Resource limitations to sustainability of groundwater well-points in basement complex regions of sub-Saharan Africa

The problem: Despite the many advantages of groundwater, including its resilience to climate variability and change, a recent analysis in Malawi has cast doubt on its universal sufficiency, in the Basement Complex regions of southern Africa, where the aquifer has limited storage and demand is high.

The approach: To test the analysis by comparing its implications for well-point failure against the Malawi water point database, and to develop a similar analysis for southern Zimbabwe.

Key findings: The hypothesis of resource limitation in Malawi was not supported by the test. In Zimbabwe abstractions may exceed availability in places, but the analysis depends on scarce transmissivity data. Groundwater level monitoring is in its infancy in both Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Where? Malawi, Zimbabwe

Consortium grant? No.

Principal Investigator: Dr Willy Burgess, (University College London UCL)

Research Team:

  • Richard Chandler, University College London
  • Nicholas Robins, British Geological Survey
  • Jeffrey Davies, British Geological Survey
  • Melinda Lewis, British Geological Survey
  • Geoffrey Chavula, University of Malawi
  • Daina Mdimbu, University of Zimbabwe

Research Organisations:

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