To gather and disseminate information for the advancement of cost-effective and environmentally acceptable operational practices, control measures and management of industrial water and wastewater related systems and processes.


To coordinate affiliation with related scientific bodies and interested parties in Southern Africa and corresponding and related bodies internationally;

  • To gather and disseminate information on technology, operation and control of industrial water and wastewater systems by initiating and organizing, or participating in open meetings, technical visits, workshops and conferences;
  • To provide forums and media where knowledge and experience of industrial water and wastewater systems can be discussed and published to the benefit of all who experience difficulties in this field, including interested and associated groups and individuals from public authorities, industry, suppliers, consultants, development and research organizations;
  • To develop, make available or be able to refer to relevant publications, manuals, guidelines, handbooks and software, and, if appropriate, to publish a newsletter;
  • To enlist a wide diversity of membership so as to achieve mutual benefits between industry, suppliers, research groups, governmental groups and individuals;
  • To encourage, advise on, or initiate, and if appropriate, participate in training and educational courses; and
  • To encourage, and acknowledge, research in operational difficulties associated with industrial water and wastewater systems.


The Industrial Water Division previously SAIWA (then the Southern African Industrial Water Association) started life as SABICA (the South African Biological Induced Corrosion Association). This was an interest group formed by industrial water scientists working for Eskom, Iscor, Sastech, the Mining industry and Water Treatment companies who came together to share information on the phenomenon of Microbiologically Induced Corrosion. The association joined with WISA in 1996.

In 1985, Meryl Nixon from Eskom, Dr Peter Stegmann from Sastech and Lionel Hughes from Buckman Laboratories met up at an International Conference on MIC being held in Washington D.C. With encouragement from Dr Dick Lutey from Memphis (a world expert on MIC), the South Africans agreed to form an interest group on their return home. By July 1986 a Committee had been formed and planning was underway for `The First Southern African Symposium on Biological Fouling and Corrosion in Industrial Water Systems`. This Symposium was held in Johannesburg (September 1986) and opened by Dr Daan Toerien – then Chief Director: National Institute for Water Research. Scientists working within the field of industrial water treatment presented fifteen papers. During the discussion held afterwards, the comment was made that as there was no professional or technical body looking after the interests of industrial water scientists (this was in the days of the South African Branch of the IWPC), perhaps SABICA should broaden its horizons to include all matters related to industrial water treatment. All present unanimously agreed and after this one symposium SABICA became SAIWA.

During November 1986 Mr Pressly (who was by then serving on the SAIWA committee) was approached by Mr J Abbott, who was leading the IWPC Working Group on Mine Water, to see if discussions could be held on areas of mutual interest. In December a representative of the IWPC was invited to attend a SAIWA committee meeting. He informed this meeting that there was some concern in the IWCP that SAIWA might be overlapping with the aims of the IWPC. Contact with the IWPC was maintained up to and after the formation of WISA with SAIWA carrying on looking after the interests of industrial water scientists.

In the meantime SAIWA continued to run very successful annual symposia from 1987 through to 1992. These symposia were supplemented with technical evenings and workshops. By 1993 it was becoming difficult to organize symposia with the help of a few dedicated members working part time and SAIWA instead elected to assist with the Industrial Water sessions at Afriwater and the WISA biennial conference. It had also become obvious that the place for SAIWA was within the WISA umbrella as the Industrial Water Division. This was accomplished in November 1996.

Division Lead: Kuben Govender
Email: ps.admin@wisa.org.za for more information.