Water Resources Management

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1139–1159 | Cite as

Groundwater Assessment at Santiago Island (Cabo Verde): A Multidisciplinary Approach to a Recurring Source of Water Supply

  • Paula Maria CarreiraEmail author
  • José M. Marques
  • António Pina
  • António Mota Gomes
  • Paula A. Galego Fernandes
  • Fernando Monteiro Santos


Groundwater resources are in many parts of the world the only source for private domestic, agricultural and public water supply. Subsurface has also become major recipient of wastewater and solid waters especially in the developing countries. Overexploitation of coastal aquifers and pollution are among the main problems related to groundwater resources assessment and management in Santiago Island (Cabo Verde). Brackish groundwater is the only available water type in the region that is being provided to numerous parts of the Island such as Praia Baixo, Montenegro, and Charco for agriculture and human supply. Solute and isotope data obtained in different groundwater systems were used in the identification of groundwater resources degradation. In order to understand the influence of the anthropogenic activities on the water quality and the main origin of the salts in groundwater, a statistical approach (Principal Components Analyses—PCA) was performed on the physico-chemical data. The results obtained indicate water–rock interaction mechanisms as the major process responsible for the groundwater quality (mainly calcium-bicarbonate type), reflecting the lithological composition of the subsurface soil. Also, anthropogenic contamination was identified, in several points of the island. Isotopic techniques (δ2H, δ18O and 3H content) combined with geochemistry provided comprehensive information on groundwater recharge, as well as on the identification of salinization mechanisms (e.g. seawater intrusion, salt dissolution, and marine aerosols) of the groundwater systems, at Santiago Island.


Groundwater degradation Geochemistry Stable isotopes Principal Component Analyses Santiago Island–Cabo Verde 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula Maria Carreira
    • 1
    Email author
  • José M. Marques
    • 2
  • António Pina
    • 3
  • António Mota Gomes
    • 3
  • Paula A. Galego Fernandes
    • 1
  • Fernando Monteiro Santos
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto Tecnológico e NuclearSacavémPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Superior TécnicoLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto Superior de EducaçãoPraiaCabo Verde
  4. 4.Centro de GeofísicaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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