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Research and Projects

The Institute for Water Research (IWR) is a multi-disciplinary group that incorporates the Centre for Environmental Water Quality (CEWQ) and contributes to the understanding and sustainable management of water resources in southern Africa. These objectives are achieved through fundamental and applied research into the structure, function and components of natural water systems and the dissemination of research results. Consulting services are offered to solve specific problems through the application of research developments.

The IWR contributes to teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as offering professional training courses and other capacity building initiatives. Specifically, postgraduate students can register in the Institute for MSc and PhD degrees (by thesis) in both Hydrology and Water Resource Science. Staff members of the IWR serve on various research, management and policy making committees both within South Africa and overseas.

The staff of the Institute actively collaborate with other departments and institutes at Rhodes University including the departments of Geography, Zoology and Entomology, Environmental Science, Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Environmental Learning Research Centre, The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity and the Albany Museum. The Institute also cooperates with other universities, state departments and private consulting companies, both in South Africa and internationally.

Research themes within the IWR and the CEWQ

The Institute has expertise in several areas within the broad field of water resource science, including hydrology, integrated water resource management, freshwater ecology, water quality and toxicology, biomonitoring, the management of water services and community education. The combination of research and practical problem solving within the IWR allows recently developed research methods to be rapidly deployed for water resource planning and management. Within the field of ecology, the Institute has focused on understanding the processes and requirements of aquatic ecosystems and the effects of flow variability. Much of the work has been directed at assessing the environmental water quantity and quality requirements of rivers, an important component of the 'Reserve' determination process designed to ensure the sustainable use of water resources under the national Water Act of 1998.

Please see our Current Projects and Completed Projects that highlight the IWR and CEWQ commitment to interdisciplinary approaches and collaboration.

Last Modified: Wed, 13 Dec 2023 16:15:41 SAST