The idea of forming a professional society for geohydrologists in South Africa was first raised in 1977 during discussions between officials from the then Department of Water Affairs and staff at the Department of Geology, University of the Orange Free State. From the start it was thought that such a group could form part of the Geological Society of South Africa. Consultation with the Geological Society commenced in 1977, and a draft constitution was drawn up in consultation with the Society with the view of forming a specialist division of the Society.
After the conclusion of a colloquium on 29 November 1978, organised by the Branch of Scientific Services of the Department of Water Affairs to specifically address groundwater issues, a meeting was held to discuss the formation of an association for geohydrologists. This meeting, under the chairmanship of Mr J R Vegter, was attended by 56 persons and culminated in the formation of the third specialist division of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and is referred to as the Ground Water Division of the GSSA. At this meeting a working Committee comprising of Mr J R Vegter (Chairman). Mr W R G Orpen (Secretary) and two additional members, Prof B T Verhagen and Mr M N Sara, was formed.
In February 1979 membership stood at 53 and the Division started its activities with a bank balance of R50,55.
Click here to more about the history of the Division as prepared by Reinie Meyer extracted from the publication: A Century of Geological Endeavour in Southern Africa, 1895-1995 C. R. Anhaeusser Geological Society of South Africa, 01 Jan 1997
GWD Executive Committee for 2010 /2011 were:
- Dr Shafick Adams (Water Research Commission) – Chairman National Branch
- Ms Nancy Motebe (Department Water Affairs) – Vice Chair – National Branch
- Mr Fortress Netili (Council for Geoscience) – Treasurer – National Branch
- Mr Matthys Dippenaar (University of Pretoria) – Co-opted Exco National Branch
- Dr Kornelius Riemann (Umvoto Africa) – Chairman Western Cape Branch
- Mr Gert Nel (SRK Consulting) – Chairman Eastern Cape Branch
- Mr Gawie van Dyk (Anglo Gold Ashanti) – Chairman Central Branch
GWD Executive Committee for 2008 /2009 were:
- Dr Rian Titus (Water Geosciences Consultants) – Chairman National Branch
- Dr Kevin Pietersen (Water Geosciences Consultants) – Vice Chairman – National Branch
- Mr Chris Moseki (Water Research Commission) – Honorary Secretary – National Branch
- Mr Ryan Ellington (Knight Piesold) Treasurer and website – National Branch
- Mr Gawie van Dyk – Central Branch Chair
- Mr Hanco Roux – Eastern Cape Branch Chair
- Mr Jaco Nel – Western Cape Branch Chair