Simple methods for assessing groundwater resources in low permeability areas of Africa

MacDonald, A.M. ORCID:; Davies, J.; Ó Dochartaigh, B.É.. 2001 Simple methods for assessing groundwater resources in low permeability areas of Africa. British Geological Survey, 71pp. (CR/01/168N) (Unpublished)

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In many areas throughout Africa, a staggering proportion of wells and boreholes fail. Failure can occur for a number of reasons – inadequate maintenance and community involvement, poor engineering or a lack of water. Often it can be difficult to work out the exact reason after the event. However, in many geological environments the impacts of poorly sited and designed boreholes and wells are a major concern to funding agencies, implementing institutions and local communities. In such areas, good supplies of groundwater cannot be found everywhere, and boreholes and wells must be sited and designed carefully to make use of the available groundwater. To appropriately site and design water sources, the groundwater resources of an area need first to be investigated to understand how water occurs in the ground. In this manual we present some techniques that allow a quick assessment of groundwater resources without requiring much expertise or expense. Some of the techniques are old and established while others are new. However, all techniques have been tested by BGS (and others) in assessing groundwater resources in Africa. This manual does not claim to be a detailed textbook for hydrogeologists – there are enough already (see reading list at the end of the chapter). Rather it is meant as a practicalaid for those involved in the practice of rural water supply, particularly in Africa. Little training or equipment is required for the tests and they can all be carried out in a short space of time. The manual is divided into six sections. The first gives an overview of the groundwater resources of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and discusses the scope and detail of investigations required in different geological environments. The remaining chapters describe simple techniques for assessing groundwater resources, from basic reconnaissance to assessing the yield of a borehole. In the appendix are summary sheets of the most common techniques which can be photocopied and used in the field.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Groundwater Management
Funders/Sponsors: Department for International Development (DfID)
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Additional Keywords: Groundwater management, Africa, International development, Climate change, Drought, GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater resources
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 22 Apr 2013 12:31 +0 (UTC)

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