The Groundwater Year That Was - June 2021/June 2022

The Groundwater Year That Was - June 2021/June 2022

06 Jul 2022
National Hub
Home News The Groundwater Year That Was - June 2021/June 2022

to the Geological Society of South Africa

for the period June 2021/ June 2022

SPECIALIST DIVISION The Ground Water Division aims to serve the groundwater community in southern Africa, for the advancement of the science and technology of groundwater, and to promote the efficient use of groundwater and professionalism throughout the groundwater industry.


Over the last 12 months, the groundwater scene has been busy with knowledge sharing, droughts and floods and building relations.
We also had our first hybrid format biennial conference in October. The hybrid format allowed us to introduce numerous workshops and provided the opportunity to broaden our participant base at the conference.
While some parts of South Africa started to recover from an 8-year drought, others received plenty of rain. The situation shifts the focus from the resource to the delivery of groundwater. Various members highlighted the challenges with municipalities' infrastructure and processes. The GWD will take this forward with different sector role players to achieve a sustainable solution.
The constitutional changes allowed us to appoint a Portfolio Representative for our Early Career members and co-opt a member looking after Awareness and Mentoring. Welcome Thapelo Mongala and Nicolette Vermaak. We are very proud of the Groundwater Kids programme, which has done numerous outreaches and networking with other organisations. Thank you for all the help from our early career members. Bridges are built with other organisations within the groundwater sector, and soon, a few MoUs will be signed to ensure that we all work closer together.

Mr Fanus Fourie, GWD National Chairperson


The duties of the Executive Committee are to manage the affairs of the Division in the interest of the Members of the Division and in accordance with the GWD Constitution and the Roles and Responsibilities guidelines as set out in the Addendum.
The Executive Committee serves for one term (2 years) and can be re-elected limited to one consecutive term only. 2021 was an Election year and nominations for the new term 2022/2023 Executive Committee opened in June 2021 and the final results were announced at the 2021 Biennial Ground Water Conference in October 2021.
In February 2022, the Executive Committee announced the new structure of the GWD Management Committees. The Executive Committee will comprise the national chairperson, vice-chairperson, national treasurer and national secretary. An appointed national coordinator will form part of this committee.  Regional branch representatives as well as Portfolio representatives, together with the Executive Committee (EXCO) will comprise the full Management Committee (MANCO) of the Division.

In summary, the GWD Structure is represented by:

  • Executive Committee
  • Branch representatives for Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Central (Free State and Northern Cape), Northern (including Limpopo and North-West) and Gauteng (including Mpumalanga)
  • Portfolio representatives:
    • Professional matters portfolio
    • International portfolio
    • Mentoring and awareness portfolio*
    • Young professional portfolio*
  • Sector representatives:
    • International portfolio (IAH-SA)
    • Borehole Water Association
    • Groundwater Association of KwaZulu-Natal

*Both these Portfolios are newly established Portfolios and we welcomed Dr Nicolette Vermaak as Mentoring and Awareness portfolio Representative in May 2022. After an extensive interview process, it was with great pleasure that we welcomed Mr Thapelo Mongala (North-West University lecturer) to the committee as the 1st young professional representative that will lead his National team of dynamic young professionals in the 2022/2023 term.

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals team, headed by Mr Thapelo Mongala (NWU) comprises:
Mr Setjhaba Mofokeng (GAU); Ms Hlengiwe Msweli and Ms Lerize van Wyk (KZN); Mr Michael Holloway and Ms Annalisa Vicente (WCAPE); and Ms Sisipho Dlakiya and Ms Bongeka Maphumulo (ECAPE).
This Young Professionals Committee is already very active on social media and ran a number of great campaigns on Environmental Day and Youth Day.
GWD Posts on the Young Professionals

Elected Executive Committee 2022/2023

The newly elected executive committee for 2022/2023 term was announced as


Mr Fanus Fourie (DWS) National Chairperson
Dr Sumaya Clarke (UWC) National Vice-Chair
Dr Roger Diamond (UP) National Treasurer
Mr Kwazikwakhe Majola (DWS) National Secretary

