Multi-method groundwater recharge estimation at Eshito micro-watershed, Rift Valley Basin in Ethiopia

Mintamer Ferede*, Alemseged Tamiru Haile, David Walker, John Gowing, Geoff Parkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Understanding recharge processes is fundamental to improve sustainable groundwater resource management. Shallow groundwater (SGW) is being developed for multiple purposes in Ethiopia without consideration of monitoring. We established a citizen science-based hydro-meteorological monitoring network, with a focus on SGW recharge estimation, in Eshito micro-watershed, Ethiopia. Citizen scientists collected rainfall, groundwater-level and stream water-level data. We characterized the shallow aquifer using pumping tests. The data were used to estimate SGW recharge using three methods: chloride mass balance, water-level fluctuation (WLF) and baseflow separation. Approximately 20% and 35% of annual rainfall amount contributes to recharge based on the chloride mass balance and WLF results, respectively. Baseflow separation showed recharge values for the watershed vary from 38% to 28% of annual rainfall at the upstream and downstream gauging stations, respectively. This study shows that the recharge in previously unmonitored micro-watersheds can be studied if citizens are involved in data generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1596-1605
Number of pages10
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • citizen science
  • monitoring
  • recharge
  • shallow groundwater

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