May is Research Month. Walk with and stop for a talk during the 1st days of the '(GwConfEx2021)Campaign Trail'.

And Final Words. 01/06/2021 ..pending

and again updated many times final was 29/30 May, I think

updated 19/05/2021
Contributions welcome


"We know a great deal about Groundwater Systems in South Africa, but there is still much more to learn."



So what happens with all the groundwater knowledge in South Africa?  
MNel, GWD Article Archive 2019

So what happens with all the groundwater knowledge in South Africa? I’m not talking about speculation, gut-feeling or divine interventions; I’m talking proven methodology and verifiable data. Since there is no doubt that consulting firms, the (permanently understaffed) DWS and the tertiary institutions are flocked with hydrogeologial projects, there should be an enormous amount of scientific output. So where to look? And for what? Peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals are probably the best measure of output we currently have.

The Web of Science (WoS) is a rich collection of citation indexes representing the citation connections between scholarly research articles found in the most globally significant journals, books, and proceedings in the sciences, social sciences and art & humanities, and includes South African Journals. The total file count of the WoS is >90 million records, which include over a billion cited references. Publications in the Science category are indexed from 1900 – present together with all authors as well as their affiliations. So you can pretty much argue that you will be able to get all published articles in accredited journals on ‘groundwater’ in South Africa in this database. And you can retrieve some pretty interesting statistics from it…

from MNel 2019. ES

Which is exactly what I did. (The search methodology I followed can be discussed over wine, should you be interested). For now, I would like to highlight a few interesting results:

  • South Africa (as country of origin of either the research or the author) together with the term ‘groundwater’ resulted in 785 counts. That is 785 out of 17018 counts for articles published in three WoS categories: Water Resources, Environmental Sciences and Geosciences Multidisciplinary.
  • The top 6 institutions producing publications on groundwater are: UFS, CSIR, UKZN, WITS, UWC and UP.
  • The top 3 (local) authors with the highest count for publications are: Xu, Y.X; Tredoux, G.; and Atangama. In the rest of the top 25 we find Van Tonder, Dippenaar and Le Maitre.
  • The source producing (by far!) the highest amount of these papers are the Water SA

Some more analysis and statistics are available, but that would ask for quite a lengthy discussion.

So what?

Producing (open-access) articles in an consultancy environment is technically impossible. Mainly due to client confidentiality, but probably also because there is little to no incentive for an over-committed hydrogeologist to write papers.  In essence, there are plenty of knowledge and data “lost” in these confidential reports.  Kudos to Water SA (WRC) for being the loudest scientific voice for groundwater, let us all strengthen their presence and credibility on the international publication scene.

Water SA link:
Water SA link :

A paper is a comprehensive contribution to the subject, including introduction, experimental information and discussion of results.  (Technical accounts involving application of well-known techniques, and situation assessment/observation/sampling papers reporting results of work not carried out as a research activity, cannot be considered.)

A review is an authoritative, critical account of recent and current research in a specific field to which the author has made notable contributions.  

A short communication is a concise account of new and significant findings to inform readers of preliminary or limited research results.  

A rapid communication is an original contribution which merits prompt publication to publicise the findings of very recent research with immediate significance.  

A technical note describes an original process or technique without necessarily including extensive data, theory or critical evaluation. Comments on papers already published are sent to the authors of the paper for reply and both the comments and the authors’ reply will be published in the upcoming issue of Water SA. Preference is given to concise contributions.

We need juniors to also publish papers that can be peer-reviewed, compared and consolidated; otherwise we will only continue to fragment and weaken the knowledge base of the profession. And let alternative earth scientists and divine beings be the voice for groundwater in South Africa.

The Business End of Research

Can't speak Research and NOT mention the South African
Water Research Commission.

Live Presentation by Dr Shafick Adams (WRC Municipal Workshop) . Dr S Adams- 2019/2020 Groundwater Research Portfolio Manager, Water Research Commission. " Groundwater in South Africa: A story of Hope"

The WRC hereby announces the Annual Call for project proposals for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2022. All annual project budgets will be required to coincide with the WRC's financial year which is from 1 April to 31 March. The start and end dates of project contracts are however flexible. Project proposals in response to both the Open Call and the Directed Call can be submitted on-line from 1 June 2021.

Why do we do research?

To gain accumulative knowledge about specific topics / issues so that we can learn from the spectrum between what has been done/ learnt/ successful, and what can ultimately be possible/ move forward on existing next solving/ applying it to specific challenges?

What did we learn about/ what are we learning about?

Groundwater Groups share TOP 3 Reading list

"The investigation of aquifer potential is the core of hydrogeological science and much of a hydrogeologists’ formal training is focussed on this technical area. If we hope to be able to make full assessments of available groundwater resources around the country we will need ‘more of the same’ in terms of strong hydrogeological expertise, mainly in the consulting field, and a significant increase in geophysical capacity."


Reading List

Where would I go to find the latest fruits of the tree(s) of knowledge?

The top 6 institutions producing publications on groundwater are: UFS (IGS), CSIR, UKZN, WITS, UWC and UP.

CSIR ResearchSpace
Launching in the New Month Another of our THEMES MEMES

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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