Africa Groundwater Program

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USGS International study promotes groundwater sustainability using innovative science and technology transfer

Color map showing the Study Area for the Ethiopia Groundwater Study

Illustrative map showing the Areas covered by the Ethiopia and Kenya Groundwater Study

(Public domain.)

As the world’s largest water data provider, the USGS Water Resources Mission Area continually improves the delivery of accurate, timely, and innovative water data and science from local to national scales, which is critical to the understanding of our world’s water.


In addition to national efforts, USGS is also partnered with USAID in several international projects. In drought stressed arid regions of Kenya and Ethiopia the USGS and its partners are using remote sensing data and technology, along with traditional hydrogeological methods, to map groundwater resources. The goal is to locate and quantify the aquifers to improve the success rate of drilling water supply wells and help ensure sustainable development and management of the precious resource.


Training is also being provided to the water agencies affiliated with the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Kenya that will allow them to replicate the mapping process throughout their respective countries.  This transfer of knowledge between government agencies promotes effective water sustainability by building local capacity and expertise on water resource management. Local water resource experts can then apply a similar approach to define and manage groundwater resources in similar drought prone regions.


Detailed information on the study can be found on the USAID webpage.

Demonstrating a Passive Seismic Tool in Kenya

USGS scientist demonstrates the use of a passive seismic tool used for stratigraphy and bedrock mapping to local water officials. 

(Public domain.)




Learn more:

USAID Ethiopia and Kenya Groundwater Study Project Page

USGS NJWSC Groundwater Exploration and Assessment Program Page  

Information on USGS International Programs

What is remote sensing and what is it used for?

Innovative science (geophysics) for groundwater studies 







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Date published: November 3, 2017
Status: Active

Africa Groundwater Exploration and Assessment Program

The purpose of the Program is to develop a sound understanding of the potential for development of potable groundwater supply in selected African countries and build local capacity to plan and conduct the hydrologic investigations and monitoring necessary to help ensure that groundwater resources are developed and managed efficiently and sustainably. 

Contacts: Richard Kropp