EHS Support Senior Principal Hydrogeologist David Ife spent three years working in the Middle East. Here he and his wife stand beneath a thousand-year-old baobab tree in a remote valley near Salalah in Oman, where monsoonal rains trapped by vegetation on the Jebel mountain range maintain low temperatures throughout the year.
David Ife was born into a family that loved adventure and travel. During trips to outback mining towns with his family, he developed an interest in fossicking for minerals and fossils. This interest was fostered by a school-teacher friend of his parents, who worked at the state museum and would bring him small samples of minerals for his collection. This passion for rock collecting developed into a love for all things geological. So it was not surprising that when David graduated from high school, it was the science of geology he chose to study at university.
David studied geology at Melbourne University and graduated with honours in 1973. His first job was as a Groundwater Geologist with the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission in Victoria in 1974. This job launched his career in hydrogeological assessment and his academic credentials were enhanced when he completed a master’s degree in hydrogeology at the University of NSW in 1982.
Throughout his career David has worked on significant hydrogeological projects including salinity management in irrigation areas of Victoria, appraisal of groundwater licence applications under the Groundwater Act (now replaced by the Water Act); groundwater resource assessment, including significant projects across the Murray-Darling Basin; and waste management and assessment of environmental impacts of industrial facilities, especially former landfill sites. He spent five years in Tatura working on salinity management issues in the Shepparton Region; three years in Saudi Arabia developing strategies for managing rising groundwater levels in the city of Riyadh; and as a water supply planner for the city of Salalah in Oman, where he assisted in developing a strategy for conserving groundwater resources for the city to offset the need for adopting desalination of sea water as the main source of urban supply. David has also worked on various groundwater-related projects in Vietnam, Taiwan, India and Singapore.
David is a senior principal hydrogeologist with EHS Support Pty Ltd where he directs groundwater investigations and carries out assessments of groundwater and landfill-gas risk posed by former landfills.