"The DIVISION aims to serve the scientific sector of the groundwater community in Southern Africa, for the advancement of the science and technology of groundwater and to promote the efficient use of groundwater as well as professionalism throughout the groundwater industry."

Welcome to the Ground Water Division of GSSA

The Ground Water Division was established in 1978 by members of the groundwater community of South Africa and the Directorate of Geohydrology, Department of Water Affairs. Essentially a non-profit association, it is committed to upholding and promoting professionalism in the field of groundwater among its membership. It is a body of scientists and technicians with direct or indirect involvement or interest in the optimal development of the country's groundwater as a limited natural resource, and in the preservation of its quality. Environmental consciousness is strongly supported.

Membership is open to anyone interested in the promotion and protection of groundwater.

GWD News

2016 GWD message

Dear members of the GWD,

Following the elections for the executive committee, we are happy to introduce a new committee which will hopes to follow through on a number of initiatives to the benefit of our membership.

First and foremost, we have officially implemented new membership categories which distinguish between professional members (SACNASP registered practicing groundwater scientists), ordinary members (those with an interest in or supporting profession to groundwater), student members and honorary members.  This aims to streamline the looming...Read more

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IN MEMORY OF..

Mr Johannes Roelf Vegter (1925 –2016)

Mr Vegter passed away on the 6th of January 2016 in Pretoria at the age of 91.

As one of the Ground Water Division founding members (he was instrumental in forming this learned society), he served as the National Chairperson on the Ground Water Division Executive Committee from1978 to 1984; was awarded Honorary Membership shortly thereafter and became the recipient of the Groundwater Medal in the 1980's. He was widely acknowledged by his peers for his meritorious and outstanding service and dedication to furthering the science and technology of groundwater.

His unwavering passion and love for geohydrology was echoed in his continuous involvement in research projects long after his retirement. He will also be fondly remembered for his mentorship of generations of groundwater students and professionals alike and always had time to discuss the subject of groundwater at length.

The Division extends its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues with the passing of this true South African groundwater legend.

He bequeaths the groundwater community with a wealth of knowledge gained and shared throughout his illustrious career. (This is briefly summerised and not at all complete but a wonderful insight into his awe-inspiring professional life)

• Geological Survey: Deputy Director: Geophysics, Groundwater and Engineering Geology.

o Refers to numerous Geological Survey reports on activities with special mention of involvement in Uranium and Thorium minerals and petroleum exploration ( the focus on geological and geophysical land and sea exploration) 
o Representative on numerous Committees such as:
 Inter-departmental Coordination Committee for Hydrological research
 Investigation Committee on mountain catchments in winter rainfall areas
 Inter-departmental Coordination Committee for water in the Kalahari
 SABS Committee for the establishment for a code for the testing of boreholes
 South African National Committee on Oceanographic research
 Inception Committee for geology management in the Coalmining Research Institute
 Technical planning and advisory committee for SOEKOR

• Department Water Affairs (01/12/76 – 31/03/1989). Director: Directorate Geohydrology. Some of the highlights he mentioned, were:

o Delineation and development of important groundwater sources in coastal areas such as Atlantis, Lower Bergriver, Lambertsbaai and Graafwater areas.
o Delineation and development of important groundwater sources in in the Sishen- Kathu area.
o Delineation of freshwater sources in the Kalahari next to the lower Kuruman river.
o Extensive study of the dolomitic aquifers for emergency water supply in the Gauteng area (then PWV)
o Successful development of water supply for South-Namaqualand’s communities linked to desalination initiatives.
o Initiated rotation drilling with mud;  hydraulic fracturing for increased yields; advanced geophysical borehole readings; and new EM methods in the Departmental Drilling Service
o Implementation of a National electronic groundwater database
o Effected policy changes to improve the access and usage of groundwater for public water supply
o Publication of the book “Management of Water Resources of the Republic of South Africa”
o As representative on more than twenty WRC committees, continuous contributions in groundwater research together with a number of Universities and other Institutes.

• Private Consultant (1989 -)

o Water Research Commission: “Workshop to establish the Priorities for the Geohydrological Research in SA – Situation Assessment: Characterisation of Ground-water Resources.
o Department Water Affairs: Municipal water supply: De Aar
o Water Research Commission: Commissioned to start on the book: “South Africa’s Groundwater Resources”

Other Activities
• Part-time Lecturer in Applied Geophysics at the University of Pretoria (1956, 1959, 1965)
• Part-time (temporary) Lecturer in Groundwater at the University of the Free State (1973) and at the University of Pretoria (1974, 1975 and 1981)
• Member of the Local Akasia Committee of the Transvaal Institute for the Development of Rural Areas (appointed by the Administrator 1971-1979)
• Past-Member of the Professional Advisory Committee on Geological Sciences for the South African Council for Natural Sciences.

Read more on his memberships, publications and international travels..