Involvement / Collaboration / Conferences attended, etc.

The institute has been involved in geohydrological research for over thirty years and is at the leading edge of geohydrological development in South Africa. Of special interest are the contributions towards the mining and industrial sectors in terms of water management and pollution minimisation. Research is presented on a regular basis at international conferences.

Visit by Prof Paul Hsieh, geology survey scientist from the USA

Description: Prof. Paul Hsieh, known as the man who saved the Gulf Mexico during oil spill crisis ... using a single picture from a mobile phone Tags: Paul Hsieh, Gulf Mexico, oil spill crisis

Prof Paul Hsieh visited the IGS during March 2011. He is well-known as the man who saved the Gulf of Mexico during an oil spill crisis ... using a single picture from a mobile phone.

"One scientist took a cellphone picture of pressure readings and e-mailed it to a government researcher in California for advice. Just using that cellphone photo, Paul Hsieh, a US Geological Survey scientist, created a model to explain what was happening under the cap and how – despite low pressure readings – there was no leak. He was convinced the containment cap wouldn't blow."

Click here for the full story:

Assisting Sri Lanka after the Tsunami

After the devastating tsunami, personnel from the IGS assisted in groundwater pollution-related issues in Sri Lanka as part of their community service. The issue of salt intrusion was addressed. One of the outcomes of the first visit was that it assisted in post-graduate training. During the next visit, a groundwater course was presented at the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, University of Peradeniya in Kandy.

Photo Album

International Mine Water Association Conference (Czech Republic): 2008

Due to the involvement of the IGS in the mining industry, research is presented on a regular basis at international mine water conferences. An important forum for this research is the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) conferences. Recently, conferences were attended in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic (2008) and in Pretoria (2009).

Photo Album

ICARD Conference Sweden: 2009

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is an important issue in the mine industry, and important research is being done on a continuous basis by the IGS. A number of papers were presented on this and other issues at the ICARD Conference held in Skelleftea, Sweden in 2009.

During the return trip, a study tour was organised in Dubai where water treatment and desalination plants were visited.

Photo Album

Visit to University of Minnesota: 2010

Drs Rainier and Ingrid Dennis visited the University of Minnesota (UMN) for three weeks in June 2010 to establish ties with the UMN, which included exchange of undergraduate and graduate students; exchange of faculty members, including research personnel; technical assistance and/or training; exchange of training materials and joint research. Meetings were arranged with associated organisations such as the USGS, Minnesota Geological Survey, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A seminar was presented on the challenges facing the water industry in Southern Africa, with particular focus on South Africa.

This visit resulted in Prof John Nieber being appointed as affiliate professor at the UFS.

Visit to Greece and Germany

Rainier and Ingrid Dennis also visited Athens in Greece, where Rainier presented a paper at the 2010 International Symposium on Environmental Hydraulics.

Thereafter, Dr Ingrid Dennis attended a workshop in Postdam, Germany, on Integrated Water Management (IWM) in gold mining areas of the upper and middle Vaal catchments of South Africa.

As a result of the workshop, the IGS, together with Geotec Rohstoffe GmbH (and other German partners) is developing a proposal entitled: METSI: A project addressing gold mining-related water issues.


Faculty Manager: Velaphi Makgwahla
T: + 27 51 401 3199

Marketing Manager: Elfrieda Lötter
T: +27 51 401 2531

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