Project

UPGro - Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor

Goal: Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro), is a seven-year international research programme (2013-2020) which is jointly funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Over 130 of the world’s best researchers from 43 organisations across Africa and Europe are focused on improving the evidence base around groundwater availability and management in Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to ensure that the hidden wealth of Africa’s aquifers benefit all citizens and the poorest in particular. UPGro projects are interdisciplinary, linking the social and natural sciences to address this challenge.

[This project page is maintained by Sean Furey (Skat Foundation/UPGro Knowledge Broker Team), however, can collaborators please take care when making changes and please only add references and material that is directly relevant. For example, someone has added this Project to a Lab that has nothing to do with UPGro! Thank you]

Date: 1 April 2013 - 31 March 2020

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Michael Owor
added 2 research items
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.
Kerstin Danert
added a research item
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
Groundwater is extremely important for sub-Saharan Africa, and how it is managed and shared in the future will be central to securing people’s lives and livelihoods. Groundwater thus needs to feature in policy discussions and for investments in the continent. This film explains groundwater
 
Sean Furey
added an update
from UPGro Hidden Crisis:
Highlights
• 74% of hand pump boreholes (HPBs) are functional at any one point.
• 66% of HPBs passed the design yield of 10 L per minute.
• 55% passed the design yield and also experienced less than one month downtime within a year.
• 43% of HPBs which passed the design yield and reliability, also passed the World Health Organisation standards of water quality.
 
Sean Furey
added 34 research items
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)
Sean Furey
added an update
There has been a sudden surge of new publications which I think you find interesting and useful:
BGS Technical brief: Measuring functionality and performance levels <= a must-read for RWSN members working at an operational level
The Hidden Crisis project team have now published a Technical Brief on the methods developed and used by the project to assess rural water supply functionality and levels of performance – now available from here: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/523090/
This technical brief is aimed at sharing the learning and approaches developed by the project to look at how the functionality and performance levels of boreholes equipped with handpumps (HPBs), can be assessed using a common set of definitions and methods. A tiered approach to defining and measuring functionality was found to be useful to examining functionality for different scales and purposes of monitoring.
Groundwater: critical for sustainable development (GRIPP) <= good for advocacy with non-specialists
An infographic entitled GROUNDWATER – Critical for Sustainable Development illustrating a timeline of groundwater use throughout history and projected outcomes of continued groundwater abstraction was launched today at the 2nd Southern African Development Community – Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Political Economy Analysis of Rural Water Supply in Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda <= good for those working on system strengthening and governance
3 reports from UPGro Hidden Crisis
You can find more from the UPGro Hidden Crisis project here: https://upgro-hidden-crisis.org/publications/
From Gro for GooD:
How does water-reliant industry affect groundwater systems in coastal Kenya?
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 694, 1 December 2019, 133634 by Nuria Ferrera, Albert Folch, Mike Lane, Daniel Olago, Jacob Katuva, Patrick Thomson, Sonia Jou, Rob Hope, Emilio Custodio
· New water-reliant industries are becoming established on the East African coast.
· New methodology used to estimate abstraction in areas with uncertain or no abstraction data.
· Even after severe droughts, recharge recovers from current abstraction rates.
· The shallow aquifer that local communities rely on is less resilient to drought than the deep aquifer.
· Aquifer storage recovers the year after drought but groundwater quality does not.
Projecting Wet Season Rainfall Extremes Using Regional Climate Models Ensemble and the Advanced Delta Change Model: Impact on the Streamflow Peaks in Mkurumudzi Catchment, Kenya.
Hydrology 6 (3): 76. by Ouédraogo, W., Gathenya, J. & Raude, J. (2019)doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6030076 -
A technical paper on combined hydrological-hydrogeological modelling of flooding in Kwale County, Kenya
 
Sean Furey
added an update
There’s a lot going on in the world of groundwater at moment: firstly, I’m delighted that an UPGro Working Paper on “Groundwater’s contribution to Africa’s Water Security”, edited by Dr Kirsty Upton and Dr Kerstin Danert is now available to download: https://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/resources/details/855
The latest news article about UPGro GroFutures work in Tanzania has hit the latest pages of The East African newspaper: https://upgro.org/2019/07/23/extreme-floods-to-bring-good-tidings-to-tanzania-city-upgro-in-the-east-african/ and you can hear more about the work here https://soundcloud.com/user-511586605/scientists-look-underground-for-a-solution-to-feed-the-ever-growing-population-in-africa
But it’s not just about UPGro:
· “Waking a sleeping giant: Realizing the potential of groundwater in Sub-Saharan Africa” by Jude Cobbing and Bradley Hiller: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0305750X19301767 This paper is behind a paywall, but the World Bank report that it is based on can be found in full here: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/420291533931251279/pdf/Assessment-of-groundwater-challenges-and-opportunities-in-Sub-Saharan-Africa.pdf
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Abstract: During drought, groundwater is often relied on to provide secure drinking water, particularly in rural Africa where other options are limited. However, the technology chosen to access groundwater significantly affects local water security.
Here we examine the performance of springs, hand-dug-wells and boreholes in northern Ethiopia through direct high frequency monitoring of water-levels (n=19) and water quality (n=48) over an 18-month period and gathering information on community impacts of declining water access during the El Niño 2015/2016 drought.
We found that shallow boreholes equipped with handpumps were the most reliable water supply, recovering within hours to daily abstraction throughout all conditions. Recovery and performance of most hand-dug-wells and springs declined significantly throughout the extended dry season, although in specific aquifer conditions they were reliable.
All sources types had negligible measured contamination from Thermo-tolerant Coliforms through the extended dry season, but were contaminated during the rains marking drought cessation.
Boreholes were least affected, median 10 cfu/100ml, compared to 190 and 59 cfu/100ml for hand-dug-wells and springs respectively. Many communities who relied solely on springs, wells or rivers experienced severe water shortage in the El Niño drought with mean daily collection times up to 12 hours and volumes collected reducing to 3-5 litres- per-capita-per-day.
This led to reports of violent conflict, missed meals, reduction in school attendance and farm activity and increased health impacts. From this study there is a clear case for improving resilience to drought by installing boreholes equipped with handpumps where feasible even if collection times are > 30 minutes.
 
Meine Pieter van Dijk
added a research item
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.
Maryam Nastar
added a research item
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
Highlights
• An East African costal aquifer was characterized before and during La Niña 2016/17.
• The recharge was reduced 69% compared to average annual rainfall.
• Lower recharge during first and nil recharge during the second wet season
• No important groundwater quality changes observed inland
• Increase of seawater intrusion even during the wet season
 
Sean Furey
added 9 research items
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
In these short video interviews, two of the UPGro Ambassadors explain their role and their interests in promoting groundwater in West and East Africa:
 
Sampson Oduro-Kwarteng
added an update
Ghana Partners are involved in the project conducting groundwater hydrology and transition management research in Dodowa, a peri urban community of Accra. Groundwater users from four communities were involved in five learning alliance (LA) in 2017 and 2018. The Learning Alliance meetings were to identify current problems, future visions and actions that will connect the specified future at the envisioning stage to the present situation. The sixth meeting in August 2018 focused on capacity building and coalition building for experiments to be driven by the local community actors (agents of change). The transition management aims to create space for community members to work together on solutions and opportunities. We engage local actors to understand needs and interests as well as to make sure that the community decision makers and organizations work together beyond the end of the T-GroUP project. The community local meetings and transition experiments are on-going and are been led by the community actors as agents of change.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Frances Cleaver Luke Whaley
Adaptive governance continues to attract considerable interest in academic and policy circles. This is with good reason, given its increasing relevance in a globalized and changing world. At the same time, adaptive governance is the subject of a growing body of critical literature concerned with the ways in which it theorizes the social world. In this paper, we respond to these critiques, which we see as broadly concerning the process, power, and meaning dimensions of environmental and natural resource governance.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Sean Furey
added an update
New project report from Dan J Lapworth and Stuart, M.E.; Pedley, S.; Nkhuwa, D.C.W.; Tijani, M.N. https://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/520718/
 
