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Mapping Ground Water Access in Two Rural Communes of Burkina Faso

UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair, Appropriate Technologies for Human Development, Departamento de Geodinámica, Estratigrafia y Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/José Antonio Novais 12, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs, Université de Fada N’Gourma (UFDG), Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso
Departamento de Geología, Geografía y Medio Ambiente, Unidad Docente de Geología, Universidad de Alcalá. Ctra. Madrid-Barcelona, Km 33,600, Alcalá de Henares, 28801 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Aldo Fiori and Fernando António Leal Pacheco
Water 2021, 13(10), 1356;
Received: 25 March 2021 / Revised: 7 May 2021 / Accepted: 12 May 2021 / Published: 13 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Drinking Water Supplies in Low-Income Regions)
Granting safe water access worldwide is a major objective of the Sustainable Development Goals. Water access is a manifold concept that encompasses collection time, distance from the household, water quality, affordability, and reliability of water sources, among other factors. GIS-based methods can be particularly useful in improving water access estimates, particularly in rural areas of developing countries. Based on an extensive water point database (n = 770), this paper explores the main challenges involved in mapping water access in two rural communes of Burkina Faso. Water access is estimated in terms of coverage per surface area. Coverage is filtered into four distinct categories of improved water sources, namely existing infrastructures, operational infrastructures, permanent infrastructures, and permanent infrastructures that provide safe water. The outcomes suggest that the study area is better endowed with water access than rural Burkina Faso and the remainder of the African continent, although there are important questions regarding groundwater quality. The outcomes highlight the conceptual differences between coverage and access, as well as some of the practical difficulties involved in estimating water access beyond standard ratios. The shortcomings include the absence of continuous monitoring of infrastructure functionality and water quality, as well as water affordability, among others. Enhancing national borehole databases with items aligned with the United Nations’ definition of water access is recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: water supply; human right to water; basement aquifers; SDG 6; drinking water water supply; human right to water; basement aquifers; SDG 6; drinking water
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MDPI and ACS Style

Díaz-Alcaide, S.; Sandwidi, W.J.-P.; Martínez-Santos, P.; Martín-Loeches, M.; Cáceres, J.L.; Seijas, N. Mapping Ground Water Access in Two Rural Communes of Burkina Faso. Water 2021, 13, 1356.

AMA Style

Díaz-Alcaide S, Sandwidi WJ-P, Martínez-Santos P, Martín-Loeches M, Cáceres JL, Seijas N. Mapping Ground Water Access in Two Rural Communes of Burkina Faso. Water. 2021; 13(10):1356.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Díaz-Alcaide, Silvia, Wennegouda Jean-Pierre Sandwidi, Pedro Martínez-Santos, Miguel Martín-Loeches, José Luis Cáceres, and Naomi Seijas. 2021. "Mapping Ground Water Access in Two Rural Communes of Burkina Faso" Water 13, no. 10: 1356.

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