GWD History

The idea of forming a professional society for geohydrologists in South Africa was first raised in 1977 during discussions between officials from the then Department of Water Affairs and staff at the Department of Geology, University of the Orange Free State. From the start it was thought that such a group could form part of the Geological Society of South Africa. Consultation with the Geological Society commenced in 1977, and a draft constitution was drawn up in consultation with the Society with the view of forming a specialist division of the Society.

After the conclusion of a colloquium on 29 November 1978, organised by the Branch of Scientific Services of the Department of Water Affairs to specifically address groundwater issues, a meeting was held to discuss the formation of an association for geohydrologists. This meeting, under the chairmanship of Mr J R Vegter, was attended by 56 persons and culminated in the formation of the third specialist division of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and is referred to as the Ground Water Division of the GSSA. At this meeting a working Committee comprising of Mr J R Vegter (Chairman). Mr W R G Orpen (Secretary) and two additional members, Prof B T Verhagen and Mr M N Sara, was formed.

In February 1979 membership stood at 53 and the Division started its activities with a bank balance of R50,55.

Click here to learn more about the history of the Division as prepared by Reinie Meyer extracted from the publication: A Century of Geological Endeavour in Southern Africa, 1895-1995 C. R. Anhaeusser Geological Society of South Africa, 01 Jan 1997

National Chairperson: Dr Matthys Dippenaar
Vice-Chairperson: Ms Nicolette Vermaak
National Treasurer: Mr Yazeed van Wyk
National Secretariat: Mr Sakhile Mndaweni
National Coordinator: Ms Elanda Schaffner

Please contact this Committee via [email protected]

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