Sean Furey
added an update
A new paper has been published from the UPGro Gro for GooD project, working in Kenya, which develops the work done under the UPGro Catalyst Project on mapping groundwater quality, which developed an exciting new low-cost, real-time method of measuring microbial contamination of groundwater.
Context:
  • Globally, 25% of people lack access to water that is free from microbial contamination, in some countries the proportion is much higher.  This has major health implications, particularly for children.
  • Monitoring water quality for disease-causing organisms is difficult, and the common method is take water samples to a lab to measure Coli bacteria. Although largely successful, it is an expensive in terms of time and materials, and cannot be relied on for some kinds of biological water quality risks – particularly in groundwater where the absence of E.Coli does not guarantee biological safety of the water.
  • Tryptophan-like fluorescence (TLF) is a relatively new way of rapidly measuring biological water quality in the field, without needing expensive and time-consuming lab equipment and consumables. It is better suited to groundwater than surface water monitoring.
Key Points: –
  • This is the first groundwater study to compare TLF with E. Coli specifically.
  • Tryptophan-like fluorescence (TLF) can complement E. coli as a risk indicator, but it is not proposed as a replacement.
  • Both TLF and coli distinguish low/intermediate, high and very high risk sources.
  • TLF has negligible variability due to the method, unlike bacteriological analyses.
  • TLF is useful for pre-screening, monitoring and demonstrating risk in groundwater.
  • Fieldwork for this research was done in rural Kwale Country, Kenya
  • Next steps include:
    • focus on how TLF relates to pathogens and health, rather than just focusing on the coincidence with E.Coli.
    • better understanding of TLF in different groundwater conditions
    • better computer software of processing and presenting TLF data
    • assess the usefulness of TLF in communicating water risks to groundwater users.
Read the full paper (open access) here:
Nowickia, S.,  D. J.Lapworth, J.S.T. Ward, P. Thomson & K. Charles (2019) Tryptophan-like fluorescence as a measure of microbial contamination risk in groundwater, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 646, 1 January 2019, Pages 782-791 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.274
If you are interested in finding out more on safe water and water quality monitoring then you watch these RWSN webinar recordings from late last year:
  • Safe water in towns and peri-urban areas: challenges of self-supply and water quality monitoring: https://vimeo.com/266654585
  • La salubrité de l’eau dans les villes et zones péri-urbaines: le défis liés à l’auto-approvisionnement et le suivi de la qualité https://vimeo.com/26664934
 
Sean Furey
added an update
It looks like our project got accidentally renamed as something else.. but we're back!
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Bonsor, H.C.; Shamsudduha, M.; Marchant, B.P.; MacDonald, A.M.; Taylor, R.G. Seasonal and Decadal Groundwater Changes in African Sedimentary Aquifers Estimated Using GRACE Products and LSMs. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 904. http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/10/6/904
Key Points : -
· GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite can be used to estimate changes in water storage on time resolution of 1 month and a spatial resolution of about 450 x 450 km.
· GRACE can be used to estimate groundwater storage changes where it is the dominant water mass. It is therefore useful in many areas of Sub-Saharan Africa where there are relatively few direct groundwater level measurements.
· The paper focuses on the major sedimentary aquifers basins, where the majority of Africa’s groundwater resources are to be found. Away from these basins, groundwater storage is 1-2 orders of magnitude less.
· There is no evidence of continuous long-term declining trends of Total Water Storage (mostly groundwater) in any of the major sedimentary aquifers, which indicates that none are stressed by current abstraction rates – however it is important to stress that local scale depletion may be occurring but is beyond the resolution of GRACE to detect.
There are also some interesting findings in regard to the combination of GRACE and Land Surface Modelling and how well (or not) they represent groundwater recharge processes in the different basins.
 
Johanna Koehler
added a research item
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
from the UPGro T-GroUP project: Maryam Nastar & Abbas, Shabana Carlos Enrique Aponte Rivero Jenkins, Shona & Kooy, Michelle. (2018). The emancipatory promise of participatory water governance for the urban poor: Reflections on the transition management approach in the cities of Dodowa, Ghana and Arusha, Tanzania. African Studies. 1-22. 10.1080/00020184.2018.1459287.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Blog by @TimFoster "Having just published the fourth instalment in a series of papers examining rural supply sustainability on the south coast of Kenya, it is timely to reflect upon some of the common threads that emerge from these related but discrete studies. Throughout our investigations we have examined rural water sustainability – and the determinants thereof – from all sorts of angles, including repair time, household financial contributions, revenue collection longevity, water source preferences, and – most recently – operational lifespan." Read on: https://upgro.org/2018/03/09/long-lasting-rural-water-supplies-in-tough-environments-lessons-from-kenya/
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Sean Furey
added an update
The Sustainable Development Goals have set an agenda for transformational change in water access, aiming for secure household connections globally. Despite this goal, communal groundwater supplies are likely to remain the main source of improved water supplies for many rural areas in Africa and South Asia for decades to come. Understanding the poor functionality of existing communal supplies remains, therefore, a priority. A critical first step is to establish a sector-wide definition of borehole supply functionality and a standard method of its assessment.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
The UPGro Knowledge Broker team is looking for support for increasing the impact of academic research on groundwater in Sub-Saharan Africa, see below and attached profile.
 
