A new version has been launched of The Groundwater Game. Within the framework of the GroFutures project, the previous version was further developed, resulting in an improved integration of game results in the presentation and the development of two apps.
About the game
Created in 2008, The Groundwater Game is a serious game around the dilemma of the individual use of a common resource, in this case groundwater, and the impacts of collective action. This game revolves around a community of farmers who irrigate their crops with groundwater and together will have to find the best strategies to prosper while maintaining a sustainable use of the common resource.
In 2016, game sessions were held in Niger and Tanzania as part of the GroFutures project. The positive feedback from these sessions resulted in the improvement of the game interface and the new version is now being released. The last updates of the game were developed by IGRAC and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and included the development of two groundwater game apps: Groundwater manager app and Groundwater player app.
GroFutures was launched in the transboundary Iullemmeden Basin at a workshop held at Abdou Moumouni University (UAM) of Niamey in Niger on 23rd August 2016. The workshop was opened by the Vice Chancellor, Hon. Professor Amadou Boureima, and welcomed by the Director General of Water Resources in the Ministry of Hydraulics and Sanitation of Niger, Mr. Abdou Moumouni Moussa; Engineer Koné Soungalo representing the Niger Basin Authority; Dr. Oumarou Malam Issa, Country Representative of IRD in Niger; and the Deans of Faculties of Sciences and Agronomy (UAM).
On August 22nd and 23rd, a stakeholder workshop to kick off the GroFutures comparative study in the Iullemmeden basin was held at Université Abdou Moumouni in Niamey, Niger. During this workshop, IGRAC and the GroFutures Team facilitated a session of the Groundwater Serious Game that was attended by 28 participants. Among the participants of the game session, there were researchers from the university (professors and students), local authorities, hydraulic engineers from local organisations as well as farmers using groundwater to irrigate their crops. The game session, which featured simultaneous translation into French and Haoussa, helped the project team and the stakeholders to better understand the groundwater dynamics and the challenges to be faced in the coming years.
After the session the team had the opportunity to discuss the experience during the game session and to highlight the importance of opening up the discussion of sustainable and joint management of the groundwater resources as a shared resource (domestic and irrigation uses, surface water versus groundwater). The Groundwater Serious Game session also proportioned a good integration of the stakeholders of the Iullemmeden basin in a lucid and dynamic way.
The Serious Game on Improving Groundwater Management Through Cooperation and Collective Action, developed by IGRAC, is being applied to case studies of GroFutures (Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa), a 4-year research project, funded by the UK government under its UPGro(Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) programme, seeking to develop the scientific evidence base, tools and participatory processes by which groundwater resources can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This project involves comparative studies in Ethiopia (Upper Awash Basin), Niger and Nigeria (Iullemmeden transboundary Basin) and in Tanzania (Great Ruaha Basin).
IGRAC developed a Serious Game on ‘Improving Groundwater Management Through Cooperation and Collective Action’, which has been tested and applied to the case studies of the GroFutures project.
Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa (GroFutures) will develop the scientific evidence base, tools and participatory processes by which groundwater resources can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This 4-year involves comparative studies in Ethiopia (Upper Awash), Niger and Nigeria (Iullemmeden) and in Tanzania (Great Ruaha) and is funded by the UK government under its UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) programme.
GroFutures field trip
A stakeholder workshop to kick off this study in Tanzania was held on March 30th and 31st 2016 in Iringa, followed by a 4-days field trip. The Groundwater Game session was attended by circa 25 participants. Playing the Groundwater Game helped all participants better understand the challenges and consequences of groundwater use and potential challenges to be faced in the future. The integration of stakeholders from a range of perspectives into different teams playing the game also promoted direct sharing of thoughts and ideas in a relaxed manner. During the workshop, the project team welcomed the Director of Water Resources, Regional Commissioner for Iringa, Water Officers of the Rufiji and WamiRuvu Basins together with a range of other key stakeholders including District Water and Irrigation Engineers, local NGOs and farmers.
Under the heading “Using groundwater to reduce poverty” the GroFutures Team in Tanzania led by Japhet Kashaigili, Andrew Tarimo and Devotha Mosha hosted the GroFutures Inception Workshop in Iringa on March 31st 2016. It was opened by the District Commissioner for Iringa, Hon. Richard Kasesela, and was attended by national, basin-level and local stakeholders (listed below) who discussed current groundwater use and management in the Great Ruaha Sub-Catchment of the Rufiji Basin and as well as both proposed and potential groundwater development pathways that might best reduce poverty. The event was featured on national television news in Tanzania (see clip here) and leading newspapers.
Groundwater Inception Workshop in Tanzania (31st March 2016):
GroFutures Great Ruaha Inception Workshop featured on national television news (in Swahili)