Two billion people still consume drinking water contaminated with faeces. To improve this situation, it has been recognised by UNICEF and the WHO that a more rapid approach to detecting faecally contaminated drinking water is necessary. We have previously demonstrated that fluorescence spectroscopy is a significant real-time indicator of the presence/absence and number of faecal indicator bacteria in drinking waters in low-income countries of the tropics. We have also established its potential as an online indicator of faecal contamination of public water supplies in the UK. Outstanding questions remain, however, over the source of the fluorescence and its uniqueness to faecal-indicator bacteria. To address these, we sampled potable groundwater supplies in Kenya, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda across an urbanisation transect from rural Malawi through to the city of Dakar (Senegal) where pollution sources and pressures vary considerably. We report on whether the fluorescence signal in these sources is intracellular or extracellular and, in Senegal and Uganda, the ability of fluorescence spectroscopy to predict total bacteria cells and faecal-indicator bacteria.
Crystalline basement rocks of Precambrian age underlie nearly three quarters of Uganda, providing groundwater supplies to meet ever increasing demand from rural areas and urban growth centres. Development of groundwater sources is commonly based on several factors including physical and socioeconomic considerations that have a bearing on their functionality and long term reliability. Here we present new transmissivity data from 665 boreholes across basement aquifers in Uganda calculated from previously unanalyzed pumping test data. Other data are available to help interpret the transmissivity values, including borehole lithological logs, weathering thickness, well design and depth to groundwater. Spatial and depth comparisons are made to relate aquifer permeability to lithology and weathering, and also to relate borehole yields to well design. The data provide an improved understanding of the physical permeability of weathered crystalline basement rock aquifers across Uganda, complimenting earlier studies of vertical permeability profiles in focused areas. The analysis helps inform the physical capacity of the aquifer to supply the borehole yields to meet increasing demands, and application the potential for higher abstraction technologies, such as solar pumps.
Self-supply of groundwater for domestic use in urban sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is common, but the extent to which it is practiced is unknown. We developed an open data based GIS method for continental Africa (without islands) using groundwater storage, depth to groundwater, aquifer productivity, and population density data.Furthermore, we developed proxies for public supply network coverage and socio-economic status, incorporating restriction measures for groundwater use. Our results indicate that in 2015 about 369 million urban inhabitants (~79% of the total urban population) of continental Africa could potentially supply themselves with groundwater. However, the likely number of urban inhabitants using groundwater obtained via self-supply was less: about 150 million (~32% of the total urban population). With the novel GIS based methodology presented here, the urban population using self-supply groundwater for domestic use can be determined, which is essential to inform policy and practice, and to influence public investment.
This report communicates the findings generated from one of the project surveys – deconstruction and forensic analysis of 50 individual water points in Malawi. The report presents the new data generated to Malawi’s groundwater resource potential; the nature and condition of hand-pump borehole installations; and the significance of both of these factors to service performance. Based on the evidence collected, the main physical factor affecting functionality performance within Malawi is shown to be the poor condition of handpump components. Functionality of handpumps is considerably higher than in the other study countries, Ethiopia and Uganda, and the resource potential, depth to groundwater and recharge are generally favourable. Improved systems for rapid maintenance and repair would help increase functionality further. This finding should not, however, be considered to be the only driving force of functionality outcomes in these regions of Malawi, and the results of this survey need to be examined alongside the wider project findings. Wider institutional arrangements, resources and dynamics, are likely to play a significant role in the implementation of appropriate borehole construction, siting and design; procurement processes; and the management capacity available for water points at national to local levels. Mwathunga, E.; Fallas, H.C.; MacAllister, D.J.; Mkandawire, T.; Makuluni, P.; Shaba, C.; Jumbo, S.; Moses, D.; Whaley, L.; Banks, E.; Casey, V.; MacDonald, A.M.. 2019 Physical factors contributing to rural water supply functionality performance in Malawi. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 24pp. (OR/19/057)
This report communicates the findings generated from one of the project surveys – deconstruction and forensic analysis of 50 individual water points in Ethiopia. The report presents the new data generated to Ethiopia’s groundwater resource potential; the nature and condition of hand-pump borehole installations; and the significance of both of these factors to service performance. Based on the evidence collected, the survey results indicate the main physical factors most likely to affect functionality performance within the Ethiopian Highlands are the relatively deep depth to groundwater and the poor condition of handpump components. The impact of these factors to functionality performance can be mitigated through appropriate pump technology choice (e.g. use of deeper handpump boreholes (HPB) lift design), handpump construction, and adequate accessibility to repairs and maintenance capacity with breakdowns. These factors should not, however, be considered to be the only driving forces of functionality outcomes in these regions of Ethiopia, and the results of this survey need to be examined alongside the wider project findings. Wider institutional arrangements, resources and dynamics, are likely to play a significant role in the implementation of appropriate borehole construction, siting and design; procurement processes; and the management capacity available for water points at national to local levels. Kebede, S.; Fallas, H.C.; MacAllister, D.J.; Dessie, N.; Tayitu, Y.; Kefale, Z.; Wolde, G.; Whaley, L.; Banks, E.; Casey, V.; MacDonald, A.M.. 2019 Physical factors contributing to rural water supply functionality performance in Ethiopia. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 24pp. (OR/19/055) (Unpublished)
Water is a scarce resource in the Central Asian region. We will look at the economic and governance aspects of water management. After reviewing the water situation in Kazakhstan and identifying some of the important issues in the water sector, the economic and financial tools to deal with these issues will be discussed. We will also look at governance structures that allow for more participation of different stakeholders and suggest measuring the performance of different approaches. Examples are given what this could mean for Kazakhstan, before drawing some conclusions about the usefulness of a more economic approach to water issues in Kazakhstan, paying attention also to governance of water works, which would involve also non-state actors.
Improving urban liveability and prosperity is commonly set as a priority in urban development plans and policy around the world. Several annual reports produced by international consulting firms, media, and global agencies rank the liveability of cities based on a set of indicators, to represent the quality of life in these cities. The higher is the ranking, the more liveable is the city. In this paper, we argue that such quantitative approaches to framing and addressing urban liveability challenges leave little room to reflect on people's experiences of this liveability, which cannot be expressed through numbers. To illustrate our argument, we draw on empirical evidence of urban liveability challenges in access to water and land in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, ranked recently as the most liveable East African city by various global agencies and media outlets. By showing that increasing the number of water connections does not guarantee improved access to water and sanitation in the long run, first, we demonstrate how urban liveability challenges are tightly linked with land-title issues in the city. Second, we highlight the political game-playing between the central government, the opposition, the traditional leadership, and the slum dwellers in governance processes of service delivery. Finally, by arguing that urban liveability can be enhanced by broadening political participation in city development planning, we discuss some of the strategies that can be used by communities to make collective claims towards improving their quality of life and the environment.
As solar panels become more affordable, solar photovoltaic (PV) pumps have been identified as a high potential water-lifting technology to meet the growing irrigation demand in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, little is known about the geo-spatial potential of solar-based PV pumping for irrigation taking into account not only solar radiation but also the availability of water resources and linkage to markets. This study developed a suitability framework using multi-criteria analysis in an open source geographic information system (GIS) environment and tested it in the case of Ethiopia. The accessibility of water resources was the driving factor for different scenarios. Suitability results following the groundwater scenarios showed good agreement with the available referenced well depth data. Comparing the suitability maps with available land use data showed that on average 9% (96 10³ ha) of Ethiopian irrigated and 18% (3,739 10³ ha) of rainfed land would be suitable for solar PV pump irrigation. Furthermore, small solar PV pumps could be an alternative water-lifting technology for 11% of the current and future small motorized hydrocarbon fuel pumps on smallholder farms (2,166 10³ ha). Depending on the technical pump capacity, between 155 10³ ha and 204 10³ ha of land would be suitable for solar PV pumps and provide smallholder farmers with the option to either pump from small reservoirs or shallow groundwater. With the ongoing interest in development for smallholder irrigation, the application of this model will help to upscale solar PV pumps for smallholder farmers in SSA as a climate-smart technology in an integrated manner.
To assess the suitability of water sources for drinking purposes, samples were taken from groundwater sources (boreholes and hand-dug wells) used for drinking water in the Dodowa area of Ghana. The samples were analyzed for the presence of fecal indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli) and viruses (Adenovirus and Rotavirus), using membrane filtration with plating and glass wool filtration with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. In addition, sanitary inspection of surroundings of the sources was conducted to identify their vulnerability to pollution. The presence of viruses was also assessed in water samples from the Dodowa River. More than 70% of the hand-dug wells were sited within 10 m of nearby sources of contamination. All sources contained E. coli bacteria, and their numbers in samples of water between dug wells and boreholes showed no significant difference (p = 0.48). Quantitative PCR results for Adenovirus indicated 27% and 55% were positive for the boreholes and hand-dug wells, respectively. Samples from all boreholes tested negative for the presence of Rotavirus while 27% of the dug wells were positive for Rotavirus. PCR tests of 20% of groundwater samples were inhibited. Based on these results we concluded that there is systemic microbial and fecal contamination of groundwater in the area. On-site sanitation facilities, e.g., pit latrines and unlined wastewater drains, are likely the most common sources of fecal contamination of groundwater in the area. Water abstracted from groundwater sources needs to be treated before use for consumption purposes. In addition, efforts should be made to delineate protected areas around groundwater abstraction points to minimize contamination from point sources of pollution.
Improving water services is a well-rehearsed political instrument to win public support against a backdrop of a wide range of hydro-political realities in Africa. This paper examines whether devolution to Kenya's 47 counties advances the constitutional mandate for the human right to water. Specifically, it examines which factors influence decision-makers’ perception of their responsibility for water service delivery in their counties. Drawing on interviews from all county water ministries, a sociopolitical risk model leveraging public choice theory is developed and tested. Information on election margin, climate risk, urbanisation, poverty levels, water budget and citizen satisfaction is modelled to explain variations in the policymakers’ perceptions of their responsibilities. Results reveal that county water ministries recognise increased political responsibility for the poor outside current provision areas across water quantity, quality, accessibility and non-discrimination criteria. Affordability is the most contested criterion, with only a limited number of counties accepting responsibility. High socioclimatic risks and narrow election margins are likely to boost devolved duty-bearers’ perception of responsibility for improved water service delivery. These variable factors demonstrate the interdependence of spatial and political dimensions during Kenya's devolution process and promote the conclusion that independent and strong regulation is critical to realising the human right to water for the great majority of Kenyans living in rural areas and facing unpredictable climate risks.
Global progress towards the goal of universal, safely managed drinking water services will be shaped by the dynamic relationship between water risks, values and institutions. We apply Mary Douglas' cultural theory to rural waterpoint management and discuss its operationalisation in pluralist arrangements through networking different management cultures at scale. The theory is tested in coastal Kenya, an area that typifies the challenges faced across Africa in providing rural communities with safely managed water. Drawing on findings from a longitudinal study of 3500 households, we examine how different management cultures face and manage operational , financial, institutional and environmental risks. This paper makes the case for cooperative solutions across systems where current policy effectively separates communities from the state or markets. The contribution of this research is both a theoretical and empirical case to consider pluralist institutional arrangements that enable risks and responsibilities to be re-conceptualised and re-allocated between the state, market and communities to create value for rural water users.
Water insecurity is a growing concern globally, especially for developing countries, where a range of factors including urbanization are putting pressure on water provisioning systems. The role of groundwater and aquifers in buffering the effects of climate variability is increasingly acknowledged, but it can only be fully realized with a more robust understanding of groundwater as a resource, and how use of it and dependency on it differ. Accra and its hinterland exemplify an African city with chronic water shortages, where groundwater resources offer opportunities to improve resilience against recurring droughts and general water insecurity. Based on a mixed-methods study of a peri-urban township, it was found that for end users, particularly poor urban households, resilience is an every-day matter of ensuring access from different sources, for different purposes, while attention to drinking water safety is falling behind. Planners and decision makers should take their cue from how households have developed coping mechanisms by diversifying, and move away from the focus on large infrastructure and centralized water supply solutions. Conjunctive use, managed aquifer recharge, and suitable treatment measures are vital to make groundwater a strategic resource on the urban agenda.
