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Groundwater for poverty alleviation

Richard Taylor to lead new pan-African groundwater study

Groundwater for poverty alleviation

Professor Richard Taylor has been awarded a 4-year consortium grant (£1.9 million), Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa (GroFutures), under the new NERC-ESRC-DFID Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater in Africa programme.

Starting in 2015, he will lead a large and highly experienced consortium of leading physical and social scientists from across Africa (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania) and Europe (IDS, IRD, BGS, UoS, IGRAC). They will quantify the volume and renewability of groundwater resources in key basins in Ethiopia, Niger and Tanzania, and evaluate governance processes under which groundwater can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation.

The GroFutures Anglophone-Francophone consortium will establish a Network of African Groundwater Observatories to: (1) overcome key limitations in present knowledge of how much renewable groundwater exists and how it is replenished; and (2) conduct the most rigorous analysis ever conducted in the tropics of the relationships among climate, land-use and groundwater replenishment.

The team will also employ an innovative and participatory approach to groundwater governance. This provides a framework for both explicit representation of poor people in decision making and transparent consideration of trade-offs associated with different development pathways, such as small-scale irrigation versus intensive irrigation (pictured).



Small-scale irrigation, Niger

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