The objectives of the project are to:

a) improve understanding of shallow ground-water resources using community-monitored data;

b) investigate opportunities and constraints for poor people to benefit from their use in small-scale irrigation;

c) explore policies, regulations and institutions required for management of shallow groundwater;

d) develop tools for adaptive management of shallow groundwater by local communities.

An interdisciplinary approach addresses the following research questions:

  • Can pro-poor interventions for groundwater development generate win-win situations, where multiple objectives of local economic benefits and long-term environmental sustainability are met with maximisation of benefit transfer to the poor?
  • What are the risks that rapid development of shallow groundwater resources may lead to inequitable resource use?
  • How can available technologies be improved to promote access to shallow groundwater resources for small-scale irrigation by poor farmers?
  • How can shallow groundwater resources be managed to reduce their vulnerability to drought and increase resilience of livelihoods facing effects of climate change?
  •  Is working with local people to co-construct understanding of shallow groundwater and its management both necessary and feasible in order to achieve sustainable social and economic development for poverty alleviation?