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The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook

The

Sustainable

Water Resource Handbook

South Africa Volume 2

The Essential Guide

South Africa

fFORWARD orE ward

e shape a better world

work is characterised by outstanding technical solutions and tent value for money. As professional consultants we have a vast f technical expertise across the world enabling us to achieve the ossible results for our clients.

Volume 2 www.waterresource.co.za

ges dings ronmental Consulting de Engineering ways or Projects agement Advisory Services er and Energy

EnvironmEntal goods ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS AND and sErvicEs SERVICES FORUM forum OF SOUTH of south africa – AFRICA an Initiative of the department

of Trade In South Africa -and as in Industry many other countries, oil is our number one import. However, it is a grudge purchase. More than 90% of Moving up in the world is an ambition not just for the world’s transport is dependent on it. continents. People, individuals, but nations and entire food and commodities come from far and move into and

• Project and Development Management • Rail • Site Development • Industrial Projects • Interchange Design • Transport Consulting • Water

planet’s growing cities. Untilbetween 2000, oilthe prices onlymany exceeded $24 per barrel in times of war or conflict in the Middle East. Today the price is $80, after Freight transport enables global trade, while mobility, a $140 spike in 2008, preceding the global economic crisis. including both the passenger transport and communication The industries poor (people and countries) especially beyond exposedtheir to the , enables humans toare interconnect home villages. impact of oil price increases. However, in an age of increasing scarcity, we have no

When factors spills the andway oil wars, Peak Transport Oil, climate change, choice butlike to oil change we move. is more gas flaring, congestion and road deaths are and added to the mix, reliant on a single, geographically limited increasingly – oil – than any othertosector the world. therefinite is a resource clear imperative for mobility moveinbeyond a 100is also the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas yearIttradition of oil-burning “horseless carriages”. emissions globally.

Peet du Plooy, