Department of Hydrology and Water Resources

About Us
An overview of the Department



The Department was created in 1999 to focus on training in the areas of hydrology and water resources, with emphasis on surface water hydrology, hydrogeology, meteorology, water supply and sanitation, water resources management (including management of resource quantity and quality), fluid dynamics and water treatment processes.

The Department offers a four-year professional degree awarded as honours degree, with classification as distinction or pass. The Department also offers masters and doctorate qualifications. The Department first admitted students on the four year professional degree qualification in the year 2000 and masters’ by research students in the year 2002.


To provide four year professional degree training and carry out research at postgraduate level in hydrology and water resources with focus on basic and applied aspects of surface water hydrology, hydrogeology, meteorology, fluid mechanics, and water resource quantity and quality management and supply.


To produce high quality graduates with theoretical and applied knowledge and research experience to work as hydrologists, hydrogeologists, meteorologists, and water resource management and supply experts in private and public service, and academic and research institutions.

Qualifications offered

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Hydrology and Water Resources (PhDG).
  • Master of Earth Sciences in Hydrology and Water Resources (MESHWR)
  • Honours of Hydrology and Water Resources (BEHHWR)
  • Bachelor of Earth Sciences in Hydrology and Water Resources (BESHWR).

Admission requirements

The minimum admission requirement for the above-mentioned degree programme is as follows:

  • A Matriculation Certificate or Senior Certificate endorsed for university admission.
  • Mathematics and Physical Science – 60% plus English 50%.

There is a limited number of places and therefore meeting the minimum entry requirement does not guarantee a place. Selection will be based on a student’s M score (the sum of the points) obtained on the basis of results achieved in the matriculation examination. Points are awarded for the six best symbols of the matriculation examination results (including English, Mathematics, Physical Science but excluding Life Orientation and Life Science)

Undergraduate Modules

Module CodeModule NamePrerequisite (s)
1st Year
HWR 1541Introduction to Hydrology and Meteorology 
HWR 1542Introduction to Groundwater 
HWR 1641Southern African Weather and Water Resources 
HWR 1642Water Quality Principles 
2nd Year
HWR 2541Rural Water Supply and Sanitation 
HWR 2542Data Information Systems 
HWR 2641Water Laws and Institutions 
HWR 2642Drought Preparedness and ManagementHWR 1641
3rd Year
HWR 3541Hydrologic Measurements 
HWR 3542Atmospheric DynamicsHWR 1541
HWR 3543Fluid Mechanics 
HWR 3641Hydrologic AnalysisHWR 3541
HWR 3642HydrogeologyHWR  1542
HWR 3643Water Quality ManagementHWR  1642
4th Year
HWR 4541Applied HydrologyHWR 3641
HWR 4542Applied HydrogeologyHWR  3642
HWR 4543Water Supply SystemsHWR 3543
HWR 4990Research Techniques and Project
HWR 4641Water Resources Management
HWR 4642Applied MeteorologyHWR 3542
HWR 4643Water Treatment ProcessesHWR 3643
HWR 4990Research Techniques and Project 


Honours Modules

Module Code
Module Name
Prerequisite (s)
HWR 5541
Applied Hydrology
HWR 3641
HWR 5542
Applied Hydrogeology
HWR  3642
HWR 5543
Water Supply Systems
HWR 3543
HWR 5990
Research Techniques and Project
HWR 5641
Water Resources Management
HWR 5642
Applied Meteorology
HWR 3542
HWR 5643
Water Treatment Processes
HWR 3643
HWR 5990
Research Techniques and Project


Masters Modules

HWR 6990Research and Dissertation


PhD Module

HWR 7990Research and Thesis
Since its initiation in 2000, the Department of Mining and Environmental Geology has made great strides in developing partnerships and collaborations with the industry, Government departments, non-governmental organizations and other universities both nationally and internationally.

