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Faso Koom Hackaton starts modelling of the catchment area of the largest artesian well in West Africa

04 March 2020

From 24 to 28 February a group of enthusiastic hydrologists and students kicked off the modelling of an unique water system in southwest Burkina Faso, on the southern edge of the Sahel. Through a 'Hackaton', a design sprint-like event, they were able to make progress and deliver results.

Groundwater and surface water from the catchment area of ​​the Kou River is increasingly being used for drinking water, the production of lemonades and beer and the irrigation of agricultural areas. The model study aims to provide knowledge and insight into the possibilities and conditions for the sustainable use of groundwater and surface water. Stakeholders in the area have also asked for a system that can warn the population in time when the river comes down due to heavy rainfall.

The Hackthon participants

Water authorities from Burkina Faso and the Netherlands (Brabantse Delta), students and teachers from the University of Ouagadougou and staff from regional and national governments joined forces during this multi-day hackathon. They shared their knowledge of the hydrology and water system of the Kou and Mouhoun rivers (Black Volta). Together, the first steps were taken for the construction of a hydrological computer model of the water system. In the coming months, the construction of the model will be continued by students from the University of Ouagadougou, under the supervision of specialists from both Burkina Faso and the Brabant Delta Water Board from the Netherlands.

Working on modelling of the catchment area of the Kou River

Several studies with the model are planned in the coming years. The research area has a size of about 2000 km2, roughly the size of the island van Mauritius.

The Kou River

Faso Koom

Faso Koom is part of the Blue Deal, the international programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and all the Dutch water authorities. The ambition of the Blue Deal is helping 20 million people around the world gain access to clean, sufficient and safe water. Faso Koom and is a cooperation between Dutch regional water authorities (Brabantse Delta, Drents Overijsselse Delta, Hunze en Aa’s, Noorderzijlvest and World Waternet) and a Water Authority in Burkina Faso: Agence de l’Eau de Nakanbe. The aim is to support the local authority by training (local) water committees on water resources management. It will help to improve access to sustainable and safe water resources.