Branch Representation 2022/2023

Ms Oudi Kgomongwe (DWS) Gauteng,
Dr Amy Allwright (IGS, UFS) Central
Mr Neville Paxton (Pivotal Farming (Pty) Ltd) Eastern Cape
Mr Mark Schapers (JG Afrika) KwaZulu-Natal (GAKZN),
Prof Ingrid Dennis (NWU) Northern
Dr Kornelius Riemann (Umvoto) Western Cape

Portfolio Representation 2022/2023

Professional Matters Portfolio: Prof Matthys Dippenaar (UP)
Mentoring and Awareness Portfolio: Dr Nicolette Vermaak (UFS)
Young Professional Portfolio: Mr Thapelo Mongala (NWU)

Sector Representation

International: IAH-SA - Mr Julian Conrad
Drilling, Testing, Equipping: BWA Mr Colin Rice
KwaZulu-Natal GAKZN: Mr Gary Ainsworth


The Division strategically focuses on individual membership. The current GWD membership categories are Honorary -, Professional -, Associate- Ordinary -and Student membership:


- are individuals whom the Division, through the Executive Committee, desires to honor for outstanding service in the field of groundwater. The Division also confer Honorary Life Membership on these members for their meritorious and outstanding service and dedication to furthering the science and technology of ground water.
It is with great sadness but appreciation for the legacy they left us, that we take a moment to remember our late but certainly not forgotten Honorary Members:
Dr Thomas Steyn Kok (1919 – 2013)
Prof Gerrit van Tonder (1953 -2014)
Mr Johannes Roelf Vegter (1925 – 2016)
Mr Siep Talma (1944 - 2016)
Dr Johan van der Merwe (2017)
Mr Wilhelm Ernst Bertram (1951 – 2018)
Mr Philip Hobbs (1954 – 2018)
Prof Balt Verhagen (2018)
Prof Frank Hodgson (1943 - 2019)

Covid-19 impacted all of our lives in many ways. As was it in 2021, when with great shock and deep sadness the groundwater sector had laid to rest some of its dearest colleagues, mentors and friends. What a profound loss and our deepest condolences were shared with the families.  We will continue celebrating the incredible life and legacy of these giants.  
Rowena Hay: Founder and Director, Umvoto Africa (Pty) Ltd
Elizabeth Rowena Hay sadly and unexpectedly passed away on Thursday 8th July at the age of 65 after a battle with COVID-19.
Dr Chris Hartnady - Research & Technical Director at Umvoto Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Dr Christopher John Hubert Hartnady has also sadly and unexpectedly passed away from COVID-19 complications on Friday 23rd July at the age of 76.
Mr Louis van Niekerk -  Director at GHT Consulting.
Louis Jacobus van Niekerk, a well-known and popular geohydrologist from Bloemfontein, sadly lost his life to Covid-19 on 1 August 2021 at the age of 56 years.
Prof Jürgen Kirchner - Professor at Institute of Ground Water Studies
Prof Kirchner was a loved professor by his students and mentored many students to great highs in the groundwater sector.

In 2021, during the closing session of the Conference, the Division recognised the following individuals for their outstanding service in the field of groundwater.  These awarded honorary members received recognition for their meritorious and outstanding service and dedication to furthering the science and technology of groundwater: Dr Roger Parsons and Mr Frans Wiegmans.
As a Special Service Honorary Award, the GWD also acknowledged Mrs Elanda Schaffner for her contribution to the Sector in keeping the GWD running.

Dr Roger Parsons (2021)

An interview with Dr Roger Parsons is available via the GWD YouTube Channel


 Mr Frans Wiegmans (2021)


The current 2022 Honorary members of the Division are:
Mr Willem du Toit (GAU), Dr Shafick Adams (GAU), Mrs Isa Thompson (GAU), Prof Jopie Botha (Central), Prof Eberhard Braune (GAU/WCAPE), Dr Kym L Morton (GAU) and Dr Gideon Tredoux (WCAPE).


