The Journal's Journey - from printed shine to slick online

By John Tonkin

This volume is something of a milestone for the Borehole Water Journal – for two reasons. Firstly, we’re proud to be be publishing Volume 100 of the Journal. And secondly, this is the first online version of what will now be known as the Borehole Water Journal Online.

Thank you L’aura

Getting to this point has been quite a journey and the able navigator has been L’aura James. L’aura has been the editor of the Journal since Volume 19, which was published in 1990.

 The Borehole Water Journal through the years.

The Borehole Water Journal through the years.

L’aura has worked tirelessly every quarter to make sure that the Journal lands on the desks of decision makers and end-users in the borehole industry, and the mining and public administration sectors. She has sold advertising, sourced and written articles, and managed the publication process – much of this singlehandedly.

It was L’aura who saw the need to publish the Journal on a digital platform. At this point, the BWA Exco realised that they’d need a few more hands on deck if the Journal was going to take this new step forward. The Exco also has some significant growth plans for the BWA, and so L’aura’s role as Administrator is set to expand. With this in mind, it was decided that I would take over the role of Journal editor.

I must admit that paging through some of the older Journals elicited a few chuckles at how things have changed. But I also realised that many of our challenges in the groundwater industry remain the same.

And so, I’d like to quote from L’aura’s first Editor’s Note, as it seems that it is as appropriate now as it was then.

On the inside looking out, I see a great thirst. Drought comes about when less rain than is the norm falls over an area for a long period of time. We have all seen, heard and lived through the disaster of drought, and some people, in some places in the world, know nothing of a life without it.
However, there is another great thirst, certainly not for water, but just as important – the thirst for knowledge. Without it, human life as we know it must surely suffer the same fate as being the victim of a drought.
You, who earn your living in this industry are very lucky indeed, as you are in the unique position of being able to quench both of these great thirsts, substantially, if not entirely.

L’aura, thank you for everything you’ve done to make the Journal such a successful trade publication for the groundwater industry.

Taking the Journal online

After much research and experimentation, we have decided to launch the Borehole Water Journal Online as a part of our (also new) BWA Website. This format has many benefits, including:


No longer will great articles be forgotten about in back issues of the Journal. Instead, as we publish more and more articles, we will be building a body of knowledge that can easily be searched by category, tags, or keywords.

Content marketing and expanding the audience

Good online content is a very effective form of marketing, especially for an education-focussed association like the BWA. People doing a Google search will come across articles in the Journal, which will then help to spread the BWA’s mission and promote Journal advertisers and BWA members. The potential audience for the Journal has been expanded to a global scale.

Useful metrics for advertisers

Tracking the number of visits to a website, or a particular web page is so easy in an online format. Advertisers can also see how many people saw and clicked on their ad, giving them a good indication of the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

 The Borehole Water Journal Online

The Borehole Water Journal Online

Works well on mobile devices

We are never too far away from our mobile devices. The particular online format that we’ve chosen for the Journal works beautifully and seamlessly on smart phones and tablets. So when next you’re waiting in someone’s reception, why not check out the latest from the Borehole Water Journal Online?!

Quicker publishing turnaround

Publishing online allows for a quicker publishing turnaround and it enables us to publish material that is more current and relevant. We will therefore be publishing a volume every 2 months now, and hope to increase that frequency in future, if there is demand.

So join us for the next leg of the Journal’s journey! We’re calling for articles for the next volume, and you can find out more about advertising in the Journal here. Let’s promote the sustainable use of southern Africa’s groundwater together and continue to build our livelihoods in this important industry.