New UPGro paper: Better map-making for manual drilling in West Africa

In a new open paper in the Hydrogeological Journal, Dr Fabio Fussi and his UPGro Catalyst team present work done in Senegal that looks at how improving hydrogeological data, maps and understanding can improve the success of manually drilled boreholes.

In a region where access to safe, affordable water is limited, manual drilling provides a cost-effective way of tapping groundwater resources. However, aquifers are complex and striking fresh water is not guaranteed.

20140625_170547
Manual drilling in Lagos, Nigeria (photo: Dotun Adekile, 2014)

Fussi and his team propose a model that uses analysis of borehole logs for the to characterise shallow aquifers  so that areas suitable for manual drilling can be found. The model is based on available borehole-log parameters: depth to hard rock, depth to water, thickness of laterite (a iron-rich rock type common in the tropics) and hydraulic properties of the shallow aquifer. The model was applied to a study area in northwestern Senegal.

The hydraulic conductivity values – how easily water flows through rock –  were estimated from geological data and  partially validated by comparing them with measured values from a series of pumping tests carried out in large-diameter wells.

The results show that this method is able to produce a reliable interpretation of the shallow hydrogeological context using information generally available in the region.

The research contributes to improving the identification of areas where conditions are suitable for manual drilling, and has the potential to be used throughout Africa, and beyond, using data available in most African countries.

Ultimately, this work will support proposed international programs aimed at promoting low-cost water supply in Africa and enhancing access to safe drinking water for the population.

BRAVE update 3 (Jul/Aug)

BRAVE Newsletter

Don’t forget to check out the BRAVE Website for additional blog posts, research information and supporting documentation.
~Happy reading!

N’oubliez pas de consulter le site Web de BRAVE pour obtenir des publications supplémentaires, des informations de recherche et des documents à l’appui.
~ Bonne lecture!

Partner Updates

British Geological Survey

  • Students from 2iE and the University of Ouagadougou (UO1) are now in place at the Sanon site to monitor aspects of the water balance during the wet season.
  • The Sanon weather station was upgraded to include a more accurate rainfall gauge.
  • The MOU between 2iE, UO, and BGS relating to the longer term operation of monitoring infrastructure and equipment at Sanon has been finalised and is currently being signed by the parties.
  • Monitoring of the water balance at the Aniabisi and Nazinga sites continues during the current wet season. Additional equipment has been purchased to help this, including a new motor bike for the use of WASCAL staff in Bolgatanga. The WASCAL Eddy Correlation system in the Vea Catchment has been successfully relocated after security concerns.

University of Reading

  • UoR Representatives visited BRAVE Partners in Burkina Faso, July 17 – 21, holding a series of meetings with Reseau Marp, Christian Aid, Burkina Meteo, and IRC.
  • Led Data Collection Training Workshop with BRACED, supported by IRC, July 20.

Water Research Institute

  • Two additional boreholes at Nazinga in Burkina are now completed. Step pumping tests have been carried out on all the pumps.
  • High capacity submersible pumps are now being purchased for long term pumping (long term discharge) tests to be carried out.
  • A surface pump is now being purchased to drain water from the run-off tanks.
  • Data downloading is also ongoing on all installations.

British Geological Survey

  • Les étudiants du 2iE et de l’Université de Ouagadougou (UO1) sont maintenant en place sur le site de Sanon pour surveiller les aspects du bilan hydrique pendant la saison des pluies.
  • La station météorologique de Sanon a été améliorée pour inclure une jauge de précipitations plus précise.
  • Le protocole d’entente entre 2iE, UO1 et BGS relatif à l’exploitation à plus long terme de l’infrastructure et de l’équipement de surveillance à Sanon a été finalisé et est actuellement signé par les parties.
  • La surveillance du bilan hydrique sur les sites d’Aniabisi et de Nazinga se poursuit pendant la saison humide actuelle. Des équipements supplémentaires ont été achetés pour l’aider, y compris une nouvelle moto pour l’utilisation du personnel de WASCAL à Bolgatanga. Le système WASCAL Eddy Correlation dans le cap de Vea a été réinstallé avec succès après des problèmes de sécurité.

