Jonathan Truslove 

PhD Candidate

Jonathan is a second year PhD student at the University of Strathclyde. He is based in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department funded by the Climate Justice Fund: Water Futures Programme delivered by the Scottish Government in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde. His research is aimed towards assisting to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 through the sustainable maintenance, management and understanding of the impacts to rural community water points in Malawi.


Jonathan holds a M.Eng in Civil Engineering with experience in Scotland and across Africa. During his undergraduate degree as part of his fourth and fifth year dissertations, he worked on water supply projects in Burundi and Rwanda with NGO's, government departments and worldwide experts within the WASH sector.

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Sustainable Cost Modelling for Preventative Maintenance of Water Points: The Maintenance Burden of Rural Water Supply Infrastructure

Research overview

The sustainability of rural groundwater supply infrastructure remains a challenge across Sub-Saharan Africa. The Community-Based Management (CBM) model remains the popular approach for groundwater management, despite wide acceptance that this approach has been unsuccessful for service provision since its implementation. Across Malawi, the CBM approach remains dominant for the service delivery of rural groundwater supplies which has resulted in increased non-functionality of water points. Without regular preventative maintenance throughout the design life, the repairs of water points can be very costly to the rural communities. These issues with increased life-cycle costs of rural groundwater exploitation are not fully associated with the failings of the CBM approach. Poor installation of infrastructure and poor groundwater resources are main contributors to the poor water point functionality. The impacts from both can negatively impact the groundwater lifting mechanisms and subsequent CBM approaches.


This research addresses the ‘maintenance burden’ on a service provider from the rural community groundwater infrastructure. This research works closely with the CJF’s mWater and Borehole Forensics Programme in work streams 1. Asset Management and Data Collection, and 2. Capacity Building respectively.

Poor installation and maintenance can lead to handpump breakdowns which often go unresolved. The lack of safe drinking water and unsustainable water supply infrastructure creates a burden on the communities

Mapping the system dynamics within a rural circular economy in order to assess the maintenance burden on a community from unsustainable water supply infrastructure. From this appropriate decision making for sustainable water supply can be implemented.

Research outputs

To view Jonathan’s research outputs please use the relevant links below:

Extra activities

  • Jonathan assisted with the Vertically Integrated Project module part of the MSc Hydrogeology course at the University of Strathclyde. Assisting students with research, and engagement with the VIP Conference as part of the ‘Engage with Strathclyde’ events.

  • Jonathan accompanied the MSc Hydrogeology class of 2016-2017 on a research trip to Malawi for 7 weeks and is active in meeting with students to provide advice on various topics.

  • Jonathan has engaged in a Q&A panel discussion on ‘Climate Justice’ as part of an Earth Day celebration on the 22nd of April 2018 hosted by Glasgow City Council, GUEST (Student Sustainability Team at the University of Glasgow) and the University of Strathclyde.l

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