Conference Abstracts

All Abstracts were presented at the Groundwater Conferences

Displaying 1 - 10 of 708 results
Title Presenter Name Presenter Surname Area Conference year Keywords

Abstract

Estimating pumping rates for the purpose of equipping boreholes with suitable pumps that will not over abstract either the boreholes or the aquifer(s) that are intersected is often assessed through test pumping of the boreholes prior to pump selection. While the South African National Standard has guidelines on the methodologies and durations of these tests (SANS 10299-4:2003), many production boreholes in the agricultural and industrial sectors are still equipped based upon so called Farmer Tests or Pump Inlet Tests (PIT), often of a short (6-24 hour) duration. These tests are also frequently and incorrectly confused with a Constant Head Test (CHT), both of which are different in methodology to SANS 10299-4:2003 testing, which relies to a high degree on data collected during a Constant Discharge/Rate Test (CDT or CRT) and recovery thereafter. The study will assess differences in test pumping methodology, data collection, analysis methodology and final recommendations made between Farmer Tests and SANS 10299-4:2003 methodology tests for 20 boreholes in which both tests were performed. The selected sites cover a variety of geological and hydrogeological settings in the Western Cape. Test comparisons include boreholes drilled into the Malmesbury Group, Table Mountain Group and Quaternary alluvial deposits, with tested yields ranging from 0.5 – 25 L/s.

Abstract

Bongeka, M; Mahed, G

This study investigates and elaborates the development and testing of a multilevel sampling device. The primary purpose of this device is to achieve multilevel sampling in a well simultaneously, producing samples that are representative of the in situ groundwater. The device has been designed to have four different depths from which extraction of groundwater samples can be performed. Testing of the device involves a two-part process. A laboratory based testing and field based testing. The laboratory testing was done in a simulated well where three water tests were performed; normal tap water, salt water and hot boiling water. The field based testing was done on existing boreholes in the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve in the Western Cape. In the two processes involved, hydrochemical parameters were used to test for the efficiency of the device in terms of its working performance and to furthermore analyse the water chemistry which enables us to determine the water quality.

Abstract

Beekman, H; Sithole, P

The EKK-TBA is significant in anchoring Gross Domestic Product growth and development in both countries is heavily reliant on groundwater. Recently a transboundary diagnostic analysis (TDA) and a strategic action plan (SAP) for the EKK-TBA was completed. The analysis resulted in a three-fold expansion of the EKK-TBA boundary. The new EKK-TBA boundary overlaps part of the Okavango and Zambezi River Basins and now also includes major wellfields in Botswana and Zimbabwe (Nyamandlovu and Epping Forest) as well as the Makgadikgadi Pans which act as the surface water and groundwater discharge zone. An analysis of institutional arrangements was carried out to enhance effective and efficient management of the EKK-TBA. Noting the complexity of the EKK-TBA. the initial institutional response could potentially be the development of a bilateral agreement between Botswana and Zimbabwe for cooperation and coordination to support the management of the TBA. This agreement would seek to establish a Joint Permanent Technical Committee (JPTC) that would also co-opt in members from the two shared watercourse commissions. Such a JPTC would enable improved coordination across the varying transboundary dimensions and would align with the precepts of the Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses. This would include such principles including sustainable utilization, equitable and reasonable utilisation and participation, prevention, and co-operation, as well as aspects of data and information exchange and prior notification.

Abstract

Governing groundwater in a way that does not deplete the source of water, nor cause any form of degradation is a global challenge. In South Africa, scholarship shows an extensive history of groundwater governance doctrines. Yet, the country’s groundwater remained a poorly governed resource. A recent regulatory regime change culminated in the National Water Act 36 of 1998 (NWA), which was specifically promulgated to ‘provide for fundamental reform of the law relating to water resources’. While the NWA provided an ideal opportunity for the judicious governance of South Africa’s groundwater, groundwater governance remain problematic. The regulatory focus is still very much on surface water. In fact, up to date, no regulations have been made to specifically protect vulnerable aquifers, or aquifers on which communities depend as a source of water supply, or aquifers that supports large scale agriculture. This paper sets out to achieve three objectives: to assess South Africa’s existing regulatory approach to the protection of groundwater; to identify gaps in the regulatory framework; and to explore regulatory opportunities to strengthen groundwater governance. The discussion follows a focussed approach, and hinges on the case of the dolomitic aquifer of Delmas. The Delmas case study is expected to show why policy makers and planners need to be more concerned about groundwater. It will also introduce, explain and propose an established international or foreign legal measure that may be incorporated to strengthen the regulatory status of the Delmas aquifer. The paper concludes with recommendations for strengthening South Africa’s groundwater regulation.

