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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Aspects of Swamp Hydrology in the Okavango
Authors:Porter, J.W.
Muzila, I.L.
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Environment, Ecology
Okavango Swamp (Botswana)
Ngamiland (Botswana)
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40979840
Abstract:In the northwest of Botswana lie the swamps of the Okavango Delta. A vast area of wetlands, varying seasonally from 6,000 km to 10,000 km, it supports a great variety of flora and fauna in a unique environment embedded within the semiarid sandy tracts of the Kalahari. The delta, until recently a virtually untouched wilderness, is of national importance as a source of water; besides, it plays an important role in the tourist industry and in the exploitation of the diamond mine at Orapa. In the future, potential conflicts are likely to arise: between the development and the conservationist ethic, and between competing uses of water. This article gives attention to the complex hydrology of this area. After a short survey of earlier studies, it analyses the problems of prediction, notably concerning the sources of the Okavango, local precipitation, hydrological instability, the role of earthquakes, the role of vegetation, and the activities of man and beast. It also examines the role of channels, particularly the Ngokha and Boro channels, where discharge measurements were carried out at ten locations in 1986-1987; the role of the Thaoge tributary, where a second series of discharge measurements was commenced in 1987; and the water balance of 'madiba' (lagoons). Bibliogr.