Wish All a very Happy Season and good rest over this holiday period. We are thankful that we could spend the year together - staying in touch and finding even more opportunity to meet and share. Let us take the best of the year moving forward and take on 2021 with renewed vigor, focus and intent.
11 x Zoom sessions. Interesting intersecting topics hosted by the different GWD Branches: Western Cape, North West, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Central (Bloemfontein).
Special mention of all the Stakeholders, Networks, Memberships, Trade partners of 2020:
BWA, WISA, SADC-GMI, GEOSS, UP, IHP-SA, GAKZN, UKZN, WRC, UWC, DWS, GSSA, CGS, IGS
GWD Member Roll 2020
And there it blows!
There is little that delights as much as seeing (and drinking) water when you are thirsty.
It satisfies a fundamental need, it’s a sensory experience bar none and its presence or lack thereof, a deeply emotive issue.
Thus when a community bereft of water for so long, see the first blow of it – spectacularly - from underground, it’s indeed an emotional almost spiritual experience.
And rightly so that the country and press celebrates the fact with them. Celebrates the hands that make it possible. The awe and thankfulness of the people that can now for the first time, some ever, have water close at hand to drink, to wash, to sanitise.
Access to groundwater has changed many lives, particularly also over this year. That is something that the sector also celebrates, after all – this is their trade, their science. Their body of knowledge being honed and studied and shared and debated for decades already: how to bring groundwater - responsibly, sustainably, and with good quality – to those that needs it.
But there is a cloud that seems to obscure this bright sunbeams/ waterstreams of light and hope. It resides and lies uneasy in the stomachs of those that know and rests heavy on the shoulders of the custodians:
Spectacular results can often end in spectacular failures....or just make for some complications later
Geohydrologists (groundwater specialists) realizes that it is difficult to create excitement and buzz around a mostly unseen commodity. A river, dam and waterfall can awe and become part of a scenery – its visual and spatial and you can interact with it to create memories. Groundwater on the other hand – well yes, its hidden. The only thing indicative of it (if anything) is usually a windpump or pumphouse or a 2 dimensional map. Not very sexy or newsworthy. (Nowadays, it is the exciting new playground of the data modellers and animators that bring the science more to life! Watch the press on this one)
That said, nothing is as spectacular as a blow yield. Water shooting up in the sky and raining down with the promise of life-giving nourishment.
But seasoned geohydrologists and drillers know only too well that it is mostly all show. There needs to be a constant yield pumping test done for at least over 8 to 12 hours and water needs to be tested to see if it is indeed suitable for human consumption. The test pumping will indicate the actual yield that can be pumped sustainably at long term as to ensure the impact on the underground aquifer, and all the interconnected flow, is not permanent. That the well can not only give water until the press and its followers turn the camera’s off and move on to the next ‘story of the moment’.
Giving the gift of water is a blessing also for the many geohydrologists that can do it – daily – but it is done, carefully and measuredly - not to overpromise, not as a show but through consideration and in support of their science, their well-toned and constantly honed body of knowledge.
In the year ahead we will start sharing ‘Our Stories’. It will be about our members and member organisations’s experiences working in the groundwater field – with communities, Industry, government, learning institutions – individuals. There is excellent work being done out there and telling about and sharing that work and the impact it have on those giving and/or receiving , groundwater – making up 98% of freshwater on the planet – will ensure this resource is properly celebrated and made visible.
We are starting up a new feature on our website called ‘Our Stories’. We want to give a platform for our members to share there success stories/projects to the world. Tell us about your challenges with difficult drilling site and how you overcome it; the new method you applied in an area; the reseach that you are busy with, etc. We need to share.
We are requesting only a maximum of 200 words, a photograph/figure and contact details. The writing must consist of a title, short description, the results and the impact of the work.
The contact detail need to contain your details, the company/organisation/university details as well as the company/organisation/university logo.
