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UNESCO Chair in Hydrogeology

Department Units - UNESCO Chair in Hydrogeology

The new water legislation in South Africa has paved the way for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) to initiate the Unesco Chair in Hydrogeology based at UWC to address the capacity building urgently required for implementation of the Water Services Act of 1997 and Water Act of 1998, and to facilitate the advancement of water resources management, especially groundwater, which was neglected in past.

The ultimate goal of the Unesco Chair scheme is to establish a centre for groundwater education and research at UWC for benefit of South Africa, SADC and the African continent, to assist DWAF with implementation of the new water legislation and share expertise with the rest of the Africa continent.

The staff of the UNESCO Chair Scheme:

      Prof. Yongxin Xu             Chair Holder and Professor of Hydrogeology

      Prof. Eberhard Braune     Extraordinary Professor of Water Resource Management

      Prof. Lincoln Raitt           Plant Ecophysiologist, Department of Biodiversity & Conservation Biology (BCB)

      Mr. Jaco Nel                   Academic Assistant in Water & Environmental sciences

      Mr Henok G Solomon      UNESCO Chair Training Deaprtment Coordinator

      Mrs. Caroline Barnard      Secretary at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • Participants include:

Dr. Shafiek Adams         Research Manager at the Water Research Commission (WRC)

Prof. Nebo Jovanovic      Principal Researcher at CSIR

Mr. Theo Scheepers       Senior Lecturer of Geomorphology, UWC

Dr. Edmund Pool           Water Toxicologist, UWC

Dr. Lixiang Lin               Chief Scientist at CGS

Prof. Luc Brendonck      Aquatic Ecology at the KULeuven ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

  • Patrons:

               Prof. Kader Asmal                      MP, Former Minister of Water Affairs & Forestry, South Africa

               Prof. Brian O'Connell                   Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape

Current situations:

  • Regular liaison with DWAF is functional at both national and regional levels, through Prof. E Braune and Mr. M Smart. Recently signed MOU between DWAF (Information Management Chief Directorate) and UWC (Groundwater Group) is another milestone for a close collaboration.

  • Networking within groundwater communities in South Africa and overseas is formulated through MOUs with the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; the Chengdu University of Technology, China, and the Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), etc. 

  • Groundwater programme at UWC already becomes one of  few largest programmes in South Africa. 

  • The Groundwater Group was requested by UNEP to provide a training programme for water scientists in Africa through the MOU between the Goup and UNEP signed on Sept 28, 2004.

 

"Groundwater Research" under the leadership of Prof. Y Xu at the Dept of Earth Sciences has been identified as a niche area for UWC, we believe that the following topics should be focused on:

  • Fractured rock aquifers

  • Protection of groundwater resources

  • Interaction between groundwater and surface water bodies

  • Social economical values of water resources

  • Integrated management of water resources

 

Funding agencies available for UNESCO Chair's and their Networks

Following important organizations are available for benefit of the Chairs network:

  • Ecosystems Section and Water Unit, Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA), UNEP in Nairobi at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  • World Bank Institute, contact person: Francois-Marie Patorni at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  • African students may apply for competitive UNESCO grant for post graduate degrees in hydrogeology at UWC. For more information, please contact at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

  • The Flemish scholarship for MSc and PhD studies in Water Sciences at UWC has been made available through UWC-VLIR programme. For more indo please contact the Programme Manager Cheryl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  • A Letter of Intent for Scientific Cooperation between ChangJiang Scientific Institute (Water Resources Centre with contact person: Dr. Jin Chen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Groundwater Group was signed during a visit by ChangJiang Water Resources Commission led by Commissioner Ms Cai on 22 Oct 2003.

Following projects are available at UWC

Following projects are available:

  • Groundwater Group at UWC has been selected to participate the UNESCO network project entitled "The application of the remote sensing for integrated management of ecosystems and water resources in Africa". The duration of the initial  phase is about 2 years.

     
 
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