GWD Field School 2020

Annual Honours and Industry Fieldschool 2020, Gauteng
13-17 July 2020
-CPD Event-

Week Programme but Day attendance p/Theme will be possible
More information will follow shortly.

More about our previous Field Schools:

Honours and Industry Fieldschool 2019, Cape Town
June 2019
Hosted at the UWC, by GWD Western Cape Branch


Presenters 2019: Christian Steyn (NWU), Martin De Klerk (Cape Geophysics), Dr Matthys Dippenaar (UP), Candice Lasher-Scheepers (CoCT), Dr Jaco Nel (UWC), Christiaan Vermaak,  Angelo Johnson (UWC), Steve Kalule (USK Environmental), Dr Kelley Reynolds (Eskom), Dr Gideon Tredoux (GWD Honorary)

Building on the successes of the annual Industry Field Schools (hosted in Gauteng in 2016-18) and the Honour Students' Field School (2018, hosted in Potchefstroom by the NWU), the GWD combined these events in 2019 where together delegates and students  participated not only in field (exploration, drilling, sampling) to desk (analyses, interpretation and reporting) instructional sessions, but also heard from the industry experts and joined in the panel discussions to gain more insight into current, real-world issues such as contaminant hydrology, remediation, source protection, security of supply and much more.

This is an annual Course and aimed at those involved or interested in groundwater (or geohydrology) who wish to broaden their understanding of the fundamentals in the application of hydrogeological field work.

Honours Fieldschool 2018, Potchefstroom
June 2018

Hosted by Dr Ingrid Dennis (NWU) on behalf of the GWD/IAH-SA
Students from the North-West University (NWU; Potch), University of Pretoria University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Stellenbosch and University of the Western Cape attended the field school.  Thank you to all involved Dr Matthys Dippenaar, Dr Molla Demlie, Dr Jodie Miller, Dr Roger Diamond and Dr Thokozani Kanyerere.

 South Africa has a number of universities providing professional academic qualifications in groundwater and groundwater related professions.  Being a very practical discipline, hydrogeology requires a substantial amount of field and laboratory exposure for graduates.  This can be very costly and is hard to achieve without placing the financial burden of field exposure on the students directly.

As such, the GWD and IAH teamed up to host the first ever combined field school for students completing their professional four-year degrees in groundwater-related subjects.  The GWD agreed to host industry courses for professionals requiring continuous professional development (CPD) points with the professional registrar.  Profits from this event, as well as some presenter honoraria donated back to the GWD, were used to fund the mobilization, accommodation, meals and study materials of 31 students from five universities across South Africa.

The North-West University opted to host this first field school, with the budget acquired through industry courses presented at the University of Pretoria.  Students from the North-West University (NWU; Potchefstroom), University of Pretoria (UP; Pretoria), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN; Durban), University of Stellenbosch (US; Cape Town) and University of the Western Cape (UWC; Cape Town) attended the field school 11-15 June in Potchefstroom with the course being presented by Prof Ingrid Dennis, Dr Rainier Dennis and Mr Nicolaus van Zweel from NWU, and Dr Roger Diamond and Dr Matthys Dippenaar from UP.

Students were exposed to field-based geophysical investigations, rotary percussion borehole drilling, borehole logging, hydraulic testing including slug-testing and pumping testing, groundwater sampling, and downhole camera.

Short lectures focused on specialist topics covered in varying detail in different syllabi presented by academics publishing on the topics.  These included geophysics, vadose zone hydraulics, and isotope hydrology.  Normal hydrogeological background normal was assumed, and the field school did not attempt to replace content fixed in different curricula of different institutions.

As the event was completely free for students, it was all inclusive and accessible to all.  The only requirements for participation was involvement of the relevant university in the GWD as the primary funder of the event, the commitment of the university to contribute to this or future such field schools, and, if required, contributing to mobilization costs.

7-9 June 2017 – GWD Field School, Gauteng HPC

The main objective of this 3-day short course, attended by 35 delegates with representation from across the sector, (including delegates from Botswana), was to teach participants the basic theory of groundwater in an easy and understandable way with emphasis on practical hands-on-experience.

Dr Matthys Dippenaar (UP), Dr Roger Diamond (UP), Prof Kai Witthüser (Delta-h Consulting) and Dr Henk Coetzee (Council for Geoscience) led the presentations with the focus on:

  • Linkage of the general geology of SA to groundwater occurrences (borehole yields, rainfall/recharge, aquifer parameters, fractures/faults, groundwater flow and other general characteristics)
  • ABC of groundwater hydraulics including testing and interpreting testing results
  • Practicals: Geophysics; slug test, pumping test and unsaturated testing
  • Groundwater Supply (Urban, well-fields and remote water supplies, monitoring and management of water supply)
  • Groundwater Data (QA/QC, Protocols and Reliability; Inferring change on the Groundwater model)
  • Geochemistry (principles of, contaminant hydrology and transport)
  • Miscible/ Immisible contaminants (sources & transport; mitigation and remediation)


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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