Groundwater Resources Program

Funded by: West Foundation Country: Benin Date Range: 1997-2011 Project Lead: Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences Notre Dame Collaborators: College of Engineering

For 15 years beginning in 1997, Notre Dame Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences faculty implemented a multifaceted, collaborative project focused on improvement, protection and management of critical groundwater resources in Benin, West Africa.

The program objectives included:

  1. Building Infrastructure for Groundwater Resources—improving infrastructure in Benin related to development, protection, and management of groundwater through projects such as drilling wells, improving the capabilities of Benin professionals, educating local populations, developing collaborations among U.S. and Benin students, and pursuing technical /sociological advances;
  2. Technical / Sociological Development—four strategies:
    • augment technical expertise among Benin professionals and students;
    • establish baselines on water use, water quality, and development/management practices;
    • establish technical and sociological capacity within both government agencies and the local villages to monitor/manage water sources; and
    • build international understanding among both Beninese and U.S. students (K-12 through university-level educational efforts) so as to promote future opportunities for international collaboration;
  3. Leveraging Results for Broad Impact—the challenges addressed and techniques utilized in this program were chosen and assessed so as to provide solutions applicable both in Benin and, through publication and/or direct collaboration with other partners, in other regions of the developing world.