Groundwater development best practice

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Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Additional resources >> Groundwater Development Best Practice


There are many resources to help people developing groundwater resources for water supply. This page does not provide a comprehensive list of such resources, but does provide a brief overview of the key issues involved in trying to achieve best practice in groundwater development: successful, sustainable, appropriate groundwater supplies.

A guidebook that deals with all aspects of developing groundwater for rural water supply in Africa is MacDonald et al. (2005) Developing groundwater: a guide for rural water supply.

Rural Water Supply Network

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) produces many reports and manuals on a wide range of topics related to groundwater development, often in collaboration with other organisations, including UNICEF. A full list of RWSN publications is available through their online library. Some documents relating to best practice in specific areas of groundwater development are listed below. These should be used in combination with more general guidelines for sustainable groundwater development, such as those above.

  • A Code of Practice for Cost-Effective Boreholes (2010) was produced in collaboration with UNICEF, in order to to raise the level of professionalism in rural water supply programmes that include water borehole drilling. The code of practice is designed to ensure that: policies and practices that bring about cost-effective borehole provision are identified, introduced and supported; country systems and procedures are developed strengthened and used; performance of the drilling sector is routinely monitored and evaluated; and transparent reporting procedures are established and followed.

Hydrogeologists Without Borders

Hydrogeologists Without Borders (HWB) works to build capacity in emerging regions to provide safe, sustainable water supplies, and to facilitate increased application of sound hydrogeological principles and practices in aid and development programmes. HWB advises and supports practitioners on best practices for groundwater development and sustainability.

HWB has a UK chapter, Hydrogeologists Without Borders UK, which maintains a network of hydrogeologists and other groundwater professionals and works to promote the use of hydrogeological skills for the sustainable development and management of groundwater resources.

References and links to more information

Adekile, D. 2014. * Supervising Water Well Drilling. A guide for supervisors. RWSN/UNICEF, Rural Water Supply Network, St Gallen, Switzerland.

Carter, R, Chilton, J, Danert, K, and Olschewski, A. 2014. Siting of Drilled Water Wells - A Guide for Project Managers. RWSN Publication 2014-11, RWSN, St Gallen, Switzerland.

MacDonald, A M, Davies, J, Calow, R C, and Chilton, P J. 2005. Developing groundwater: a guide for rural water supply. ITDG Publishing.

RWSN. 2010.A Code of Practice for Cost-Effective Boreholes.

Furey, S G. 2015. Water Source Protection. Exploring ways to incentivise citizens and organisations to manage shared water resources in a fair, equitable way. RWSN, Skat Foundation, St Gallen, Switzerland.

Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Additional resources >> Groundwater Development Best Practice