Abstract

When conducting water quality monitoring, questions arise on which water quality guidelines to use and where to apply them. For example, the use of South African Water Quality Guidelines (SAWQG) for Domestic usage compared to the use of the South African National Standards (SANS) for Potable Water Quality when monitoring drinking water quality. The World Heath Organization (WHO) published a set of water quality guidelines for drinking water which can also be used instead of SANS. Using various water quality guidelines to assess water quality can give different outcomes on the state of water quality of a particular site. For example, SANS water quality guidelines are less strict when compared to the SAWQG target values, however, SAWQG are comprised of different sets of standards for different usages. SAWQG distinguish between drinking water, livestock and irrigation, aquatic systems and industrial usage while SANS are only used for potable or bottled water. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) that is part of the World Bank Group published the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines for Environmental Wastewater and Ambient Water Quality, guidelines set specifically for wastewater and ambient water quality. Utilizing this poster, I will explain when to use which guidelines with different types of water samples. I will also discuss the stringent water use license limits applied at some sites compared to the national standards of South Africa.

Abstract

Surface water has traditionally been the primary resource for water supply in South Africa. While relatively easy to assess and utilise, the surface water resource is vulnerable to climatic conditions, where prolonged periods of drought can lead to an over-exploitation and eventually water shortness and supply failure. Following the drought in 2018, more focus has been given to the groundwater resource to supplement the water supply in South Africa.

In the Saldanha Bay municipality the water supply is based on a combination of surface water and groundwater, with plans to supplement this with desalination and managed aquifer recharge (MAR) in the future. For an efficient and sustainable utilisation of the different water resources, a Water Supply Management System is developed that can be used to manage water mix from multiple resources. The system builds on top of a flexible WaterManager system developed for operation of complex water supply infrastructures, which in the study is extended by implementing operational rules for optimal management.

The operational rules provide recommendations for the day-to-day management, but also consider seasonal and long-term utilisations. To achieve this, the rules will rely on real-time monitoring data combined with results from hydrological modelling, providing estimated system response to selected scenarios to which the water supply must be resilient. In the present study the combined Water Supply Management System is developed and tested using synthetic data, which will be presented in the paper.

Abstract

South Africa is currently considering unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction as an additional energy resource to improve the country’s energy security. In a water-scarce country such as South Africa, which has experienced more frequent and more intense climate extremes due to climate change, the water-related impacts of UOG extraction is a concern. The South African government is however determined to proceed with UOG development as soon as regulations to protect natural resources have been drafted. The country’s intricate governance system can however not enforce such regulations effectively, as it experiences repeated inter-departmental miscommunication, fails to collaborate with stakeholders effectively, and lacks human and financial resources for enforcement. A lack of transparency in fracking operations and between stakeholders is another challenge for enforcing UOG extraction regulations. Poor regulatory enforcement presents an obstacle for the protection of groundwater resources if fracking were to commence.

This study, therefore, focuses on addressing the enforcement challenges of UOG regulations aimed at protecting groundwater resources. It proposes the use of civic informatics on a technology platform, specifically via a mobile application (FrackSA), to assist with on-the-ground enforcement of these regulations. While many UOG mobile applications are used internationally, they mostly focus only on UOG related aspects (news, information, pricing, geological information, and fracking well information). FrackSA uses civic informatics to address both groundwater monitoring and management as well as UOG extraction operations in a single platform, to enable regulators to protect groundwater resources more effectively during UOG extraction, while simultaneously enhancing transparency in the UOG industry.