-are members who specialise and practice in groundwater specific fields, have a recognised qualification and are professionally registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). They may be officials of various state departments, academics, consultants or any other individual, but are required to be (a) registered with SACNASP and (b) subscribe to both the SACNASP and GSSA Code of Conduct. Professional Membership registered with the GWD recorded the following SACNASP categories:



- are members who specialise and practice in groundwater related fields and have a recognised qualification and are professionally registered  with their Body of Knowledge e.g. SACNASP (other than for groundwater specific fields), ECSA, SAICE, etc. They will be required to subscribe to both SACNASP or their relevant professional registration body Code of Conduct as well as the GSSA Code of Conduct.
This category also includes hydrogeologists not (yet) registered with SACNASP but are working towards their professional registration . Early Career members subscribe to the GSSA Code of Conduct.

Assoc members


-are members of the Division who are not SACNASP registered professionals in the groundwater field but have an interest, directly or indirectly, in all matters groundwater.
Representatives from the following sectors



- shall be bona fide students who are registered at a recognised institution for higher education and are studying groundwater.  Student members subscribe to the GSSA Code of Conduct.
With the new focus on incorporating student Chapters with the assistance of the Young Professional Committee, we envision student membership to grow exponentially. Current active participation from student members from the following Universities is listed:
·        Nelson Mandela University
·        North West University
·        University of the Free State, IGS
·        University of KwaZulu-Natal
·        University of Pretoria
·        University of Venda
·        University of the Western Cape


In 2022, the GWD incorporated its newly designed Member Management System as well as Invoicing System to enable better Membership management (upkeep and liaison) overall.  Only Members that recorded activity for the past 3 years have been transferred, during Phase 1, to the new online database. From the 796 members that are on the GWD original database, 335 existing and 22 new members have been added.


View Active Membership Roll for 2022 online

Membership can now securely log-in to their own profiles to enable updates as well as having access to all their Membership and CPD certificates that they can access via this membership system.
Concerted efforts to reinstate lapsed memberships will continue to receive attention.
The following membership statistics for 2022 has been recorded: Membership grew from 170 to 226 paid-up membership compared to the same time last year. Thank you to our Members for the on-going interest in growing their profession!
Interesting database statistics:
Membership: Male 239, Female 116


The following activities took place per branch chair initiative from June 2021 to May 2022.


The Central Branch of the Ground Water Division incorporates members from the Free State and the Northern Cape.

GWD Talk: To Kd or not to Kd - The importance of sorption in groundwater risk assessments (GWD Central), 01 June 2021 by Dr Robert Hansen

Available on GWD YouTube channel

Environmental groundwater risk assessments are required to be conducted for all new mining projects as well as expansion projects on existing mine sites. An important part of these risk assessments is the geochemical specialist study, which informs the groundwater assessment on pollution source terms and rates of contaminant release. The latter is especially applicable to post-closure environmental risk assessments. The mobility of potential pollutants in the groundwater system is an important consideration in the geochemical specialist study. For this purpose, the partitioning of potential pollutants in the groundwater between the groundwater solution and the solid phase is crucial to the realistic assessment of short- and long-term environmental risk.


The Eastern Cape Branch of the Ground Water Division incorporates members from all the Eastern Cape.
Mr Etienne Mouton, after holding strong fort during the challenging COVID term (2020/2021) where he initiated a number of events and engagement sessions, formally stepped down as Eastern Cape Branch chair at the start of 2022. The EXCO shared their appreciation for his active and eventful chairmanship.
It was with great appreciation that Mr Neville Paxton indicated his willingness to step forward after his nomination was supported by MANCO.  He was formally welcomed onto the Management Committee in May 2022.


The Gauteng Branch of the Ground Water Division (incorporates members from Gauteng, Mpumalanga and across borders).

