A unified methodology to sustainable groundwater improvement and control in Nigeria

Doglas B. Chukwuma


Nigeria has greater challenges when it comes to groundwater development and management. The management of the resource is lagging behind the pace of development, and often, very little control is exercised in its exploitation. The current groundwater resources development and supply status is unacceptably low and needs a major transformation. With the rapid growth in population, urbanization, industrialization and competition for economic development, groundwater resource has become vulnerable to depletion and degradation. Management of this valuable resource is determined by its acceptability and utilizability in terms of quantity and quality. Due to imbalance between demand and availability, management approaches are facing various ethical dilemas. Against this context, relevant questions present themselves: What is the real extent of the problems? Why are the present efforts so limited? ; and what can be done to change the situation, to start on a path to more sustainable and equitable development and management of groundwater resources? To be able to adequately address the questions and devise intelligent answers, an analysis of the present impediments deserves attention. Only by clarifying the constraints and addressing them, will any significant changes be possible, let alone occur. This paper therefore emphasizes that the machinery of groundwater resources development and management needs an urgent overhauling with the aim of streamlining the overlapping functions of the various agencies that have operated the system up till now. More importantly, the paper suggested integrated approaches/strategies for sustainable management as well as offers some relevant policy recommendations for groundwater management in Nigeria.

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