Resilience of Rural Groundwater Supplies to Climate Change

Key Note Presentation by Prof. Alan MacDonald @ 1st SADC Groundwater Conference
Keywords: (Drought, Climate, Change, Infrastructure, Groundwater Resources, Resilience).

Alan

“Recent droughts have highlighted the need to understand and forecast the resilience of water supplies to climate variability. Resilience of groundwater supplies is determined by several factors: groundwater storage; long term recharge; permeability; and the infrastructure put in place to abstract groundwater.

“Drawing on recent research from across Africa, mainly funded through the UPGro programme, this talk examines the relative importance of each of these factors for rural drinking water supplies, and attempts to distinguish between the behaviour of the groundwater resource and the water infrastructure.

“A variety of data are presented and evaluated: detailed groundwater level monitoring of springs, wells and boreholes; national survey data of borehole functionality; groundwater residence time indicators; and also information from GRACE and global Land Surface Model.”

Source: Conference Abstract

Photo: SADC-GMI (via Twitter)

Dramatic water supply problems in southern Africa: BGR hydrogeologists call for new exploration strategy for semi-fossil aquifers

“Long-lasting periods of drought due to climate change are causing significant water supply problems also in southern Africa – with increasingly serious consequences for agriculture as well as directly for the people. In large cities such as Cape Town, drinking water has already to be rationed. Current projects of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany indicate that water resources in deeper rock formations can provide additional sources and offer an important contribution to solving the water supply problems in southern Africa.”

Read more on the BGR website

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