International Geologiical Congress - Oslo 2008

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HYH-02 Groundwater resources and management Part 2

 

Management practices and global change - effects on groundwater, the key resilience factor for Lake St Lucia, south Africa

 

Lars Været, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Norway)
Bruce Kelbe, University of Zululand (South Africa)
Ricky H. Taylor, KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service (South Africa)
 

 

Over the past few years the role of groundwater as an important contributor of freshwater to Lake St Lucia during periods of prolonged droughts has been recognised. This has led to a management strategy aiming at increasing the groundwater recharge through active manipulation of the vegetation. The replacement of vast areas of pine (pinus elliotii) with grassland over the past decade, combined with a strict burning regime, has led to a general rise of the groundwater table and has increased the groundwater seepage to Lake St Lucia.

A numerical groundwater model has been applied to assess the effects of local management strategies compared to the effects of predicted climate and sea-level change for this area. The simulations indicates that local management actions applied for Eastern Shores has positive effects on the flux into Lake St Lucia that outweighs potential negative effects of future climate and sea-level change predicted for this area.

 

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