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CWRR Staff - Member

Prof Jeff Smithers

Jeff Smithers

Position:                                Umgeni Water Chair of Water Resources Research and Innovation

                                                Director of CWRR

Discipline:                             Bioresources Engineering and Hydrology

Centre:                                   Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR)

School:                                   School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Campus:                                 Agriculture Campus

Room no./Building:              Room 203 Rabie Saunders Building

Telephone:                             +27 33 260 5408

Email:                                      smithers@ukzn.ac.za

 

Biography 

I have more than 40 years of academic and consulting experience in the fields of Agricultural/Bioresources Engineering and Engineering Hydrology, with research interests and expertise which includes design and engineering hydrology, soil and water conservation engineering, agro-hydrological and water resources simulation model development and application, mechanization planning, and energy utilization in agricultural production systems. I am a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), is a Fellow and serves on the Council of the South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers (SAIAE), and is a founding member and Secretary-General of the Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineers (PASAE) and holds an Adjunct Professor appointment at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

To date, I have authored more than 52 peer reviewed journal papers, 14 book sections, and 47 research and consulting reports. I have been invited as a keynote speaker at both national and international conferences and have made more than 87 conference presentations. To date, 8 PhD students (2 as co-supervisor), 14 MSc Eng students  and 12 MSc students have completed their studies under my supervision.

Qualifications

PhD Engineering, University of Natal, South Africa (1998): “Development and evaluation of techniques for estimating short duration design rainfall in South Africa”

M.Sc Engineering, University of Natal, South Africa (1984): “A computer control system to optimize tractive efficiency”

B.Sc Engineering (Agric), University of Natal, South Africa (1982)

Current Research Projects

I am currently involved in the following projects:

  • Leading the National Flood Studies Programme in South Africa which aims to update and modernise methods used for design flood estimation in South Africa
  • Development of a Toolbox for Design Flood Estimation: Accounting for Non-stationary Data in Design Rainfall Estimation
  • Assessment and Development of Synthetic Design Storms for Use in Small Catchments in South Africa
  • Realisation of a System for Producing Annual Water Resource Accounts on a National Scale in South Africa
  • Development of Datasets for Multi-Scale Water Resource Assessments Towards a Water Secure South Africa
  • The State of Citizen Science (CS) for Water Resource Quality Monitoring
  • Development of an Operational Flood Monitoring System/Flood Risk Information System

Recently Completed Projects (2020-23)

  • CALITZ JP and SMITHERS JC (2020) Development and Assessment of Regionalised Approaches to Design Flood Estimation In South Africa. WRC Report No. 2748/1/20, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 176 pp.
  • GERICKE OJ, PIETERSEN JPJ, SMITHERS  JC, DU PLESSIS JA, ALLNUTT CE and WILLIAMS VH (2022) Development of a regionalised approach to estimate areal reduction factors and catchment response time parameters for improved design flood estimation in South Africa. WRC Project K5/2924, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 176 pp.
  • JOHNSON KA, SMITHERS JC, SINGH KR and KUSI N (2021) Impacts of Floods and Data Availability, Data Quality and Data Screening on the Estimation of Design Floods. WRC Project K5/2926, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 160 pp.
  • LOOTS I and SMITHERS JC (2020) Design Flood Estimation in Urban Areas in South Africa: Preliminary Results from Tshwane Case Studies. WRC Project K5/2747, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 124 pp.
  • MOUTON JVS, LOOTS I and SMITHERS JC (2022) Assessment and Development of Synthetic Design Storms for Use in Urban Environments: Gauteng Pilot Study. WRC Project No. C2020-2021-00657, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 126 pp.
  • SCHÜTTE S, SCHULZE RE, CLARK DJ, KUNZ RP, WOLSKI P, LUMSDEN T, SMITHERS JC, STUART-HILL SI, THORNTON-DIBB SLC, HORAN MJC, TOUCHER ML and JELE Z (2022) A National Assessment of Potential Climate Change Impacts on the Hydrological Yield of Different Hydro-Climatic Zones of South Africa: Report 1 – Methodology and Results. WRC Report No. K5/2833/1&2, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, RSA, 237 pp.
  • SMITHERS JC, ROWE TJ, SCHULZE RE, MABILA N, DLAMINI NS, MAHARAJ U and RAMLALL R (2021) Further Development, Updating and Assessment of the SCS-SA Model for Design Flood Estimation in South Africa using a Continuous Simulation Approach. WRC Report No.  2926/1/22, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 140 pp.

Hobbies and Interests

Playing sport – squash and tennis

Outdoor activities and hiking

Mountain biking

Bird watching

Travel

Carpentry

Five recent publications

  • JOHNSON KA and SMITHERS JC (2020) Updating the estimation of 1-day probable maximum precipitation in South Africa. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 32  100736.
  • JOHNSON KA, SMITHERS JC and SCHULZE RE (2021) A review of methods to account for impacts of non-stationary climate data on extreme rainfalls for design rainfall estimation in South Africa. Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering 63 (3) 55–61.
  • KHOOSAL S and SMITHERS  J (2023) Evaluation of using local information from donor catchments to improve the performance of selected deterministic and empirical design flood estimation methods in South Africa. Water SA 65 (1) 45–57.
  • LOOTS I, SMITHERS JC and KJELDSEN TR (2022) Quantifying the influence of urban development on runoff in South Africa. Urban Water Journal https://doi.org/10.1080/1573062X.2022.2027472  14 pp.
  • SMITHERS JC, ROWE TJ, SCHULZE RE, MABILA N, DLAMINI NS, MAHARAJ U and RAMLALL R (2021) Further Development, Updating and Assessment of the SCS-SA Model for Design Flood Estimation in South Africa using a Continuous Simulation Approach. WRC Report No.  2926/1/22, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa, 140 pp.