Unveiled: Gauteng Sustainable Drainage Systems Implementation Manual

March 2020

Cheers to the finalization of the project ‘Research on the Use of Sustainable Drainage Systems for Gauteng’ for GDARD by the Urban River Alliance (Fourth Element, AquaLinks, Eco-Pulse), NMA, Greenvision Consulting and TAUW. It was an honour to be the project manager of the Consultants Team and facilitator of the Workshops and PSC meetings, as well as co-author of the deliverables.

Deliverables, including Implementation Manual will be soon published on GCRO and UCT website. AquaLinks will keep you updated.

Monitoring: High rainfall 7 to 8 February in Johannesburg 

February, 2020

This is what the TAHMO weather stations measured 7/8 February 2020 in Johannesburg:

  • Braamfontein had in total 130 mm measured! No wonder the M1 had to be closed (This was measured by a tipping bucket which we installed recently to check on the extreme rain measured there)
  • Alexandra, Jabulani, Hunters Hill, Midrand, measurements were all in the range 97-102 mm.
  • Be aware that on Sunday evening (not shown here) it rained again, with for example for Alexandra another 48 mm measurements!
  • Kibler Park firestation had such high rainfall measured (and earlier starting) that we do not trust it. According to not yet formally confirmed estimates of radar from SAWS there was about 120-140 mm there.
  • Orange Farm we measured hardly any rain, but radar did, so that one also needs a site visit to check and is not in the graph below. Although Rietfontein, also quite south, had far less than the others with 70 mm.
  • (The Florida Park station was stolen and is still waiting for funds for replacement.)

Making it known: TAHMO weather stations

October 2019

Life can be circular; From 1995-2001 I worked for Prof Hubert Savenije and completed my PhD under him in 2002. Fast forward 2019 and the 20th Waternet symposium is around the corner of the AquaLinks offices. Prof Dominic Mazvimavi is quoting Prof Hubert Savenije on the seed we all planted then. Waternet is now a tree under which shade a lot of IWRM researchers have grown.

AquaLinks is represented at the Waternet-symposium by Marieke de Groen and Fungisai Chiduku, together representing the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory.

The plea is the same as in 1995: measure more and use the data!

Almost there: 4th PSC of Research on the Use of SuDS in Gauteng

October 2019

AquaLinks arranged that the PSC & PMC & guests of “Research on the use of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in Gauteng” could ponder about the possibility of green roofs in the CBD from the 15th floor “Elevate Rooftop venue” in Marshalltown Johannesburg. All background studies are now submitted:  Literature Review, Inventory of SuDS in Gauteng, Analysis of the three Study Areas and Recommendations (the three study areas being Kagiso, CBD-Johannesburg, Bonaero Park-Atlasville), Decision Support Tools for SuDS in Gauteng, Best Management Practices. Now the last big step is to get it all into a concise Implementation Manual!

Busy: Getting Gauteng going on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

July 2019

A workshop on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in preparation of an implementation manual for Gauteng, as prepared by GDARD, took place on 26 July in Johannesburg. Over 60 participants from government, consultancies, academia, property owners, civil society and community participated. AquaLinks led the organisation and facilitation as part of the Urban Rivers Alliance with FourthElement and Eco-Pulse and with NMA and Greenvision Consulting. After a presentation by Stuart Dunsmore on the three Study Areas used (Kagiso, Bonaero, Johannesburg CBD), there were parallel sessions on making SuDS sustainable, retro-fitting SuDS, policies and institutions and the land development process. We are getting Gauteng going on SuDS, towards a water sensitive and water secure Gauteng!

Continued: AgriCloud from Rain4Africa


June 2019

While the NSO financed Rain4Africa project is officially closed off, the consortium will continue to roll out AgriCloud! Watch the video in this link.

AquaLinks as subcontractor of Hydrologic and Weather Impact, has worked together with the other consortium partners ARC, SAWS, WDOD, eLEAF, KNMI, Winejob to deliver the deliverables, resulting in Apps for smartphone and USSD, as well as desktop advice and API connections to decision support systems. For the Agro-industry and beyond.

AquaLinks will continue to support the roll out.



Busy: Research on the Use of SuDS in Gauteng

February 2019

AquaLinks organised and facilitated on 5 February the GDARD workshop “Research on the Use of Sustainable (Urban) Drainage Systems in Gauteng” with the others in the Urban Rivers Alliance (FourthElement and Eco-Pulse) and with NMA and GreenvisionConsulting.

Big thanks to all participants from private sector, academia and government! The rain and clouds of the San embroideries in the Origins Centre inspired the over thirty participants.

N.B. we are uploading SuDS projects in

Published: Two extended abstracts in Conference Proceedings Adaptation Futures

December 2018

The Conference Proceedings of the international conference Adaptation Futures 2018, about climate change adaptation, are published.

AquaLinks assisted Floris Boogaard in two papers published, and Marieke de Groen was therefore mentioned as co-author:

  • Urban climate resilience: European-African knowledge exchange toolbox (Floris Boogaard, Marieke de Groen, Rick Heikoop) pp 16-21
  • High resolution thermal stress mapping in Africa: decision maps for urban planning in Johannesburg (Floris Boogaard, Jeroen Kluck, Marieke de Groen) pp 27-30

Completed: Matchmaking Mission Co-creating Water Re-use and Water efficiency for Industries in South Africa

November 2018

From 19 to 21 November, six Dutch companies active in treating industrial and horticulture wastewater for re-use visited South African companies. This was a follow up on a workshop in June where the specific requests of South African companies were explained. As a follow up Dutch technology suppliers that could fulfil these demands were looked for. A network reception where South Africans could also meet each other, and two days tailor made site visits, were the result. In total twenty one South African companies and organisations participated in the match making mission.

AquaLinks (Marieke de Groen and Patience Mukuyu) organized the contacts with the South Africans, while Yuniko did the contacts with the Dutch companies. The Clients were a combination of the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, the Netherlands Water Partnership and RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency).

Now it is up to the businesses to further match their demands and supplies! AquaLinks remains available for South African companies interested in water re-use or water efficiency.