“Groundwater is the key to Unlocking Green Growth in Africa”

On 25th October, the prestigious keynote Ineson Lecture 2017 at the Geological Society in London was given by Dr Callist Tindimugaya, head of Water Resource Planning and Regulation in Uganda’s Ministry of Water & Environment, and one of four UPGro Ambassadors. In his speech he highlighted the importance understanding and managing groundwater well, not for its own sake but because it is a natural resource that underpins most, if not all, African societies and economies.

However, he expressed his frustration that the economic contribution of this resource has not yet been properly quantified so that its invisible contribution is made plain to all, from ordinary citizens to political leaders. Nevertheless, he was encouraged by the many initiatives across the continent to address the knowledge gaps and to improve the visibility and use of groundwater – in particular the importance of the UPGro programme and GRIPP. He concluded: “You cannot milk a cow, if you do not feed it”, likewise if the potential benefits of Africa’s aquifers are to be realised, then investment is needed in research, monitoring, regulation and – most of all – in education and training.

The day-long event was well attended and as well as a lively debate and a presentation by Guy Howard, DFID WASH policy team leader, there were numerous inputs from across UPGro, including: presentations by Prof. Richard Taylor about GroFutures and the Chronicles Consortium; from Brighid Ó Dochartaigh about the Africa Groundwater Altas; from Prof. Alan MacDonald about the Hidden Crisis project; and an array of posters from UPGro Catalyst and Consortia research, including a poster on the AMGRAF project by David Walker (Newcastle University) supported by UPGro and REACH, which had won the award for best Early Career Researcher poster at the recent 44th IAH Congress in Dubrovnik.

A huge thank you to Brighid Ó Dochartaigh and all the organisers at  IAH BGS, and Geol. Soc.

 

BRAVE presented at Fifth iLEAPS Science Conference, Oxford, September 11-14

BRAVE was featured in a presentation by Dr Peter Cook at the Fifth Annual iLEAPS (Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study Conference.  iLEAPS is a global research project of Future Earth.  This year’s theme, “Understanding the impact of land-atmosphere exchanges,” organised by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology of the National Environment Research Council.

Dr Cook presented recent findings of the BRAVE project on behalf of contributing scientists, Dr Emiliy Black and Professor Anne Verhoef.  The Presentation, Modelling the changing water balance in West Africa, showcased research investigating future changes to extreme water balances.  This has the potential to impact current and future management of water resources.

See Dr Cook’s presentation slides here.

Manage what you measure: Better groundwater monitoring comes to West Africa

re-posted from BRAVE

by David MacDonald, British Geological Survey

A key component of water resource management is the sound scientific understanding of water flows and storage. Where water supplies are sourced through wells and boreholes in the underlying rocks, we need to understand the volumes of water stored there and how natural climate variability and land cover control how these stores are replenished.  For longer term planning purposes, we also need to assess how climate and land use change will impact on the resource.

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Monitoring groundwater levels at the Sanon catchment, Burkina Faso

The BRAVE project aims to provide tools to support water resource management in Ghana and Burkina Faso.  This is expected to improve our understanding of the water flows and storage through the instrumentation of a series of small catchments to monitor all aspects of the water balance.  The strategy for the BRAVE project was to build on existing monitored catchments, recognizing the cost of monitoring equipment; the time and effort required to build relationships with local communities in the catchments being monitored; and the value of existing contextual and longer-term data sets.

In Burkina Faso, one of the detailed monitoring catchment which BRAVE is working in is around the village of Sanon, 40 km to the north of the capital city, Ouagadougou. Sanon represents much of semi-arid West Africa as the land cover has been significantly changed through farming. The site was first established by BRGM, the French Geological Survey, but has been built up in recent years by the Institut International d’Ingénierie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement (2iE), with input from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). Prior to BRAVE’s involvement, there was a network of monitoring boreholes and a weather station in place, and geophysical surveys had been undertaken to characterise the hydrogeological setting. This, with the time series data collected, had allowed a conceptual model of groundwater flows and storage to be developed. Crucially, 2iE has developed a good relationship with the local community and involved members of the community in this monitoring.

Through the BRAVE project, the further development of the monitoring network at Sanon has been a collaborative activity involving 2iE, the University of Ouagadougou (UO1), IRC Burkina Faso and the British Geological Survey. This has included the drilling and testing of additional boreholes, enhancement of the weather station, installation of a series of transects of access tubes to measure soil moisture and the setting up of a river flow measurement site. It has also involved the construction of three plots (4 x 20 m) containing land use representative of the catchment within which runoff, soil moisture, groundwater level, soil infiltration, soil evaporation and plant growth and transpiration are directly measured. The monitoring is undertaken by members of the local community and by students from 2iE and UO1, as well as by BRAVE project staff.

The other two existing catchments where the BRAVE project has enhanced monitoring, are part of the network of research catchments run by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), a large-scale programme for strengthening research infrastructure and capacity involving ten West African countries and funded by the German government. One of these catchments, Aniabisi, is in Northern Ghana in an area similar to Sanon, where the landscape has been substantially changed through farming; the other, Nazinga, is just across the border in southern Burkina Faso in a nature reserve where the natural land cover is still intact. The infrastructure already in place in these WASCAL catchments has been built upon through collaboration by WASCAL, the Ghanaian Water Research Institute and BGS. Aniabisi now has infrastructure and monitoring equipment similar to that in Sanon, including the three land use plots; Nazinga is a scaled down version of this. As with Sanon, the local relationships with communities has been important in the installation of new infrastructure and local residents are also undertaking some of the monitoring work. Crucial impacts have been the support of WASCAL technical staff in the development and subsequent running of the sites.

