2016 GWD message

Dear members of the GWD,

Following the elections for the executive committee, we are happy to introduce a new committee which will hopes to follow through on a number of initiatives to the benefit of our membership.

First and foremost, we have officially implemented new membership categories which distinguish between professional members (SACNASP registered practicing groundwater scientists), ordinary members (those with an interest in or supporting profession to groundwater), student members and honorary members.  This aims to streamline the looming continuous professional development (CPD) system required by SACNASP for professional scientists, ensuring that we can aid our professional members in achieving their targets.  Furthermore, we are hoping to launch a website directory advocating the services offered by our membership where the professional page will supply details for practicing hydrogeologists/ geohydrogeologists, whereas the ordinary membership can have the same benefit for any alternative groundwater-related services they offer.

We are already planning a number of events, most anticipated likely being the 2017 GWD conference and exhibition.  We have opened the floor for options from the national chapters and branches and will confirm the destination following our second ExCo meeting scheduled for mid-March.  Further of this, we welcome requests from industry on how we can tailor courses for your needs, obviously relying on our vast database of skilled experts, to ensure that the GWD can deliver to its members' requirements for at least a portion of the CPD requirements.

With the drought, we should collectively advocate the wise use of groundwater and water in general.  This might be the time where we better equip society with professionally agreement on how groundwater can exploited and protected.  For this it is clear that we should increase our visibility with partners in other societies.  Our IAH (International Association of Hydrogeologists), WISA (Water Institute of South Africa) and BWA (Borehole Water Association) members already contribute to this aim, although better cooperation will ensure appreciation for our small professional community.

Finally, our future members are presently in tertiary education and rely on us for advice, internships, jobs, bursaries and exposure.  It is important to keep the early career membership alive and we invite all young hydrogeologists to make contact with our early career hydrogeologist network (which is also affiliated to the Early Career Hydrogeologists' Network (ECHN) of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH)).

We'd like to wish all out members a very prosperous 2016. 


Dr Matthys Dippenaar
GWD National Chairperson 2016/17