Assessing the vulnerability of groundwater to pollution using SINTACS model.
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The groundwater assets are under solid human danger, for example, due to urbanization, Land use changes and increment of water demands for domestic and agricultural purposes. The reversal of the groundwater quality and quantity relies upon the rational management and the determination of the aquifer’s protection zones. This research aimed at evaluating the level of ground water vulnerability to pollution in Mukono and also identify areas in Mukono were ground water vulnerability to pollution is most. using the SINTACS model. This study created a map of groundwater vulnerability that shows areas with potential pollution. In this analysis, vulnerability index is calculated by considering different hydrogeological parameters such as water table depth, effective infiltration, unsaturated conditions, soil media, aquifer hydrogeologic characteristics, hydraulic conductivity and topographic slope. All parameters for this study have been prepared, classified, weighted and integrated in the Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. Mukono’s Vulnerability index estimated ranged from 54-176 and was classified into area zones of High, Moderate and low vulnerability. Results show that out of the total area, 20% lies in high vulnerability zone ((which is mostly the urbanized region of the study area), 30% in the moderate vulnerability zone while at least 49% of the area is in the low vulnerability zone. The results of sensitivity analysis indicate that Depth to water table is the most influential parameter in the vulnerability index computation. Moreover, Depth to water table, vadose zone and soil media have been found to be more effective in assessing vulnerability index in the model. The study concluded that Mukono generally has a low potential of ground water vulnerability to pollution and Mukono urban (central) is the area with the highest potential of groundwater vulnerability to pollution. This study proposes implementation of Environmental Management decisions and greater distribution of piped water to manage groundwater vulnerability. The study implores that this model can therefore be an effective tool for local authorities and decision makers for managing groundwater resources.