Departmental initiatives include partnerships with:

  • Pulles Howard and de Lange (PhD): School of Environmental Sciences has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PhD. We have been able to attach some of our Honours students for industrial attachment at PhD. Currently, we have three Masters students attached to PhD projects, thus accessing the well-equipped laboratories of PHD.
  • Germany Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): Through this collaboration, we managed to take 15 third year students to four academic institutions in Germany (Technical University of Clausthal, Gottingen University, Technical University of Berlin, and Technical University of Freiberg) for a study tour in January 2002. Currently we have collaboration with Technical University of Clausthal. In 2003 Dr. K. Maas visited the Department and taught for one month. The feed back from these processes has informed our curriculum development and teaching modalities.
  • Water Research Commission of South Africa; We have received research funds for our Honours and Masters students, and mobility funds for participation in conferences.
  • University of Witwatersrand; We have several joint projects incorporating postgraduate students and co-supervision.
  • University of Cape Town; We have collaboration in teaching, research and co-supervision.
  • Gold Fields. lndustrial attachment of students, to Kloof Mine and Driefonten Mine.
  • Venetia Diamond Mine. Industrial attachment of students.
  • Kumba Resources. Industrial attachment of students to Tshikondeni Coal Mine and Grootegeluk Coal Mine.
  • Impala Platinum-Rustenburg Operations. Industrial attachment of students.
  • Department of Minerals and Energy Polokwane and Pretoria. Industrial attachment of 3 students to the ERPN Gold Mine in Boksburg.
  • The three students secured scholarships from DME.
  • South Africa/ Germany joint science and technology research cooperation – Giyani project.
  • Collaboration in research and staff/students exchange with the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, Germany.
  • Collaborative research work with the Council for Geoscience –Giyani Project.

Collaborative research work with University of Virginia – Clay Deposit at Ha-Mashamba Village in Limpopo Province. Three honours students are currently attached to the project.


Tinyiko R. Nkuna

Chief Laboratory Technician

Specialization: Surface and groundwater hydrology; water resources monitoring and hydrological modelling; water resource management; stochastic hydrology; water security; and climate change and land use change impacts on water resources.

Qualification: Bachelor of Earth Science in Hydrology and Resource Management (BESHWR),Master of Earth Sciences degree in Hydrology and Water Resources (MESHWR)

Tel: +27 15 962 8017
Office: Environmental Sciences Building, Room GE-03

Jabulani R. Gumbo


Specialization: Freshwater cyanobacteria species and their effect on rural water quality and inland aquaculture and how to reduce cyanotoxins in these ecosystems; Water quality issues related to pre- and post-mining activities and the management of tailings dams and how to reduce contaminates originating from these mine tailings; Environmental risk assessment of nanowaste (dealing with disposal of waste originating from nanotechnological products) in freshwater bodies and reservoirs; Using simple ceramic water filters and defluoridation techniques in improving drinking waters in rural communities; Improving the access of water and sanitation in rural schools.

Qualification: PhD in Water Resources Management and Masters of Science (Water Resources Management), Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education (PGDip.HE), Bachelor of Science (Honours in Chemistry)

Tel: +27 15 962 8563
Office: Room GE-02, Environmental Sciences Building

Fhumulani I. Mathivha

nGAP Lecturer

Specialization: Modelling and forecasting extreme hydrological events, land use and land cover changes and their impacts on water resources availability and rural communities.

Qualification: Masters of Earth Sciences in Hydrology and Water Resources (MESHWR), Bachelor of Earth Science in Hydrology and Resource Management (BESHWR)

Tel: +27 15 962 8459
Office: New Environmental Sciences Building, Room FE-01

Rachel Makungo


Specialization: Surface and groundwater hydrology (including modelling), water resources systems analysis (yield-reliability analysis and development of operating rules), water quality and fluid mechanics.

Qualification: Masters of Earth Sciences in Hydrology and Water Resources (MESHWR), Bachelor of Earth Science in Hydrology and Resource Management (BESHWR)

Tel: +27 15 962 8577
Office: Environmental Sciences Building, Room GO-11

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