Managing rain key to eradicating poverty

Without improved management of rainwater, the future development goals currently being discussed are unrealistic, say leading scientists at World Water Week.

World Water WeekScientists and experts joining the 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm are deeply concerned that sustainable management of rainwater in dry and vulnerable regions is missing in the goals and targets proposed by the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on poverty, hunger and freshwater.

Some of the world’s leading water, environment and resilience scientists and experts have published a call to the United Nations (UN), saying that rain, and the way it is managed, is what will determine whether hunger and poverty can be eradicated in the world.

Unpredictable rainfall a problem

More than two billion people live in some of the driest and poorest areas of the world, also home to the fastest growing populations. These regions depend on highly variable, unreliable and unpredictable rainfall.

When it rains, it pours, making agriculture extremely challenging. However, over time these areas do receive enough rain, and with better methods of using the rainwater, food production could be drastically improved.

Add a target on rainwater management

Attempting to eradicate global poverty and hunger without addressing the productivity of rain “is a serious and unacceptable omission.” The SDGs, as currently proposed, “cannot be achieved without a strong focus on sustainable and resilient management of rainfall for resilient food production,” the scientists say.

The signatories call upon the UN to add a target on rainwater management to any Hunger Goal in the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be agreed on in 2015. 

Signatories
The signatories of the declaration are:

  • Malin Falkenmark, Stockholm International Water Institute, Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • Torgny Holmgren, Stockholm International Water Institute
  • Mohamed Ait Kadi, Global Water Partnership
  • Tony Allan, King’s College, Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2008
  • Naty Barak, Netafim, Stockholm Industry Water Award winner 2013
  • Jeremy Bird, International Water Management Institute
  • Fred Boltz, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
  • David Grey, University of Oxford
  • Jerson Kelman, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Roberto Lenton, University of Nebraska
  • Julia Marton-Lefévre, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Source: Infrastructure news

Cape Town water and sanitation tariff 2014 to 2015

Nel Tanks

Rainwater Harvesting – Observatory, Cape Town

The domestic single residential sanitation tariff remains linked to the water tariff at a rate of 70% of water consumption (70% of 50kl = 35kl). This means that water used for garden irrigation is charged based on 70% of water consumption, even though this water never reaches the waste-water treatment works.

The new tariff is effective from 01 July 2014.

Should you have any queries regarding how to reduce your consumption of water and concomitant sewerage, please give us a call. Water Rhapsody will reduce your consumption by up to 90%, without a change in lifestyle.

Domestic Tariff (single residential)

Water Tariff

From To Rand per kl Incl VAT
> 0.0 6.0 R 0.00 R 0.00
> 6.0 10.5 R 8.75 R 9.98
> 10.5 20.0 R 12.54 R 14.30
> 20.0 35.0 R 18.58 R 21.18
> 35.0 50.0 R 22.94 R 26.16
> 50.0 R 30.27 R 34.50

Sanitation Tariff (Standard) (at 70% of water consumption)

From To Rand per kl Incl VAT
> 0.00 4.20 R 0.00 R 0.00
> 4.20 7.35 R 8.25 R 9.41
> 7.35 14.00 R 14.64 R 16.69
> 14.00 24.50 R 16.01 R 18.25
> 24.50 35.00 R 16.81 R 19.16

Other Tariff (excl Vat) per kl

Water Sanitation
Commercial R13.51 R10.39*
Industrial R13.51 R9.77*
Schools R11.94 R10.39*

* Sanitation – industrial, commercial and schools: Tariff at 95% of water consumption.

Municipalities must improve water conservation measures

South Africa’s municipalities must address serious water management shortfalls and curb wasted and non-revenue water in their areas, according to the South African Local Government Association (Salga).

We're losing in the order of R7bn a year through poor water management

We’re losing in the order of R7bn a year through poor water management

The association of municipalities said on Tuesday that it wanted to benchmark demand management and ensure that municipalities, which are at the coalface of service delivery, monitor water use.

At a Department of Water and Environmental Affairs mayors’ dialogue in Johannesburg on Tuesday, mayors and municipal managers from across the country discussed water demand and the management of waste.

Salga acting executive director of municipal infrastructure services William Moraka said municipalities were losing “in the order of R7bn” a year through poor water management. That is equivalent to the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project over 20 years. The project in Lesotho supplies water to Gauteng province. Continue reading

Cape Town water and sanitation tariff 2013 to 2014

Irrigate with grey water

The domestic single residential sanitation tariff remains linked to the water tariff at a rate of 70% of water consumption (70% of 50kl = 35kl). This means that notwithstanding the volume of water that is used for garden irrigation, viz. water that is not sent to sewerage treatment, a charge is levied based on 70% of water consumption.

The new tariff is effective from 01 July 2013.

Should you have any queries regarding how to reduce your consumption of water and concomitant sewerage, please give us a call. Water Rhapsody will reduce your consumption by up to 90%, without a change in lifestyle.

Domestic Tariff (single residential)

Water Tariff

From To Rand per kl Incl VAT
> 0.0 6.0 R 0.00 R 0.00
> 6.0 10.5 R 7.60 R 8.66
> 10.5 20.0 R 11.61 R 13.24
> 20.0 35.0 R 17.20 R 19.61
> 35.0 50.0 R 21.24 R 24.22
> 50.0 R 28.02 R 31.95

Sanitation Tariff  (Standard) (at 70% of water consumption)

From To Rand per kl Incl VAT
> 0.00 4.20 R 0.00 R 0.00
> 4.20 7.35 R 7.20 R 8.21
> 7.35 14.00 R 13.56 R 15.46
> 14.00 24.50 R 14.82 R 16.90
> 24.50 35.00 R 15.56 R 17.74

Other Tariff (excl Vat)

Water Sanitation
Commercial R12.51 R9.62*
Industrial R12.51 R9.62*
Schools R11.06 R9.62*

* Sanitation – industrial, commercial and schools: Tariff at 95% of water consumption.

Farming places water security at risk

There is not enough fresh water in South Africa to go around, and experts say water availability is the most important factor limiting agricultural production — yet farmers are often their own worst enemies when it comes to water management.

South Africa’s water problems are exacerbated by small farm dams with high surface area to volume ratios.

South Africa’s water problems are exacerbated by small farm dams with high surface area to volume ratios.

It is projected that South Africa could run out of water by 2025 — and in Gauteng, Africa and South Africa’s economic hub, by as early as 2015. More than 95% of the country’s available fresh water was already allocated by 2005.

“We’ve had a huge scare with electricity prices, but I think water is also unreasonably priced (too low),” says Jeanne Nel, a biodiversity and ecosystems services scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

While farmers are not solely to blame, agriculture is allocated the largest portion of South Africa’s available fresh water, with about 63% going to irrigation. This is sobering when it is considered that only 12% of South Africa’s landmass is considered arable and only 3% “truly fertile”. Only 1.5% of the land is under irrigation, producing 30% of the country’s crops.

“In the face of the far more obvious negative impacts that mining and industrial use and pollution have (on the environment), farmers often get away with a lot,” says Dr Nel. “Farming’s effects are a lot more insidious. If you keep drawing up water all the time, that does not create a big change all at once, but it can create a huge problem. We do need to put it into context — there are good and bad mining practices just as there are good and bad farming practices.” Continue reading