Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Assefa M. Melesse

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

Third Advisor's Name

Jeffrey A. Onsted

Fourth Advisor's Name

Daniel Gann

Keywords

artificial recharge, New Providence, Bahamas, freshwater, aquifers, GIS, freshwater scarcity

Date of Defense

3-31-2011

Abstract

The Bahamas is a small island nation that is dealing with the problem of freshwater shortage. All of the country’s freshwater is contained in shallow lens aquifers that are recharged solely by rainfall. The country has been struggling to meet the water demands by employing a combination of over-pumping of aquifers, transport of water by barge between islands, and desalination of sea water. In recent decades, new development on New Providence, where the capital city of Nassau is located, has created a large area of impervious surfaces and thereby a substantial amount of runoff with the result that several of the aquifers are not being recharged. A geodatabase was assembled to assess and estimate the quantity of runoff from these impervious surfaces and potential recharge locations were identified using a combination of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing. This study showed that runoff from impervious surfaces in New Providence represents a large freshwater resource that could potentially be used to recharge the lens aquifers on New Providence.

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