Groundwater forms the most important source of water supply in the urban, peri-urban and rural areas of Zambia, constituting a cardinal resource in driving the country’s socio-economic development programmes. However, because it is invisible, groundwater has suffered from inefficient and uninformed development and management practices arising mainly from the users’ and managers’ inadequate understanding of the resource. In some instances, rapid expansion of urban areas has occurred and
heightened human activities on recharge areas. Exacerbating this situation are (i) the adverse climatic conditions in the country in the last 15-20 years, which have resulted in rainfall becoming increasingly unpredictable, with extreme variations not just seasonally, but also between years, and (ii) the inadequate knowledge in the country of the available water resources, especially groundwater (which is invisible).
This creates enormous challenges, and poses great scarcity and deterioration threats of groundwater, in terms of both quality and quantity – a situation that may, in turn, negatively affect continued provision of adequate and safe potable water to the to the country’s population and impact on human health.