We invite all our member to share experiences with us. And if the media picks up on a story, you will be contacted and not the GwD. This is free advertising for you and your organisation.
To all those interested in undertaking postgraduate research in the field of hydrology and hydrogeology, we would like to call your attention to four PhD opportunities at/in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, fully-funded as part of the NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships. Two of the opportunities are hosted the BGS headquarters in Nottinghamshire and two are co-supervised at the BGS. For more information, please visit the relevant links below.
Water Cycling In High-Altitude Wetlands – Implications For Water Security In The Peruvian Andes (CENTA)
BGS, University of Birmingham, Imperial College London, CONDESAN Peru
Conceptual modelling of global groundwater variability and change (SSCP)
BGS, Imperial College London
Glaciers and future water supplies in the Himalayas (GW4+)
University of Exeter, BGS
Natural flood management impacts on groundwater-surface water dynamics in upland areas (E4)
University of Edinburgh, BGS, University of Dundee
A full list of BGS hosted and collaborative PhDs is available at https://www.bgs.ac.uk/geological-research/bufi/phd-opportunities/
SACNASP CPD EVENT
Sakala1,2, FD Fourie2, M. Gomo2 and G. Madzivire1,3
Council for Geoscience, Pretoria, South Africa
Institute for Groundwater Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa
The University of South Africa, Department of Environmental Science
In the Karoo coalfields, mining operations which release acid mine drainage (AMD) are threatening groundwater resources. An important parameter controlling the extent and severity of AMD impacts is the natural attenuation of rocks in response to introduced of AMD. Very little is known about such responses for Karoo rocks in saturated and unsaturated conditions, a research gap filled by this paper. Laboratory column leach experiments were used to study the responses of different rock types from Witbank, Ermelo and Highveld coalfields of South Africa. The results show that various rocks have varied responses and are a function of the quartz, plagioclase or carbonate mineral content. The presence of oxygen increased the rate of heavy metal removal from the AMD. For all rock samples under saturated and unsaturated conditions, the sulphate and chloride concentrations of the AMD remained unchanged after the leaching process, showing that these parameters are conservative and can be used as potential natural tracers of AMD movement in the subsurface.
The research shows that laboratory leach tests may be used to rank the various rock types found in the Karoo coalfields in terms of their capacities to buffer the impacts of AMD. Such a ranking could inform policy and decision-makers regarding the handling and storage of AMD-generating wastes, as well as the location and design of AMD waste storage facilities.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER
Dr Emmanuel Sakala is a Chief Scientist at the Council for Geoscience with expertise in natural resources exploration using geophysical techniques, design and application of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in geoscience. He has worked as a geophysicist in mining, research and consultancy services for 14 years in 11 African countries. He holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Physics (2005), MSc degree in Geophysics (2007) from the National University of Science and Technology and a PhD degree in Geohydrology (2018) from the University of the Free State. In his career, he received five awards for outstanding research, conference proceedings and competitions.
AMD Natural Attenuation potential mapEnergy Source (Fluid & Pollutant Source; Transport, Trap, Aquifer); Relative Rock - AMD reactivity
Thank you Dr Sakala for sharing your Case Study with attendees.
We appreciate the insights into possible tracers, potential handling & storage of AMD-generating wastes, passive treatment and future research suggestions.
(Please contact Mr K Majola (GWD GAU Branch Chair) via firstname.lastname@example.org for CGS liaison regarding the presentation & event recording *CGS disclaimer)
D Question : Realistically, is 'clean coal' financially viable in the South African context? And if it is, why is no-one / so few applying the technology? As a non-mining geologist, I'm rather skeptical that any mining is 'little or no environmental harm'?
T Question: Would the idea not be to attempt neutralization before decanting? Has the thought of limestone being given as back filling material?
C Question: In dolerite what about pyroxene dissolution reactions?
