Department of Geography

Dr A du Plessis

College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
School of Ecological and Human Sustainability
Department: Geography
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 011 471 2877


  • Integrated Water Management
  • Water Availability and Scarcity
  • Water Quality
  • Water and Climate Change
  • Water related risks and opportunities


  • PhD Geography. Thesis Title - Quantifying and Predicting Hydrological Responses of Water Quality Associated with Land Cover Changes within the Upper Vaal River, South Africa (UJ)
  • MSc Geography. Focussed upon the influence of water flow on water quality within the Vaal Dam Reservoir (UJ).
  • BSc Honours in Geography (UJ)
  • BSc Geography and Environmental Management (UJ)

Currently teaching

  • GGH3701 - State of the Environment in Southern Africa

Fields of academic interests

Teaching Interests

  • Physical geography, hydrology, environmental change and problems, environmental management.

Research Interests

  • Water availability, quality and water related risk
  • Water resource planning and management
  • Community based water resource monitoring and management
  • Hydrological responses accompanied with land cover change
  • Application of GIS and Remote Sensing in the development of hydrological models


  • du Plessis, A. 2017: Freshwater Challenges of South Africa and its Upper Vaal River: Current State and Outlook. Springer Water Series. Springer Nature. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-49502-6.
  • du Plessis, A. 2019: Water as an Inescable Risk: Current Water Availability, Quality and Risks of the Globe with Specific Focus on South Africa. Springer Water Series. Springer Nature. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-03186-2.

Book chapters:

  • du Plessis, A., 2020. Freshwater and Industries. In: Goldstein, M.I., DellaSala, D.A. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes, vol. 4. Elsevier, pp. 55–62. ISBN: 9780128160961

Journal articles

  • du Plessis, A Harmse, JT and Fethi, A. 2015. Predicting Water Quality Associated with Land Cover Change with the Application of the Partial Least Squares Method: Case Study of the Grootdraai Dam Catchment, South Africa. Water International, In press.
  • Pretorius, R.W., Nicolau, M.D., Immelman, J., de Jager, A., Nӧthling, M. and du Plessis, A. 2015. Virtual learning environments for transformation to sustainability: A case study from the "South". In Integrating Sustainability Thinking in Science and Engineering Curricula: Innovative Approaches, Methods and Tools. Springer, p. 335 - 348
  • du Plessis, A Harmse, JT and Fethi, A. 2014. Quantifying and Predicting the Water Quality Associated with Land Cover Change: A Case Study of the Blesbok Spruit Catchment, South Africa. Water, 6 (10), 2946-2946.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

Professional Societies and Involvement

  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS): Member
  • Young Water Professionals: Member
  • Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA): Member