University of Reading

  • Les représentants de UoR ont visité les partenaires de BRAVE au Burkina Faso, du 17 au 21 Juillet, organisant une série de rencontres avec Reseau Marp, Christian Aid, le Burkina Meteo et l’IRC.
  • Atelier de formation à la collecte de données de Led avec BRACED, soutenu par IRC, le 20 Juillet.​

Water Research Institute

  • Deux forages supplémentaires à Nazinga au Burkina sont maintenant terminés. Des essais de pompage ont été effectués sur toutes les pompes.
  • Des pompes submersibles de grande capacité sont en cours d’achat pour les tests de pompage à long terme (décharge à long terme) à effectuer.
  • Une pompe de surface est maintenant achetée pour évacuer l’eau des réservoirs d’écoulement.
  • Le téléchargement des données est également en cours sur toutes les installations.

BRAVE Resources

Upcoming Conferences Mole XXVIII Conference
October 2 – 6, 2017
Accra, Ghana  Venue: Accra International Conference Centre

Theme:
Ghana’s Lower Middle Income Status: Implications for Improved WASH Services Delivery – Role of Government and Private Sector

Subthemes:
1) Alternative Financing Mechanisms, 2) Policy and Advocacy, 3) Responding to Equity and Vulnerability, 4) Institutional Reforms, 5) Opportunities for Private Sector Participation

Mole Conference is one of the biggest Multi-Stakeholder annual platforms in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in Ghana. The Platform, named after the venue of the maiden edition, Mole in the Northern Region of Ghana, is organised by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and brings together sector practitioners from NGOs, Government, Private Operators, Networks, CBOs, CSOs, etc. to dialogue, learn and share knowledge/ information on specific themes that affect the sector.
More Information

For registration contact: CONIWAS Secretariat
coniwas@yahoo.com; attah_arhin@wvi.org;  +233 302 250816, 0244989085, 0244713332

Recent BRAVE Presentations
Dr Narcisse Gahi presented BRAVE at the Learning Group of Burkina Faso for Water Resources, August 4
Presentation
Learning Group Brochure
Agenda

Conférences à Venir
Mole XXVIII Conference

Du 2 au 6 Octobre 2017
Accra, Ghana Lieu: Centre international de conférences d’Accra

Thème:
Le statut du revenu moyen inférieur du Ghana: implications pour la prestation améliorée des services WASH – Rôle du gouvernement et du secteur privé
Sous thèmes:
1) Mécanismes de financement alternatifs, 2) Politique et plaidoyer, 3) Réponse à l’équité et à la vulnérabilité, 4) Réformes institutionnelles, 5) Possibilités de participation du secteur privé

La conférence Mole est l’une des plus importantes plates-formes annuelles multipartites dans le secteur de l’eau, de l’assainissement et de l’hygiène (WASH) au Ghana. La Plate-forme, nommée d’après la première édition, Mole dans la Région Nord du Ghana, est organisée par la Coalition des ONG en eau et assainissement (CONIWAS) et regroupe des professionnels du secteur des ONG, du gouvernement, des opérateurs privés, des réseaux, des OBC , Les OSC, etc. pour dialoguer, apprendre et partager des connaissances / informations sur des thèmes spécifiques qui affectent le secteur.
Plus d’information
Pour le contact d’inscription: Secrétariat du CONIWAS
coniwas@yahoo.com; attah_arhin@wvi.org;  +233 302250816; 0244989085; 0244713332

Présentations BRAVE Récentes

Dr Narcisse Gahi a présenté BRAVE au Groupe d’apprentissage du Burkina Faso pour les ressources en eau, le 4 Août
Présentation
Brochure du groupe d’apprentissage
Ordre du jour​

Voir la chronologie de l’activité BRAVE pour une liste exhaustive des actions et recherches actuelles et prévues.

BRAVE – BRACED Training Workshop

– Dr Galiné YanonA training workshop (July 20) was held by Dr Galiné Yanon and Dr Narcisse Gahi of BRAVE with members of the BRACED project to train members of the Evangelical Churches Development Office (ODE) on data collection techniques and to share BRAVE’s approached to groundwater research and resource management.  The objective of the training was to prepare the BRACED-ODE Team for the upcoming collection of ground data on water resources, particularly groundwater in two communities: Souri and La-Toden.