Abstract

Veltman, S

It has become increasingly apparent that understanding fractured rock mechanics as well as the interactions and exchanges between groundwater and surface water systems are crucial considering the increase in demand of each in recent years. Especially in a time where long term sustainability is of great importance for many water management agencies, groundwater professionals and the average water users. Previous callow experience has shown that there is a misunderstanding in the correct interpretation and analyses of pumping test data. The fracture characterisation (FC) method software provides a most useful tool in the overall understanding of a fractured rock aquifer, quantification of the aquifer’s hydraulic (flow regime and flow boundary conditions) and physical properties, only if the time-drawdown relationships are correctly interpreted and when the theoretical application principles are applied. Interpretation is not simply a copy and paste of the aquifer test data into the software to get a quick answer (especially when project time constraints are considered), however, recent experiences with numerous field examples, required intricate understanding of the geological environment, intended use and abstraction schedules coupled with the academic applications on which the software was based for correct interpretation. Through the application of correct interpretation principles, a plethora of flow information becomes available, of which examples will be provided in the presentation itself. By achieving this, flow can be conceptualised for inputs into a conservative scale three-dimensional numerical flow model and calibrated based on measurable data in a fraction of the time of a conventional regional model. Although higher confidence levels are achieved with these practical solutions, monitoring programmes are still required to provide better insight of the aquifer responses to long-term abstraction and recovery.

Abstract

Water is regarded as a source of life and access to potable water supply delivery remains the building block to improving and maintaining the community member’s health and productive life. The demand for water supply has been increasing due to population growth and climate change phenomena. Hence, there is need to assess the current state of potable water supply system in selected rural areas of Vhembe District Municipality (VDM), South Africa. About 14 villages in VDM were visited to assess the state of water supply. Interview were held with three municipal officials who deals with water supply systems and 14 focus group discussions were held in each village with the communities and their leaders. 448 head of households, 14 councillors completed the questionnaires on potable water supply situation in their area. The results indicated that the main sources of water supply are boreholes followed by tap water from dams. In areas where the two sources are not available, the rivers, fountain and the water tankers were also the main sources. In terms of water usage, the boreholes recorded the highest responses of 45% from households, followed by the tap water from dams at 35%, 4% from rivers, 5% from fountain and 10% from water tankers. In addition, about 53.6% of participants collect water once a week from the main source (boreholes and tap water from dams). Rural communities of Vhembe District Municipality were not satisfied with the quantity, distance and reliability of boreholes. Therefore, this article recommended that the municipality, communities, councillors and traditional leaders should work together in addressing the pressing water issues. Part of which include provision of more sources of water to complement growing population. In addition, village water committees need to be established to assist in water provision management.

Abstract

The impact of the future closure of the KROPZ phosphate mine in the West Coast on the various potential receptors including the underlying Elandsfontein Aquifer System (EAS), Langebaan Lagoon (RAMSAR-site) and wetlands were assessed. This abstract/paper describes the geochemical characterization and management options related to the waste streams from the mining activity, to assess the post closure contribution to groundwater flow from the mine towards potential receptors. The PHREEQC geochemical modelling code was used to predict potential mine water impacts. The input water quality parameters used in the model included: background groundwater quality, pit water and processed water generated from phosphate separation process at the mine. Various scenarios were simulated combining the different process water streams with the tailings and soft stockpile material at the mine. The geochemical predictions showed some management options that should be prevented, while also providing guidance to promising options where most of the chemical parameters does not exceed the WUL stage 1 thresholds. There is however, an increase in sulphate concentrations that need attending to before the mine goes into production phase. Currently there seems to be no immediate concern on the Lagoon relating to the prediction of mine water impacts post mine closure. Some of the management scenarios do however show low levels of potential impacts on SANParks property 100 years post closure. These predictions do however correlate to areas where limited calibration data is available. At the time of this abstract the sites for new boreholes have been selected and the initial boreholes are being drilled to confirm aquifer properties in areas with limited data.