The British Geological Survey (BGS) has developed the Africa Groundwater Atlas in partnership with the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Burdon Groundwater Network for Developing Countries, and with more than 50 collaborating groundwater experts across Africa. The new online Africa Groundwater Atlas is an introduction to the groundwater resources of 51 African countries, and a gateway to further information.
For each of 51 African countries, the Africa Groundwater Atlas provides new overview geology and hydrogeology maps and summaries of the key geological environments and aquifers in each country. There are sections on groundwater status, use and management, including groundwater monitoring, with up to date information on the national organisations involved in groundwater development and management. There is supporting material on geographical setting, climate, surface water, soil and land cover, with accompanying maps; and finally, there are references and links to more detailed information for those wishing to find out more.
Accompanying pages highlight important issues related to African groundwater, such as recharge, groundwater development techniques and transboundary aquifers; with links to sources of further information.
The successful, sustainable development of groundwater resources is critical to future safe water supplies in Africa, and to economic and social improvement and food security across the continent. This depends on a good understanding of groundwater and hydrogeology. But too often, high quality information about groundwater in Africa – even where it exists – is hard to find. The Africa Groundwater Atlas will help tackle this by increasing awareness and availability of information about groundwater in Africa, in individual countries and at a continental scale.
Also available is the Africa Groundwater Literature Archive, which enables users to search (geographically and by keyword) and freely access thousands of articles, reports and other documents about African groundwater.
The Africa Groundwater Atlas is still being developed. Some of the pages still have limited information, and for many others there may be more details to be added or updates to be made. If you have, or know of, information or resources that could help us improve the Atlas, please get in touch!
The Africa Groundwater Atlas was developed as part of the UPGro programme – Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor. UPGro is funded by UK Aid; the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
The Africa Groundwater Atlas and Literature Archive are at: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/africagroundwateratlas/index.cfm
For more information and to get involved, please contact Brighid Ó Dochartaigh at: AfricaGWAtlas@bgs.ac.uk