A 2016 report by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) titled Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo: A Scientific Assessment of the Opportunities and Risks, recommended that “a comprehensive understanding of groundwater conditions is required prior to the commencement of exploration to ensure proper interpretation of changes in groundwater over time. [...] Monitoring data would also be used for calibration and verification of prediction and assessment models, for evaluating and auditing the success of management plans, and for assessing the extent of compliance with prescribed standards and regulations.”
Independent specialists and researchers from the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) at the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with specialists from Carin Bosman Sustainable Solutions (CBSS), have been appointed by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) to design a regional groundwater monitoring network for the Central Karoo. The specialists employed by the IGS and CBSS to undertake the project include SACNASP-registered scientists who have expertise and experience in geohydrology and the geology of the Karoo Basin, as well as experts in water governance (including the design and development of water monitoring programmes and the evaluation, interpretation, and visualisation of water quality data), and software developers who can handle large volumes of water monitoring data.
Visit the CBSS website and learn more & participate!!
SACNASP CPD EVENT
The GAKZN Webinar hosted, in association with the GWD and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, had two speakers presenting on current research findings:
TALK ABSTRACT: The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data interpretation provides an integrated measure of monthly terrestrial water mass changes. The GRACE satellite data has been successfully used to estimate the monthly changes of terrestrial water storage (TWS) including groundwater storage changes. This presentation will provide an overview and application of the GRACE satellite product to determine the groundwater storage changes in Usutu-Mhlatuze Drainage Region in north eastern South Africa.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Manish Ramjeawon is a Hydrology PhD candidate from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His current research interest involves the impact of land use change on surface water and groundwater resources in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
GRACE, GRACE-FO, Modelling, land-use, Usutu-Mhlatuze Drainage Region, monthly images, surface water data, 3 lakes, eastern coast, 9 dams, global land data simulation, NASA, resolution, GLDAS, soil moisture, NOAH land surface model (LSM), storage, anomalies, mean 2002-2009, trend 2002-2006 decrease, DWS, variation, 2017-current steep decline, 2017-2018 gaps in data satellite, not operational, cloud cover, general trend, consistent, soil moisture anomaly, between 2014-2019 decline water levels, purpose of study, primary, secondary aquifer, storage for catchment, steep decline to 2020, groundwater storage, deviation of the mean, size of the secondary aquifer, decreased groundwater storage. Institute data, groundwater monitoring data, DWS stations, compare with GRACE on primary, similar trend, WMA, decreased rainfall, land-use, commercial forestry, eucalypti, 1000 hectares per annum and 35% drain, Lake Sibaya. Limited groundwater monitor stations, GRACE potential
Thank you to my research supervisors
Dr Molla Demlie - email@example.com
& Dr Michelle Tosha
TALK ABSTRACT: This presentation highlights the results of the development and the calibration of a steady-state and transient three-Dimensional numerical groundwater flow modeling based on a robust conceptual hydrogeological model of the area. The calibrated transient numerical groundwater flow model is further used to understand the advective transport of a hypothetical contaminant released from the site of a proposed nuclear power facility at Thyspunt. The information gained from the numerical groundwater flow and advective transport models help to understand the background hydrogeological conditions to be used as input in the environmental impact assessment and as a reference for future post development conditions of the area.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Mr Moneri Joel Modiba is a young professional hydrogeologist. He is a member of the GSSA and worked as a geologist at the Marula Platinum Mine. He holds a BSc honours Degree in Geology from University of Limpopo and a MSc Degree in Hydrogeology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
three-dimensional, numerical modelling, testpump area, nuclear station, EIA required, conceptional groundwater flow, hydrological condition, contaminant transport, isotope analysis, study advective transport, eastern cape, 120km west PE, high rainfall, winter, topography, 2 drainage systems, rivers, highlands to Indian ocean, meta-sedimantary rock, metholotic interconnect, geology, TMG fractured, outcrops, preferential pathways, intergranular, aquifers, fractured, less productive than, methodology, climate data, earth data, hydrostratigraphic unit, chemical, trace elements, iron oxidation, robust, 3d model, calibration, converted, advective transport model, hydraulic parameters, arteasian borehole, chemical, PH, EC, classification, fresh water, iron in mix, seawater and surface water, evaporation, tritium analysis, modern water, older water, software, Thyspunt, MODFLOW, upstream package, 2 layers, 2 formations, deepest borehole with constant elevation, pumping, model domain, specified head, model grid, top elevation, steady state, conversion, calibration test, water budget, total inflow, successful model, head distribution, relationship, similar observed, simulated, good fit, simulation, transient, forward particle, flowpath, injected, particles, indian ocean, future, proposed footprint, reversed, tracking, no seawater intrusion, domain, transport, tracking, recommendation, robust, mean absolute error, 4 decades, reach ocean, ongoing monitoring
Special thank you to Prof Demlie and Prof Tumara.
