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

Water resources survey

A project aimed at improving understanding of South Africa’s water resources will begin in April, the Water Research Commission said on Wednesday.

South Africa is a water stressed country

The Water Resources of South Africa 2012 study would bridge the 10-year gap between the commission’s other hydrological surveys, research manager Wandile Nomquphu said […]

Forests are essential to water cycle

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

By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in regions with absolute water scarcity and two-thirds of the world’s population may experience water-stress conditions. Forests capture and store water and can play an important role in providing drinking water for millions of people in the world’s mega-cities. Given this fact, the members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), international organizations involved in forests, call upon countries to pay more attention to forest protection and management for the provision of clean water.

One third of the world's biggest cities draw a portion of their drinking-water from forested areas.

“Forests are part of the natural infrastructure of any country and are essential to the water cycle”, said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director General of the FAO Forestry Department.

“They reduce the effects of floods, prevent soil erosion, regulate the water table and assure a high quality water supply for people, industry and agriculture.”  He was speaking prior to the UN World Water Day which will be celebrated this year on 22 March.

Forests are in most cases an optimal land cover for catchments supplying drinking water. Forest watersheds supply a high proportion of water for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs.

“The management of water and forests are closely linked and require innovative policy solutions which take into account the cross-cutting nature of these vital resources”, said Jan McAlpine, Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat.  “The International Year of Forests, 2011 provides a unique platform to raise awareness of issues such as the water-soil-forests nexus, which directly affect the quality of people’s lives, their livelihoods and their food security.”

Moreover, forests and trees contribute to the reduction of water-related risks such as landslides, local floods and droughts and help prevent desertification and salinization. Continue reading Forests are essential to water cycle

Global warming threatens global stability

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 16 February 2011

Global warming is a looming threat to stability and national security around the world, and militaries should spend some of their ever-expanding budgets on reducing carbon emissions to avoid “climate chaos,” the U.N.’s top climate official said Tuesday.

Much of the funding for the growth of armies could help curb carbon emissions that fuel global warming

Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. climate secretariat, warned of the destabilizing effects created by growing water stress, declining crop yields and damage from extreme storms in some of the world’s poorest countries, which could set off mass international migration and regional conflicts.

Figueres said the world’s military budgets grew by 50 percent in the first nine years of this century. Rather than continue that growth in weaponry, she said, the generals should invest in preventative budgets to “avoid the climate chaos that would demand a defense response that makes even today’s spending burden look light.”

She was speaking to Spanish legislators at the national defense college in Madrid. Her remarks were distributed by her office in Bonn, Germany.

Scientists and defense think tanks have warned for years of the heightened military risks created by global warming. In 2007, the U.N. panel of climate scientists said hundreds of millions of Africans will face persistent drought and food insecurity over the next decades that could prompt many to abandon ancestral homes. Continue reading Global warming threatens global stability

2nd planet by 2030

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 13 October 2010

Carbon pollution and over-use of Earth’s natural resources have become so critical that, on current trends, we will need a second planet to meet our needs by 2030, WWF said on Wednesday.

In 2007, Earth’s 6.8 billion humans were living 50% beyond the planet’s threshold of sustainability, according to its report, issued ahead of a UN biodiversity conference.

“Even with modest UN projections for population growth, consumption and climate change, by 2030 humanity will need the capacity of two Earths to absorb CO2 waste and keep up with natural resource consumption,” it warned.

If everyone used resources at the same rate per capita as the United States or the United Arab Emirates, four and a half planets would be needed, it said, highlighting the gap in “ecological footprint” between rich and poor.

The “Living Planet” report, the eighth in the series, is based on figures for 2007, the latest year for which figures are available.

It pointed to 71 countries that were running down their sources of freshwater at a worrying, unsustainable rate.

Nearly two-thirds of these countries experience “moderate to severe” water stress.

“This has profound implications for ecosystem health, food production and human wellbeing, and is likely to be exacerbated by climate change,” WWF said. Continue reading 2nd planet by 2030

South Africa out of water within 5 years

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 14 August 2010

If urgent steps are not taken, South Africa will run out of water for future economic growth within the next five years.

This is among several alarming expert opinions contained in the second edition of “The Environmental Handbook: A Guide to Green Business in South Africa”, launched in Cape Town this week.

In a guest foreword to the publication, WWF SA chief executive Morne du Plessis warns that water availability is one of the “decisive factors” that will affect the country’s economic development.

“At current consumption rates, our demand will outstrip supply by 2015,” he says.

The handbook is published by consulting and research organisation Trialogue, which specialises in areas of sustainable business and corporate social investment.

Global warming

The latest edition focuses on global warming, and was coincidentally released on a day when local newspapers were highlighting one of its more dramatic global effects: a 260 square kilometre slab of ice which has broken off the Greenland icecap.

The handbook notes the effects of climate change and increasing water stress are now being felt in South Africa.

“We’re already at crux point with water, with only 2% of our supply in reserve – and, unlike the energy situation, there is no alternative to the resource we’re using,” it says. Continue reading South Africa out of water within 5 years