A quick look at the:

GWD Report submission to GSSA , May 2020
(download pdf-3 MB)

* Highlights in the GWD REPORT TO THE GSSA*
- Our New Committee & Member Statistics
- Awards / Sponsors and Investments
- Events 2019


Membership - Active List 15 May 2020
(download pdf-400 KB)

This list refer to all PROFESSIONAL and ORDINARY members that covered their member subs up to 15 May. We thank you for your ongoing support and great spirit during these challenging times.
Look forward to add all our members back to "Good Standing" for 2020.

Please contact us if you have not received your membership communication, we would love to hear from you and perhaps just need to update your information with us.


The story of 'SO WHAT?' to oh, 'NOW WHAT?' and the HOW-TO band

Part Love Letter to Groundwater & its Custodians

'Pro-active' has never really been a term associated with the local water sector. In the business of water – just like in life...and water is Life, not so? - our Agendas are informed mostly only by that 'must-do's, can't put this off any longer's' that scream the hardest for our attention at any particular time. And that is the nature of 'reactive' responses – cleaning up the mess, apologising, rationalising, blaming, promising action in mitigating the next disaster. All with hindsight – sometimes offering embarrassing insights – and mostly ending up in the minutes of a meeting or draft plan that will be dusted off / rebooted when the time is just a bit past twelve.

But that is bureaucracy, a wheel without power steering.

Enter our rugged and real <selective, note> groundwater technicians and groundwater scientists that actually walk the dusty plains and hills and valleys of this beautiful country.  They talk with headman, the farmer, the woman and kids. They shake the hand of the mine boss, can stomach the boardroom bore and ethical tightropes with the best of MDs and Developers and do the corridor shuffle down the bleak hallways of government buildings..

..but their place is outside in the sun: measuring, plotting, drilling and probing

These workers of the science of the unseen. Most exciting, in my mind. This world below our feet that where, also ions old, fossil water turns.
< sidenote: A recent snippet read – it was a whole article but I can just only process snippets in this too much information world- of the study into the 'memory' of water made me wish I could tap into that world too>

But you don't just 'tap into groundwater'. It's a complicated and much involved science of geology and lithology and soil and gradients and impacts and hydraulics and Darcy's Law....and so much more. And it's also a frontier. Explorers by heart, our scientist map (and use all advanced new ways) and model to help us visualize our 'hidden treasure'.

And now they bring us news (based on scientific data no less) from out there ...from over the river and around the bend.

There is trouble in the land! Our treasure is being depleted...and in some places showing 'no signs of recovery'. Mother nature retaliates, users pollute, over abstract and sometimes just blatantly ignore the impacts that our way of living balancing the economy vs the ecology / environment... have on the world around and below us...

Our last, and in some places, only resort for sustainable living is being threatened.

And then stakeholders gather together and in a chorus affirm each other's concerns and call for action!

...Is the indicator on and blinking yet? And which way will the wheel turn?

How can we insure that we act purposefully and successfully upon these early warnings, I ask myself.

Having been part of the bureaucratic system where I witnessed first-hand how difficult (and cumbersome) the road to implementing any new policy or strategy is, I do a quick relaxation exercise to calm my mind. WE CAN DO THIS.

We can "raise awareness", we can go to press and call to action more stakeholders. Create such 'bottom-up' furore that the powers 'that be' take notice. This bring to mind the huge outcry in Polokwane over the....but that is another story for another day.

We can go to Green Peace <the activist in me that is> or Green Scorpions <has its sting still?> and 'safe our wetlands and the largest freshwater lake in South Africa' campaign it!

But I always stop there in my mind. I look for the possible alternative solution...opposite of the obvious? It is not the first 'early-warning' and not be the last. Not in the least...

Big picture, big solution? Is it possible? For now, until we can find partnerships in like-minded 'Actioneers'..this is a story as old as time...

Perhaps just as old as the groundwater you drink 😉
FOOTNOTE ADDED 27/05/2020 Opinion entirely my own. This piece was penned about a year and a half ago in response to a wetland report that landed in our inbox. I actually still have no idea what was the outcome/ resulted after the report went public.

Welcome to the first edition of the IAH Transboundary Aquifers Commission (TBA Commission) Newsletter!

The vision of the IAH-TBA Commission has three specific objectives: (A) Support the management of transboundary aquifers aimed at improving shared sustainable use of groundwater resources that cross two or
more jurisdictional borders. (B) Provide advanced scientific, social, policy and legal recommendations to UN Agencies, international and national organizations and governments worldwide. (C) Increase the generation and exchange of knowledge regarding transboundary aquifers, creating channels of communication and cooperation.

The mission of this renewed IAH-TBA Commission is to build on the work of the previous IAH Commission on Transboundary Aquifers to further promote the complete scientific assessments of transboundary aquifers, and develop shared governance and science-based management of aquifers that traverse political boundaries. In addition to addressing international transboundary aquifers, the IAH-TBA Commission will expand its focus to consider governance and management mechanisms for intra-national transboundary aquifers.

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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