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

Adopt a River project allocated R2 million

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

An amount of R2 million has been allocated to the Adopt a River project to allow it to continue for another 12 months.

Adopt-a-river. Women beneficiaries clean litter out of the Buffalo River.

Launching the Buffalo Adopt a River project on Friday in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape, Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, reported that 595 job opportunities have been created through the project.

The initiative is currently implemented in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Free State, which were the pilot provinces.

Mabudafhasi said through the project, women have acquired skills in waste management, occupational health and safety, identification of alien weeds and herbicide application, water safety, snake handling, first aid, environmental education and life skills.

“The other direct benefit is that the health of rivers has improved drastically. The Buffalo River project employed 100 women from the rural poor communities around the 17 wards of Amathole District Municipality, including Buffalo City Municipality and Amahlathi Local Municipality, who are involved in the cleaning of solid waste and alien vegetation species along the banks of the Buffalo River. Continue reading Adopt a River project allocated R2 million

Shocking ecosystems spur water crisis

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 22 March 2011

By: Duncan Alfreds

The ecosystems in SA are under threat and unless something is done urgently, the country will face a water crisis, a researcher has found.

Up to 85% of our estuaries are critically endangered .

“Our ecosystems are in a shocking state,” CSIR researcher Dr Jeanne Nel told News24 at the World Water Day 2011 conference in Cape Town.

Nel’s remarks at the conference were underpinned by the water report by the CSIR and released to the public. It showed that water ecosystems were under threat from a variety of factors, including development and industry.

“Up to 85% of our estuaries are critically endangered and in the past five years we’ve been able to map the zone of an estuary. Our big systems are in trouble,” she said.

Estuaries form the transition ground between river and ocean environments and play a critical role in managing the marine ecosystem, but they are also sensitive to ecological damage from farming or industry. Continue reading Shocking ecosystems spur water crisis

South Africa’s water challenges differ for different people

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 17 January 2011

By: Mike Muller Former director-general of water affairs and forestry, a registered engineer and a visiting adjunct professor at the Wits Graduate School of Public and Development Management.

South Africa’s real water crisis is that the stuff is just too damn complicated. What do you think about when you worry about water? Can you afford to pay your water bill?

There is normally some water in the Komati because downstream Mozambique vigorously defends its rights to a share of their water.

Is the water in the tap safe to drink? Is there even water in the tap? Or perhaps what you really want to know is when you are going to get a tap?

If you run a business, is the quality and reliability of the water good enough for your needs? Do you even know where your water comes from?

Different South Africans face very different water challenges as a few cases will show.

For a taste of an immediate water crisis, start in the municipality of Nkomazi between Kanyamazane, Malelane and Komatipoort. Through the cane fields south of the N4, you are in rural South Africa, with half a million people living scattered across what used to be the homeland of KaNgwane.

There is normally some water in the big rivers, the Komati, Lomati and Crocodile, because downstream Mozambique vigorously defends its rights to a share of their water. That’s just as well because if you ask anyone what their water problems are, you will be told that, too often, the pipes are dry.

Even when the water flows, it may not be safe to drink. Here the problem is not the water resource, the water in the rivers, but rather the water services, the water in the pipes. Even where there is infrastructure, its management is an impossible task in an area with too many users and not enough supply. Continue reading South Africa’s water challenges differ for different people

Water is our energy constraint, not coal

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 24 March 2010

Professor Anthony Turton, vice-president of the International Water Resource Association, explains how to beat the water crisis.

The media is abuzz with talk about the developmental state so I have tried to understand this rhetoric in the context of water.

If we think of national economic growth as an “S” curve on a graph, on which the vertical axis represents value and the horizontal axis time, then we can see that early development is slow as technology is mobilised. This manifests as a flat part of the curve. As the economy kicks into overdrive, the curve climbs rapidly, such as happened in South Africa during the latter part of the 20th century. This growth slows down, either because of external constraints, such as reduced global commodity demand, or as a result of internal constraints. It is my hypothesis that the South African economy has reached the upper part of this first “S” curve, of which two limitations are the most apparent from a biophysical perspective.

The first constraint is energy, which we all know about. The second is water, which few of us know about, but which is starting to become manifest in the public domain. Significantly, water is our energy constraint, not coal. It takes 1kg of coal and 1.35kg of water to produce one kilowatt hour of electricity with the technology used by Eskom.

So what are we to do? Continue reading Water is our energy constraint, not coal