UFS partner in design for groundwater monitoring network for Central Karoo

04 November 2020

Independent specialists and researchers from the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) at the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with specialists from Carin Bosman Sustainable Solutions (CBSS), have been appointed by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA) to design a regional groundwater monitoring network for the Central Karoo.

A 2016 report by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) titled Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo: A Scientific Assessment of the Opportunities and Risks, recommended that “a comprehensive understanding of groundwater conditions is required prior to the commencement of exploration to ensure proper interpretation of changes in groundwater over time. Monitoring data would also be used for calibration and verification of prediction and assessment models, for evaluating and auditing the success of management plans, and for assessing the extent of compliance with prescribed standards and regulations.

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Development of decision-support guidelines for vulnerability assessments and adaptation requirements among rural economies and communities, including gender issues (phase 1) (WRC Project)

Climate change is already starting to affect some of the poor and most vulnerable communities around the world. The effect that increased droughts, extreme weather events, tropical storms, and sea level rises will have on large parts of Africa, will be inflicted in our lifetimes. For some rural communities, the consequences could be apocalyptic. These communities have limited access to essential services, which is also compounded by uneven distribution and over-exploitation of water resources. Understanding sensitivities and vulnerabilities of systems and communities is necessary to inform adaptation action.

Potential climate change impacts on Karoo aquifers (WRC Project)

Very little research has been conducted on the future impact of climate change on groundwater resources in South Africa. Climate change can affect groundwater levels, recharge, and groundwater contribution to baseflow. The question of the likely impact of climate change on renewable groundwater resources is highly relevant, but under-researched. This document serves as a first step in assessing the impact of climate change on South African Karoo aquifers.

Updating Groundwater Resource Directed Measures methodologies (WRC Project)

The methods discussed in this manual were developed to access the groundwater component of the Resource Directed Measures which include: classification, the reserve, and resource quality objectives. As the methods were applied and tested, gaps have been identified. The aim of this project was therefore to build on the existing manual, address the gaps identified in the methods and include new methods which can be applied to assess Groundwater Resource Directed Measures.

Bulk Flow Parameter Estimation (WRC Project)

The study firstly entails the usage of borehole geological and pump test data to determine an effective scaling methodology to establish transmissivities on any prescribed scale. Secondly, to determine the method in which aerial parameters should be applied to calculate regional parameters, i.e., at groundwater catchment scale. Finally, to assist in the evaluation of water availability for human activities on a regional as well as local scale.

Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPLs) (WRC Project)

This study focuses on the effects of LNAPLs on the South African environment and methodologies to effectively characterise and remediate contamination sites. Secondly, to transfer the knowledge gained to interested and effected parties. Finally, to assist the South African-based community in guidelines to cope with the presence of LNAPLs in the subsurface.

Water Ingress Rates into Mining Operations

General projects obtained as individual projects from mining companies. To evaluate the rate or possible rate of water ingress in open cast, burrow pits and subsurface mining operations. Evaluate and determine dewatering schemes and fill up rates. Determination of decanting points and the probability of mines decanting.

Mine Water Quality and Assessment Options

IGS acts as advisor in determining the most effective methodology for establishing water impacts, i.e., hydrogeological, geochemical modelling and/or ABA evaluation.


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531

Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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