El Niño flooding in Tanzania

16/04/2016

On April 4th and 5th 2016, members of the GroFutures Team visited the Makutapora Wellfield in central Tanzania to observe up close and with project partners, WamiRuvu Basin Water Office of the Ministry of Water, rare flood conditions that are associated with the 2015-16 El Niño Event and, it is expected, conditions favourable for episodic replenishment of the wellfield by recharge. In advance of the El Niño Event, the GroFutures Team established high-frequency sensors to monitor both surface water and groundwater levels resulting from what was expected to be anomalously heavy rainfall associated with the 2015-16 El Niño Event.  The…


GroFutures launch in Tanzania

16/04/2016

Under the heading “Using groundwater to reduce poverty” the GroFutures Team in Tanzania led by Japhet Kashaigili, Andrew Tarimo and Devotha Mosha hosted the GroFutures Inception Workshop in Iringa on March 31st 2016.  It was opened by the District Commissioner for Iringa, Hon. Richard Kasesela, and was attended by national, basin-level and local stakeholders (listed below) who discussed current groundwater use and management in the Great Ruaha Sub-Catchment of the Rufiji Basin and as well as both proposed and potential groundwater development pathways that might best reduce poverty.  The event was featured on national television news in Tanzania (see clip…


Observed Bias in the Replenishment of Tropical Groundwater to Intensive Rainfall

15/12/2015

New research by Dr. Scott Jasechko (University of Calgary) and GroFutures Team member, Richard Taylor, published in Environmental Research Letters shows that the intensification of rainfall associated with global warming favours the replenishment of tropical groundwaters. Global warming amplifies extreme rainfall giving rise to fewer but heavier rainfalls. This impact of climate change is particularly strong in the tropics where, by 2050, most of the people on this planet will live. Richard and Scott examined chemical signatures in precipitation and groundwater from 15 stations across the tropics in an effort to trace the relationship between rainfall intensity and groundwater replenishment….


El Niño Monitoring in Tanzania

13/11/2015

The GroFutures team is working with the Tanzanian Ministry of Water to establish automated, high-frequency monitoring to examine how heavy rains associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) replenish groundwater resources in a small semi-arid basin (Makutapora) in central Tanzania which features a wellfield that supplies the capital city, Dodoma, with safe water. Groundwater withdrawals have risen sharply in recent years and there is considerable uncertainty regarding the sustainability of this supply. The team from Sokoine University of Agriculture (Japhet Kashaigili, PhD student Richard Festo) and UCL (Richard Taylor, PhD Student  David Seddon) are working with the WamiRuvu Basin Water Office…


Commentary on UN Sustainable Development Goals

13/11/2015

On September 25, 2015, the global development agenda for the next 15 years was set at the United Nations General Assembly following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GroFutures Team members Simon Damkjaer and Richard Taylor comment on the limitations of current metrics used to assess progress toward SDG 6.4 – “to… substantially reducing the number of people living under conditions of water scarcity“. Read their commentary here: the Circle of Blue.


GroFutures launched at Inception Workshop in Addis Ababa

12/11/2015

Some 25 social and physical scientists from 12 participating organisations in 11 different countries met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to kick-off the GroFutures project. The GroFutures team began the workshop with a field trip to the Upper Awash Basin to assess changing patterns of groundwater management and use. Team members then worked together to review  integrated physical and social science research plans in the 3 focal ‘Basin Observatories’ comprising the Upper Awash (Ethiopia), Great Ruaha (Tanzania), and Iullemmeden (Niger/Nigeria).  Further details are reported here.


Impact of African groundwater mapping

11/11/2015

GroFutures team members Alan MacDonald (BGS) and Richard Taylor (UCL) published a quantitative map of African groundwater resources in Environmental Research Letters in 2012. Since then there’s been much progress including the commencement of the UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) programme. Click here to read more.