Funders and hosts acknowledged.
Talk 1 Q SN: Thanks Manish. Would like to please find out if there is any correlation with the lack of flood releases from Pongolapoort Dam (fills numerous pans) and groundwater recharge, probably focusing on the secondary aquifer.
Manish: Did not look into floodlands and correlation with data that I have. I will let you know if I find anything on that.
Talk 2 Q PR: An EIA has already been done for this site, including a groundwater specialist report including modelling? References - EIA specialist report missing?
MD responds: This study is independent of what has been already done. The researcher was not allowed to refer to the EIA.
Talk 2 Q PR: Figure 20. Conceptually, recharge is postulated to flow from the higher lying TMGA of the Kareedouw Mountains towards Cape St. Francis. Therefore not sure about the no-flow boundary across this area?
Moneri: I think the reason we assigned a north flow boundary from that area. We don't have (e.g. rivers) a groundwater divider that side , it was done not to allow water into the model domain.
Talk 2 Q PR: How were the aquifer parameters such as T and S derived - from test pumping or from previous work? Why not do advective transport from the proposed nuclear installation footprint?
Moneri: They were derived from pumping tests. Pumping test data analysis done by the research from data provided by NNR. Data that were already done in the field. Vector transport from Nuclear footprint was done but not included in the presentation.
Mr Pieter Labuschagne noted that these regular science sharing sessions are of great importance, arranged quarterly by the/ with the students & branch support, and thanked all that attended.
Table Mountain Water Source Partnership Project Manager
This is a 2 year contract position based in Cape Town
WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the well-being of all our people. Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.
1. Stakeholder engagement and relationship building with project partners and the interested public such as municipal and government representatives from the City of Cape Town, Water Affairs, Agriculture and Environment, a wide variety of community representatives from Cape Town, academics, business representatives etc.
2. Helping to convene groups of stakeholders around the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership.
3. Contract and project team management ranging from geohydrologists, database developers, IT specialists, academics, NGO staff etc.
4. Project management and quality assurance of all projects including a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) programme of work.
5. Contracting, reporting and project oversight of operational activities such as planning & implementation of annual plan of operation and financial record keeping.
6. Both written and oral communication and promotion of the project to the public and the media.
· A postgraduate degree in Geohydrology (MSc or higher) and/or environmental science and at least 3 years of work experience in a groundwater related field.
· Experience in geohydrological monitoring and data management a must, as well as a sound understanding of the relevant policy environment.
· Strong project management skills, including contract management and project reporting.
· Good technical report writing skills.
· Ability to oversee, manage and direct a multi-disciplinary set of contractors while working to tight timelines
· Professionalism, strong work ethic and a very strong team player.
· Excellent relationship management skills and ability to engage with a variety of stakeholders
· Feeling comfortable to work under tight deadlines and deliver against project outcomes
· Proficiency in working in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
· Ability to represent the project and present on behalf of the project partners at variety of different forums. · Fluency in English
Applications close on Sunday, 15 November 2020.
