OxWater research into the development of aquifer monitoring technology in rural Africa has been published in the journal Environmental Modelling & Software, and featured on the BBC Science & Environment.
The research uses machine learning methods to analyse data from low-cost sensors fitted to handpumps in Kenya. Vibrations in the pump handle can be analysed to indicate the water level in the underground aquifer beneath the pump.
Africa’s shallow aquifers supply water for around 200 million rural Africans lifted by one million handpumps. Making use of the innovation reported in this research, rural handpumps could be transformed into a distributed monitoring network, providing vital information on groundwater availability. This in turn could enable action to protect water supplies and improve management of a resource that is under increasing pressure.
This research is part of the Gro for GooD project, an UPGro consortium project funded by the UK Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Natural Environment Research Council.