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Water science can help municipalities sustain groundwater supply

Gert Nel
Sunday, March 1, 2020
First presented: 
Water Management

Indiscriminate borehole drilling is undermining the future water supply, food security and economic survival of South Africa’s small towns.

With several small tons running out of water, there have been many borehole drilling projects initiated by municipalities. However, where these are conducted without the professional input of a qualified geohydrologist, there is the danger that the water supply is not sustainable, said Gert nel, partner and principal geohydrologist at SRK Consulting.

Without proper scientific planning and management, Nel said boreholes can deplete the unerground aquifers, leaving local residents and businesses vulnerable.

Authors: Gert Nel (Partner | Principal Geohydrologist)

Feature Author

Gert Nel


  • Geohydrology and water supply (groundwater)
  • Groundwater management.


Gert Nel has been involved in geohydrological investigations for 17 years and in general management for 10 years. His expertise includes:

  • Rural water supply including project management and geohydrological expertise in over 300 water supply projects;
  • Lineament mapping (from Landsat & Aerial Photos), geophysical exploration and drilling & testing supervision;
  • Geohydrological investigations for waste disposal as part of fulfilling the environmental requirements;
  • Implementation of the groundwater sanitation protocol on regional and local level to minimise the risk of groundwater contamination;
  • Establishment of groundwater monitoring systems for monitoring groundwater contamination by Industries and waste disposal;
  • Environmental investigations and monitoring of hydrocarbon contamination of groundwater, including Underground Storage Tank removals and clean-up of major hydrocarbon spills;
  • Development of a cemetery implementation and management strategy for local municipalities.
Partner | Principal Geohydrologist
SRK East London
SRK Africa