Jenny Grönwall
added a research item
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
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.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
The day before the 2017 Ineson Lecture, a meeting was held in the Council Chamber of the Geological Society in London at which the project leaders, programme board members from NERC and DFID, and the Knowledge Broker team met with three of the UPGro Ambassadors: Dr Callist Tindimugaya, Ministry of Water & Environment, Uganda; Prof. Moustapha Diene, U. Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal; Prof. Muna Mirghani, Technische Universität Berlin.
 
Richard Charles Carter
added a research item
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
We are looking forward to a great gathering next Wednesday at the Geological Society of London for those interested in African groundwater - or development issues in Africa more broadly.
The event is a joint meeting of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the
Hydrogeological Group of the Geological Society, including the 2017 Ineson Lecture. The meeting will address a range of groundwater and development issues in Africa.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
In a new open paper in the Hydrogeological Journal, Fabio Fussi and his UPGro Catalyst team present work done in Senegal that looks at how improving hydrogeological data, maps and understanding can improve the success of manually drilled boreholes.
In a region where access to safe, affordable water is limited, manual drilling provides a cost-effective way of tapping groundwater resources. However, aquifers are complex and striking fresh water is not guaranteed.
Fussi and his team propose a model that uses analysis of borehole logs for the to characterise shallow aquifers  so that areas suitable for manual drilling can be found. The model is based on available borehole-log parameters: depth to hard rock, depth to water, thickness of laterite and hydraulic properties of the shallow aquifer. The model was applied to a study area in northwestern Senegal.
The hydraulic conductivity values were estimated from geological data and  partially validated by comparing them with measured values from a series of pumping tests carried out in large-diameter wells.
The results show that this method is able to produce a reliable interpretation of the shallow hydrogeological context using information generally available in the region.
The research contributes to improving the identification of areas where conditions are suitable for manual drilling, and has the potential to be used throughout Africa, and beyond, using data available in most African countries.
Ultimately, this work will support proposed international programs aimed at promoting low-cost water supply in Africa and enhancing access to safe drinking water for the population.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
The GroFutures team at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA, Tanzania), led by Japhet Kashaigili (SUA) with support from PhD students, Hezron Philipo (SUA) and David Seddon (UCL), established in July (2017) a groundwater-level monitoring network in the Upper Great Ruaha Basin Observatory in southern highlands of Tanzania.  This area is part of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) where increased use of groundwater and surface water is anticipated to support agricultural production.  Constructed monitoring wells at depths ranging from 18 to 32 m below ground were drilled using a PAT-DRILL 421 rig. The team also instrumented monitoring wells recently constructed by project partners at the Rufiji Basin Water Board (RBWB) in the Tanzanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
The GroFutures team in Ethiopia has recently completed a survey of 400 households from predominantly agricultural communities within the Becho and Koka Plains of the Upper Awash Basin of Ethiopia; there are the same communities where the GroFutures team recently constructed and deployed new groundwater monitoring infrastructure. The team of social scientists, led by Yohannes Aberra of Addis Ababa University with support from Motuma Tolosa and Birhanu Maru, both from the Oromia Irrigation Development Authority, applied a questionnaire to poll respondent views on small-scale, household-level use of groundwater for irrigation, the status of groundwater governance, and their experiences of different irrigation, pump, conveyance and application technologies. The same questionnaire will be applied in other GroFutures basin observatories later this year.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
This week we're at the International Conference on Geology, Mining, Mineral and Groundwater Resources of the Sub-Saharan Africa: http://mines.unza.zm/conference/
UPGro/RWSN is hosting a Hydrogeology special session on Wednesday, chaired by Dr Callist Tindimugaya (UPGro Ambassador / Ministry of Water & Environment, Uganda) with presentations including Dr Kirsty Upton on the Africa Groundwater Atlas, Dr Kifle Woldeargay on the Roads for Water catalyst, Dr Daniel CW Nkhuwa on the urban groundwater catalyst work and Dr Sharon Velasquez-Orta on the IN-GROUND catalyst, which developed a low cost groundwater quality sensor. https://upgro.org/catalyst-projects/
In the afternoon, the focus will shift to more practical issues around drilling for water, and I will presenting the UNICEF guidelines on drilling professionalisation: http://rural-water-supply.net/en/resources/details/775
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Thanks to additional support from NERC at the beginning of 2017, some of the world’s leading experts on groundwater and poverty were brought together to test the assumptions that we make about how much we know and understand about the links between groundwater access and poverty. Does improving groundwater access reduce poverty? Or are their cases where it can increase disparities between rich and poor? There is a lack of data and evidence to make firm conclusions and this challenges the research teams in UPGro and beyond to challenge their assumptions.
Part of the rapid study explored the issues around groundwater dependency of urban areas in tropical Africa.  What is perhaps shocking, is how little municipal water utilities in these areas monitoring, manage and understand the groundwater resources on which millions of people – their customers – depend. Furthermore, there are indication that private, self-supply, boreholes can make it harder for water utilities to get sufficient income from wealthier users to help cross-subsidise piped connections to the poor.
For more details, on these and many other findings, download the UPGro Working Papers:
  • Groundwater and Poverty Groundwater and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa– a short investigation highlighting outstanding knowledge gap (June 2017) Richard Charles Carter; Anthony Baguma, Alfred Bizoza, Sue Cavill, Stephen Foster; Tim Foster; Guy Jobbins; Rob Hope; Jacob Katuva; Johanna Koehler, Andrew Shepherd, Alexandre Simons
  • Urban Groundwater Dependency in Tropical Africa – a scoping study of pro-poor implications (March 2017) Stephen Foster
 
