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Salmatta Ibrahim, Postgraduate Researcher

Salmatta Ibrahim - Water They Up To: CWS in the Spotlight

In this week's 'Water they up to: CWS in the Spotlight' feature, we find out more about Postgraduate Researcher Salmatta Ibrahim. 

What is your research about?

My research is about a water consumption survey and groundwater modelling study: groundwater management under seasonal variability in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It developed a demand-supply strategy for access to sufficient domestic water supply by collecting data on factors affecting per capita water consumption behaviour, patterns, water use, and household characteristics. This research will enable decision and policy makers to manage the chronic seasonal water supply challenges caused by population growth, inadequate dam capacity, urbanisation, seasonal variability, economic growth, and lack of experts in the water sector. 

What is the most exciting part about your research?

The most exciting part of my research is probably combining GIS and the modelling quantitative tools in the simulations and subsurface calculations for predicting how seasonal groundwater flow and water management decisions will affect groundwater levels in the alluvial and fractured aquifers, thus providing adequate water supply for the Freetown neighbourhoods in the next 75 years. This study also investigated areas of high consumption rates and new sites for artificial water structures (infiltration galleries).

When thinking about water, what place comes to mind first and why?

There are two life altering instances that come to mind. Firstly, at 5 years old (class 1) my daily and most important job was to collect tap water for the household (both in the morning and evening) which was located about 500 yards to our neighbour’s house. This journey started at 04:00 am causing me to arrive late to school every day. Health-wise, it also affected my sleeping habit to date - I did not have a sound sleep beyond 03:00 am even though children are supposed to get 12 hours of sleep. I still have strong memories of my journey.

Secondly, the water drying up in the South Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and how its residents are coping.

Which movie or book character would you most associate with water?

My book would be 'When the Rivers Run Dry', and my character, Fred Pearce as he explores the growing world water crisis looking at reasons for the crisis and also looking at where we could be headed and how we can restore our hydrological future.

View Salmatta's profile.

Date: 8 November 2021

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