Addressing groundwater policy gaps: evidence from the UPGro Programme

Upton, Kirsty. Addressing groundwater policy gaps: evidence from the UPGro Programme. [Keynote] In: 2nd SADC Groundwater Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, 4-6 Sept 2019. (Unpublished)

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Evidence-based policy to support sustainable groundwater development and management is critical to achieving all targets of SDG6, including that for integrated water resources management. UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) is a seven-year research programme involving 150 interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners from across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Europe arranged in 5 consortia and 15 catalyst grants. The programme focusses on various aspects of groundwater and water security to support social and economic development on the continent. It is generating a significant body of evidence on the role that groundwater plays in providing secure water supplies, with implications for groundwater management and policy, particularly within the context of climate change. For example: (1) analysis of long-term groundwater level records from across SSA suggests that groundwater recharge in more arid areas is dependent on heavy rainfall events linked to large-scale climate phenomena such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation; (2) detailed surveys across 3 countries indicate that the measuring and reporting of borehole functionality may be hiding more serious issues of service delivery; (3) the examination of different modes of rural waterpoint management provides fresh insight to the efficacy of community management and the important role of external support from both the private and public sector; (4) detailed sampling in urban areas has identified a high pathogenic load and persistence of viruses in many urban groundwater systems. Other emerging results from the programme tackle challenges such as increasing demand and competition for groundwater, particularly where it is used for industry and intensive agriculture, and inequality of access. UPGro researchers are working with various stakeholders to address these issues, using novel approaches such as transition management and multi-criteria mapping, to inform policies that promote sustainable groundwater development as part of an integrated water resource management framework.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Keynote)
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, International development
Date made live: 08 Oct 2019 14:38 +0 (UTC)

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