Training Course Description

Groundwater Governance

South Africa is a semi-arid country, receiving less rainfall than the world average. Although groundwater currently only contributes 13% to the total national water supply, 65% of the population of South Africa is dependent on groundwater for their daily requirements. It is also a known fact that water supply from surface water sources alone is not adequate to address future water demands.

The quality and availability of groundwater re directly affected by human activities on land. In 2005, 5 people died and 3,000 were hospitalised due to an outbreak of typhoid that was caused by poor management of domestic wastewater. Mining activities removes groundwater from the underground, and when these mines close, and the water table returns to its pre-mining state, the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) that has formed as a result of the mining activities has the potential to decant, causing pollution of drinking water resources. Judicious Groundwater Governance is thus critical, and refers to the regulation of activities that can potentially impact on groundwater availability and quality, as well as the measures that can be implemented to prevent or reduce impacts on groundwater, which includes appropriate land-use planning, site selection, protection of aquifers, remediation of contaminated land, groundwater monitoring, etc.

This Course has been developed based on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Training Manual on Groundwater Management in IWRM, and focusses on Groundwater Governance Concepts and Principles, mechanisms for pollution prevention and remediation, and regulatory groundwater monitoring.

Course Objective and Structure

The aim of this 3-day course is to provide attendees with a practical understanding of the concepts and principles underpinning Groundwater Governance in the context of South African Framework environmental legislation, and focusses on pollution prevention, waste disposal, the remediation of contaminated land, and monitoring for regulatory purposes.

Specific Course Outcomes and Key Benefits

Upon completion of the Course, the attendant will be able to –

o   demonstrate an understanding of:

  •  the importance of groundwater in society,
  • potential impacts on the groundwater resource, and
  • the need for groundwater governance.

o   grasp the Concepts and Principles underpinning Sustainable Groundwater Governance;

o   demonstrate awareness of some Governance mechanisms for groundwater-related issues in South Africa, including:

  • Duties and liabilities associated with potential pollution impacts on groundwater resources
  • Governance of waste-related activities under the NEM:WA
  • Dealing with contaminated areas and mine closure: legal requirements of the Minerals Act, NEMA, and the NEM:WA;

o    appreciate the regulatory aspects of groundwater monitoring and be able to correctly interpret groundwater quality monitoring data and results from a regulatory perspective.

Practical discussions and exercises aimed at grasping the concepts and topics will be conducted in a group situation.

Who should attend this course?

This course is designed for environmental management and planning officers, consultants, directors and managers at industries, government (national, provincial and municipal) and mining companies and other professionals in management and planning in the public and private sectors, who wish to improve their understanding of groundwater management and who want to discuss some practical issues to find solutions for the day-to-day challenges they experience with regarding groundwater.

Entrance requirements

A Grade 12 certificate as a minimum and preferably also:

  • some tertiary education in at least one of the fields of environmental management; OR
  • some prior learning in general environmental management and environmental issues; OR
  • some relevant activities and responsibilities in at least one of the fields of environmental management.

Course Certificate

A Certificate of Attendance is issued to those delegates who completed the Training Course in accordance with applicable evaluation requirements.

Course Dates

The Course is not scheduled, but is presented as an in-house programme. Please see our in-house training details here

A minimum number of twelve attendees are required for the course to proceed, and a maximum number of 25 delegates can be accommodated. 

Registration and Course Cost

The cost of the in-house programme will depend on the specific needs of your organisation – please get in touch to arrange a quotation.

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If you need your staff to be more aware about how environmental issues can affect your “license to operate”, get in touch, and we will design a tailor-made course for you!

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