Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 27 September 2010
Leading scientists have pinpointed the cause of hundreds of mysterious crocodile deaths in the country’s national parks, saying acid water from the coal mining industry is to blame.
The reptiles have been dying in the parks’ Olifants and Letaba river systems since 2008. Thousands of fish in water bodies linked to the Loskop Dam and the Bronkhorstspruit catchments area have also died.
The Wits School of Geosciences Professor Terence McCarthy said acid mine water from coal mines in Gauteng and Mpumalanga has polluted these water bodies.
“The acid mine water basically kills everything and the first thing to recover is the very primitive blue-green algae microcystis, which is toxic, which then dominates the ecosystem for a while and animals drink it and die,” said McCarthy.
North West University researcher Mariette Liefferink said a similar crisis is developing with acid mine water drainage polluting water in the hippo pond at the Krugersdorp Game Reserve.
These findings are included in a water security report being presented to Nedlac on Tuesday.
By: JP du Plessis
Source: Eyewitness News