One Woman’s Mission to Fight Water Scarcity in Africa | Earth.Org - Past | Present | FutureDr. Sónia Santos Assunção, an experienced geophy...One Woman’s Mission to Fight Water Scarcity in Africa | Earth.Org - Past | Present | Future
Dr. Sónia Santos Assunção, an experienced geophysicist with extensive experience in soil assessment, first successfully carried out Geophysical exploration to detect underground water in Ghana in 2016 with the support of Geo Analysis that provided the equipment, and given the straight-forward applicability and efficiency of the technologies she used, she decided to extend her scientific project beyond one country. The geophysicist will soon embark on a one-year journey across the African continent, travelling 24,000km to cross a total of 21 countries – from Cairo to Cape Town and from Cape Town to Tunisia – to evaluate the presence of underground sources of water and to teach locals how to acquire geophysical data (available satellite images and information will be provided by AQUAFUTURE Groundwater consultancy).
The name of the project, Remote Water, is a reference to the remote areas that Dr. Santos Assunção and her team will visit as well as to the characteristics of the two techniques that will be used to find waterbodies – its ability to sense earth properties remotely. These include the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), an energy-efficient system that allows to detect waterbodies, between others, underground and provides an accurate measure of depth, and the Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), a technology that can complement the GPR findings by identifying the exact value of resistivity and thus the material of the target (water etc.). Both technologies are safe to use and do not require much power. The latter, for example, requires less energy than a cell phone to function. Both the ERT and the GPR provide extremely accurate data in a matter of minutes and can cover vast areas in a short time.