Let us Talk about It!

<development note>Consider new inputs into the graph re. borehole evolution (Comment by Jude Cobbing)

Groundwater management at local level. Groundwater in communities. Groundwater and its users.

We are planning a Groundwater TalkShop.
Come Share & Discuss & Build bridges to new shared insights!

Email us your NAME & TALK THEME to add you to the List:

SpeakerTalk Theme
The Date of the Event will be Announced for Early in 2021.


Thank you to the Eastern Cape Chair: Mr Etienne Mouton, for making this great session possible!

TALK ABSTRACT  Small water treatment plants are defined as water treatment systems that have to be installed in areas which are not adequately serviced and do not normally fall within the confines of urban areas. They are therefore mostly used in rural and peri-urban areas and include chlorination plants for water supplies from boreholes and springs, small treatment systems for rural communities, treatment plants of small municipalities and treatment plants for establishments such as rural hospitals, schools, clinics, forestry stations, etc. Most of these applications require small plants of less than 2.5 ML/d (although plants of up to 25 ML/d may sometimes also fall into this category).
The decision-maker selecting one of these small water treatment plants has a great number of local and international system designs to choose from. Especially in the case of novel and emerging systems, very little may be known of these systems in terms of cost, efficiency and the applicability to the intended application. Supplier information may be sketchy, or promising new technologies have not yet been fully evaluated under South African conditions. Socio-economic factors are also very important and should be taken into account in the selection of small water treatment systems in order to ensure sustainability.

Although some evaluation of a selected number of small water treatment plants has taken place under previous WRC projects (WRC Report No 450/1/97: Package water treatment plant selection, and WRC Report No 828/1/01: Field evaluation of alternative disinfection technologies  for  small  water  supply  technologies),  a  number  of  other  small  water treatment plants, available on the international market, have not yet been assessed in any way for possible (beneficial) application in South Africa. This study is therefore seen as complementing existing guidelines in providing assistance in the selection and operation of specific small water treatment systems being marketed for the treatment of potable water for small communities.

A number of local and international studies have shown that the selection of the correct water treatment system is but a first step in ensuring a sustainable supply of potable water to small communities. Following of the correct operational and maintenance procedures is of even greater importance for ensuring sustainability of water supply.   Although most suppliers of small water treatment systems provide their clients with some operational and maintenance  guidelines,  these  may  not  be  exhaustive,  or  certain  important  generic aspects may not be covered. Information on operation and maintenance aspects will be of significant value to the owners and operators of such small water treatment systems.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER  Christian D Swartz is a consulting water utlization engineer specializing in drinking water treatment and water supply projects, and water reclamation and reuse. He holds degrees in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Water Utilization Engineering from the University of Pretoria. He is a registered professional engineer and previously worked at the CSIR as senior research engineer and project manager on numerous projects in the drinking water treatment field. He started his own private consulting engineering practice, Chris Swartz Water Utilization Engineers, in 1991 in Mossel Bay, and later also opened an office in Durbanville, Cape Town. Chris Swartz has more than 28 years’ experience in the water industry. Areas of expertise include project management on water supply projects, evaluation of water treatment technologies, evaluation of water and wastewater treatment plants, water reuse and desalination schemes, risk assessment and risk management, rural water supply, and lots more.

Chris, your talk just again highlighted the need for knowledge sharing and thank you for sharing so freely. This insightful, topical talk is packed with information and we all appreciate your time with us!


WRC Report TT319-07 (4.81 MB)Download
Presenter's Talk: Chris-Swartz-GWD-Presentation-11-Sept-2020 (9.42 MB)Download

Recording Available:


Connan Hempel (SRK Consulting) Q - via registration form: How would these systems deal with issues like elevated Arsenic & Fluoride?

Melissa Lintnaar-Strauss (DWS) Q: Chris, how many commercial labs are available in SA to test for the EDC`s and pesticides and what are the costs of tests?

Greta Pegram (Private) Q: What are your thoughts and how do you recommend removing substances such as hormonal or prescriptive medications that are increasingly being found in waste water discharges?

Sizwe Mabilisa (Private) Q: Deep rural communities who usually get their drinking water from rivers usually boil the water before drinking. How effective is this most? what other cost effective solutions can they explore?

Maphuti Kwata (CGS) Q: Since the small rural communities are using underground water such as wells and boreholes as water supply for drinking purposes with regard to leakage of CO2 which might be stored /contaminate underground water . What are the technologies/mitigation measures that could be used to prevent /reduce the CO2 as the contaminants /leakages to the under groundwater?