GWD Talk: Stable isotopes in precipitation and the assessment of groundwater recharge mechanisms in the Johannesburg region (GAU), 10/17 Jun 2021 by Dr Khahliso Leketa

The study presented on the assessment of the isotope signature of rainfall events between November 2016 and October 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

GWD Talk: Young Professional Talk on Groundwater Development, 28 July 2021:

1) Transboundary Aquifer Groundwater Management Strategy in a Semi-Arid Climate Tuli Basin by Collen Nkosi (GPT)
2)  Groundwater development in the western Karoo during periods of drought, focusing on Sutherland as a case study  by Danita Hohne (DWS)
3) Transitioning from student to professional (or what they didn’t teach you at Uni) by Kes Murray (GEOSS SA)

Moderators: Oudi Modisha and Awodwa Magingi
This Webinar - organised by the Young Professional Committee, GWConfEx2021 - focused on the development of groundwater resources including the status of groundwater in South Africa, major technical and social challenges within the industry and ways to address these challenges. It also highlighted groundwater management strategies in Transboundary aquifers as well as case studies in groundwater development.

BIOGRIP WORKSHOP @ GWConf2021, 20 October 2021.

Available on the GWD YouTube channel(

This Biogeochemistry Research Infrastructure Platform (BIOGRIP) workshop in collaboration with the Water Research Commission was presented as a Free/Open Workshop during the 2021 Groundwater Conference.

Speakers and Topics:
1) Introduction to BIOGRIP nodes, available facilities and research activities, Dr Robert Hansen and Janine Colling
2) An introduction to stable isotopes of O/H and their applications in Hydrology, Dr Jared van Rooyen
3) Assessing the nutrient status of the Bot River, Western Cape by Jan de Waal. (PhD candidate)

GWD Talk: Decision support groundwater modelling - in spirit or in fact (GWD GAU), 20 April 2022 by Nico van Zyl

Nico shared with attendees on his experience as a modeller and what he deems its  purpose: Modelling is always a means; it is never an end. “Simulating a system” is not a valid end." In total 84 from the 206 registered delegates attended.

World Sci-Café on Socio-Hydrogeology, UP HPC Centre, 26 May 2022.

scicafeThe Gauteng Branch invited its local members to join them in its first in person social in over two years of lock down restrictions to connect and mingle with fellow industry colleagues and take part in the world café style discussions on socio-hydrogeology.

 “how human actions exert pressure on groundwater resources and how scarce and/or polluted groundwater influences human well-being.”

We thank the following sponsors of this event:


The partnership between the GWD and the GAKZN in this branch saw the attendance of Mr Fanus Fourie (GWD Chairperson) at this GAKZN Annual General Meeting on 10 March 2022 hosted at the Kloof Country Club. The GAKZN shared on progress made in 2021 and the roadmap and goals for 2022.
The formal memorandum of understanding on membership matters and joint efforts to grow groundwater awareness and representation are currently on the table.


In 2019, the Limpopo Branch and planned North- West branch was incorporated into the establishment of a new NORTHERN branch.

GWD Talk: Microbial populations in groundwater: The good and the Bad, 24 Jun 2021 by Prof Carlos Bezuidenhout

Groundwater has for a long time been seen as free from nasty microbes due to the percolating processes that drives the replenishment of these underground reservoirs that harbour this water. Many South African communities are dependent on such water sources. The perception of the safety of this water has resulted in it being used for household purposes, including drinking, without any treatment. However, due to unavailability of surface water because of drought, the dependence on this source has increased with more boreholes being drilled in drought affected regions such as the Karoo and the Eastern Cape. It may thus be an appropriate time to consider the microbiology of groundwater. In South Africa and several developing and developed countries studies were concerned with microbiological quality of ground water. This talk explored some of the results from these studies and a focus on the quality of groundwater from the North West Province. In total 52 from the 86 registered delegates attended.


Partnered Event: 'Show & Tell' Highlights from the Hydrogeology Post-Graduates event (GWD WCape; IAH-SA), 25 June 2021

Available on the GWD YouTube channel

Objective of this event was to share information on post-graduate hydrogeological research amongst other graduates; academics and those in the groundwater industry (private and public sector).
 Mr Julian Conrad (IAH-SA) and Dr Sumaya Clarke (UWC, GWD Western Cape chairperson 2020/2021) welcomed all attendees and also introduced Dr Reynold Chow, a new lecturer from Stellenbosch University. This followed with an impressive line-up of student presentations:

