Geohydrologists scientifically investigate and evaluate underground water resources, their quality and characteristics. They are involved in the exploration of groundwater by means of geophysical techniques.

Geohydrology is a relatively new science and is an important field for various reasons. Many reservoirs cannot hold as much ground water as before, due to sedimentation. In recent years, there is also a much higher degree of public awareness regarding healthy or contaminated water. Geohydrology helps improve quality of life and environmental safety.

Groundwater is a natural resource of ongoing importance. As surface water resources become fully utilised, the importance of groundwater will increase. More than 100 towns in South Africa are completely dependent on groundwater. Groundwater is also important for the mining industry, while irrigation from boreholes is also increasing rapidly.

Geohydrologists investigate the occurrence and exploitation possibilities of groundwater in different geological formations. They investigate the quality of groundwater and study groundwater systems by means of mathematical models and statistical analyses. They render expert advice to institutions and users of groundwater. The work of geohydrologists varies from office work to fieldwork.

Geohydrological technicians: assist geo-hydrologists by working with computers or files to store information; using geohydrological measuring, testing and collecting equipment and other technical equipment.

Suggested training for technicians:

Diploma: Diploma in Water Care - TUT

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy outdoor living, travelling and camping
  • aptitude for the physical / natural sciences and mathematics
  • observant, accurate and objective
  • problem-solving skills
  • interested in the physical and mathematical sciences
  • able to communicate clearly in writing and in speech
  • responsible and dedicated
  • prepared to work out in the field
  • enjoy nature and travelling
  • computer literate
  • flexible and adapt easily to new situations
  • good health and stamina

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: BSc degree - most universities. Hydrology can be followed at UKZN, UV and UZ, and Groundwater Studies at UFS.

Post-graduate study is recommended, for example BSc (Honours) degree with appropriate subjects such as Geology, Physics and Mathematics.

Preference is given to candidates with qualifications that include courses in Geohydrology, a BSc (Honours) degree in Geohydrology and specialist training such as Applied Geophysics.


  • Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
  • CSIR
  • municipalities
  • universities
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can open own business, for example in collaboration with an engineering firm

Further Information

Geological Society of South Africa 
CSIR Mining Precinct (formerly CSIR Miningtek)
Corner Rustenburg and CarlowRoads
Melville,South Africa
Tel: (011) 358-0028

Getting Started

  • try to find a part-time or holiday job with a consulting firm
  • make an appointment to speak to a geohydrologist about this career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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