Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 26 May 2010
On Friday 14 May 2010, the [University of South Africa] Water Research Flagship project, led by Dr Francois Ilunga (Chair of the Department of Civil and Chemical Engineering), held its first seminar series in CSET.
South Africa is a water-scarce country with an average rainfall of just over half of the world’s average. The already precarious water situation is further complicated by climate change that has the potential to impact very significantly on both the availability of and requirements for water in South Africa. Although the country is on route to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, more needs to be done to close the gaps in water provision and water sanitation between urban and rural areas.
Since the buildings of major water infrastructure and large-scale water transfers are no longer the solution to the country’s water crisis, new water sources, such as the recycling of wastewater, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, and so on will require new levels of cooperation and public understanding. The flagship project explores current issues in the field of water engineering and related fields.
Prof Akpofure E Taigbenu, from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, and Extraordinary Professor in Civil and Chemical Engineering at Unisa, gave a presentation entitled “Integrated modelling in Water Engineering”. His presentation focused on a quantitative measure of integrating environmental, social, institutional and economic aspects in a way of finding a good balance between water resources and water demands within the South African context.
Mr Jean Marc Mwenge Kahinda, PhD student from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand and lecturer at Unisa, gave a presentation entitled “Rainwater harvesting as an adaptation measure to climate change in South Africa”.
Dr Francois Ilunga concluded that due to growing pressure on water resources, there is a need to explore new options, such as recycling wastewater, water conservation, rainwater harvesting and water desalination, which will require new levels of cooperation and public understanding. Attention should also be paid to water resource infrastructures in poor and dispersed rural population.