Specialising in
Grey Water
and
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

Desalination plant payment on ice

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 07 April 2011

The consultants and civil engineers responsible for Plett’s non-functioning desalination plant should explain why it was not working, and possibly their payment should be withheld, Bitou mayor Lulama Mvimbi said last week.

Test intake wells are visible in the lagoon in front of the Beacon Island resort. Photo: Janine Oelofse

Asking who was to blame for the forced shutdown of the new R32-million plant less than three months after it was commissioned, Mvimbi said in the same way that council was questioned about services which clients were not satisfied with, Bitou should “also play hardball” with the contractors hired for the desalination project.

“They should sort the problems out” before they were paid, Mvimbi said. Addressing the Bitou mayoral committee, Mvimbi questioned the claim by town officials that the desalination plant was in “pilot project” phase.

“We can’t just say that,” he said, adding that the assertion suggested the R32-million had been wasted – R12-million of which had come from ratepayers and the rest from provincial government funding. Mvimbi said all the consultants and contractors would be called to a meeting with Bitou officials to explain themselves and chart a way forward.

Municipal officials earlier said the desalination plant was shut down on March 1 after the mouth of the Piesang River closed, drawing criticism from environmentalists who reminded Bitou that they had voiced their opposition to the municipality’s choice of location for the plant on the Piesang estuary. Continue reading Desalination plant payment on ice

300000 year old Disi aquifer to quench water shortage

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 06 April 2011

In its desperate efforts to battle chronic water shortages, Jordan, one of the world’s 10 driest countries, is mulling “unconventional” and “environmentally unfriendly” plans, experts say.

The plan is to provide the capital Amman with water for 50 years.

The challenge is huge for this tiny country where desert covers 92% of the territory and the population of 6.3 million is growing.

Critics said the government’s efforts to manage the country’s limited water resources and generate new ones are being hindered by a strategy which at best is chaotic.

Jordan is tapping into the ancient southern Disi aquifer, despite concerns about high levels of radiation, while studies are underway to build a controversial canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.

“Unconventional projects, like Disi for example, are environmentally unfriendly,” said water expert Dureid Mahasneh, a former Jordan Valley Authority chief.

Radiation

The $990m project seeks to extract 100 million cubic metres of water a year from the 300 000-year-old Disi aquifer, 325km south of Amman, officials said.

The plan is to provide the capital Amman with water for 50 years, said water ministry official Bassam Saleh, who is in charge of the project that was launched in 2008 and is due to be completed in 2012.

A 2008 study by Duke University in the US, shows that Disi’s water has 20 times more radiation than is considered safe, with radium content that could trigger cancers. Continue reading 300000 year old Disi aquifer to quench water shortage

Where does our water come from?

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 March 2011

“South Africa needs to be more sensible about the use and management of land and water resources. The more we reduce the ecosystems’ ability to deliver clean fresh water, the less water secure we will be and the greater the cost we will have to pay for our water,” says Mark Botha, Head of WWF’s conservation programmes.

We need to concentrate more of our efforts on catchment security. Photo by: Peter Chadwick

This week (20-27 March) marks South Africa’s National Water Week 2011, and the theme for this year is, “Water for cities: addressing the urban water challenge.”

“Many South Africans, especially those living in urban areas do not have a full understanding of where the water that flows from their taps really comes from, and the key role clean catchments play in providing it,” says Botha.

“Cape Town has run out of water many times in the last century. Each time an expensive “supply side” solution was found to buy us more time, but always at a cost. Now, with augmentation (further water supply) options rapidly diminishing, we’re finding that the biggest cost of dams is the complacency that they leave us with as ratepayers.”

“At some point, we need to realise that we cannot only continue building more dams and other water infrastructure, but that it is imperative to invest in the natural resources that we already have. We need to concentrate more of our efforts on catchment security,” says Botha. Continue reading Where does our water come from?

Surface water in Western Cape could run out by 2016

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 March 2011

The Western Cape’s current surface water supplies could run out by 2016, but plans for alternative sources should by then already be at an advanced stage, City of Cape Town utility services executive director […]

Lack of water won’t close PetroSA

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 25 August 2010

PetroSA has reassured Mossel Bay residents that its gas-to-liquids refinery, which provides about 3000 jobs in the town, will not close down despite predictions that the plant will run out of water by the […]