Groundwater management organisations

From Earthwise
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Resource pages >> Groundwater management >> Groundwater management organisations

This page introduces and links to some of the key organisations and projects with resources to support groundwater management, with particular focus on Africa.


The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) was formed in 2002 and works to promote cooperation, security, social, economic development and poverty eradication among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and provision of water supply services. AMCOW works through its Pan-African Groundwater Program (APAGroP) to support improved groundwater policy and practice in Africa, towards a vision in which groundwater is used sustainably and equitably, increasing water and food security and resilience, and supporting improved lives and livelihoods.

A key AMCOW resource is the Knowledge Hub, launched in 2020: a web-based open access platform with links to other portals, that collects and shares Africa’s water and sanitation information and knowledge, and provides an interactive learning and knowledge exchange forum for experts, scientists, and researchers.

Africa Groundwater Network[edit]

The Africa Groundwater Network (AGW-Net) is a voluntary non-profit network that aims to increase awareness of the potential and value of groundwater across Africa for multiple human uses as well as for the environment, and to contribute to the capacity development in the groundwater sector. AGW-Net has produced a training manual, The Integration of Groundwater Management into Transboundary Basin Organizations in Africa, in both English and French. The manual is designed to support the international river basin organisations in Africa to manage their transboundary groundwater issues. AGW-Net carries out a range of other activities relating to its key aims of increasing awareness of the potential and value of groundwater across Africa, and contributing to capacity building in the groundwater sector in Africa. AGW-Net promotes communication within the African groundwater community, with active participation from across the continent.


The UN International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) facilitates and promotes international sharing of information and knowledge required for sustainable groundwater resources development and management, and produces a number of resources that can be accessed via the GW-MATE section of their website, including this report:

Tuinhof, A, Foster, S, van Steenbergen, F, Talbi, A, and Wishart, M. 2011. Appropriate Groundwater Management Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa in face of demographic pressure and climatic variability. Strategic Overview Series, No. 5, GW-MATE/World Bank/GWP/Water Partnership Program.

SADC Groundwater Management Institute[edit]

The SADC Groundwater Management Institute (GMI) is developing a regional centre of excellence for the sustainable management of groundwater. It aims to strengthen the ability of national and transboundary institutions to manage groundwater, to advance research on the challenges facing groundwater, and to promote solutions. A key resource provided by SADC-GMI is the SADC Groundwater Information Portal.


The Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP) is a global partnership for sustainable groundwater management, which aims to strengthen, expand and connect current country-level and international groundwater initiatives with capacity building, research, technical support, policy guidance and impact-monitoring activities. GRIPP works with partners to document and disseminate lessons learned from groundwater management; engages with knowledge providers to enhance understanding of critical practical and policy issues, and presents information in simple, easy to access formats for a variety of stakeholders.

Key GRIPP resources are a series of case studies on selected important groundwater issues; and other joint reports.


The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) produces many resources that support groundwater management. For example, the following report that addresses sustainable groundwater development:

Furey, S G, and Danert, K. 2014. Sustainable Groundwater Development: use, protect and enhance. RWSN Publication 2014-9, 1, Skat/SDC/UNICEF/DFID, DEW Point, RWSN, St Gallen.


The World Bank's Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) programme assists governments in Sub-Saharan Africa in addressing constraints to cooperative water resources management and development, including helping regional bodies cooperate on groundwater.


The UPGro research programme (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor_ is funded in the UK by DFID and NERC. Research is being carried out under the UPGro programme that combines a social and natural science approach in order to better support sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor in Africa.

As they are produced, outputs from the UPGro programme - papers, tools and other publications - are being shared online.

International Association of Hydrogeologists[edit]

The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) works to raise awareness of groundwater issues, and works with national and international agencies to promote the use of groundwater.

IAH publishes academic research through the Hydrogeology Journal and the IAH Book Series.

IAH also publishes a Strategic Overview Series, which aims to inform professionals from a variety of sectors about key issues relating to groundwater resources and hydrogeological science.

Groundwater Governance[edit]

The Groundwater Governance project aims to influence political decisions thanks to better awareness of the paramount importance of groundwater resources and their sustainable management in averting the impending water crisis.


WaterAid produces information on managing water resources, including groundwater. This recent video gives an example of managing groundwater resources to reduce the vulnerability of communities to water stress. Other WaterAid publications can be found on its website.


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and its partners seek to better understand how groundwater access could be improved for smallholder farmers in Africa, and what technical and institutional innovations will be needed to ensure that it is monitored and managed sustainably. IWMI produce reports, maps and other resources with information on groundwater in Africa.


The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published a handbook Spring: managing groundwater sustainably, covering hydrogeological, policy, social and economic aspects of groundwater management. The book is free to download.

Return to Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Resource pages >> Groundwater management