Sean Furey
added an update
The latest output from the UPGro programme comes from Cambridge University as part of the “Hidden Crisis; Unravelling past failures for future success in Rural Water Supply” and examines the role of system-based analysis in understanding the root causes of the success or failure of rural water points. The full open paper is available to download from Practical Action; http://www.developmentbookshelf.com/doi/abs/10.3362/1756-3488.16-00022
Water point failure in sub-Saharan Africa: the value of a systems thinking approach
Thousands of water points have been installed across sub-Saharan Africa over the past four decades; however, a number have been found to be dry/low-yielding, unsafe for human consumption, and in some cases marked with appearance, taste, and odour problems. Subsequently, many users have been unable or unwilling to use these water points and have had to revert to the use of unimproved water sources.
A number of factors could be causing each of these problems, either directly or indirectly. Furthermore, these factors may be interdependent and these relationships may be marked by non-linearities, feedbacks, and time delays. Deciphering which factors need to be prioritized becomes a confusing and complex task.
To help understand the impact of different interventions, this paper proposes the adoption of systems-based analysis for looking at water point failure and introduces some of the more common qualitative and quantitative analytical tools that could be used to reveal how these complexities might be managed more effectively.
While the use of these tools within the WASH sector has been limited to date, they hold potential for helping to identify the most suitable remedies for water point failure. Examples of where such tools have been used in relation to water point failure are reviewed, and the extent to which each approach could be applied is examined from a practitioner perspective, recognizing the limitations arising from the differing data needs and time-consuming nature of each type of analysis.
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Dear colleagues / Chers/Chères collègues (texte en français ci-dessous)
Some of you may already have seen and used the Africa Groundwater Atlas. This is a new online resource with groundwater information for all African countries. It is linked to the Africa Groundwater Literature Archive – an expanding online repository of documents on groundwater in Africa.
As part of the research programme UPGro, the British Geological Survey (BGS) are now developing the Atlas further, expanding and improving the content, and translating many pages into French. We are also aiming to make it more relevant by connecting the hydrogeology information it already contains to the practical needs of people working with groundwater in Africa.
We are also looking for feedback on the Atlas. We’d be really grateful if you could find time to answer a short questionnaire, which can be found at these web links
We are also organising a webinar on Wednesday 28 June to get feedback on how the Atlas is working, and what future improvements could be made. If you would like to participate in the webinar, please join up here: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M7GHC6SM0Q76Q2VHKWKB1Q13YT-BUDR&rnd=760558.52747
We will get in touch closer to Wednesday 28 June with more details about the webinar.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
With best wishes,
**************************
Certains d’entre vous ont probablement déjà vu et utilisé l’ “Africa Groundwater Atlas”. C’est une nouvelle ressource en ligne qui regroupe des informations sur les eaux souterraines de tous les pays d’Afriques. Celui-ci est associé à l’ “Africa Groundwater Literature Archive” qui est une librairie en expansion regroupant une grande diversité de documents et articles concernant les eaux souterraines en Afrique.
The British Geological Survey (BGS) consacre aujourd’hui une partie du programme de recherche UPGro à améliorer et enrichir le contenu de l’Atlas et à en traduire les pages en francais. Nous tenons par ailleurs à rendre celui-ci plus coherent en liant les données hydrogéologiques aux besoins pratiques des gens travaillant sur les eaux souterraines en Afrique.
Nous avons aussi besoin de vos retours à propos de l’Atlas. Nous vous saurions gré de trouver un moment pour répondre à ce court questionnaire, que vous pouvez retrouver en suivant les liens suivants :
Nous organisons aussi un webinar (un meeting en ligne) le Mercredi 28 Juin pour connaître votre avis sur le fonctionnement de l’Atlas, et sur les ameliorations à y apporter. Si vous voulez participer au webinar, veuillez vous inscrire ici :
Nous vous donnerons plus de details sur le webinar prochainement.
Si vous avez une quelconque question, n’hésitez pas à nous la communiquer.
Merci pour votre attention.
Cordialement,
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Sean Furey
added an update
Luke Whaley and Frances Cleaver - new UPGro paper from the Hidden Crisis project
 
