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What we do

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Areas of focus

Create an enabling environment for groundwater management through the improvement, development and harmonization of policy, legal and regulatory frameworks.

In order to raise the prominence of groundwater in the national and regional policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, SADC-GMI is implementing various initiatives which include gap analyses, benchmarking, action planning and advocacy, as well as rendering national level technical assistance for closing the gaps. This effort also focuses on aligning with the Revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses of 2000 and river basin agreements across the region. Transboundary water cooperation through Transboundary Aquifers and shared River Basin Organizations is also a key focus area under this cluster.

Lead and promote regional coordination

Across various spatial scales, for groundwater management and development.

Support infrastructure development for improved groundwater management and sustainable groundwater development

SADC-GMI acknowledges that without appropriate physical infrastructure, sustainable access to and management of groundwater is not feasible. We therefore work to develop, pilot and roll-out different infrastructure options for the abstraction, recharge, monitoring and protection of groundwater. We believe that poor installation, operation and maintenance of groundwater infrastructure inhibits the sustainable access and management of the resource. As such SADC-GMI highly prioritizes issues of ownership through community based management of infrastructure.

Promote and coordinate action-oriented research to support the development of regional understanding of groundwater resources.

In tandem with its core mandate to build a knowledge base for groundwater in the region, SADC-GMI prioritizes research which seeks to establish the full geophysical and scientific features and potential of the estimated 30 Transboundary Aquifers in the region. In this regard, research is undertaken on Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis which zero in on conjunctive water resources management, environmental sustainability, stakeholder involvement as well as transboundary policy, legal and institutional cooperation. The research component also incorporates groundwater data collection, analysis and information sharing to support the application of research findings. In this regard SADC-GMI collaborates with other regional and global partners to undertake and disseminate groundwater research.

Promote impact-oriented capacity building and training to develop a growing cohort of groundwater expertise across the region

Capacity building is one of the most important functions of the SADC-GMI. Independently or in collaboration with other key players in the water sector, SADC-GMI conducts capacity building initiatives to public and private sector groundwater practitioners and decision makers in 16 SADC Member States on several topics including international water law, groundwater modelling, data collection and management, conjunctive water resources management, managed aquifer recharge, borehole drilling, gender, borehole forensics, integration of groundwater management in Transboundary Basin Organizations in Africa among others. Our training interventions endeavor to respond to the national and regional capacity needs as identified in our Capacity Needs Assessment study conducted in 2017 – 2018.

Advocate, raise awareness and provide support regarding the understanding of sustainable groundwater management through the dissemination of data, information and knowledge products, supported by ongoing knowledge management.

As a regional organization with responsibility to serve SADC Member States and facilitate international cooperation, the SADC-GMI will develop a recognized presence through raising awareness, generating and transferring knowledge and communicating effectively, using its Awareness, Knowledge Management and Communication Strategy. This will involve the development and implementation of a graphic profile of the SADC-GMI, roll-out of communication plan to create a platform for discussion and cooperation among Member States, and the active presence in communication/media forums (dynamic website, to radio outreach); preparation and dissemination of information and knowledge material, hosting Conferences, seminars and workshops, establish, operate and maintain information management systems and meta databases.


Our stakeholders are wide and varied ranging from hydrogeological experts, water authorities, support agencies and the communities who depend on groundwater – or who could potentially depend on it. SADC-GMI strives to engage in projects/activities that directly respond to the varied needs of our stakeholders in the region. As a regional institute, we endeavour to engage with our stakeholders across the region, using various communication platforms in order to understand their daily challenges and come up with the best possible solutions. Our stakeholders include groups from these different areas:


Water authorities

Groundwater experts

Research institutions

Media organisations

Education organisations

Decision makers

Groundwater agencies

Important Documents