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UK Research and Innovations (2020)

An Integrated Assessment Methodology to Capture the Physical and Socio-Economic Dimensions of Vulnerability to Saline Intrusion Climate.....

Afar Saline Intrusion Climate

Titre : An Integrated Assessment Methodology to Capture the Physical and Socio-Economic Dimensions of Vulnerability to Saline Intrusion Climate.....

Pays/Région : Rangelands of Afar, Ethiopia

Durée : sept. 20 - sept. 24

Référence projet : 2451240
Catégorie : Studentship Lucy Alexandra Whitley

Résumé partiel
My research interests lie within the Groundwater and Water Resource Management and Climate, WASH, Flooding and Resilience divisions of the Water WISER CDT programme.

Our world is constantly reminding us of how complacency now is locking us into a future of guaranteed resource scarcity, instability and conflict. The consequences are disproportional, often landing on those who are not only more exposed to climate related shocks, but on those who are already in a constant state of emergency with few resources and lack sustained support. Water, our most precious resource, is under increasing demand, further exacerbated by population growth, conflict related redistribution and land encroachment, resulting in a disruption and decline of natural systems on which the human civilisation depends.

As surface water resources deplete across semi-arid regions, groundwater resources are continuously used as a buffer for domestic and agricultural water supply, including livestock. Emergency water supply responders tend to act to priorities demanded by international donors for tangible water system installations, and as a result, we are commonly left with mismanaged groundwater resources. Environmental damage and infrastructures that are totally out of the community’s capacity to operate and maintain give rise to a high degree of infrastructure failure, wasted funding and increased water stress. Despite a wealth of research and investigation to build our knowledge and understanding of livelihoods, behaviours and movement patterns across semi-arid regions, very few numerical models and technical tools are being used to map groundwater resources, quantify stressed aquifer systems and monitor groundwater abstraction. Groundwater modelling, geophysical exploration and remote sensing are a few methods that can be employed to increase the resilience and reliability of water systems. If mechanisms were in place to effectively protect, manage and sensibly use groundwater to meet demands for domestic water supply, food and livestock, ultimately, we could have a sustainable resource at present and into the future.

My MSc research focussed on the WASH behaviours of pastoral communities in the rangelands of Afar, Ethiopia, where I witnessed how environmental, structural and seasonal differences contribute to increased water stress, sanitation and hygiene issues. This prompted my interest towards better supplying decision-makers, practitioners and researchers with tools and the understanding needed to extend WASH services to these communities. My practical field work with GOAL in Uganda and Groundwater Relief across Africa and Asia has driven my need to address such issues.

Lead Research Organistion : Cranfield University

Financement : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

UK Research and Innovations

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