The collaboration between BRAVE and West African organisations has been a great success that has seen the value added to established sites. The embedding of BRAVE research will greatly improve the chances that the monitoring sites developed through UPGro will be sustained beyond the period of the Programme. The importance of the resulting datasets cannot be underestimated, as we strive to understand the impacts of environmental change on the water resources that underpin future adaptation and resource management.

 

Top Photo: Sorghum cropping is a land use type that is included in monitoring plots at both Sanon and Aniabisi

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

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

BRAVE: New climate change forecasts for West Africa

via BRAVE Represented at the 4th PRESASS Regional Climate Outlook Forum in Accra, Ghana, May 15-19 — BRAVE

BRAVE team members Professor Ros Cornforth, Professor Aondover Tarhule, Dr Galine Yanon and Aaron Aduna attended the PRESASS Forum organised by Agrhymet Regional Centre of Niamey, the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) and the Ghana Meteorological and Hydrological Agency.  PRESASS is a Regional Climate Outlook Forum for the Sudano-Sahelian Africa region (known by its French acronym, PRESASS: PRÉvisions climatiques Saisonnières en Afrique Soudano-Sahélienne). The PRESASS Forum provides regional, seasonal expectations for the rainy season in West Africa: May to November.

Regional Climate Outlook Forums produce consensus-based, user-relevant climate outlook products in real time in order to reduce climate-related risks and support sustainable development for the coming season in sectors of critical socioeconomic significance for the region in question.  PRESASS covers 17 countries in West and Central Africa[1] and includes collaboration with hydro-meteorological experts as well as representative from the disaster risk reduction community and Humanitarian agencies.  For more information on regional climate outlook forums click here. Continue reading BRAVE: New climate change forecasts for West Africa

BRAVE presentation at the 9th Internationale Conference on Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation

re-blogged from BRAVE

Dr Galine Yanon presented a paper at the 9th Internationale Conference on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation: communicating and collaborating for resilient solutions to climate change, at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK April 21-22, 2017.  The conference had more than 70 participants from 26 countries.

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Dr Yanon presented the paper, Local governance of groundwater for Agriculture Livelihoods: Managing Climate change Impacts in West Africa. This paper explores how local capacity and user perceptions of vulnerability to water insecurity in the Sahel are shaped.  Research findings are supporting the BRAVE project and its partner communities in future groundwater planning for agriculture and livelihood resilience to climate change impacts.

This conference was a real opportunity to share the BRAVE project approach, methodology, and particularly the work that has been done in project communities in Ghana and Burkina Faso.  Research findings are from the scoping stage of the project.  Data collection was done in collaboration with the NGOs Partners, CARE Internationale, Ghana, Tamale office, Christian Aid Sahel in Burkina Faso, and Reseau Marp in Burkina Faso.  See Conference Presentation here.

Dr Yanon also recently participated at the International Scientific Conference on Climate Risk Management in Nairobi, April 5-9, 2017.  The conference was organized by the Kenya Red Cross in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with participants from government, civil society, research academia, the private sector,  and NGOs.

The message heard in this pre-scoping meeting was very clear: IPCC wants to move from a 1.0 to a 2.0 version, as this message is more relevant to, applicable to, and representative of people’s lives. This will require new voices and stakeholders to play a fundamental role in the AR6 cycle and beyond. The conclusion and recommendation of this meeting will be presented at the IPCC assessment meeting in Addis Ababa in May 2017.

Furthermore, the conference also allowed Dr Yanon to present the BRAVE project and its interdisciplinary approach as well as the Rainwatch Alliance.

Piecing together Africa’s groundwater history

The UPGro programme, supported by AfriWatSan & ESPRC, conducted a pan-African capacity-strengthening and knowledge co-production workshop at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania from the 10th to 12th of February, 2017.

40 participants from 12 countries in Africa took part and analysed multi-decadal, groundwater-level data (“chronicles”) from 9 countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Sénégal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Continue reading Piecing together Africa’s groundwater history

A BRAVE new approach to community climate resilience

re-posted from UPGro BRAVE

The Fifth International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS 5) is the premier global event for Climate Services Partnership in Africa.  This year’s conference will take place in Cape Town, from February 28 until March 2, 2017, and focuses on capacity building and forging connections, with a particular focus on activities and persistent challenges in Africa.
Continue reading A BRAVE new approach to community climate resilience

a BRAVE new world…now online

The UPGro Consortium project, BRAVE has launched a brand new website to show case the fantastic work that the team – led by Reading University, in the UK is doing. BRAVE, or to use its more descriptive-but-not-so-catchy name: “Building understanding of climate variability and environmental change into planning of groundwater supplies from low storage aquifers in Africa” is focusing research on aquifers in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

The big idea behind BRAVE is  that we can build better ways to model and communicate the complex environmental changes in the Sahel region of West Africa and use that to improve the long term planning of groundwater supplies and provide early warnings of groundwater shortages so that the most vulnerable families and communities are more resilient to drought.

The team held their 2017 Annual General Meeting between 24 – 26 January and you can find full details on the new website, so be BRAVE and dive in!

Presentations:

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