Helen Bonsor

Miss Helen Bonsor


Location: Edinburgh

Tel: 0131 6500 261

E-mail Helen Bonsor

Published outputs


  • 2008 : Hydrogeologist, British Geological Survey
  • 2008 : MSc University of Birmingham, Hydrogeology
  • 2007 : BSc University of St Andrews, Geoscience

Current projects and collaboration

  • 2015 – 2019. UPGro Research Consortium Grant. A Hidden Crisis: understanding current rapid failure of boreholes in sub-Saharan Africa. NERC-DFID-ESRC funded.
  • 2015 – 2018. NERC KE Fellowship (PI) Integrating subsurface environmental research and data to city planning.
  • 2014-2017. European Cooperation of Science and Technology (COST) Sub-Urban Action (TU1206)
  • 2013-2015. UPGro Catalyst Grant (Project Manager) A Hidden Crisis: Strengthening the evidence base on the sustainability of rural groundwater services (NERC-DFID-ESRC funded)
  • 2012-15 Groundwater resources in the Indo‐Gangetic Basin: resilience to climate change and abstraction. DFID Accountable Research Grant
  • 2010-12. Groundwater resilience to climate change in Africa: DFID funded research to improve the understanding of the resilience of African groundwater to climate change and links to livelihoods.
  • 2009-2014. Clyde Urban Super Project. Hydrogeology of the Glasgow urban area – groundwater monitoring.
  • Mapping groundwater flooding susceptibility

Professional association

  • 2008 : Chair of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Urban Groundwater Network

Research interests

  • Groundwater systems understanding
  • International groundwater resources — issues of demand, vulnerability and access
  • Urban groundwater systems and optimised use
  • Groundwater recharge Africa
  • Use of GRACE data in groundwater science

Key papers

Bonsor HC, MacDonald AM, Ahmed KM, Burgess WG, Basharat M, Calow RC, Dixit A, Foster SSD, Gopal K, Lapworth DJ, Moench M, Mukherjee A, Rao MS, Shamsudduha M, Smith L, Taylor RG, Tucker J, van Steenbergen F, Yadav SK, Zahid A. 2017. Hydrogeological typologies of the Indo-Gangetic basin alluvial aquifer, South Asia. Hydrogeology Journal. 10.1007/s10040-017-1550-z.

Bonsor HC. 2017. NERC Policy Briefing report, Integrating NERC(BGS) subsurface environmental research into city development processes and policy, British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/17/005, 35 ppResearch, 183; 4; 791-804.

MacDonald AM, Bonsor HC, Ahmed KM, Burgess WG, Basharat M, Calow RC, Dixit A, Foster SSD, Gopal K, Lapworth DJ, Lark RM, Moench M, Mukherjee A, Rao MS, Shamsudduha M, Smith L, Taylor RG, Tucker J, van Steenbergen F, Yadav SK. 2016 Groundwater quality and depletion in the Indo-Gangetic Basin mapped from in situ observations. Nature Geoscience, 9. 762-766. 10.1038/ngeo2791

Wilson P, Bonsor HC, MacDonald AM, Carter RC and Casey V. A Hidden Crisis – Defining Functionality Unravelling past failures for future success in Africa Rural Water Supply. British Geological Survey Open Research Report, 38 pp.

Bonsor, H.C.; Dahlqvist, P.; Moosman, L.; Classen, N.; Epting, J.; Huggenberger, P.; Garica-Gil, A.; Janza, M.; Laursen, G.; Stuurman, R.; Gogu, C.R.. 2017 Groundwater, geothermal modelling and monitoring at city-scale: reviewing European practice, EU COST Action Report, British Geological Survey OR/17/007, 69pp.

Campbell SDG, Bonsor HC, Lawrence D, Monaghan A, Whitbread K, Kearsey T, Finlayson A, Entwisle D, Kingdon A, Bricker S, Fordyce F, Barron H, Dick G, Hay D. 2015. Underground data and knowledge for the Cities of Tomorrow: lessons learned from Glasgow and its applicability elsewhere. City and territory territorial studies, 47 (186). 745-758.

Bonsor HC, MacDonald AM, Davies J. 2014. Evidence for extreme variations in the permeability of laterite from a detailed analysis of well behaviour in Nigeria. Hydrological Processes, 28; 10, 3563-3573.

Bonsor HC, Barron H, Bricker S, Entwisle D, Lawrence D, Lawrie K, O Dochartaigh BE, Campbell SDG. 2013. Maximising past investment in subsurface data in urban areas for sustainable resource management: a pilot in Glasgow, UK. Technical note. Ground Engineering, 46 (2). 25-28

MacDonald AM, Bonsor HC, Ó Dochartaigh BE, Taylor RG, 2012. Quantitative maps of groundwater resources in Africa. Environmental Research Letters, 7, 024009

Bonsor, HC; MacDonald, AM; Calow, RC. 2010. Potential impact of climate change on improved and unimproved water supplies in Africa. In: Hester, R.E.; Harrison, R.M., (eds.) Sustainable water. Cambridge, UK, Royal Society of Chemistry, 25-50, 25pp. RSC Issues in Environmental Science and Technology, 31.

Calow, R; Bonsor, HC; Jones, L; O'Meally, S; MacDonald, AM; Kaur, N. 2011. Climate change, water resources and WASH: a scoping study. Overseas Development Institute, Working Paper 337, 69pp.

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