Groundwater Research in Africa

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  Please cite page as: Africa Groundwater Atlas. 2019. Groundwater research in Africa. British Geological Survey. Accessed [date you accessed the information]. Weblink.
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Groundwater Research in Africa[edit]

A series of pages providing more information on key current and past groundwater research themes and projects in Africa.


The UK government funded | UPGro research programme (2013-2019) funds the development of this Atlas, and a series of research projects aimed at Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor. UPGro takes a social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor.

The first phase of the UPGro programme, from 2013 - 2015, was a series of short 'catalyst' projects investigating different aspects of how the use and understanding of groundwater in Africa interacts with with socio-economic conditions. You can read a summary of the results of these projects here: summary of UPGro catalyst projects in English / résumés des projets catalyseurs UPGro en Français).

The second phase of the UPGro programme runs from 2015 - 2019 with five consortium projects taking forward detailed research on specific issues of groundwater relating to socio-economic conditions in Africa. These projects are:

Gro for GooD
Groundwater risk management for growth and development, in Kenya.
Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa
Building understanding of climate variability into planning of groundwater supplies from low storage aquifers in Africa, in Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Experimenting with practical transition groundwater management strategies for the urban poor in Sub Saharan Africa, in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda.
Hidden Crisis
Unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply, in Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda.

Results from the research projects have been emerging throughout the programme, including papers, conference presentations, reports and briefings, and webinars and films. More information will continue to be generated throughout the programme and will be available via the UPGro website, including this interactive systems map.

Groundwater research projects by country[edit]

A series of pages describing specific, usually relatively large, groundwater projects in particular countries.

Note: these are not comprehensive lists of groundwater projects: there are many more. If you have information on other significant groundwater projects in these or other countries in Africa, please let us know and we will add them to these lists. Contact us on

Groundwater research projects on transboundary aquifers[edit]

Conjunctive Water Management for Food Security and Resilience[edit]

A knowledge sharing platform by IWMI, which seeks to capture and disseminate highlights of the increasing knowledge base emerging from work on transboundary river-aquifer systems in the SADC region. Most focus is on three systems:

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