Catalyst Phase →

groforgood-logo-webTHE BIG IDEA

Groundwater is essential for economic growth and can contribute to human development if resources are used sustainably to benefit the poor. New approaches need to be found to balances growth and development goals.

RESEARCH AIM / HYPOTHESIS

To develop Groundwater Risk Management Tool that will help government and groundwater users balance the demands of human development and better health, economic growth and groundwater sustainability so that the poorest benefit.

STUDY DESCRIPTION

Africa’s groundwater systems are a critical but poorly understood socio-ecological system. Central to accelerating and sustaining Africa’s development is improved understanding of groundwater risks and institutional responses to competing growth and development goals is needed. Explosive urban growth, irrigated agricultural expansion, industrial pollution, untapped mineral wealth, rural neglect and environmental risks converge to increase the complexity and urgency of groundwater governance across Africa.

The research will focus on tackling the following questions:

  1. How can risks to groundwater quality and quantity for drinking water security be identified and reduced?
  2. How can groundwater governance be designed to balance growth and development?
  3. What are the most significant and uncertain future scenarios affecting sustainable groundwater use for the poor?

The study will focus on the Kwale County area of South East Kenya where the poverty rate is high (7th most deprived out of 47 Counties in Kenya) and there is intensive use of groundwater for urban water supply, sugar cane irrigation and mining. Tackling the three questions above will involve detailed data collection, including the use of innovative ‘Smart Handpumps’ developed by University of Oxford that measure handpump use. The research brings together rigorous analysis and modelling of environmental, social, economic and governance systems and processes. A risk management tool will be developed and then tested. While sensitive to context of Kwale, the Groundwater Risk Management Tool will be designed to be flexible so that it can be scaled-up across Kenya and can be adapted to other countries and contexts.

RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS

RESEARCH TEAM

OU: Dr Robert Hope (PI), Dr Katrina Charles, Dr David Clifton, Dr Caitlin McElroy, Patrick Thomson, Jacob Katuva, Johanna Koehler, Farah Colchester, Prof David Bradley, Heloise Greeff 
JKUAT: Prof Bancy Mati, Prof John Gathenya.
UoN: Prof Daniel Olago, Julius Odida
UPC: Dr Albert Folch, Dr Daniel Fernàndez-Garcia, Dr Xavier, Sanchez-Vila, Prof Emilio Custodio, Prof Jesus Carrera, Núria Ferrer Ramos
RFL: Michael Thomas, Mike Lane

WORKING IN:

  • Kenya

PUBLICATIONS

Presentations from UPGro and related research

Related non-UPGro

8 thoughts on “Gro for GooD: Groundwater Risk Management for Growth and Development

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