Cape Town to bolster water by-law enforcement

The City of Cape Town will strengthen the enforcement of its by-laws related to water, in accordance with the new fine structure approved by the Chief Magistrate.

Garden irrigation times are before 10:00 and after 16:00

The City has a number of water by-laws in place to define its standards, protect existing infrastructure and the environment, as well as to ensure the health and safety of its residents. This focus on enforcement forms part of the City’s ongoing efforts to strengthen water conservation programmes and improve water quality across Cape Town and to ensure that the security of our water supply is not compromised.

To date, 18 Peace Officers have been appointed to enforce the by-laws related to Water; Wastewater and Industrial Effluent; Treated Effluent; and Stormwater Management.

In addition, a partnership has been forged between the existing Water and Sanitation Inspectors and the City’s Law Enforcement Officers to further increase the enforcement capacity for enforcement of by-laws related to water.

During the month of March 2012 and as part of the City’s Water Month campaign, Water Pollution Control Inspectors, in collaboration with the City’s Law Enforcement Officers, issued 60 spot fines amounting to R60 000,00 to offenders who contravened the Stormwater Management By-law. Continue reading

More than half of SA ecosystems are threatened

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 21 Nov 2011

South Africa’s water resources and adjacent ecosystems are in a terrible state, with only 35% of the total length of the country’s mainstream rivers still in good condition.

The high levels of threat results particularly from intense land pressures.

The recently released Atlas of Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas reveals that 57% of river ecosystems and 65% of wetland ecosystems are threatened.

Mandy Driver, the SA National Biodiversity Institute’s manager of biodiversity policy, said the Biodiversity Assessment published seven years ago highlighted the poor state of many river ecosystems, with the majority of the country’s large rivers rated “critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.

“We needed a strategic intervention to help sustain and conserve freshwater ecosystems, and the Atlas is the result.”

The team, who spent three years researching and compiling the Atlas, found tributaries overall were in a “far better state” than mainstream rivers.

“They also support the sustainability of hard-working rivers further downstream by diluting poor quality water and flushing pollutants. Only 35% of the length of mainstream rivers is in good condition, compared to 57% of tributaries. Continue reading

Nedbank invests in SA’s water

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 31 Aug 2011

Further embedding its commitment to environmental sustainability, the Nedbank Group is to invest R9 million into the innovative WWF Water Balance Programme. Water is widely acknowledged as South Africa’s scarcest resource and the one that will be the most impacted by climate change. Nedbank’s increased focus on water is a key part of their climate change response strategy and underpins the urgent need to tackle climate change impacts as will be addressed at COP17 in Durban later this year.

Wattles have taken over more than 1.6-million hectares of South Africa

WWF estimates that around 98% of South Africa’s freshwater supplies are currently allocated and that demand will outstrip supply by 2025, jeopardising economic growth that is vital for ongoing socio-economic development.

‘Through our provision of water infrastructure funding, our 20-year involvement with The Green Trust and our own sustainability initiatives, we have invested in a range of water-related projects in line with our water stewardship programme, which addresses water scarcity, water quality and access to water. This new multi-million rand investment raises our water stewardship efforts to a much higher and more impactful level,” said Mike Brown, Nedbank’s CEO.

Dr Deon Nel, head of WWF’s Biodiversity Unit, said that WWF has identified the availability of water and the health of water provisioning catchments as one of the most critical challenges facing South Africa.

Nedbank’s investment will fund the removal of alien invasive species, which is estimated to release more than 550,000 kilolitres of water a year, back into two of SA’s high priority water catchment areas. Continue reading

Quality of our rivers

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 24 Aug 2011

Environmental rights groups have expressed concern about the state of the country’s rivers following a report made to Parliament last week.

Those who use rivers for recreation, consume the water, or water crops all face health risks

Briefing parliament’s Water and Environmental Affairs portfolio committee, water affairs acting chief director for water resources information management, Moloko Matlala, listed the main problems affecting the quality of the country’s river water.

Microbiological tests in June found that KwaZulu-Natal’s river systems were badly affected by pollution, he said.

Those who used rivers for recreation, consume the water, or used it to water crops all faced health risks.

“Water from these rivers, if drunk untreated, poses a high risk to those consuming the water due to the presence of Escherichia coli (more commonly known as E.Coli),” he said. Continue reading

Water, waste and electricity to dominate programme

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 Aug 2011

With water, and electricity being the most vital ‘ingredients’ in ones life, waste still stands out as a killer source.

Johannesburg landfills are filling up rapidly

The City of Joburg (CoJ) has implemented the 2040 Growth and Development Strategy outreach programme which is taking place this week. Water, waste and electricity are the key topics expected to dominate the conversations during the programme.

Conversations around these will be held through seminars and round table discussions involving everyone from residents and businesses to the government, civil society organisations, labour and academics.

“Formal and informal debates will take place with the aim of finding solutions to safeguard our precious resources for future generations,” said Gugu Mathibela of the City of Johannesburg.

An abundance of coal has kept electricity prices very low and has attracted a number of energy intensive industries. City Power and Eskom recently experienced protests related to power cuts, prepaid meters and the increase in electricity prices. These incidents give electricity first preference at the discussions.

Johannesburg’s resource intensity is also defined by the volume of waste it generates. The city is gradually running out of landfill space. Waste dumping in communities has become a serious health concern. Continue reading