Frank Kansiime
added 2 research items
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.
Meine Pieter van Dijk
added 2 research items
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
Sean Furey
added an update
"New Research Suggests Water Scarcity Measurement Flawed" UPGro GroFutures work by Richard G. Taylor and Simon Damkjaer reported in Water Canada magazine: http://watercanada.net/2017/new-research-suggests-water-scarcity-measurement-flawed/
 
Sean Furey
added a research item
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
Sean Furey
added an update
New IAH Briefing Note: The UN-SDGs for 2030 - essential indicators for groundwater.
 
Sean Furey
added a research item
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.
Meine Pieter van Dijk
added 3 research items
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.
Dan J Lapworth
added 2 research items
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.
Kerstin Danert
added a research item
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.
Sean Furey
added an update
On the road to resilience in Ethiopia - article in NERC's Planet Earth http://www.nerc.ac.uk/planetearth/stories/1846/
featuring the UPGro work of Frank Steenbergen Kifle Woldearegay and team from the Catalyst project:
Optimising Road Development for Groundwater Recharge and Retention: https://upgro.org/catalyst-projects/roads-for-water/
 
Sean Furey
added an update
UPGro at the 43rd IAH Congress, Montpellier
Many UPGro researchers will be assembling in Montpellier, France for the 43rd Congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH).If you are going, looking out for the following presentations (the abstract links won’t work until after 25 September). You can find the full online programme on the event website: www.60iah2016.org/en/programme/final-programme
 
Sean Furey
added an update
Recent UPGro (and UPGro-related) conference papers at WEDC:
Household access to groundwater and its implication in an urban poor community, Ghana,  by Seth Adjei (T-GroUP) https://wedc-knowledge.lboro.ac.uk/details.html?id=22412
FundiFix: exploring a new model for maintenance of rural water supplies by Susanna Goodall (Gro for GooD) https://wedc-knowledge.lboro.ac.uk/details.html?id=22460
Operational, financial and institutional considerations for rural water services: insights from Kyuso, Kenya by Susanna Goodall (Gro for GooD) https://wedc-knowledge.lboro.ac.uk/details.html?id=22461
 
Sean Furey
added an update
New paper from UPGro-related work by Oxford University (Gro for GooD):
A multi-decadal and social-ecological systems analysis of community waterpoint payment behaviours in rural Kenya
 
Sean Furey
added an update
New paper from Jenny Grönwall of the UPGro T-GroUP project:
Self-supply and accountability: to govern or not to govern groundwater for the (peri-) urban poor in Accra, Ghana http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12665-016-5978-6?
 
Sean Furey
added a project goal
Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro), is a seven-year international research programme (2013-2020) which is jointly funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Over 130 of the world’s best researchers from 43 organisations across Africa and Europe are focused on improving the evidence base around groundwater availability and management in Sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to ensure that the hidden wealth of Africa’s aquifers benefit all citizens and the poorest in particular. UPGro projects are interdisciplinary, linking the social and natural sciences to address this challenge.
[This project page is maintained by Sean Furey (Skat Foundation/UPGro Knowledge Broker Team), however, can collaborators please take care when making changes and please only add references and material that is directly relevant. For example, someone has added this Project to a Lab that has nothing to do with UPGro! Thank you]