Volume 106: In this issue...

Life without electricity is difficult, life without water is not possible. So, the drought is over in many parts of southern Africa. Let’s hope that the dry parts of our country get the rains that will consign this “challenge” to history. While groundwater has once again made a positive contribution to lessening the impact of our water shortages, taking out more water from the aquifers than is put back is not a sustainable practice.

Our feature article, Is my borehole running dry? looks at how the water in a borehole is recharged and how it can be managed effectively.

Even though borehole installations have proved themselves to be very reliable, there will be times when failures do occur. In Borehole Pump Installation Practice: Part 3 we look at why it is necessary to do a thorough Root Cause Analysis (RCA) before any replacements or repairs are done. A small amount of time spent identifying the cause of failure followed by the design and application of the most appropriate remedial action will reap rich rewards.

Rural areas are heavily dependent on boreholes for water. We thought it would be appropriate to include a recently completed Water Research Commission (WRC) study that focused on ways of improving the sustainability of these installations. The Technical Brief published here gives a short background, the main results and conclusions from the study, as well as some recommendations. The procedure for ordering the full report from the WRC is included.

One of the new and interesting ways of raising cash for an innovative business venture is crowd funding, and this approach is now also being used by academics to fund their research. Because we're really impressed with the initiative they've shown, the Borehole Water Association has contributed to a study being done on the extent of groundwater resources in South Africa by three post-graduate students from the University of Stellenbosch. Read about their plans and what their research will mean for the groundwater industry. And perhaps you'd consider contributing to their study before the funding closing date on 24 March 2017.

Our News section has some interesting reports on what’s happening in the industry. We particularly enjoyed the data visualisation of South Africa's Water Challenge from the Media Hack Collective.

If you have any photos, case studies, papers or reports you would like to add to the knowledge base of the groundwater industry, please contact me.

John Tonkin, BWJO Editor