For many parts of the world, the development of groundwater increases water security and can lead to more sustainable livelihoods and a reduction in poverty. This is particularly the case for Africa and South Asia where water insecurity is endemic. This talk will explore: (1) water security in rural Africa particularly throughout drought condition and the interlinking factors influencing the functionality and reliability of groundwater supplies; (2) the benefits of having a reliable groundwater supply; (3) the potential across Africa for higher yielding supplies both for urban supply and irrigation; and (4) water security in South Asia given high abstraction for agricultural and urban use. The discussions will be framed by the high pace of global environmental change and the challenges of governing groundwater development.
Drawing on 25 years of research funded mainly by the UK Department for International Development the talk will be illustrated by recent results from the ongoing UK/Africa research programme, UPGro (unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor), and various South Asian / UK research partnerships on the Indo-Gangetic Basin and Peninsular India.