Managing rain key to eradicating poverty

Without improved management of rainwater, the future development goals currently being discussed are unrealistic, say leading scientists at World Water Week.

Scientists and experts joining the 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm are deeply concerned that sustainable management of rainwater in dry and vulnerable regions is missing in the goals and targets proposed by […]

Toxic chemicals in Durban beach water

With only weeks to go before thousands of holiday-makers travel to KwaZulu-Natal, experts have warned that the water off many Durban beaches contains toxic chemicals.

Beaches, including Anstey’s and Brighton, are among those affected

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance activist Priya Pillay described Durban’s beaches as unsafe and unfit for holiday-makers.

“The tests carried out by the eThekwini municipality’s water and sanitation department revealed high levels of E.coli and Enterococcus bacteria, which cause cholera and gastro-intestinal illnesses,” she said.

The city tested beaches around Durban in the past year, ending in July, and the results revealed that the quality of the beach water did not meet South African water standards.

Pillay cited heavy pollution from industries in the city, as well as pollution from informal settlements as the cause.

“Beaches, including Anstey’s and Brighton, are among those affected,” she said.

In February, the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus was found at a Durban beach after a local doctor contracted it while surfing.

This bacterium, which might cause blistering and inflammation, had eaten through the tissue on Dr Peter Breedt’s foot, leaving an open wound.

He was among several people who became sick after swimming or surfing off city beaches. Continue reading Toxic chemicals in Durban beach water

Tshwane taps into hydropower

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 02 Dec 2011

The City of Tshwane has made history by being the first municipality in South Africa to use hydropower. This huge project was launched on 29 November 2011. This has realised the objectives of the study that was done by the University of Pretoria through funding from the Water Research Commission, which explored the use of water to generate power that could assist in supplementing the existing supply within a municipality. With this new source of energy, the country could start looking into providing such a service to other areas while reducing the problematic carbon emissions from coal that poses a threat to the environment.

Hydropower is still an untapped resource of energy within the African continent

The ‘Pressure Hydropower System’ has been installed and integrated at the new site, Pierre van Ryneveld reservoir located in the south-eastern part of the City of Tshwane. When operational, the system will generate about 16 Kilowatts of electricity per hour.

The acting Executive Mayor, Councillor Terence Mashego congratulated the team of experts and applauded the excellent work done by the University of Pretoria and its students and the Water Research Commission for funding such an initiative.

“The fact that somebody was employed to take part in the project by working on it or supplying stock for it, the project assisted in putting food on the table for those families’. I also appreciate that the project involved students who should be promoted based on their contribution towards this big initiative’’ says councillor Mashego. Continue reading Tshwane taps into hydropower

Coaxing power from water

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 26 March 2011

Researchers at the The Tata Group have been working with Daniel Nocera, an MIT scientist and founder of SunCatalytix, have found a new way to coax power out of water. If you’re wondering how […]

Rift Valley fever outbreak imminent

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 05 January 2011

The heavy rains over the past few weeks have been a welcomed development in water-strapped parts of the country, however, the Free State Agriculture Department has warned of an imminent outbreak of Rift Valley […]