David Seddon

David Seddon

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David Seddon

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Start Year

2014 (Cohort 1)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Assessing human impacts on groundwater resources in sub-saharan Africa

Research Theme

Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean Processes

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



Sub-Saharan Africa is endowed with sufficient freshwater resources; however, they are insufficiently managed. Implementation of optimal and sustainable exploitation policy, today and in the future, is impossible due to significant knowledge gaps. This research aims to make policy relevant findings to improve the supply of useable freshwater, aiding the populace out of poverty and encouraging development, by maximising the potential of groundwater. In the foreseeable future, Africa will undergo several hydrologically pertinent changes. Climate change is projected to be particularly severe, there will be a rapid, large scale transition in land cover and population is set to double in a generation. It is, therefore, imperative to quantify the discrete and combined effects of these changes on groundwater fluxes to determine whether growing demand can be satiated. By quantifying the primary effects of climate change and the modulating effects of land use change on recharge fluxes, future groundwater resources can be projected. The effect of these anthropogenic changes will be assessed across a variety of climatological and geological environments spanning Sub-Saharan Africa by utilising newly complied multi-decadal datasets.

Policy Impact
Background Reading
  • Seddon, D () High-resolution Monitoring in the Makutapora Basin: assessing recharge processes under the 2015-2016 El Niño Event.
  • Seddon, D () Sustainability of groundwater pumping in the Makutapora Wellfield

Conferences and Workshops
  • 43rd IAH Congress (September 2016). Talk: Episodic groundwater recharge in a semi-arid environment- assessing the impact of the 2015/16 El Nino in Central Tanzania.
  • 43rd IAH Congress (September 2016). Poster: Episodic groundwater recharge in a semi-arid environment- assessing the impact of the 2015/16 El Nino in Central Tanzania.
  • Perspectives on Environmental Change (September 2016). Talk: El Niño Dependent Groundwater Recharge in East Africa: A 2015/16 ‘Godzilla’ El Niño case study.
  • Banking the Rain. Talk: Banking the Rain: enhancing the resilience of water supplies in dryland Africa.

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