Climatic variability in the Sine-Saloum basin and its impacts on water resources: case of the Sob and Diohine watersheds in the region of Niakhar

Faye, Waly; Fall, Awa Niang; Orange, Didier; Do, Frédéric; Roupsard, Olivier; Kane, Alioune

Local peoples from Niakhar in the Senegalese peanut basin highlight a dramatic increase of water access problems due to marked rainfall deficits and salinization of surface and ground water resources. The chemical quality of groundwaters is often critical because of the salinization process, whereas water surfaces, which should be used in such situations, are up early. More and more, lowlands and rivers beds are pervaded by salt crusts. Then the salinization of wells is increasing, leading to the extension of tans (salty of acidified soils). To study the impacts of climatic pejoration on the agroecosystems and on the living conditions of the populations, we carried out the analysis of the time series of the precipitations with daily and annual time steps from 1950 to 2015 on 6 meteorological stations, in situ measurements on 78 wells for an area of 311‚ÄČkminline-formula2, as well as local population interviews and field observation. The results confirm an important climatic break in the region in 1970. The long dry period, from 1970 to 2009, has increased the annual rain variability, decreased the number of rainy days per year. We confirm a real and large extension of well salinization, and salt crusting in the lowlands and the riverbeds. From the local people, it seems the process of degradation of the aquifers continues to progress from a large tidal event in 1984. The rainfall increase noted in the last decade does not seem to be enough to reverse the trend and to ensure both the rise of the piezometric level of the aquifers and the desalinization of surface and ground waters.

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Faye, Waly / Fall, Awa Niang / Orange, Didier / et al: Climatic variability in the Sine-Saloum basin and its impacts on water resources: case of the Sob and Diohine watersheds in the region of Niakhar. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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