Groundwater resource assessment and development

The Maun Groundwater Development Project (MGDP) was initiated by the Botswana Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in 1995 following the Government’s decision to terminate the Southern Okavango Integrated Water Development Project (SOIWDP) in 1992. SOIWDP was a large engineering study that proposed the utilisation of surface water to meet a number of water demands, including Maun’s, on the southern fringe of the Okavango Delta. The primary goal of the MGDP was to assess groundwater availability and development potential within a heretofore unexplored area to meet the projected year 2012 demand for the town of Maun estimated at 4 million cubic meters (MCM) per year. Maun has experienced significant population growth over the past few decades that has resulted in increased pressure on existing water supplies. During this same period, surface water availability has been declining. The 1970’s were generally a decade of above average outflow from the delta, the 1980’s saw a decrease in outflow and the 1990’s have experienced some of the lowest outflows on record.