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Grey Water
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

Pray for rain every Wednesday at noon

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 August 2010

Mossel Bay’s water situation is “becoming bleaker by the day” and the municipality has called on residents to pray for rain every Wednesday at noon.

Water for industrial use will be abstracted from the Hartebeeskuil Dam, which is 38% full.

Municipal manager Michele Gratz said yesterday the town was “racing against time” to develop additional water sources, particularly the desalination plant that would supply 70% of the town’s needs.

The Wolwedans Dam, the town’s main supply of drinkable water, dropped to 18,5% this week and is set to run out of water by January if there is no rain before then.

If the dam level dropped to 10% or less, the Water Affairs Department said, only the municipality would be able to extract water. PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids refinery also extracts from the dam.

The municipality also had to investigate abstracting water for industrial use from the Hartebeeskuil Dam, which is 38% full.

The dam’s water is too brackish for human consumption, but can be purified at the reverse osmosis effluent purification plant at Hartenbos.

“It would, however, be costly to get the dam’s water to the plant because of the distance involved and it will also require the expansion of the recently completed plant,” Gratz said.

She said the immediate prospect for rain in the town, which has become the hardest-hit in the Garden Route’s worst drought in recorded history, remained unfavourable. Continue reading Pray for rain every Wednesday at noon

Mossel Bay rain makes little difference to dam level

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 18 July 2010

The rain that fell last weekend was most welcome from an agricultural and gardening point of view, but the 31 mm received in the catchment area of the Wolwedans Dam was again unfortunately insufficient to make much of a difference to the level of the dam, says the Municipality in a news release on the water situation in Mossel Bay.

It is anticipated that the Wolwedans Dam will be empty by October 2010

The dam’s level rose by about 0,4%, which is equal to 100 megalitres of water and about three to four days of extraction from the dam by PetroSA, farmers and the Municipality. It is therefore still anticipated that the dam will be empty by October 2010, unless sufficient rain is received before then

Although the much smaller Ernst Robertson dam is more than 100% full, water from this dam is released into the Wolwedans Dam. The effect of the Ernst Robertson dam as well as the five megalitres a day of purified effluent water supplied to PetroSA from the newly commissioned Reverse Osmosis plant at Hartenbos has been taken into account in determining the date on which Mossel Bay is expected to run out of potable water at present consumption levels.

“The rains in June and July so far were obviously most welcome, but unfortunately did not buy us much extra time. It did, however, have the effect of generally greening the environment, and this may perhaps create a perception that the situation is not as serious as people are told. I, however, want to reiterate that the situation remains extremely serious and is in fact deteriorating. The water restrictions also remain in place. Continue reading Mossel Bay rain makes little difference to dam level

Water crisis could cripple economic growth

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 23 May 2010

South Africa faces a water crisis that could cripple economic growth and cause a plague of health problems – but critics say the government has yet to act with urgency.

Toxic algae bloom

The most immediate concern is the acid mine drainage (AMD) polluting a vast swathe from the Witwaters-rand to Mpumalanga. Other threats include pesticide run-off, broken infrastructure and failed sewage plants.

As the population grows and economic recovery puts more pressure on limited inland water resources, experts predict a shift of industrial activity to coastal areas where desalination plants will have to meet a growing share of demand.

Environmentalists warn that if the government and industry fail to act, within two years mine water as corrosive as battery acid will gush from Johannesburg’s Wemmer Pan and seep into the city’s streets and gardens.

“It is acutely toxic,” said Mariette Liefferink, who leads a group of non-governmental organisations lobbying for action. “It affects the soil and neural development of the foetus, which leads to mental retardation; it will cause cancer, cognitive problems, skin lesions,” she said. “These are all the foreseeable risks if we do not manage our AMD.”

Acid mine drainage, which occurs when mines close and stop pumping water out of shafts, has contaminated streams and dams on the West and East Rand that feed into the Limpopo and Vaal rivers. Treatment by utilities such as Rand Water renders the water safe, but those who drink straight from rivers are at risk. Continue reading Water crisis could cripple economic growth

Goodyear Goes Green

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 15 February 2010

In just two months, Goodyear South Africa has managed to save 5,6 million litres of water – the amount 180 houses would use in a month – through an intensive, ongoing recycling initiative.

While water restrictions do not yet apply to industry, the tyre firm is trying to save where it can, in light of the Eastern Cape’s critical water shortage.

Utilities manager Douglas North said last week that the Uitenhage plant had adopted a three-fold approach to saving water. It recycled waste water from its boiler house, collected and reused water run-off, and ensured steam condensate from various production processes did not go to waste.

The recovered water was either redirected through a newly-installed, separate plumbing system to the plants’ toilets or used as makeup water for cooling machinery. The firm had also installed numerous water meters to monitor water usage – and further reduce consumption where it could. Continue reading Goodyear Goes Green