Water Wheel - latest Issue
Volumes & issues
Volume 16, Issue 2, Mar / Apr 2017
Source: Water Wheel 16, pp 4 –12 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
Sanitation – a global revolution is afoot
University presents first learning programme in water governance skills
New CEO for premier research institution
Drought fears turn to flood fears as dams fill fast
Science Minister wins international award
NGO reacts to coal mine threat in strategic water resource
Consultancy grows its groundwater capabilities
New test for waterways finds crazy list of pollutants
Language a barrier to flow of scientific knowledge
Water has another phase we did not know about
New WRC reports
No hidden figures: Success stories can help girls’ STEM careers
Author Kim TrollipSource: Water Wheel 16, pp 14 –17 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
An extensive transdisciplinary study report – compiled by a team of natural and social scientists – confirms that the Lower Phongolo River and floodplain, in the north-eastern corner of South Africa, are struggling to maintain their socio-ecological system function. The implications are not just regional, as this fertile area has been described as potentially the breadbasket of South Africa.
Reading the land – new atlas set to improve decision-making around mining and water : mine water managementAuthor Sue MatthewsSource: Water Wheel 16, pp 20 –21 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
Headlines about acid mine drainage (AMD) have hammered home the threat posed by disused gold and coal mines to water resources on the Witwatersrand, but how much do we know about the risks associated with current and future mining activity?
After peaking in the 1970s, gold production by South Africa remained in the top spot in the world rankings until 2006, but now only manages 12th place. Today, however, the country is the world leader in the production of platinum, chromite ore, manganese, vermiculite and ilmenite, and is also among the five largest producers of palladium, zirconium, vanadium, fluorospar, rutile and gem-quality diamonds. In addition, it falls within the top 12 for coal, cobalt, iron ore, nickel and silicon production.
Flirting with (natural) disaster – recent floods highlight need for adequate forecasting : disaster managementSource: Water Wheel 16, pp 22 –25 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
The trip home from work turned into a frightening ordeal for scores of commuters in the eastern parts of the Greater Johannesburg Area on 9 November, when flash flooding following a thunderstorm changed major roads into raging torrents. Some cars were washed off embankments or completely submerged, prompting heroic behaviour and human-chain rescue efforts by members of the public. The Jukskei River burst its banks in Alexander, destroying shacks in an informal settlement and sweeping away their owners’ meagre belongings, while underground parking areas at OR Tambo International Airport were inundated with water, causing severe damage to some cars. At least seven people died as a result of the natural disaster.
Promoting sustainable economic development in water-constrained catchments : water resource managementSource: Water Wheel 16, pp 26 –28 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
There is increasing recognition that the combined effects of climate change, population growth and continued urbanisation approximately half of the major South African supply schemes were already in a water balance deficit, requiring new water resources interventions to meet projected future demands.
According to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), 55% of smaller schemes supplying settlement areas or towns are currently or will be in a water balance deficit within the next ten years. At the same time, economic growth remains vital for alleviating poverty, hence the large national drive to stimulate growth.
Author Pierre MukheibirSource: Water Wheel 16, pp 29 –31 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
For the land use and urban planning sector, this has meant thinking about how to incorporate water as a complementary component to the urban landscape, by viewing all forms of water in the urban landscape as essential to a healthy urban environment and potential resources, and not as problems to get rid of – net positive infrastructure.
To move in this direction, specific attention will need to be placed on the interplay between the different kinds of factors that affect successful collaboration and integration between urban and water planners. Some that ‘push’ for change through present day needs (drivers), such as the impending infrastructure capacity and resource constraints, the need to reduce flooding and nutrient discharge to waterways through sewer overflows.
Exaggerating the value of wetlands for natural disaster mitigation is a risky business : wetlands and disaster managementSource: Water Wheel 16, pp 32 –33 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
Evidence shows that wetlands mitigate some natural disasters and lower the risks for people: first, by reducing the immediate physical impacts and second, by helping people survive and recover in the aftermath.
Controlled flooding of floodplain wetlands has long been used as a management strategy to protect the city of Lincoln, in the UK. The flood protection role of the That Luang wetland in Vientiane, Laos, has been estimated to be worth US$2.8-million per year. Coastal wetlands have been shown to reduce the damaging effects of hurricanes on coastal communities in the USA.
Source: Water Wheel 16, pp 34 –34 (Mar / Apr 2017)More Less
The Water Research Commission’s (WRC’s) Wetlands Day celebrations took on an educational quality this year. The Commission, in partnership with the departments of Water and Sanitation, Environmental Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing as well as the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the Tshwane Metro hosted a wetlands workshop along with a training course on the identification of wetlands plants. The latter was held using the popular WRC publication, Easy Identification of South African Wetland Plants (Report No. TT 479/10). The workshop showcased some of the WRC’s research in the field of wetlands. The Commission has spent over R60-million in wetland-related research over the last 15 years. Latter research has focused on established improved decision support systems around wetlands management.