Ongoing fieldwork will assess the vulnerability of households in the targeted BRACED communities regarding water insecurity for agriculture. Following this training, ongoing work will focus on the role groundwater accessibility plays in agricultural development, poverty reduction, and food security.  This work intends to:

  • Reveal locally perceived livelihood vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change and variability, and interactions with exacerbating socioeconomic factors, with a particular focus on risks to water for agriculture;
  • Establish local priorities and existing livelihood coping strategies of rural households to manage water for agriculture;
  • Identify perceived effectiveness of groundwater supply and use in the communities, particularly for agricultural irrigation.
  • Examine the existing governance arrangements for groundwater distribution and access.

This upcoming fieldwork will be conducted by the BRACED team through their local partner, ODE

Un atelier de formation (20 juillet) a été organisé par le Dr Galiné Yanon et le Dr Narcisse Gahi de BRAVE avec des membres du projet BRACED pour former les membres du Bureau de développement des églises évangéliques (ODE) sur les techniques de collecte de données et pour partager les approches de BRAVE la gestion des ressources. L’objectif de la formation était de préparer l’équipe BRECED-ODE pour la collecte prochaine de données sur le sol sur les ressources en eau, en particulier les eaux souterraines dans deux communautés: Souri et La-Toden.

Le travail sur le terrain évaluera la vulnérabilité des ménages dans les communautés BRACED ciblées en ce qui concerne l’insécurité de l’eau pour l’agriculture. À la suite de cette formation, les travaux en cours porteront sur le rôle que joue l’accessibilité des eaux souterraines dans le développement agricole, la réduction de la pauvreté et la sécurité alimentaire. Ce travail vise à:

  • Révéler les vulnérabilités de moyens de subsistance perçus localement aux impacts du changement et de la variabilité du climat et des interactions avec des facteurs socio-économiques exacerbants, en mettant l’accent sur les risques pour l’eau pour l’agriculture;
  • Établir les priorités locales et les stratégies actuelles d’adaptation des moyens de subsistance des ménages ruraux pour gérer l’eau pour l’agriculture;
  • Identifier l’efficacité perçue de l’approvisionnement et de l’utilisation des eaux souterraines dans les communautés, en particulier pour l’irrigation agricole.
  • Examiner les mécanismes de gouvernance existants pour la distribution et l’accès des eaux souterraines.

Ce travail de terrain à venir sera effectué par l’équipe BRACED à travers leur partenaire local, ODE

Africa Rocks! @WEDC 40

Over the last year, the UPGro Knowledge Broker and RWSN team has been on tour promoting the potential of Africa’s groundwater as a catalyst for tackling poverty and the practical challenges of improving scientific understand and professionalism of implementation. These “Africa Rocks!” sessions in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Livingstone (Zambia) have showcased the Africa Groundwater Atlas, major findings from UPGro research, the new UNICEF Guidance on Drilling Professionalisation and brought in a variety of guest presentations from friends and colleagues working in related fields – whether it is drillers from Zambia, government regulators from Uganda, or international partners like BGR who are doing similar research. It has also become an opportunity to build momentum, not just for UPGro but for initiatives like GRIPP, the Africa Groundwater Network and the Africa Groundwater Commission.

It’s a lot to fit in, but the Africa Rocks! Session at this years’ WEDC Conference in Loughborough, was a great opportunity to share and pick up new ideas from WASH practitioners and researchers from all over Africa, and the world. Professor Richard Carter chaired the session and made opening remarks followed by a mix of presentations (see below) from UPGro and RWSN.

Time ran out for a full discussion, however, in the corridors and coffee areas afterwards it was apparent that one of the big issues that needs to be addressed is the growing uptake – and impact – of solar pumping. Is it the future for rural water supply, replacing the humble handpump? If so how will such systems be maintained and paid for, and what is there to stop unregulated solar-powered groundwater pumping leading to the kind of groundwater depletion that is wreaking havoc across the Indian sub-continent?

