This project aims to develop the scientific basis and participatory management processes by which groundwater resources can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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GroFuturesGroFutures: Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa

Groundwater is a vital source of safe water for drinking, hygiene, irrigation and industry across Sub-Saharan Africa. Groundwater also sustains rivers, lake and wetlands when rainfall is low or absent. GroFutures will run for four years from May 2015, and will focus on combining cutting-edge physical and social science (including the STEPS Centre’s Pathways Approach and Multicriteria Mapping) with stakeholder engagement to identify and analyse ‘groundwater development pathways’ in a ‘Network of African Groundwater Observatories’ (NAGO).


Video: Groundwater in Africa: Voices from the field

Professor Tenalem Ayenew, Addis Abba University, Ethiopia
– Professor Ibrahim Goni, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
– Professor Japhet Kashaigili, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
– Dr. Yahaya Nazoumou, Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, Niger
Professor Andrew Tarimo, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

Contact the GroFutures team

 GroFutures focuses on:

• Intensified dependency on groundwater as demand for food and water rises and variability in rainfall and river flow increase due to climate change
• Promoting inclusion of poor people’s voices in decision-making processes on groundwater development pathways
• Reducing uncertainty in the renewability and amount of accessible groundwater to meet future demands for food, water and environmental services

International team:

GroFutures has assembled a team of internationally renowned experts from Africa and Europe on the science, management and governance of groundwater.

Network of African Groundwater Observatories (NAGO):Groundwater-Observatories-m

GroFutures will establish a network of observatories representing the key groundwater environments and governance challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. Research activities will be concentrated in river basins in Ethiopia, Niger and Tanzania.

Inclusive groundwater governance:

GroFutures will develop an inclusive, participatory framework for groundwater governance in which the views of poor women and men are considered together with
the trade-offs associated with groundwater development pathways.

Sustainable groundwater:

GroFutures will apply new geophysical techniques and compile long-term observations of groundwater levels from the NAGO to substantially improve knowledge of the renewability and volume of groundwater in Sub-Saharan Africa.

GroFutures Deliverables include:

1. New knowledge & data

• Quantitative understanding of groundwater development pathways
• Improved estimation of groundwater storage and recharge
• Compilation of multi-decadal groundwater level observations across Africa to assess climate-groundwater linkages
• High-frequency monitoring data to assess recharge process and groundwater – surface water interactions
• Quantification of future groundwater recharge and storage under projected changes in climate and land-use

2. New tools & partnerships

• Capacity-strengthening, pan-African research partnerships
• Network of African Groundwater Observatories (NAGO)
• Groundwater Game to aid decision makers assessing trade-offs associated with development pathways
• Pathways Framework to enable inclusive groundwater governance
• Groundwater recharge-storage models to evaluate longterm
sustainability of groundwater use and groundwater-dependent ecosystems

GroFutures Consortium:GroFutures consortium logos

Addis Ababa University (AAU), EthiopiaBritish Geological Survey (BGS), UK
Institut de Recherche pour la Developpment (IRD), France
Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK
International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC)
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania
Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (UAM), Niger
Université de Ngaoundéré (UN), Cameroon
University College London (UCL), UK
University of Maiduguri (UM), Nigeria
University of Sussex (UoS), UK
University of Witwatersand (Wits), South Africa

GroFutures Partners:GroFutures-partner-logos

• Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (Ethiopia)
• Awash Basin Authority (Ethiopia)
• Agricultural Transformation Agency (Ethiopia)
• Ministère de l’Hydraulique et de l’Environnement (Niger)
• Niger Basin Authority
• Ministry of Water (Tanzania)
• Rufijji Basin Water Board (Tanzania)
• African Groundwater Network (AGW-Net)

This project is one of five consortium projects funded by UpGro

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