  • 'Current research projects and facilities at Univ. Stellenbosch’ by Jared van Rooyen
  • 'The fate and distribution of pharmaceuticals in Cape Town’s network’ by Mikyle Cloete
  • ‘Investigating the natural groundwater recharge and discharge processes of the Saldanha Bay Aquifer Systems by Aqeela Parker
  • 'Identifying potential Managed Aquifer Recharge zones in Saldanha Bay aquifers, Western Cape’ by Ashleigh Tomlinson
  • Evaluating hydrogeochemical processes influencing groundwater quality, Heuningnes Catchment, South Africa’ by Abongile Xaza
  •  ‘Assessing the Hydrogeology of Springs, Heuningnes Catchment’ by Paula Finini
  • ‘Isotopic and elemental ratios to assess the relationship between heuweltjies and saline groundwater in the Northern Cape of South Africa’ by Jani van Gend
  • ‘Conducting appropriate geochemical investigations to predict mine water impacts and its influence on mine closure outcomes’ by Angelo Johnson

 Partnered Event: What hydrogeologists need to know about borehole construction, pumps, VSDs and borehole operation (GWD WCape), 5 April 2022.

Mr Corne Engelbrecht shared Borehole Construction guidelines and Mr Reuben Lazarus -both speakers from GEOSS- presented on Borehole Pumps and Variable Frequency Drives (VSDs).
Thank you to host Branch and the Partners GEOSS and IAH-SA for making this event possible. In total 134 from the 211 registered delegates attended this session.


BOOK INTRODUCTION:  Managed Aquifer Recharge Southern Africa

Authors Prof Eberhard  Braune  and  Dr Sumaya  Israel (Clarke) during the interview with Everton de Oliveira from “The Groundwater Project”.

“This book is authored by two South African groundwater scientists. South Africa has  the  most  experience  with  MAR  because  there  are  dozens  of  substantial  MAR applications in diverse hydrologic and geologic conditions ranging from unconsolidated aquifers in semi-arid climates to fractured rocks in desert climates. South Africa is a leader in MAR as a result of more than 50 years of research and practice supported by farsighted government funding. This book is the one of many Groundwater Project books in a planned series of books about MAR in specific countries or regions. The two authors of this book, Eberhard  Braune  and  Sumaya  Israel (Clarke),  are currently faculty members at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa and have been long standing participants in research concerning MAR and related topics including natural recharge, water resources management and groundwater geochemistry. They bring a holistic perspective to MAR as illustrated by the content of this book."
John Cherry, The Groundwater Project Leader Guelph, Ontario, Canada, July 2021

The 17th Groundwater Conference & Exhibition was hosted by the Gauteng Branch of the Groundwater Division of the Geological Society of South Africa in Pretoria.


Due to Covid-19 outbreak and associated restrictions, the 2021 Conference followed the format of a Hybrid model, which means there were both physical and online components.
The online Component was run on the EVENTSAIR platform with assistance and coordination by the team from Conference Consultancy SA situated in Pretoria.  The Conference Theme and sub-Themes were:
Research. Innovate. Develop. Manage. Protect.

This Theme and sub-themes echo the call for immediate action in addressing groundwater challenges and opportunities, inclusive of emerging issues such as the 4th Industrial Revolution and global pandemics. Therefore, the groundwater community is called upon to leave no ‘rock unturned' in operationalising groundwater-related research outcomes through an all-inclusive approach in order to achieve groundwater visibility and resilience we yearn for:
Research and Development through Innovation must be the new narrative that shapes the developmental trajectory and future landscape of groundwater in South Africa and the world. A paradigm shift is needed by building a value chain towards demonstration and piloting to create impact by using groundwater as a tool for transformation.
On the other hand, resilience of groundwater to climate change, drought, anthropogenic activities, global pandemics, etc. can be achieved if all levels of governance can co-operate in ensuring integrated management of the resource and related information, proper development procedures, monitoring and protection; with the main focus on local municipalities. Moreover, groundwater-related policy and governance decisions should be informed by scientific research outcomes. This will promote the development of sound strategies from a groundwater perspective; and thus resulting in groundwater visibility. Hence, this all-encompassing theme was proposed.

