This paper presents a spatial interpolation of the hydrological and socioeconomic processes impacting groundwater systems to predict the sustainability of the Modder river catchment of South Africa. These processes are grouped as climatic (factor A), aquifer sustainability (factor D), social-economic and land use (factor B), and the human-induced parameters of rights and equity (factor C). The parameters evaluated for factors A and D included climatic zones, precipitation, sunshine, evapotranspiration, slope, topography, recharge, yields, storativity, aquifer types, and lithology/rock types. Factors B and C included population in the catchment, use per capita, water uses, tariffs and duration of the permits, pump rate per year, number of issued permits per year in the catchment, and number of boreholes in the sub-catchment. This paper, therefore, looks at the impact of the average values of the chosen set of parameters within the given factors A, B, C and D on groundwater in the C52 catchment of the Modder River, as modelled in a sustainability index. C52 is an Upper Orange catchment in South Africa. The results are presented in sustainability maps predicting areas in the catchment with differing groundwater dynamics. The Modder River groundwater sustainability ranged between low and moderate sustainability. The sustainability maps were validated with actual field groundwater recharge and surface water, a comparison between storativity and licensed volume, and a comparison of sustainability scores and storativity. The key finding in this paper will assist groundwater managers and users to adequately plan groundwater resources, especially on licensing and over pumping.
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