This structure incorporates a number of innovative features brought about by the adaptation of engineering principles to the particular demands and circumstances of the client The initial brief for this unique structure situated near the Northgate Shopping Centre in Gauteng - which was a finalist in last year's National Award and received a commendation in the SAICE Wits Branch Awards for Excellence in Civil Engineering - called for the development of some 30 000 m2 of retail and showroom space, aimed particularly at the motor industry.
Projects of the complexity and scale of the transfer schemes considered in the Vaal Augmentation Planning Study (VAPS) necessitate environmental assessments that study the component parts and then put them together again to evaluate the whole picture once more The environmental assessments of the various augmentation options that formed the Vaal Augmentation Planning Study (VAPS) were planned in step with the engineering stages of the project. These stages are centred around the process of decision-making so that the appropriate information is given to the decision-maker to better inform the decision. The environmental component of the project was tailored to the decision that had to be made at the end of each stage (see figure).
Social impact studies are gaining increasing importance in project planning and this article illustrates how they were also part of the Orange and Vaal River water resource planning In line with its commitment to the principles and practices of integrated environmental management (IEM), the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) commissions environmental assessments, inclusive of comprehensive public participation, for all water resource planning and development initiatives undertaken under its auspices. The DWAF understands the environment in its broadest sense, viz the biophysical and social environments, in an integrated manner.
The management of water resources should be based on sound, economically viable development options Economic evaluation of water resource planning is a relatively new approach in South Africa. It has been confirmed in international case studies that management decisions could be directed by economic conditions in water allocation options and resource management. South Africa has also recognised the value of economics in water issues by increasingly introducing economic studies in water resource management and water planning projects. The underlying rationale of this approach is that economic market principles underlie resource allocation and utilisation principles, which becomes significant in a country with scarce water resources such as South Africa. The Orange and Vaal River System studies have been completed for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, in their quest to manage South Africa's national water resources efficiently. Some of these projects are discussed in this article to illustrate the valuable contribution of economic evaluation in water projects.
There will be enough water in South Africa, provided that it is conserved and treated with care The role of water as one of the key natural resources, and probably the most fundamental and indispensable, is widely recognised. Water is fundamental to life, the environment, food production, hygiene, industry, power generation - fundamental to the overall quality of life and the prosperity of our society.
Progress made in recent years by the use of natural soils and gravels for the construction of rural roads appears to have had little influence on urban practice, where roads are still largely constructed on traditional lines. In a town, proximity of work to the controlling office favours a successful application of soil technology but restrictions imposed by erven layout and provision of other services require an adaptation of the technique used for rural conditions.