Climate Justice Fund: Water Futures Programme funded PhD candidate, Marc Addison (University of Strathclyde) attended the 2018 Ineson Lecture organised by the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) in London. The theme for this year’s lecture and conference was ‘Hydrochemistry & Human Health’. Marc presented a poster of his research on ‘The occurrence of fluoride in Malawian groundwater’ at the conference. This was a fantastic networking opportunity as some of the UK’s most well-known and accomplished hydrogeologists and hydrogeochemists were in attendance. The Ineson lecture was given by Dr. Pauline Smedley of the British Geological Survey on inorganic groundwater contaminants across the globe.
The occurrence of fluoride in Malawian groundwater is vastly under-studied. Almost no attempt has ever been made to trace the geological origins and pathways for fluoride in Malawi. This study collates all existing archive fluoride and fluorosis data for Malawi and re-analyses it from a geological perspective. What key processes contribute to high levels of fluoride in groundwater and can these areas be risk-mapped in order to prevent borehole drilling in fluoritic areas? Fluorosis is common and largely undocumented in Malawi so the ability to identify areas with fluoritic groundwater is key to mitigating the negative health implications on the population.
Marc’s research was well-received at the conference. His poster sparked interesting discussions around lack of data in developing countries and possible mechanisms for the patterns of fluoride occurrence presented in his maps. This was a great opportunity not only to present current research, but also to see what other research has been done on fluoride elsewhere in the world. Marc will now begin work on publishing the results of this phase of his research by early next year.
Marc was funded for this conference jointly by the Climate Justice Fund: Water Futures Programme and the University of Strathclyde, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.