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David Seddon


David Seddon
Department of Geography
University College London
North-West Wing
Gower Street

Primary: Professor Richard Taylor
Secondary: Dr Mohammed Shamsudduha



Assessing Human Impacts on Groundwater Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is endowed with sufficient freshwater resources; however, they are insufficiently managed. Implementation of optimal and sustainable exploitation policy, today and in the future, is impossible due to significant knowledge gaps. This research aims to make policy relevant findings to improve the supply of useable freshwater, aiding the populace out of poverty and encouraging development, by maximising the potential of groundwater. In the foreseeable future, Africa will undergo several hydrologically pertinent changes. Climate change is projected to be particularly severe, there will be a rapid, large scale transition in land cover and population is set to double in a generation. It is, therefore, imperative to quantify the discrete and combined effects of these changes on groundwater fluxes to determine whether growing demand can be satiated. By quantifying the primary effects of climate change and the modulating effects of land use change on recharge fluxes, future groundwater resources can be projected. The effect of these anthropogenic changes will be assessed across a variety of climatological and geological environments spanning Sub-Saharan Africa by utilising newly complied multi-decadal datasets.



1)     Determine whether intense rainfall contributes disproportionately to groundwater recharge.

2)     Quantify the projected impacts of climate change on groundwater recharge.

3)     Determine the extent to which land use change modulates groundwater recharge.

4)     Determine the dominant recharge pathways in humid and semi-arid environments in Sub-Saharan Africa.

5)     Develop robust and automatable algorithms for quantifying groundwater recharge from borehole hydrographs.


2014 - Present   PhD, University College London

2012 - 2013   MSc Climate Change, University College London

2008 - 2011   MA (Cantab) Natural Sciences, Cambridge University, Homerton College