Dr Sanet Janse van Vuuren is a senior lecturer at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University since 1995 where she does research on freshwater algae. The availability of fresh water is regarded as the most limiting factor in the future of South Africa. Rivers are intensively exploited and water demands in the catchment areas are drastically increasing. The need for clean water in South Africa makes research on this topic not only important and sought after, but vital. The presence of high algal concentrations causes concern, especially if they result in a variety of problems. Algae are increasingly used to monitor the quality of water in rivers and dams worldwide and therefore it is important to link the presence of different types of algae to existing environmental conditions. One aspect of our research focusses on freshwater algal identification and the determination of algal concentration. Ecological studies are also conducted where the algal concentration is linked to associated physical, chemical and biological environmental variables. Research is done in conjunction with different water purification institutions, of which Rand Water is the largest. Other water purification institutions include Midvaal Water Company (purifies water for the Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein area), as well as Sedibeng Water (purifies water vir Welkom, Virginia, Odendaalsrus). Identification and enumeration of algae are also done for the Department of Water and Sanitation, as well as for municipalities and other academic institutions. Training courses in algal identification are presented from time to time, depending on the demand. These courses are usually planned to suit individual requirements.
JS van der Merwe Building (E6)