These kind of discussions are really helpful as we plan the next three years for the network and the research programme. If you have ideas or suggestions, then get in touch, either by email, by leaving a comment on this post, or come and find us at SIWI World Water Week in Stockholm, the IAH Congress in Dubrovnik, or the Ineson lecture in London.

Chair: Prof Richard C Carter

Presentations (files will be added)

  • The Africa Groundwater Atlas and Literature Archive

An overview of an extensive, unique and valuable database of groundwater information for the entire continent
Brighid Ó’Dochartaigh, British Geological Survey

Recent work with UNICEF to raise the standards of drilling and borehole construction
Sean Furey, Skat Foundation

Jacob Katuva, Oxford University, UPGro Gro for Good

  • Groundwater and Poverty – an UPGro Scoping Study: An overview of a recent review of the links between groundwater and poverty

Richard Carter, Consultant

Geraint Burrows, Groundwater Relief

Sean Furey, Skat Foundation

Other presentations at the conference by UPGro and related partners included:

 

Groundwater – the earth’s renewable wealth

By Sean Furey, Skat Foundation/RWSN/UPGro

Where does wealth come from? At its most basic, it is the difference between how much you invest in a product or service and how much you get from selling it. If the difference is positive you get wealth, if it is negative then you get trouble.

For a country like Zambia, the biggest source of wealth comes from underground: copper, oil and many other minerals and metals. Every aspect of our lives, from fertilisers, to homes, to solar panels depends on what can be dug from the ground. The scale on which mining and quarrying is done varies from a single person digging a hole, to the world’s largest machines demolishing mountains. Mining is also an economic activity that stretches from the very local to the most globalised trade.

In that context, groundwater can also be seen as a mineral resource on which the wealth of a country depends, so it was great that UPGro and RWSN were invited by the University of Zambia to run a special session on hydrogeology in Africa at the International Conference on Geology, Mining, Mineral and Groundwater Resources of the Sub-Saharan Africa, held in Livingstone, Zambia, in July.

The conference was opened by the President of Zambia, HE Edgar Lungu, who stressed the importance of groundwater and mineral resources to the economy, society and environment of Zambia and Africa more widely.

He was followed by a keynote speech by UPGro Ambassador, Dr Callist Tindimugaya of the Ministry of Water & Environment Uganda who gave the 400+ audience an overview of exciting groundwater initiatives happening across Africa, in particular highlighting UPGro, GRIPP, RWSN’s work on drilling professionalisation,the Africa Groundwater Network and the re-boot of the AMCOW Africa Groundwater Commission which took place the following week in Dar es Salaam.

One of the eye-opening facts that was presented by the government during the event that more than half of electricity generated in Zambia is used by the mining industry and most of that is used for de-watering mines – pumping water out of the ground and dumping it – contaminated – into rivers. Clearly a change in mindset is needed to see groundwater as a source of wealth to be used wisely for the benefit of all, not a problem that sends money pouring down the drain.

photos: Dr Callist Tindimugaya gives a keynote presentation on Groundwater Resources Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Status, Challenges and Prospects.

UPGro-RWSN Special Session on Hydrogeology in Africa and Drilling Professionalisation

Morning:

Afternoon:

Groundwater monitoring established in the Upper Great Ruaha Basin, Tanzania

Re-posted from GroFutures.org

The GroFutures team at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA, Tanzania), led by Japhet Kashaigili (SUA) with support from PhD students, Hezron Philipo (SUA) and David Seddon (UCL), established in July (2017) a groundwater-level monitoring network in the Upper Great Ruaha Basin Observatory in southern highlands of Tanzania.  This area is part of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) where increased use of groundwater and surface water is anticipated to support agricultural production.  Constructed monitoring wells at depths ranging from 18 to 32 m below ground were drilled using a PAT-DRILL 421 rig. The team also instrumented monitoring wells recently constructed by project partners at the Rufiji Basin Water Board (RBWB) in the Tanzanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The new monitoring network comprises an upstream location at Chimala at the base of an escarpment and a downstream location at Mbarali within the alluvial plain. A monitoring well at Chimala Secondary School was installed into coarse unconsolidated sands and gravels to a depth of 26 m. This monitoring well is linked to both an additional monitoring well at Usangu Secondary School and a river gauge. Both monitoring wells are equipped with automated dataloggers providing hourly groundwater-level measurements. A third borehole was constructed at Chimala Primary School though no groundwater was encountered up to a depth of 30 m. At Mbarali, two monitoring wells were constructed on the St. Ann’s Secondary School and now form a transect of 4 monitoring wells as the team also instrumented two monitoring wells recently constructed by the RBWB at Rujewa at Mbarali Secondary School and Jangurutu Primary School.

