The principal aim is conservation of both water quality and quantity for domestic, industrial, agricultural, recreational and ecological uses in South Africa. Through basic and applied research the group seeks to generate solutions to water quality problems of national importance and actively participates in the technology transfer of these solutions.
Research focusses mainly on environmental systems engineering, which seeks to develop an understanding of the fundamental chemical, physical and biological processes operating in various water-related systems, such as water storage (impoundments), transport (rivers, pipes, sewers) and treatment plants (potable and wastewater).
The group is an interdisciplinary one involving students from various departments. In the past 30 years, more than 80 students have obtained their MSc degrees and 20 their PhDs. Twelve monographs, including software for modelling and analysis of biological and chemical processes, over 200 journal papers and 80 conference papers on water and wastewater treatment have been published by the staff and postgraduate research students.