Investigating a spatial approach to groundwater quantity management using radius of influence with a case study of South Africa
The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether a simple, spatially-based approach to groundwater sustainability using radius of influence should be used to replace the pervasive, yet deprecated, ‘natural recharge water balance’ volumetric method. Using South Africa as a case study, the radius of influence methodology was shown to be scientifically practical, to provide plausible results, and to be permissible under the country’s water laws. The approach also provides better indicators for institutions involved in groundwater management, and remains conceptually correct at all scales. However, further research is recommended on more robust alternatives to the Cooper-Jacob equation for determining radius of influence.
Keywords: groundwater, sustainability, spatial, water balance, indicators, institutions