The new infrastructure is expected to reveal for the first time the dynamics between groundwater and surface water in the Upper Great Ruaha sub-catchment of the Rufiji Basin and answer key questions around the nature of groundwater recharge and whether seasonal river flow recharges  groundwater or groundwater sustains river flow. Further work will also seek to ensure that this observatory is equipped with both tipping-bucket rain gauges to record sub-daily (hourly) rainfall intensities and soil-moisture probe arrays to better understand how intense rainfalls are transmitted through alluvial soils.

Ethiopian farmers and households have their say on their groundwater needs

re-posted from: Grofutures.org

The GroFutures team in Ethiopia has recently completed a survey of 400 households from predominantly agricultural communities within the Becho and Koka Plains of the Upper Awash Basin of Ethiopia; there are the same communities where the GroFutures team recently constructed and deployed new groundwater monitoring infrastructure. The team of social scientists, led by Yohannes Aberra of Addis Ababa University with support from Motuma Tolosa and Birhanu Maru, both from the Oromia Irrigation Development Authority, applied a questionnaire to poll respondent views on small-scale, household-level use of groundwater for irrigation, the status of groundwater governance, and their experiences of different irrigation, pump, conveyance and application technologies. The same questionnaire will be applied in other GroFutures basin observatories later this year.

The team began the household-level surveys on May 27th (2017) and completed 400 of these within 15 days. Two weeks prior to the start of the survey, the team reviewed the GroFutures-wide questionnaire to familiarize themselves with the questions and logistics of implementation. During implementation, the team encountered a major challenges in that many household heads were unavailable at their houses and had to be traced with all movements occurring in particularly hot weather.

In Becho, the team conducted questionnaires in the village of Alango Tulu whereas in Koka the team surveyed the village of Dungugi-Bekele.  As the total number of households does not exceed 600 in each village, the team’s polling of 200 households in each provided a high representative sample (>30%). The livelihoods of the polled village of Alango Tulu are dominated by local, household-level (small-scale) farming.  In the Dungugi-Bekele, the team focused on resident farmers though it was recognised that there are many irrigators who rent and cultivate land but don’t reside in the village.

The results of these questionnaires are eagerly awaited by the whole GroFutures team. A small sample of 30 questionnaires will be reviewed immediately by fellow GroFutures team members, Gebrehaweria Gebregziabher (IWMI) and Imogen Bellwood-Howard (IDS), and the Tanzanian colleagues (Andrew Tarimo and Devotha Mosha-Kilave) as they prepare shortly to trial the same questionnaire in the Great Ruaha Basin Observatory.

Photos: GroFutures social science team of the Upper Awash Basin in Ethiopia conducting household questionnaire survey in rural communities within the Becho and Koka Plains (GroFutures research team)

Reaching out with Radio — BRAVE’s radio programmes for African farmers

Radio is arguably one of the most important, cost-effective sources of information for the majority of rural farmers in Africa. Along with farmer field listening groups and multi-stakeholder groups agri-educational radio programming addresses the training needs of smallholders by establishing a dialogue directly with rural farming populations, delivering live, relevant and real-time updates on issues […]

via Lorna Young Foundation’s Radio Extension Program for Ghana and Burkina Faso is underway! — BRAVE

Professor Yahaya Nazoumou: Groundwater central to Niger’s climate change resilience

re-posted from GroFutures

[INTERVIEWER] Dr. Mohammad Shamsudduha or “Shams”, GroFutures Project Manager: thank you Professor Nazoumou for taking the time to discuss your involvement in GroFutures and how your work in the Iullemmeden Basin is making an impact on the government policies and practices of the water resources development and management in Niger.

