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Invitation to the 4th Orange River Basin Symposium


Dr Tommy Bornman, Manager of SAEON’s Elwandle Node (top, right) and Yolandi Els, Coordinator of SAEON’s Node for Arid Lands (above) will form part of the team presenting monitoring results of the Orange River catchment area.


The Orange River, South Africa’s largest river, plays a major role in agriculture, industry, mining and rural development. It is also a major source of water for the dry west of the subcontinent.

Readers are invited to attend the 4th Orange River Basin Symposium which will be held on 6 – 7 June 2012 in the CR Swart Auditorium on the campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa. 

The symposium will be hosted by the Strategic Academic Cluster “Water management in water-scarce areas” of the UFS in collaboration with the UFS Centre for Environmental Management, the Department of Water Affairs (Free State) and the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM). 

Theme: Integrated water management

The Orange River is South Africa’s largest river. The catchment straddles South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia and plays a major role in agriculture, industry, mining and rural development. The Orange River is also a major source of water for the dry west of the subcontinent. 

Symposium objectives

The symposium aims to provide a forum and communication platform for academics, researchers, public officials (local to national, government and parastatal), industry, suppliers, consultants and development organisations interested in, and affected by the Orange River catchment.

A Pre-Symposium Workshop, "Water Related Disaster Risk Reduction”, will be held on 5 June 2012. Please note that there is limited space available. 

Issues of importance are the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation; the need to supply enough water for agriculture for food security; the utilisation of water for potential hydropower, which is needed for socio-economic development; and the management of water resources in an efficient and sustainable manner so that we can protect the environment and ecosystems.

In line with the objectives, facilities can be made available for associated meetings, workshops and courses.

Key speakers

- Dr Peter Ashton (Pr.Sci.Nat., MSAIEES, EAPSA  Principal Researcher, CSIR - Natural Resources and the Environment);

- Dr Dirk Roux (Freshwater Conservation Specialist, South African National Parks; Research Associate of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of Monash South Africa);

- Dr Tony Turton (Director: Touchstone Resources; Associate Professor: Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State; South African Environmentalist of the Year 2010); and

- Dr Nola Redelinghuys (Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, UFS. Expertise in Population dynamics and environmental issues)

* Please visit for more details on the speakers and the programme outline.



Topics include Environmental Water Requirements and River Health; Water Conservation; Disaster Risk Management, Geomorphology; Social Impacts; Governance; Land-use and Land Management in the Orange River Basin; Limnology; and Education and Training.

For further information, contact Sanet Neethling on Tel: +27 051 401 2863; Fax: + 27 051 401 2629; E-mail:, or visit

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