Groundwater Covid-19 Response

With the current focus on sanitation as the major preventative measure re. viral control, the sector are aware that there are still a vast majority of villages & towns that are in desperate need of water.

The Minister (Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation) announced that water will still be provided in the form of water tankers and boreholes. https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-lindiwe-sisulu-interventions-curb-spread-coronavirus-covid-19-25-mar-2020-0000

SOS |  The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation will increase the provision of water and sanitation in high-density public areas, informal settlements and rural areas in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak in South Africa. @LindiweSisuluSA/Twitter

There are several services linked to drilling (i.e. siting, drilling supervision, pump testing and water quality testing). Considerations of all practical implications for sinking boreholes and the measures that need to be in place to get the holes tested as soon as possible, will be prioritised.

Where drilling is considered, special permits will have to be issued to specific people or companies to ensure that professional services are rendered and that a supply of sustainable, potable water is ensured.

The Department have emergency measures in place to site, drill and test boreholes and are currently in the process to roll-out country-wide.

More information will be released soon.
Keep safe.
GWD EXCO

The sector focus on developing groundwater capacity and commitment at municipal level in South Africa, is at the top of current agenda's. (Refer also to the upcoming WRC Dialogue on improving development and management at municipal level). Below is a recent article extracted from the March 2020 IMIESA publication titled "Water Science can help municipalities sustain groundwater supply" featuring insights and recommendations from the 2019 GWD Conference Chair, Mr Gert Nel.

"There is a tendency for groundwater projects to be viewed simply as borehole drilling contracts - leading some municipalities to require only contracting experience and expertise from service providers......These projects are far more than this, as our water resources are not infinite and there needs to be substantial planning and monitoring involved."

Congratulations to the elected 2020/21 GWD Executive Committee: Mr Fanus Fourie –National Chairperson; Ms Nicolette Vermaak – National Vice-Chair; Mr Yazeed van Wyk – National Treasurer; Dr Jaco Nel – National Secretariat; Mr Kwazi Majola – Gauteng Branch Chair; Dr Amy Allwright –Central Branch Chair; Mr Pieter Labuschagne – KZN/ GAKZN Branch Chair; Prof Ingrid Dennis – Northern Branch Chair; Dr Sumaya Israel – Western Cape Branch Chair; Mr Ettiene Mouton – Eastern Cape Branch Chair; Mr Julian Conrad – IAH-SA Portfolio and Prof Matthys Dippenaar – Immediate past chair and Professional matters Portfolio

With the new year already underway opportunities and challenges arise. From the National EXCO and Branch Chairs, great enthusiasm is visible to take on the next 2 year from where the previous committee has left it. High expectations are driving the new team to build the GwD further and to
make the vows of groundwater more visible in South Africa. My personal vision as chair for the GwD is to put groundwater in the media with the correct facts, the success stories of groundwater development and management. But as the year develops further, I’ll share more light on it.

I would like to welcome all the new members to the GwD and especially the student members. We believe your active participation will benefit your development in the groundwater sector. We are very fortunate to have the chair of the International Association of Hydrogeologists: Early Career
Hydrogeologists’ Network in South Africa. We wish Jared van Rooyen from the University of Stellenbosch all the best.


We are looking forward this year to several interactions with the Field School 2020 (Gauteng Branch) as one of the highlights. The advert will go out soon with more information and feel free to distribute it to the local authorities as well.

Each Branch is also planning activities right through the year and your involvement in the Branch activities is much appreciated. The GwD and the IAH-SA are already embarking on a journey to bid for the 50 th IAH Congress to be held in South Africa in 2023. The bid was submitted at the end of January and our belief that we will have the opportunity to officially present our bit in September in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
After another successful GwD conference last year we are looking forward to next year’s conference (September – October 2021). The floor is open for the Branches to put up their hands to take the lead.

Lastly, do not forget to follow and participate in our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter (#groundwaterdivision) and Linkedin.
Join the journey with us.

National Chairperson: Mr Fanus Fourie
Vice-Chairperson: Ms Nicolette Vermaak
National Treasurer: Mr Yazeed van Wyk
National Secretariat: Dr Jaco Nel
National Coordinator: Ms Elanda Schaffner

Please contact this Committee via [email protected]

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