Hydrogeophysical investigation of the impact of invasive tree species on groundwater at Dayspring Children's Village

Geoscientists Without Borders
Water Management Projects

The site provides an ideal case study to investigate the influence of invasive trees on groundwater. Prior to this project, no quantitative studies on this issue have been conducted in South Africa.

Over the last 30 years the groundwater at the Dayspring Children's Village has dried up and it is suspected that a large stand of invasive trees may be contributing to the depletion and lack of recharge to the aquifer. The orphanage is home to nearly 100 staff and students that could be expanded if sufficient water resources were secured.

This two-year study was an intensive geophysical investigation, involving students from first year through to graduate students, aimed at restoring a sufficient water supply to the Dayspring School and documenting the effect of invasive trees on groundwater for broader application throughout South Africa.

Status Complete

Voices from the Field

Projects supported by Geoscientists Without Borders not only provide immediate humanitarian benefit to the communities they serve, but also help project participants gain critical real-world experience and enriched perspectives of the power and potential the geosciences offer to a world in need. Below you can read testimony from the principal investigator of the GWB water management project.

Statement of Work

Students both locally and internationally were involved in survey design, data acquisition, processing, and interpretation.

Project team students developed relationships with and mentored the orphans.

Non-indigenous trees were removed; wood sale benefited the orphanage.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Susan Webb, University of the Witwatersrand  

Team members

University of the Witwatersrand – Professor Mike Jones,  Professor Lewis Ashwal, David Ngobeni, Tamiru Abiye, Nirocca Devkurran, Rachael Goba,  Obone Sepato, Sally Ann Lee
Stanford University
Canada Geophysical Surveys and System
Pinegowrie, ZA
McMaster University – Madeline Lee
Working for Water
FUGRO – Darren Burrows
Department of Water Affairs & F
Dayspring Children’s Village, ZA


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