[INTERVIEWEE] Professor Nazoumou or “Yahaya”:  I am a Professor of Hydrogeology at the Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. I coordinate the IB team with IRD (France) and colleagues from Nigeria to achieve the project goals. I am also an advisor on climate change at the Ministry of Planning and Local Development and currently advise the Government of Niger on matters related to climate change so that development plans and activities can improve the resilience of communities to the impacts of climate change in Niger, in rural areas in particular.

Shams: can you please expand on your role and activities of the department?

Yahaya: Under the Climate Investment Fund, the Niger Government in coordination with the African Development Bank, the World Bank and key Nigerien stakeholders, has initiated a Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) called the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience. Niger will receive some US$110 million in grants and concessional loans from PPCR to strengthen capacity in the sectors of agriculture and livestock in Niger. These efforts also include activities strengthening the development of science informing strategies that improve resilience. These activities are aligned to GroFutures vision of establishing a Network of African Groundwater Observatories that includes the Iullemmeden Basin of Niger. Improving our understanding of climate change impacts on water resources is also a priority of the group. To make accessible global climate projections data from large global-scale climate models and to develop regional scale models will facilitate the development of climate–resilient, land and water management programmes.

Shams: I am aware that you represented the Government of Niger at meetings of the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) in Paris (2015) and Marrakech (2016). Can you share your experiences at these high-profile meetings?

Yahaya: Yes, I am member of a Niger Government’s team on climate change. I first represented the Government of Niger in 2014 at the Lima Climate Change Conference (COP20), and then attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) and Marrakech (COP22). My role in these high-profile meetings was to demonstrate how Niger seeks to achieve resilience to climate change and implement adaptation plans, and how the government programmes are trying to reach its goals in reducing climate change impacts. In 2016, as the President of the Scientific Committee, I organised a meeting in Marrakech as a side event to the Climate Change Conference to showcase Niger government’s programmes and activities in terms of climate adaptation and resilience in rural areas. In that event, the President of Niger as well as key stakeholders including international donor agencies such as World Bank and African Development Bank were present. Time for that side event was limited to an hour but within that short period key participants including myself discussed Niger Government’s experiences in the adaptation strategies for climate change. It was a good opportunity for me to mention GroFutures and how groundwater-fed irrigation can be developed in Niger where surface water is limited and highlight the greater resilience of groundwater resources to climate change.

Shams: Have there been any follow-up activities since the meeting in Marrakech?

Yahaya: Following the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22), the President of Niger asked the Ministry of Environment to develop a proposal for the Green Climate Fund. Subsequently, the World Bank has asked the Niger Government to develop a much bigger proposal integrating development, research and policy. So currently, I am working with the ministry to develop the proposal and I am taking the opportunity to link this to GroFutures.

World Bank: Hidden and Forgotten: Managing Groundwater in Southern Africa

from The World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • People in southern Africa are largely dependent on groundwater shared between countries and communities for health and well-being, food production, and economic growth.
  • As climate variability alters the amount of surface water that is available, people in the region are increasingly turning to groundwater, which is already challenged by threats of depletion and pollution.
  • With CIWA support, the Southern African Development Community has established the Groundwater Management Institute to better understand the region’s needs and manage the hidden resource together.

Read the full story

New UPGro studies explore links between groundwater and poverty in rural and urban Africa

Thanks to additional support from NERC at the beginning of 2017, some of the world’s leading experts on groundwater and poverty were brought together to test the assumptions that we make about how much we know and understand about the links between groundwater access and poverty. Does improving groundwater access reduce poverty? Or are their cases where it can increase disparities between rich and poor? There is a lack of data and evidence to make firm conclusions and this challenges the research teams in UPGro and beyond to challenge their assumptions.

Part of the rapid study explored the issues around groundwater dependency of urban areas in tropical Africa.  What is perhaps shocking, is how little municipal water utilities in these areas monitoring, manage and understand the groundwater resources on which millions of people – their customers – depend. Furthermore, there are indication that private, self-supply, boreholes can make it harder for water utilities to get sufficient income from wealthier users to help cross-subsidise piped connections to the poor.

For more details, on these and many other findings, download the UPGro Working Papers: