Groundwater for Refugees - Pilot project Burkina Faso

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Groundwater for Refugees - pilot project in Burkina Faso

Refugee crises require rapid access to potable water and the required information on water resources, especially groundwater, is often not readily available. In order to contribute to work of UNHCR, IGRAC, as a global groundwater assessment centre, suggested to assist in gathering and interpretation of info potentially useful for a quick identification of viable groundwater resources. For that purpose, a methodology is proposed to:

  1. use georeferenced data to map zones of possible groundwater exploitation,
  2. understand the effect that these data have across varying spatial ranges, and
  3. suggest specific sites to sit wells at scales relevant to field teams.

A pilot project is set up with a goal to identify metrics that can assist in guiding a hydrogeologic investigation to determine suitable locations for geophysical surveys and identify placement of potential boreholes with sufficient water yields. Proposed metrics include geology, precipitation, evapotranspiration, topography, UNHCR activities, pre-existing roads, land use and potential groundwater contamination. The methodology is tested on a pilot area in Northern Burkina Faso, along the border with Mali.