhartanda Valley and adjacent areas associated with contamination of the Zambezi River contribute to the degradation of water quality. The high vulnerability index for most chemical and microbiological elements indicates that groundwater is easily reached by bacteria and viruses and other potentially toxic substances. Most of the water parameters, from wells and boreholes, exceed the water referenced values allowed for human consumption and agricultural use. The protection of the Nhartanda Valley aquifer system is necessary and urgent. The identification of the most vulnerable areas provides important information for groundwater management, such as the indication of protection measures in aquifer systems.

How to cite: Antunes, I. M. H. and Bande, A.: Management of groundwater sustainability and contamination - a Mozambique case study, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-910,, 2021.