KEYWORDS: sustainability, handpumps, Africa Despite international aspirations to bring piped water to all by 2030, this is unlikely to happen in the predominantly rural habitations of sub-Saharan Africa. Realistically, in 2030, many millions of the region’s rural people will still be dependent on unimproved groundwater sources, and those who do enjoy improved services will still be using wells or boreholes with handpumps. More positively, the low demands from such point sources and the nature of the aquifers involved means that with few exceptions the available quantity and quality of the groundwater resource do not generally pose major constraints. The development and management of groundwater resources for rural water supply currently leaves much to be desired. Poor siting of new boreholes, the uncritical use of standard designs, the inadequacy of construction supervision, and the perverse incentives perpetuated by some forms of drilling contract conspire to limit effectiveness. The development of new wells and boreholes with handpumps is mostly funded by Governments, with greater or lesser support from donors, international agencies and international NGOs. As the clients they bear a heavy obligation to assure the quality and sustainability of the interventions which they pay for. The level of hydrogeological, engineering and socio-economic understanding of many such client organisations could be greatly enhanced. Understanding what it takes to deliver water services which are fit-for-purpose in terms of access, quantity, quality and reliability, while also being manageable and affordable needs to be pervasive among these organisations. The paper calls on those client organisations which develop groundwater for rural water supply in sub-Saharan Africa to (a) develop their knowledge of the key issues involved in sustainable services, (b) to put in place the value-for-money assurance mechanisms needed, and (c) to promote sound understanding of sustainability concepts among their local Government, private sector and NGO partners.
Wetlands in Uganda experience different forms of human pressure ranging from drainage for agriculture and industrial development to over harvesting of wetland products. In order to develop sustainable management tools for wetland ecosystems in Uganda and the Lake Victoria Region, water quality analyses were carried out in a rural undisturbed (pristine) wetland (Nabugabo wetland in Masaka) and two urban wetlands that are experiencing human and urban development pressure (the Nakivubo wetland in Kampala and Kirinya wetland in Jinja). The former wetland forms the main inflow into Lake Nabugabo while the other two border the northern shore of Lake Victoria, Uganda. Nabugabo wetland buffers Lake Nabugabo against surface runoff from the catchment, while Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands provides a water treatment function for wastewater from Kampala City and Jinja town respectively, in addition to buffering Lake Victoria against surface runoff. Water quality was assessed in all the wetland sites, and in addition nutrient content and storage was investigated in the main plant species (papyrus, Phragmites, Miscanthidium and cocoyam) in Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands. A pilot experiment was also carried out to assess the wastewater treatment potential of both the papyrus vegetation and an important agricultural crop Colocasia esculenta (cocoyam). Low electrical conductivity, ammonium–nitrogen and ortho-phosphate concentrations were recorded at the inflow into Nabugabo wetland (41.5μS/cm; 0.91mg/l and 0.42mg/l respectively) compared to the Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands (335μS/cm; 31.68mg/l and 2.83mg/l and 502μS/cm; 10mg/l and 1.87mg/l respectively). The papyrus vegetation had higher biomass in Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands (6.7kgDWm−2; 7.2kgDWm−2 respectively), followed by Phragmites (6.5, 6.7), cocoyams (6.4, 6.6) and Miscanthidium (4.0, 4.2). The papyrus vegetation also exhibited a higher wastewater treatment potential than the agricultural crop (cocoyam) during the pilot experiment (maximum removal degree of ammonium–nitrogen being 95% and 67% for papyrus and yams). It was concluded that urbanisation pressure reduces natural wetland functioning either through the discharge of wastewater effluent or the degradation of natural wetland vegetation. It is recommended that wetland vegetation be restored to enhance wetland ecosystem functioning and for wetlands that are not yet under agricultural pressure, efforts should be made to halt any future encroachment.
