‘Good vibration’ hand pumps boost Africa’s water security

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Millions of people across Africa depend on hand pumps for their water supplies

The simple up-and-down motion of hand pumps could help scientists secure a key water source for 200 million people in Africa.

Growing demand for groundwater is putting pressure on the resource while researchers struggle to accurately estimate the future supply.

But a team from Oxford University says that low-cost mobile sensors attached to pumps could solve the problem.

Their study shows that pump vibrations record the true depth of well water.

While fresh water from Africa’s rivers and lakes is hugely important for people, it is dwarfed by the amount of groundwater available, estimated to be 100 times greater than the annual renewable fresh resource.