SACNASP CPD EVENT
TALK ABSTRACT Science is a living document; it grows and expands as more information becomes available and our knowledge grows. It makes use of hypothesis, experiments, observations, and measurements. Groundwater scientists have a difficult task. They work in a system that is not visible, and they cannot take it into a laboratory to study. They use geophysical methods and drill boreholes to get an idea of the groundwater system that they are studying. These become the building blocks – the puzzle pieces – that are used to develop the conceptual model. This is the hypothesis of the groundwater scientists. Fortunately, there is never a completely right or completely wrong conceptual model, as it depends on the information that is available and the quality thereof. The puzzle pieces that make up the conceptual model vary in size and importance. There are large puzzle pieces that are often easy to collect and fit together, while it is more costly and time consuming to collect the small puzzle pieces. When starting with a groundwater study, there are some pieces of information that may already be available, depending on the work that has been done in the area before. These may include maps, reports, hydrocensus information, drilling information, water level measurements, and water quality information. Additional information that may prove useful in the development of a conceptual model may be land use, vegetation, information on soil types and climate date. Anecdotal information from people that know the area well can prove to be valuable at times. When you work in an area where little or no work has been done, you will have to collect most of the information. In a study area where there is a large amount of information available, it will be necessary to sort through it and it is often necessary to cut through the clutter to get the most relevant information.
The West Coast aquifer system was used as a case study to illustrate the development of a conceptual model. Information about the site was included with an emphasis on the geology and geohydrology of the study area. The water levels and water quality, as well as the role they played in the development of the conceptual model were discussed. The conceptual model for the study area were presented in conclusion.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER Nicolette Vermaak has almost 12 years’ experience in her field, having worked at the Geohydrology Section of the Bellville Regional office of the Department of Water and Sanitation. She was responsible for the management of groundwater related issues in the Berg River Catchment, and recently submitted her PhD thesis looking at the management of the West Coast Aquifer System. She studied at the University of the Free State. Here she did a B.Sc. with Botany, Zoology and Entomology, followed by a B.Sc. Honours in Botany. She also did a Masters in Environmental Management and then a M.Sc. in Geohydrology from the same university.
To echo the commentary from the attendees received on the closing of the event: " Thank you for an excellent and well-prepared talk Nicolette. It definitely also contributes to our understanding of this very important aquifer in the Western Cape. "
"Thanks for sharing the presentation. Really impressive work. Your presentation really highlighted how important it is to understand the hydrogeological system and continue to collect new data to improve the conceptual model. Your work has a direct link to our work at Ladysmith and the MAR project in the West Coast area." Jan Kürstein, Rambøll Danmark A/S, Copenhagen
Recording Available (reduced quality):
Joseph Twahirwa Q: Thank you so much for your highly informed talk. What is your strategy when you complete your hydrocensus? The reason I ask this is because when I knock at the gate where I should ask if they have boreholes people tend to say no. But when you see beautiful flowers and other vegetation in place I always suspect that the answer given was not correct.
Jeanne Gouws Q: Thanks Nicolette. With regards to land use I assume you would also need to include the effects of mining as well? Especially if the mining is using groundwater and some of that water is recharging into the aquifer.
Caiphus Ngubo Q: At times the challenging component to obtain when dealing with conceptual modelling and water balance is evapotranspiration. Do you think it is a train smash if I don't use such data in my water balancing and conceptual modelling?
Jorette van Rooyen Q : Great presentation Nicolette 🙂 In addition to water level data was 72 h aquifer tests conducted on the boreholes in the well field? This is specifically helpful in determining the specific characteristics of the aquifers. 72 h testing also good for revealing geological flow barriers.
Camille Kraak <Comment>: I once had a conversation with a old man on a mine who had been working in maintenance there for many years. He was assisting us with some excavations. During our conversation he told me about the open pit that used to be in the very spot. No one on the project knew about the pit and had considered this area natural ground. Needless to say, we didn't find natural ground and now we knew why. SO important to get on the ground information from locals!
Let us Talk about It!
Email us your NAME & TALK THEME to add you to the List:
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