*** Please note: more information and references are available through the Africa Groundwater Atlas Africa Groundwater Literature Archive ***


There are numerous references available on the hydrogeology. These reflect research studies undertaken by BGS of Precambrian Basement Complex aquifers, the impact and mitigation of drought upon groundwater systems, the development of collector well systems and support by DFID to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources during the post independence period of 1980-2000.


There are 289 references available. Currently 103 of these are available to download in PDF format.

Key References


Groundwater developments in early Malawi are recorded in the Annual Reports of the Geological Survey Department of Nyasaland 1924-1960. A series of 10 volumes document developments undertaken by the Geological Survey during the Colonial Development Water Supply Investigation of 1931-1940. Specific water studies during this period were undertaken by Dixey et al 1929-1941. Additional developments were reported in the Annual Reports of the Water Development Department of Nyasaland during 1959-1961.

Post 1960, groundwater developments continued to be recorded in the Annual Reports of the Geological Survey Department of Malawi up to 1980 when responsibility for groundwater resource development passed to the Ministry of Water. During the post 1960 period each geological mapping memoir contained a section describing the groundwater resources of that area and a table of borehole locations and construction details. Electrical resistivity methods were introduced to site boreholes in 1965.

During 1972-74 government hydrogeologist Bradford undertook studies of groundwater occurrence in southern Malawi along the Shire Valley and in the area of Zomba and in northern Malawi at Chikwawa. In 1975 DANIDA funded a study of areas in the Karonga District. Following visits by BGS advisors during 1971, 1978, 1979 and 1981 BGS hydrogeologist were seconded to the UNDP/World Bank Handpump Project.

During 1982-1988 they produced the first comprehensive description of the groundwater resources of Malawi , volumes on rural groundwater supply and oversaw production a series of 1:250,000 scale hydrogeology maps covering the country. Specific studies were undertaken of the Upper Livulezi , Dowa West and Lilongwe North East areas during 1982-1984. BGS staff then undertook a landmark study of the groundwater resources and aquifer properties of weathered and fractured Basement during 1986-1989. Specific studies were undertaken of the groundwater resources of dambo areas and the application of radial collector well systems to supply water for domestic use and small scale irrigation of gardens.