Mr Kwazikwakhe Majola, the 2021 Groundwater Conference Chair

Mr Majola introduced all Keynote and Invited Speakers at the event that included:

David Kreamer, Ph.D, a Professor of Geoscience and past Director of the interdisciplinary Water Resources Management Graduate Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dr Neno Kukuric a hydrogeologist with about 30 years of experience gained worldwide, working as a field hydrogeologist, consultant, scientific researcher and project manager. His professional interest is international water cooperation and application of informed management, encompassing technical, socio-economical, institutional and political aspects of groundwater development.
Colin Rice from the Colin Rice Exploration and Training Consultancy that offers consulting and training services to the exploration and drilling industry.
Everton de Oliviera from the Groundwater Project. Entrepreneur and environmental consultant, founding partner of HIDROPLAN Hydrogeology and Environmental Planning, specialising in water contamination of the underground environment.
Jørgen Erik Larsen, a Counsellor Water Environment, Energy, Research and Innovation at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Brighton Munyai, on behalf of Eng. James Sauramba, the Executive Director at SADC Groundwater Management Institute with nearly 30 years high profile working experience across the SADC region backed by a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA in General Management. Lived and worked in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi and Ireland and worked in all the 16 SADC Member States and
Mr Deshigen Naidoo, previous Chief Executive Officer at the Water Research Commission in South Africa and now the Presidential Climate Change Ambassador.

The Conference hosted a Day Programme/ Sessions with 71 oral presenters and 17 poster presenters with 4 Workshops on Mapping, Awareness, Regulation and the Open WRC/GWD partnered event on BIOGRIP
Attendance totals averaged approx. 180 delegates per day over three days (45/50 on-site)  with representatives from Learning Institutions - 24%; Consultants - 46 %; Government/ Parastatals/ Industry - 16%; Research / Councils/ NPOs - 12%
Sponsored students: The Conference sponsored 9 student delegates with representation from NMMU, UWC, WITS, IGS and University of Venda.

On-site Delegates GWD ConfEx2022 and Sponsors

The following sponsors are acknowledged and were thanked for their participation:


The following Companies/ Organisations are acknowledged for their Workshop participation.



CONGRATULATIONS! Prize Winners at the Conference:

Best Oral Presenter: Ms Sonia Veltman
Best Oral Presenter- Student: Mr Zaheed Gaffoor
Best Poster: Ms Natasha Gariremo
Best Networker: Mr Ernest Rambau
Best Online Exhibitor: Aquatico
Best on-site Exhibitor: Aqua Earth

Due to the hybrid nature of the presentations, the Conference offered Gamification Awards. This was awarded based on online participation, voting and responding on polls and questions that ran throughout the Conference. The following winners were announced:
·         1st prize: Ms Charissa Worthmann
·         2nd prize: Ms Sisipho Dlakiya
·         3rd prize: Ms Aarifah Williams


New Development: The GWD launched its ABSTRACT DATABASE on its website in March 2022. This database lists and made accessible Abstracts of all Conference paper authors for its last 4 Conferences. This is the first step in developing this as a Knowledge tool going forward.

Other highlights on the Groundwater Calendar hosted during the WATER WEEK in March 2022, were:

Launch of handbook titled “The Vadose Zone: from Theory to Practice” in Celebration of World Water Day 2022 by Prof Matthys Dippenaar
Available on the GWD YouTube channel


World Water Day 2022 Workshop (WRC):
Reflecting on the past and embracing the future of groundwater in South Africa, 24 March 2022.

The global focus of World Water Week in 2022 fell on groundwater under the United Nations global theme of “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible”. Groundwater plays a pivotal role in ensuring water security in South Africa as it supplies approximately 13% of the total water supply in South Africa but can often provide up to 100% of water supply in some areas.
The workshop titled “Reflecting on the past and embracing the future of groundwater in South Africa” formed part of the WRC’s Water Week Campaign, and was targeted at academic institutions, government departments, non-governmental organisation representatives’ private sector, members of the community of practice and hydrogeologists to name a few.

