The Ground Water Division was established in 1978 by members of the ground water community of South Africa and the Directorate of Geohydrology, Department of Water Affairs.

The National branch has an overall administrative function which comprises the maintenance of memberships, the upkeep and support of communication / information channels, financial and general assistance to branches as well as overall financial reporting to the GSSA. 

One of the most established and active branches launched under the first chairman, Peter Rosewarne. (1988/89)

The branch continued its momentum ever since and under the respective chairmanship of John MC Weaver (1990-1996),  LGA (Gordon) Maclear (1996-1998), JM (Jan) Rasmussen (1998-2000), RP (Roger) Parsons (2000-2004) and Mr Julian Conrad (2004-2008), a number of initiatives such as  "Introduction to Groundwater" short courses, regular late afternoon seminars, bi-monthly groundwater talks and one day conferences, followed.

The immediate past chairman's of the Western Cape branch of the Groundwater Division is Dr Jaco Nel (2009-2010).

chairwc [at] gwd [dot] org [dot] za (Dr Kornelius Riemann )(Umvoto Africa) was elected Chairman: Western Cape in 2011.

The Central Branch, established shortly after the Ground Water 2005 Conference (Gauteng), became the driver and main coordinator for the Ground Water 2007 Conference that was hosted in Bloemfontein from 8-10 October 2007.

The Central Branch of the Groundwater Division consists of members from the Free State, Northern Cape and North West Provinces. 

Under the visionary leadership of Mr Cedric Nelson, the immediate past chair from 2006-2008, this branch grew substantially following the very successful 2005 Conference. The Conference theme: “An Africa where groundwater is valued and sustainably managed by empowered stakeholders” drew 254 delegates not only from South Africa but also Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. This conference was also instrumental to ensure a higher level of awareness with the former Minister of Water Affairs & Forestry, Me Lindiwe Hendricks attending.

The central branch are presently (2009-) chaired by Mr Gawie van Dyk (DWAF Northern Cape), and Dr Jennifer Pretorius (formerly from the Institute for Groundwater Studies, now a private consultant with Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd) as secretary.


This Branch is the youngest of the Division and originated from the Eastern Cape Ground Water Forum. This forum consisted of all interest groups in the region (consultants, drillers, academics, scientists etc.) and had regular meetings with the Department Water Affairs as well as a yearly function for all its members. They received regular sponsorship and all members assumed ownership of the forum.

Under the 2 year Chairmanship of Mr Ettiene Mouton, the GW Forum joined the GWD formally in 2007. In 2008, Mr Hanco Roux was elected as new Branch Chair with Mrs Sharon Swarts as secretary. For the period of 2010-2013 the Eastern Cape branch was administered by Mr Gert Nel.

In 2014, the GWD Eastern Cape welcomed Mr Jan Myburgh as the newly elected GWD Eastern Cape Chair. Mr Myburgh renewed commitment to branch activities in the region (that currently includes KZN).

Short Biography

J.A. (Jan) Myburgh

Mr. Jan Myburgh studied Geology at the Potchefstroom University South Africa where he completed a B.Sc. Hons degree in 1991. His post graduate studies and further education focused mainly on structural geology and hydrogeology. After joining a northern province based private consultancy in 1993 – AGES (then Geocon), he gained experience in the field of applied hydrogeology through numerous rural groundwater development projects throughout South Africa and later in several African countries as part of specialized hydrogeological study teams for mining and community development projects. He is currently appointed as senior hydrogeologist and serve as Director in the AGES Eastern Cape (Pty) Ltd office – East London, where he is actively involved in rural groundwater development projects and feasibility studies involving integrated socio-scientific approaches.

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