3. GEOSCIENCE FOR HUMANITY
3.1 Water Supply and Sanitation
The Division carries out appropriate geophysical data acquisition to assist mineral exploration throughout the country. Large airborne geophysical surveys are done by specialised contractors, while the Division does small detailed ground geophysics.
UNICEF Report Summary
A Terms of Reference was signed in 2017 by MRA and Department of Education for hydrogeological investigations to be conducted in Kairuku-Hiri District, Central Province and Tinputz District, Autonomous Region of Bougainville. This project was funded by UNICEF to identify potential sources of water, to harness for Water Supply and Sanitation for schools, health centers and surrounding communities in the two districts.
The survey in Kairuku-Hiri covered a total of 41 schools and nearby health centers and communities. Generally, the Kairuku-Hiri District has the potential to harness both groundwater and surface water sources. Hydro-geological mapping coupled with geophysical resistivity surveys conducted proved existence of shallow to intermediate groundwater aquifers.
The survey in Tinputz covered a total of 17 schools and proved existence of shallow to intermediate groundwater sources. Results for schools located at elevations greater than 100m above sea level indicated thin shallow aquifers while those along the coast did not reveal any potential aquifer. Schools in the hinterlands were not surveyed due to unsuitability of the sites, however, potential from surface water exists.
Details of aquifer thickness and water table depths including results of water analysis are contained in the two district reports produced for UNICEF by Otmar et., al 2017. These reports will be out for public viewing in 2020.
In 2014, groundwater investigations were conducted as part of the region’s attempts to develop a “food security farm” project at Kivori, Central Province. The project is funded by the UNDP through Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP)’s Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change program. The investigation revealed two potential aquifers:
- coastal alluvial and colluvial along the alluvial fan and
- potential fractured rock aquifer at depth within Apanaipi Formation.
The geo-electrical layer interpretations found potential porosity containing fresh groundwater. However, with no past borehole information of the area, a shallow well was recommended for further investigation. (extracted from a report on share drive with no author/TN #)