Graeme Williams/IWMI

Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Southern Africa has been plagued by water shortages in recent years. WLE has been studying and mapping the groundwater potential for irrigation, industry and household use. This resource, if managed correctly, has the potential to mitigate some of the water shortage problems. In addition, the potential of small scale irrigation schemes that combine both surface and groundwater can make the region more food secure and resilient to the impacts of water shortages.

Groundwater management

There is great groundwater potential in southern Africa but the general understanding of the availability and potential for the resource is poor, making effective decision making difficult. The sustainability and longevity of groundwater use depends on good management and governance. WLE has been studying and mapping the potential of the groundwater resource use for irrigation, industry and households. Providing the evidence base and tools for understanding groundwater quality and quantity can help mitigate major fluctuations in water availability and reduce risks for both urban and rural areas.

Irrigation and smallholders

In May of 2018, Cape Town approached 'day zero' when the city was projected to run out of water. While there were major implication for industry, tourism and agriculture, drastic water management measures were able to avert this catastrophe. WLE researchers have been exploring ways to improve water management to reduce economic losses, particularly for smallholders.