Captain J.E. Balfour, a civil engineer, was instructed by the hydraulic engineer of the Cape Colony, John G. Gamble*, in 1882, to study the Olifants River with a view to the use of its water for irrigation purposes. This he did, reporting on his findings in an appendix to the Report of the Hydraulic Engineer for 1882. He also published a paper "On some South African rivers" in the Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society (1881-1883, Vol. 3, Part 1, pp.30-35), containing a discussion of the Orange, Olifants, and Berg Rivers. Soon thereafter another paper appeared by (presumably) the same author, although this time he is said to be Captain J.A. Balfour, civil engineer, on "Irrigation on the Visch and Zak Rivers, Calvinia and Fraserburg Divisions" (Vol. 3, Part 2, pp. 61-64).