The aim of the workshop was:
(a) To exchange and share ideas with stakeholders as part of the UN Water World Water Day event
(b) Share, disseminate research findings and highlight some of the work done by the WRC based on several research projects over the years
(c) To look at future possibilities of groundwater development aimed at water security
(d) to assess the potential contributions of groundwater to climate change adaptation to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The event was opened by Dr Shafick Adams - WRC Executive Manager (KSA 1& 2: Water Resources and Ecosystems where he introduced the following speakers:
Dr Sumaya Clarke - University of the Western Cape, Senior Lecturer on ‘MAR in Southern Africa’
Mr Fanus Fourie - Department of Water And Sanitation, Water Resources Planning on ‘Aquifer Recharge: from theory to practice – implementing schemes’
Prof Matthys Dippenaar - University of Pretoria, Associate Professor on  ‘Taking the Vadose Zone out of the Black Box’
Dr Emmanuel Sakala - Council for Geoscience, Senior Manager on  ‘Application of artificial intelligence in regional groundwater exploration’
Dr Kevin Pietersen - University of the Western Cape, Research Fellow/Private Consultant on the topic: ‘Hydrogeologists as social change makers’
Dr Roger Diamond - University of Pretoria, Senior Lecturer on’ Isotopes in Hydrogeology’
Mr Yazeed van Wyk - Research Manager (KSA 1& 2: Water Resources and Ecosystems, the Workshop Originator and Facilitator closed the workshop with a strategic look on the ‘Way forward in the Groundwater Sector’.

Recording of this Workshop is available via the WRC by registering for ON-DEMAND view:


The SABS SANS 241 standard went out for public comment in May 2022.
This standard specifies the quality requirements for safe drinking water to be supplied to consumers. It also specifies the minimum requirements to characterise raw water quality, assess on-going of operational efficiency in the water treatment plant, and to verify safe drinking water quality. It is applicable to all responsible bodies and applies to all water supply systems, regardless of the capacity or source of raw water, that provides drinking water to the consumers. Water that complies with the numerical limits prescribed in this standard for parameters that apply to a particular water supply system, is deemed safe. The Guidelines for drinking-water quality should apply for parameters not listed in this standard, that have been identified as posing a risk to water supply system, Numerical limits prescribed in this standard take precedence over the WHO guideline limits. All members were invited to make comments and this will be evaluated and submitted, as a group and individually, to address any proposed adjustments and changes.


The GWD endorsed a number of sector events and assisted with the CPD process for some partner events.

#fortheloveofgroundwater - Groundwater Kids Awareness Championed

The GWD committed on-going support to the Groundwater Kids Foundation in its outreaches to school children through its organised activities.  
In the period from June 2021 to June 2022, the GWD supported activities of the Groundwater Kids Foundation through small financial contributions for materials as well as Volunteers calls to action.

Groundwater Kids @ the Conference!

At a special session at the Groundwater Conference the GWD awarded the winners of the School competitions with special School Stationary Gift Cards.
"Primary Schools are an excellent Target to lay a firm foundation. We thank you for this opportunity " - Principal form Wonderland shared with the Conference Attendees. "We hope to expand the programme to improve groundwater understanding at all levels."  - Dr Nicolette Vermaak


At the same Awareness session at the Conference it was with great excitement that the Afrikaans booklet of the Translation initiative (translating the Wally and Deanna Groundwater Adventure booklet into South African languages) was launched. Translation by Fanus Fourie and proof-reading by Izelda Mbatha. Mr Fourie was interviewed by Everton de Oliveira from “The Groundwater Project”. The “Willie en Deidré se Grondwater Avontuur…na die versadigde sone” is available for download on the Groundwater project website. Translations into other SA languages already started and will be made available soon.


The GWD as a GSSA Division utilises the Society’s VAT number the following financials for Jan –Dec 2021 were recorded for inclusion in the GSSA Audit.
Refer the attached DOWNLOAD.


iah2023IAH Congress 2023 -It was unanimously agreed by the IAH Council to accept the South African proposal to host the 50th Congress in Cape Town from 18 to 24 September 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. With the theme “Groundwater: A Matter of Scale”, we look forward to hosting this Congress on the African continent and welcoming South Africans and congress delegates from around the world to our beautiful country. The GWD will host its 2023 Biennial Conference at this event.

The event opened its Sponsorship Opportunities!