Sumaya Israel (UWC) Q: Is your talk more related to municipal treatment? As small rural communities may require point of use type treatment methods (filtration systems within the household).

Sumaya Israel (UWC) Q: Would you recommend in situ or ex situ application of the methods outlined?



TALK ABSTRACT  It’s commonly accepted that climate change will be experienced though water, particularly in developing countries. Several studies relating to the impacts of climate change on surface water have been undertaken while very little research exists on the potential impacts on groundwater. Hence, this talk aimed to discuss some of the current research with respect to climate impacts on groundwater. Various methods are proposed for estimating climate change impacts on groundwater, such as using hypothetical scenarios of progressive drying to assess stream flow sensitivity to drought, using MODFLOW to investigate projected effects of climate change on groundwater or using scenarios to analyze impacts of climate change on aquifer recharge.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER Chris Moseki has over 20 years of experience in groundwater development and water resources management. He also served as a research manager at the Water Research Commission responsible for development of tools and systems for adaptation to climate change for about 6 years. Chris is currently a climate change specialist scientist at the Department of Water and Sanitation. His interest includes research in groundwater and climate change as well as seeking solutions to climate and water related problems in the public sector.
DR CHRIS MOSEKI is also a longstanding member of the GWD and is revered and highly regarded. He has been instrumental in establishing WRM and Climate Change as Agenda points in the water sector strategies being work-shopped since the late 1990's, and driving forth and carrying the torch since then...And a great person with a warm smile. We appreciate you Dr Chris & also for sharing your knowledge, experience and material with us!

Well done and Thank you to the GWD Gauteng Branch Chair Mr Kwazi Majola for making the sharing & learning opportunity through this excellent presentation possible.


Presenter's Talk: Website-opt_Groundwater-Climate-change-_state-of-research-Aug-2020-FINAL (5.65 MB)Download

Recording available


The following were discussed:

Kes Murray Q: With all the increases in GW use (and dependence) in recent years in RSA, as well as with the expected reductions in recharge from climate change in the future, what is DWS's role with regards to monitoring, managing and allocating the status of aquifer storage levels at a regional scale?

Victor Tibane Q: What are the differences between water stress and water scarcity, how is each event determined, and what are the possible technological advances for solutions?

Elsabe Swart, Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC) Q_1: How do you distinguish between water extraction impacts and that of climate change?

Q_2: How do you distinguish between water extraction impacts and that of climate change?Are any of these studies being done in the Northern Cape province? Is monitoring of boreholes sufficient (especially in the Northern Cape as it is the most arid province where these impacts are expected to be most severe)?

Q_3: What communications go through to the National Minister - concern is specifically i.t.o. the pressure to extract more underground water as a source for water going forward in the country. Concerned about the feasibility overall, but again especially i.t.o. the arid Northern Cape?

Henk Coetzee Q: Chris, have you looked at Eddie van Wyk's work on recharge, which looked at recharge being strongly event-driven, especially in more arid areas?

Sonia Veltman Q: I'd like to add to Henk's question. What's the options for looking at event driven recharge, modelling these based on changes in expected higher rainnfall events and then takinng those numbers back to these models adding it as objects, instead of averaging. What we see in the field is rapid recharge during storm events, but lagged in time?

Comment by Mr Fanus Fourie: The issue around low rainfall vs high intensity rainfall event will average out. Eddie said that the duration of the rainfall event is very critical to allow recharge to happen. Quick and intense thunderstorm will not create recharge but runoff.

Sivashni Naicker Q_1: The areas highlighted within the Karoo that are high risk, are there any management interventions that can be included in planning that DWS can do, especially in the rural setting, whereby people are more vulnerable?

Q_2: Dr Moseki, should we add investigation of potential artificial recharge sites to our all towns/recon studies?

Comment by Dr Sumaya Israel: I agree with you Dr Moseki, monitoring and having reliable data is key to sustainable management and understanding of our hydrological and hydrogeological systems.

Nkadimeng Maletele (IUCMA) Q: Thank you very much for the lovely and educational presentation Dr Moseki, As new member in the groundwater studies family I would like to ask, after how many years is it effective to analyze groundwater quality and quantity data…And is the groundwater quality data important when quantifying the impacts of climate change on groundwater?

Thank you for your support in attending this Event.

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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