The aquatic macrophytic vegetation constituting the wetlands situated along the coast of Lake Victoria provides valuable services to both local and regional communities as well as an important ecological function through the transition between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The wetland vegetation is typically rooted in the substrate on the landward side of the lake, but forms a floating mat towards the middle of the wetland and at the wetland/lake interface. Cyperus papyrus and Miscanthidium violaceum vegetation typically dominate the permanently inundated wetland areas along most of the shores of Lake Victoria. Due to the prevailing climatic and hydrological catchment conditions, these macrophytic plants (papyrus in particular) tend to exhibit high net productivity and nutrient uptake which strongly influences both wetland status and lake water quality. In addition, these wetlands provide important economic livelihoods for the local populations. The integrity and physical structure of these wetlands strongly influences their associated mass transport mechanisms (water, nutrients and carbon) and ecosystem processes. Wetland degradation in Africa is an increasing problem, as these ecosystems are relied upon to attenuate industrial, urban and agricultural pollution and supply numerous services and resources. In an integrated project focused on the wetlands of Lake Victoria, the ecological and economic aspects of littoral wetlands were examined and new instruments developed for their sustainable management.
Water scarcity is an increasingly challenging problem in Palestine due to increasing water use and climate change. The Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Program on Water (PADUCO) studied this problem and builds on the collaborative efforts of various Dutch and Palestinian researchers. The project paid special attention to four issues which had been identified as important and to give focus to the research4: a non-conventional water resources b water quality, sanitation and public health c water and agricultural production d water management and governance. If water is scare one starts with identifying available quantities of water and its quality using geographical information system (GIS) as is shown in several contributions. There are also non-conventional water resources, such as using reused waste water, storing water in aquifers and more rigorous water demand management. The papers in this special issue are the result of the PADUCO project, deal with these issues and will be introduced and summarised under the following headings: 1 water resource issues in the West Bank 2 water issues in Gaza 3 drinking water issues 4 water governance assessments 5 pollution issues 6 water and agriculture 7 practical conclusions and recommendations.
This is the last chapter of a book M.Put and M.P. van Dijk (eds) Government and NGOs interventions in dryland agriculture, A study of two projects in Andhra Pradesh. New Delhi: Manohar, 2000, pp.1-419
Since earliest times humankind has met much of its needs for good quality water from subterranean sources. During the 20th century there was an enormous boom in waterwell construction for urban water-supply, agricultural irrigation and industrial processing – facilitated by advances in well drilling, pump technology and geological knowledge – and groundwater became a key resource supporting human well-being and economic development. Comprehensive statistics on groundwater abstraction are not available, but global withdrawals are estimated to have passed 900 km 3 /a in 2010, providing some 36% of potable water-supply, 42% of water for irrigated agriculture and 24% of direct industrial water-supply 1 , with proportions varying widely from country to country and across larger countries. Moreover, groundwater is also often the only option for meeting rural water-supply needs. The social value of groundwater should not be gauged solely by volumetric use, since it brings major economic benefits per unit volume, because of local availability, scaling to demand, high drought reliability and generally good quality (requiring minimal treatment). The dependence of many cities and innumerable medium-sized towns on 1 Döll et al, 2012 : Journal Geodynamics 59-60 International Association of Hydrogeologists KEY MESSAGES • groundwater is a key resource for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030 — but is still weakly conceptualised in the SDG Indicators • there is a strong case for defining new 'groundwater resource status indicators' for SDG Targets 6.3, 6.4 and 6.6, because groundwater resources are integral to these but not dealt with adequately at present • there is urgent need to strengthen current data collection protocols to focus more clearly on the level, types and modes of groundwater use for municipal water-supply and direct drinking water-supply
A data deficit in shallow groundwater monitoring in Africa exists despite one million handpumps being used by 200 million people every day. Recent advances with “smart handpumps” have provided accelerometry data sent automatically by SMS from transmitters inserted in handles to estimate hourly water usage. Exploiting the high-frequency “noise” in handpump accelerometry data, we model high-rate wave forms using robust machine learning techniques sensitive to the subtle interaction between pumping action and groundwater depth. We compare three methods for representing accelerometry data (wavelets, splines, Gaussian processes) with two systems for estimating groundwater depth (support vector regression, Gaussian process regression), and apply three systems to evaluate the results (held-out periods, held-out recordings, balanced datasets). Results indicate that the method using splines and support vector regression provides the lowest overall errors. We discuss further testing and the potential of using Africas accidental infrastructure to harmonise groundwater monitoring systems with rural water-security goals.
