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

There’s no future in fracking

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

Oil companies were today (Tuesday) asked to drop their plans to use hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to extract shale gas from the Karoo and other areas in South Africa.

Millions of litres of water […]

Peace in Central Asia may depend on shared water resources

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 11 July 2011

Boosting cooperation between countries sharing the waters of the Amu Darya, Central Asia’s longest river, could be key to future peace and security in the region a new report launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says.

The Aral Sea, which relies in part from water from the Amu Darya, remains severely degraded. Estimates indicate that "the volume and surface area of the sea have decreased tenfold"

Big hydropower projects planned upstream, demand for irrigated agriculture downstream and growing concern that climate change is shifting weather patterns are emerging as major natural resource challenges for the four main nations involved – Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The new report, prepared by UNEP on behalf of partners in the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), points out that water resources in the region are already impacted by decades of often unsustainable development dating back to the era of the Soviet Union.

Large-scale engineering projects dammed and diverted substantial flows from the Amu Darya river basin into activities such as cotton, wheat and fodder farming in arid and desert regions. Such projects have also contributed to increased land degradation and damage to soils.

The Aral Sea, which relies in part from water from the Amu Darya, remains severely degraded with the report’s estimates indicating that “the volume and surface area of the sea have now decreased tenfold”.

Water levels in the southern part have dropped by 26 meters and the shoreline there has now receded by several hundred kilometers, says the report Environment and Security in the Amu Darya Basin.

Across the Amu Darya basin there is growing concern over declining water quality with and implications for human health including increased incidence of kidney, thyroid and liver diseases. This is being linked with chemicals run off from cultivated land and the washing of soils in the winter to reduce salt levels. Continue reading Peace in Central Asia may depend on shared water resources

Major retailers express concern over SA’s water crisis

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 04 January 2011

Shoprite Checkers, Woolworths and Pick n Pay, have expressed concern over speculation that a water crisis is looming in South Africa. The three major retailers say they have put in place rigorous measures to ensure their products are safe for consumption and are free of any potential contamination from polluted water supplies.

All suppliers to Freshmark are required to test their water regularly

A Shoprite spokesman said yesterday that suppliers to the group’s fresh produce procurement division, Freshmark, had to comply with a standard of certification regarding farming practices, which included regulations on irrigation water.

The spokesman said the requirements stipulated that untreated sewerage water should not be used and that all suppliers were required to test their water regularly and have the results available for an auditor’s inspection.

“The requirements around the safety of water supplies are critical requirements to be met by Freshmark’s suppliers in order to receive or retain certification. Suppliers must comply with local regulations and standards … on drinking water,” he said.

If suppliers failed to comply, they would lose their certification and would be barred from supplying Freshmark.

The spokesman said the audit involved the testing of produce on a continuous basis in Freshmark’s distribution centres for microbial and chemical residue activity before fruit and vegetables were distributed to Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets. Continue reading Major retailers express concern over SA’s water crisis

Five principles for responsible business involvement in water policy

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 17 November 2010

In a country where for decades the majority was marginalised and denied access to adequate water supplies, recent political and economic advancements have brought the need for transparency and equitable water allocation to the fore.

Businesses need to look beyond their own operations and supply chains to manage water risk

Yet South Africa’s water supply infrastructure is too ill-equipped and poorly maintained to meet growing demand, leading to a massive shortfall in service delivery. Climate change in a country that has the 30th lowest water availability per person is only exacerbating the crisis. As a result, water insecurity poses a major risk to businesses, communities and the environment. Due to the increased competition for water in many sectors, environmental needs are often given the lowest priority.

But there are opportunities to fix these problems through effective private-public or private-civil society partnerships and some businesses have responded in an attempt to address their risks.

For example, in May the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce established a water commission specifically to work with the government to address water infrastructure challenges. Companies such as Sanlam, SAB and De Beers have sought the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) technical expertise and partnership to help them understand and manage their water-related risks.

In an article in [Business Report] on October 5, the point was made that businesses needed to look beyond their own operations and supply chains to manage water risk.

This means engaging the wider society – a broad spectrum of stakeholders, communities and local authorities.

But how can businesses influence public water policy in a responsible way? At what scale should businesses engage in public water policy? What are the key principles that should define this engagement? Continue reading Five principles for responsible business involvement in water policy

Deadly health risk to water supplies

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 November 2010

The breakdown of ageing sewage treatment works and the discharge of bacteria into rivers and streams pose a deadly health risk to water supplies, the African Christian Democratic Party warns.

Collecting water form […]