Yalemsew Adela, Esayas Alemayehu and Tamene Adugna
Nitrate is a limiting nutrient for plant growth and vital for crop production to increase agricultural productivity. However, its excessive presence in aquatic environment poses risk turning in to major aquatic ecosystem perturbation. Dissolved nitrate from lands to waterways is mainly exported via runoff and leaching. The transport of nitrate in a river is a function of the streamflow rate and its concentration, which render to the seasonal variation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the seasonal variation of flow and nitrate flux. Streamflow data of the Gilgel Gibe River for the period of two years (2013-2014) were used. The baseflow is separated using Web-based Hydrograph Analysis Tool (WHAT). Dissolved nitrate concentrations measured on daily basis were also used. The effects of storm events on flow and nitrate transport were examined during dry and wet seasons. The river had shown high discharge rate from the mid June to late October. The baseflow index (BFI) was found 0.76 indicating that the streamflow is mainly controlled by groundwater discharge. Similarly, during the dry seasons, total nitrate input was considerably less than in wetter seasons. Nitrate concentrations, however, were unusually high in the first summer storm runoff after the dry season. The average annual nitrate loads varied from 13761.2 ton to 156.45 ton during the wet and dry seasons respectively. The regression curve for the nitrate load against streamflow (r2=0.88) has shown significant relationship (p-value=0.000). In the time interval studied, over 95% of the nitrate was transported from the watershed during the wet seasons of greater rainfall, which disclosed that seasonality and river flow are primary forcing functions when considering nitrate loadings in this watershed
Groundwater exploration is the investigation of underground formations to understand the hydrologic cycle, know the groundwater quality, and identify the nature, number and type of aquifers. There are different groundwater exploration methods. Surface geophysical method is one of the groundwater investigation methods. One of the surface geophysical methods is therefore the vertical electrical sounding method. Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) is one to provide valuable information regarding the vertical successions of subsurface geo-materials in terms of their individual thicknesses and corresponding resistivity values. It is rapid and much effective in estimating aquifer thickness of an area and is cost effective technique for groundwater study. The objective of this study was therefore to locate two well site locations using surface geophysical methods for water supply purposes. However, hydrogeological and geological investigations were also incorporated in addition to the geophysical surveying activities for the betterment of the project. Finally, the intended well site locations with their corresponding thickness and resistivity values were identified using the integrated approaches.