Proceedings of a meeting of the Hydrogeological Group held at Burlington House on 11 October 1983

The International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade has focussed the attention of governments and financial donors on meeting the Decade targets of providing potable water and adequate sanitation facilities for all by 1990. However, although these issues have received much attention from both engineers and economists it is still estimated that about 1500 million people do not have access to potable water or basic sanitation. This one-day conference was aimed at reviewing the level of groundwater development in the Third World and suggesting ways of meeting the Decade targets.

The first contribution was from Mr S. M. Niaz of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of the World Bank in Washington. Mr Niaz was the ‘link-man’ between the financial and technical facets of groundwater development. He outlined the Bank's cycle of project identification, preparation, negotiation, implementation, completion and evaluation. Generally, only proven technology is used in World Bank schemes although a limited amount of new technology may be included on a trial basis.

Consideration was given next to the difficulties of groundwater assessment in the volcanic-sedimentary environment of Central Java by Dr J. W. Lloyd (University of Birmingham, UK) and others. Lithological inhomogeneity does not allow easy aquifer delineation and also makes the construction of dams to retain the high rainfall difficult. Only major dewatering schemes can substantially add to the groundwater resources of the area and then only after careful long-term planning.

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