NIHSA To Control Underground Water Extraction
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency are conducting studies that will help regulate the manner in which underground water is being extracted across the country.
It was gathered in Abuja on Monday that the study would enable NIHSA to find out where the country had reasonable groundwater that could be extracted for various purposes.
The Director-General, NIHSA, Clement Nze, told our correspondent that the study was to further assist states in Nigeria that faced severe water supply challenges.
He said, “Our mandate cuts across surface and groundwater. Surface water refers to rivers, dams, lakes and seas. But when it comes to groundwater issues, we have realised that some parts of this country have water challenges, such that most of their water requirements are sourced through groundwater.
“Especially when you talk about areas in the Chad Basin like Maiduguri, Yobe, etc. Now the agency has been carrying out scientific studies of the groundwater resources potential in these areas. We’ve done a lot of studies in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency based in Vienna.”
Nze said the studies were under some specific isotope projects, adding that specialised techniques were used to be able to find out where Nigeria had reasonable groundwater resources.
He said, “Such studies can be able to tell you the age of the water you want to take from under the ground and if the water is too old, as the implication might be that it is not being recharged and that nothing is flowing into it and nothing is going out of it.
“And if we find out that the underground water is fresh, the study will enable us to know where the water is being recharged from or replenished. It tells us its quantity, how to extract the water from the ground and others.
“This is because if you are extracting water from the ground using boreholes and it is not being replenished adequately, if the rate of extraction is not controlled, you may end up causing water stress that won’t be suitable for you. So with this study, we will be able to regulate the rate of extraction of water.”
He further stated that the agency was also carrying out water studies in coastal parts of Nigeria in order to advise citizens on where and how to drill boreholes.
Nze said, “We also have what we call the Saline Water Intrusion Studies in the coastal areas of Nigeria such as Lagos, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa and Ebonyi states. Some of these states are within the boundaries of the ocean.
“So saline water intrusion study enables us to advise people not to drill boreholes in some selected locations. And if you must drill in such areas, we can advise you on the depth.
“Not that when you dig down to about 300 meters you say you have found water. Yes, you may get water there but there’s a high possibility that it might be saline or salt water. But if you can go deeper, some even go deeper than 1km to be able to satisfy their water demands and get fresh water.”