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IGRAC embarks on study to map groundwater potential for more irrigation in Tanzania

Posted on 30 March 2016

dws-igrac-groundwater-potential-tanzania-770pxThe International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) participates in a new study to examine the potential of groundwater to expand irrigation and increase access to safe water in Tanzania.

The use of more groundwater can help to reduce poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Across the African continent there are large untapped groundwater reserves that, if used wisely, can mitigate droughts and be beneficial to small farmers.

Groundwater beneath the land surface of Tanzania has the potential to provide year-round sources of freshwater to irrigate crops when rains fail and to supply safe drinking water at low cost.

dws-igrac-groundwater-potential-tanzania-350pxGroundwater development pathways
There remain, however, key questions regarding the development of this vital resource including how much groundwater can be used sustainably, what groundwater development pathways will best reduce poverty, and how the use of groundwater will affect other water sources such as rivers, wetlands and lakes.

To answer these questions, scientists at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), together with the Ministry of Water and an international team of experts are embarking on a 4-year study of groundwater in Tanzania.

The study will focus on the Great Ruaha River Sub-Catchment of the Rufiji Basin and the Makutapora Wellfield supplying Dodoma.

Researchers at SUA will also work with experts from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK and International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) in The Netherlands.

Serious game on groundwater management
A workshop to kick off this study will be held on March 31st 2016 in Iringa, Tanzania, and involve local key stakeholders including governmental water agencies. IGRAC will apply their serious game on groundwater management with the participants of the workshop.

During this groundwater game session, the project team aims to obtain more information on the use of groundwater in the region and to share knowledge and bring awareness about the use of the groundwater resources. After the workshop, a 2-day field visit will follow.

This groundwater research in Tanzania is part of a multi-country study, Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa (GroFutures), which involves comparative studies in Ethiopia, Niger and Nigeria, and is funded by the UK government under its programme Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro).

This news item was originally published on the website of IGRAC.


Read also on this website
IGRAC and Acacia mapped potential of Merti aquifer as reliable groundwater source for Kenya, 2 July 2015
IAHR2015: Water scarcity stimulates concern over strategic groundwater reserves, 7 July 2015
NWO-WOTRO launches new scientific research programme for inclusive development Sub-Sahara Africa, 18 September 2013
Country: Tanzania


More information
International groundwater resource assessment centre (IGRAC)
Delft, the Netherlands
+31 15 215 2325
www.un-igrac.org

IGRAC's video on the most abundant source of fresh water on earth, yet it remains a hidden resource.

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