Dr Alan MacDonald

Dr Alan MacDonald Principal Hydrogeologist

Location: Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 389

E-mail Dr Alan MacDonald


  •  2012 :  Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee
  •  2005 :  Principal Hydrogeologist BGS Edinburgh
  •  2001 :  PhD, University College London, Community Water Supplies from Mudstones
  •  1999 –2005 :  Senior Hydrogeologist BGS Edinburgh
  •  1996 –1999 :  1996–1999 Hydrogeologist, WaterAid Oju Water Supply project Nigeria
  •  1992 –1996 :  1992–1996 Hydrogeologist, BGS Wallingford
  •  1992 :  MSc (dist.) Hydrogeology, University College London
  •  1991 :  BSc (Hons) 1st Class, Geophysics, Edinburgh University

Current projects and collaboration

  •  Groundwater resilience to climate change in Africa: a DFID funded project to improve the understanding of the resilience of African groundwater to climate change and links to livelihoods
  •  Glacier monitoring: monitoring and characterising glacier hydrology in the BGS observatory at Virkisjökull, Iceland with a particuarl emphasis on groundwater
  •  Baseline Scotland: a joint BGS/SEPA project to characterise the baseline chemistry and residence time of groundwater in Scotland
  •  RiPPLE. Evidence based learning on water supply and sanitation in Ethiopia
  •  Characterising groundwater surface water interactions in the Tweed River Basin: (1) GW/SW interactions in the Eddleston floodplain with Dundee University; (2) GW/SW interactions in the Talla sub catchment
  •  Interpretation of remotely sensed gravity data to characterise groundwater storage changes in Africa

Research interests

  •  African hydrogeology and water security
  •  Groundwater and catchment science: floodplain hydrogeology, groundwater & flooding, upland and glaciated catchments
  •  Groundwater response to climate change and extreme events
  •  International groundwater development and management — particularly in  developing countries in the context of poverty reduction
  •  Providing science and data to underpin groundwater management in the UK (aquifer properties, groundwater vulnerability mapping, nitrate contamination, groundwater monitoring networks, groundwater chemistry baseline)

Professional association

Published outputs

Key papers

MacDonald AM, Bonsor HC, Ó Dochartaigh B E and Taylor RG 2012 Quantitative maps of groundwater resources in Africa Environ. Res. Lett. , 7 024009

Hunter PR, MacDonald AM and Carter RC 2010. Water supply and health PLoS Med 7(11): e1000361.

MacDonald AM, Davies J, Calow RC and Chilton PJ 2005. Developing groundwater: a guide to rural water supply. ITDG Publishing, Rugby, UK, 358 pp.