Compilation of brief synoptic report of the 2020-2021 seasonal (annual) surface water hydrology of the Orange-Senqu River Basin

The UNDP-GEF project Support to the Orange-Senqu Rivers Strategic Action Programme Implementation is supporting ORASECOM. This project is to assist the Surface Water Hydrology Committee and ORASECOM with a template and format for reporting on annual surface water hydrology.

Period: September 2021 – October 2021


AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, Mankoe Raliengoane

Outputs: Not yet available.

Stocktaking of climate, weather and water services in Southern Africa

The overall objective of this project is to take stock of the state of meteorology, hydrology, climate services and early warning systems in Southern Africa, identify opportunities for regional collaboration and inform investment planning in those services. AquaLinks fulfills the role of Teamleader of the multi-disciplinary team.

Period: March 2020 – August 2021

Client: World Bank, as part of the programme Building Disaster Risk Resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa, subcontracted by Royal HaskoningDHV in further consortium with Weather Impact

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, with subcontract for Bradwell Garanganga

Outputs: Summary report of all deliverables will be published by World Bank. Link will be provided once available.

Mapping and translating water quality risk into economic terms for the agricultural sector along the Crocodile River and Sabie Rivers (Inkomati-Usuthu catchment)

The faecal pollution in the Crocodile and Usuthu catchment is a point of concern from an ecological perspective, but also from a farming perspective. Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria are an indicator species for faecal pollution. Farmers have additional costs of treating water, or are, sometimes unknowingly, applying polluted water on their crops. Different crop types and farming methods have different risks and different locations have different levels of exposure. The project describes these different risks, and investigates whether economic conclusions can be drawn on the impacts for farming.

Period: March 2020 – May 2021

Client: World Wide Fund for Nature, funded by Woolworths

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, Sinovuyo Mbobo, with subcontracts for Prof Lise Korsten and Dr Abiodun Ogundeji

Outputs: Public version will be published by WWF and linked to when publicly available.

Research on the Use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in Gauteng Province

The aim was to develop an Implementation Manual for Sustainable Drainage Systems in Gauteng based on experiences in Gauteng and on three case studies. Five stakeholder workshops were facilitated and contributions from team members and project management were coordinated. AquaLinks spearheaded the project management and capacity building. AquaLinks also co-authored deliverables, as task-lead for literature review, data collection on SuDS installations in Gauteng, heat stress for analysis of study areas, as well as recommendations and decision support tools for decision making on SuDS.

Period: October 2018 – March 2020

Client: Province of Gauteng (Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – Climate Change and Research section) subcontracted by Fourth Element

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, Aa’isha Dollie, with subcontracts for GreenVisionConsulting and TAUW and Phathu Designs

Outputs: For final reports, use links of Gauteng City Region Observatory and of University of Cape Town Future Water; for the start of the inventory of SuDS in Gauteng, check www.climatescan.org

Rain4Africa – Agricultural Advisory Services based on latest weather information and agricultural knowhow

The project was aimed at providing South African farmers with agricultural advisory services based on the best available weather and climate information for their specific locations, thus assisting in increasing food production, decreasing risks of losing crops, and decreasing inputs in terms of insecticides and pesticides. AquaLinks, as the Technical Operational Manager, coordinated inter-linkages, guided progress and reported to the Project Manager on this project. Weather information from the South African Weather Services (SAWS) was enriched with algorithms from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) to assist farmers determine the best dates to plant and spray. AquaLinks also guided the development of the Mobile App services, resulting in products marketed as AgriCloud Smartphone App. Additional advisories were made available via the HydroNET webportal and a USSD service for farmers without smartphone.

Period: August 2017 – November 2019

Client: Weather Impact and Hydrologic Research funded by Netherlands Space Office G4A

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen

Outputs: The AgriCloud App is available via the Google Play store. More project information and results can be found on www.rain4africa.org

Matching Dutch industrial water re-use solutions with challenges and opportunities in South Africa

The project served to scope and select general business opportunities for industrial wastewater treatment in South Africa, as well as to perform screening and (preferably on-site) technical assessment of the South African demand. The project was to also establish contacts with South African industries and investors, and thus match their specific needs to the potential solution providers from The Netherlands. AquaLinks prepared a sector scan, organised site visits and confidential meetings between suppliers and potential clients and presented at workshop.

Period: May 2018 – November 2018

Client: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa, funded by Dutch Enterprise Agency

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, Patience Mukuyu

Outputs: Confidential apart from initial sector scan that is available via Dutch Enterprise Agency link.

Water efficiency and water reuse for industries in South Africa; workshops facilitation

Two workshop, one at WISA 2018 and another at the Embassy in Tshwane, was the kick-off of the Dutch efforts to co-create water efficiency and water reuse for industries in South Africa. Opportunities and barriers for implementation were identified.

