The Colonial Office established and funded geological surveys in British West African colonies, from 1903 until self government in c. 1960. Provision of water supplies, at first a minor component of the services provided, later often dominated departmental activities. Understanding of the nature of groundwater mirrored the state of the art elsewhere: supply kept pace with demand. Exploration of sedimentary basins led to development of major aquifers. In the 1930s innovative refinements of geophysical siting and well sinking techniques were developed. From 1980 major water borehole programs were largely supervised by British consultants, who continued to pioneer siting and construction techniques.
Figures & Tables
The collection of papers in this volume records the development of hydrogeology in Britain over the last 200 years. Following the application, by William smith, of stratigraphic principles to the sinking of wells, Victorian engineers and scientists established groundwater as a major contributor to public water supplies. In the twentieth century, the development of groundwater continued rapidly, controlled by an ever-changing regulatory regime. The 25 papers in this volume review the progrss which has been made, and the lives and work of some of those who were intimately involved.