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The Institute for Water Studies (IWS) at the University of the Western Cape was formed in 2009 with the goal of promoting research, postgraduate training, and outreach on water related issues through the collaborative efforts of UWC staff.

The Institute for Water Studies aims to increase the understanding of surface water, groundwater, and ecosystems linkages and how water users are affected and affect these linkages.

IWS has a multi-disciplinary approach to its research, since water issues cut across disciplines.