Period: May 2018 – June 2018

Client: Netherlands Water Partnership, funded by Dutch Enterprise Agency

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, Patience Mukuyu

Outputs: Workshop reports (available on request via Embassy)

Greening and Green Infrastructure Strategy for Johannesburg

The aim of the project, within the bigger strategy development, is to understand how green infrastructure can influence the functioning of ecology and the civil services, mainly in terms of stormwater management and water provision, in the context of Johannesburg. AquaLinks is co-author of the Demonstration project, that uses the case studies of the Modderfontein area, the Waterfalls area and Alexandra township, to show how the different settings urge for different choices of green infrastructure. Together with GCRO, AquaLinks is also co-author of the chapter on the background chapter on Water Security and Catchment Management.

Period: September 2018 – ongoing

Client: Gauteng City Region Observatory, funded by City of Joburg, subcontracted by Fourth Element

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen

Outputs: Demonstration of Green Infrastructure in the Jukskei catchment, with special focus on Alexandra, Modderfontein and Waterfall (to be published), Chapter on Water Security and Catchment Management (to be published)

Wetland Management Guidelines for South African Municipalities

The guideline was specifically aimed at capacitating local government staff with little background in wetland management including town planners, engineers, environmental officers, municipal administrators, department managers and policy makers. The 300-page document has been widely distributed and provides detailed guidance on a range of aspects including: (i) the value of wetlands; (ii) the mandates and powers of municipalities related to wetland management; (iii) how to develop a strategy to improve wetland management; (iv) how to develop a wetland inventory; (v) how to prioritize important wetlands and wetland interventions; (vi) rehabilitating and enhancing wetland values; (vii) best practice measures for managing development impacts on wetlands; (viii) how to set up wetland monitoring and enforcement capacity; and (ix) how to proactively incorporate wetland management objectives into municipal planning. AquaLinks contributed some hydrological input and contributed peer reviewing.

Period: March 2018 – August 2018

Client: ICLEI Africa, subcontracted by Eco-Pulse

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen

Outputs: The full guideline is available at ICLEI, via the following link.

Hydrological analysis for the Feasibility Study for the water supply system for Solwezi (Zambia)

The aim of the total project was to develop effective, economical, engineered, environmentally friendly, and sustainable detailed designs that would address  North Western Water Supply and Sewerage Company Limited (NWWSSC)’s main challenge of meeting both the current and future water and sanitation needs of Solwezi residents. Different surface and groundwater sources were identified, field visits were undertaken and options were analysed. This was in order to assess the hydrological suitability of these water sources as an additional source for Solwezi. After the inception phase in which AquaLinks contributed the hydrological analysis, it was decided to go for a geohydrological option.

Period: June 2018 – September 2018

Client: North Western Water Supply and Sewerage Company Limited (NWWSSC), subcontracted by Royal HaskoningDHV

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen

Outputs: Chapter in Inception report on hydrological analysis (not public)

Support to Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO)

The aim of the collaboration with TAHMO is to support the number of weather stations and accompanying educational material in Southern Africa, and represent TAHMO at regional conferences and for regional users of their services. Focus has been on 9 pilot stations which were installed and maintained in Johannesburg, in collaboration with the Disaster Management Services of City of Johannesburg. Maintenance of these stations continues to be done by AquaLinks.

Period: February 2017 – continuing


AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen, Rukudzo Nyabeze

Outputs: See separate TAHMO page on this website

Impacts of the flow alterations by the proposed Lower Maguduza Hydropower Station on the Ecological State of the Usuthu and Ngwempisi Rivers

This project was a finalisation of earlier work for the determination of the ecological impact of the planned Lower Maguduza Hydropower station as part of an EIA. As flow capacities of the plan were changed, the original report was adjusted to serve the submission for ESIA approvals. AquaLinks provided project management and hydrological inputs.

Period: February 2017 – May 2017

Client/partner: Swaziland Electricity Company, subcontracted by Rivers for Africa for Royal HaskoningDHV

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen

Outputs: Annexure to ESIA Lower Maguduza Hydropower Station (version 2017)

Two Rivers Urban Park – Towards a sustainable integrated urban development

The Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town are developing a spatial plan for the area around the confluence of the Liesbeek and Black River. This project was about presenting at a public meeting the end results of the Specialists Studies of Modelling of Flood Mitigation Options as well as well as on Watercourse Management and creating a Waterfront feature.

Period: February 2017 – May 2017

Client: Western Cape Government subcontracted by NM and Associates (workshop) and Royal HaskoningDHV (finalisation reports)

AquaLinks team members: Marieke de Groen

Outputs: The total project outputs are uploaded on project website, although the full Watercourse Management report has not been uploaded