In 2011, the Iranian Government started paying cash transfers to compensate for higher prices of basic commodities and public services. The first phase of this reform is analysed. The effects of the reform with regard to domestic water consumption within the country and more specifically in the city of Mashhad, located in North West of Iran, have been examined. To do a policy impact study, we investigated the water bills of poor people residing in suburbs of Mashhad, and carried out a household survey. The overall water consumption has decreased in the entire city, but the decline was more significant in the suburbs which are predominately populated by poor residents. Paying the rebate directly to the consumers has been effective in terms of water demand management. This new approach has increased equity among consumers. However, macro-economic conditions have changed drastically and cash transfers are no longer substantial, given inflation and tariff increases.
Zambian regulatory system was set up at the end of the '90s within the reform of the national water sector, based on the commercialisation of water utilities, and market orientation is among its most apparent features. However, data show that, in 13 years, jointly with important efficiency gains Zambian utilities also improved their social performances. We investigate how these pro-poor outcomes were achieved by analysing the regulatory tools, and conclude with a positive evaluation of the regulation system. Nonetheless, we also point to the limitations of pro-poor regulation when there is a shortage of investment finance.
In this contribution, organisational performance measurement models are reviewed to determine to what extent they can also be used as an instrument for poverty alleviation. In this paper, we explore the organisational performance models. We start with a review of general performance measurement in private and public sectors and then we focus on performance measures in the water sector. It is concluded that the performance measurement models reviewed can be applied in the water and sanitation sector as well, but it is a challenge to make them pro-poor.
Groundwater resources are important sources of drinking water in Africa, and they are hugely important in sustaining urban livelihoods and supporting a diverse range of commercial and agricultural activities. Groundwater has an important role in improving health in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). An estimated 250 million people (40% of the total) live in urban centres across SSA. SSA has experienced a rapid expansion in urban populations since the 1950s, with increased population densities as well as expanding geographical coverage. Estimates suggest that the urban population in SSA will double between 2000 and 2030. The quality status of shallow urban groundwater resources is often very poor due to inadequate waste management and source protection, and poses a significant health risk to users, while deeper borehole sources often provide an important source of good quality drinking water. Given the growth in future demand from this finite resource, as well as potential changes in future climate in this region, a detailed understanding of both water quantity and quality is required to use this resource sustainably. This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the water quality status, both microbial and chemical, of urban groundwater in SSA across a range of hydrogeological terrains and different groundwater point types. Lower storage basement terrains, which underlie a significant proportion of urban centres in SSA, are particularly vulnerable to contamination. The relationship between mean nitrate concentration and intrinsic aquifer pollution risk is assessed for urban centres across SSA. Current knowledge gaps are identified and future research needs highlighted. © The Author(s) 2017.
Dan Lapworth, Jim Wright and Steve Pedley are working to find out how to provide safe water for poor people living in African cities. Dan co-ordinated a team of Zambian and UK scientists to carry out a groundwater quality survey across Kabwe in 2013-14. This revealed that shallow household supplies (less than 10m underground) were highly contaminated throughout the year with faecal bacteria and nitrate, as well as elevated concentrations of the commonly-used insect repellent DEET. As part of the work Dan is leading, the team tested a field sensor designed to measure a protein called tryptophan, an indicator of waste-water contamination, particularly with faecal matter. Jim co-ordinated a follow-up survey by the same team to see what had changed over the past decade in Kisumu, Kenya's third largest city. As well as recording hazards and testing wells, the team also interviewed well owners and those using the groundwater. The survey showed that the groundwater from the wells is still heavily contaminated with faecal bacteria.
This guidance note provides practical guidance for organisations and individuals that are trying to raise the professionalism of groundwater development in Africa. The guidance note is mainly concerned with rural and small towns’ water supplies but is mindful of the huge challenges faced by supplies in many growing African cities dealing with problems of groundwater quantity and quality.