GEOGRAPHY IN THE NEWS:
Although changes in rainfall patterns in sub-Saharan Africa may still be devastating to farmers, recent research suggests that aquifer levels may be at less risk than supposed. "[I]n much of sub-Saharan Africa, groundwater is a vital resource. It is often the only source of clean drinking water in rural areas and its use is also increasing in cities. ... A group of 32 researchers, led by UCL [University College London] and Cardiff University, sought to test this across nine countries in Africa, including Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. The research involved analysing long-term records of groundwater levels and rainfall and, in a rare moment of good news, demonstrated that groundwater levels may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought, particularly in the driest areas. The key reason is that in dry areas most groundwater recharge takes place when water leaks out of temporary streams and ponds – a process which only happens after heavy rainfall. Climate change is expected to lead to fewer rainfall events in the region, but their intensity will increase. This in turn will increase leakage. As a result, the researchers predict that groundwater levels will remain resilient, even if the overall volume of rain decreases." geographical.co.uk/people/development/item/3383-ground-water
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