Just over $10 million has been earmarked for the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change to undertake an evaluation of groundwater recharge in the upper Rio Cobre River basin.
This is contained in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently being reviewed in the House of Representatives.
The two-year project, which got underway in April this year, and is being spearheaded by the Water Resources Authority (WRA), is intended to assess the potential for water-related developments and resource capacity to meet present and future demands, as well as the continuous updating of the WRA Master Plan.
The project will entail development of a database of new and existing information pertaining to the recharging of water in the Rio Cobre, inclusive of groundwater levels, spring and river discharges, isotopes, and chemistry and meteorological parameters.
In addition, it will provide training for technical staff in the application of isotope in hydrology; development of a mathematical model of groundwater recharge and flow to the Rio Cobre hydro-geological system; and procurement of current meters, ground water probes with rainwater collectors, and multi-parameter sonde for wells.
It is anticipated that for the initial 12-month period, between April 2012 and March 2013, technical staff will be trained, while meters, ground water level probes, rainwater collectors and multi-parameter sonde will be procured and a database developed.
Funding is being jointly provided by the Government of Jamaica and through grants from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter