Posted by: Dr. Breffni Lennon | June 24, 2012

New research: quantitative maps of groundwater resources in Africa

Researchers contributing to the Environmental Research Letters Journal have produced new research identifying vast reservoir of groundwater for the continent. While their article “Quantitative maps of groundwater resources in Africa” encourages us to be optimistic about the plight of over 300 million people on the continent who still do not have access to safe drinking water, it does provide a note of caution as to how this resource can best be exploited.

Reporting for the BBC World Service, Matt McGrath quotes Dr Alan MacDonald of the British Geological Survey (BGS), and lead author of the study, who suggests that “high-yielding boreholes should not be developed without a thorough understanding of the local groundwater conditions.” A better alternative would include “appropriately sited and developed boreholes for low yielding rural water supply and hand pumps are likely to be successful.”

Matt McGrath’s article can be accessed in full here.

The study is a result of joint research collaboration between the British Geological Survey and University College London (UCL).

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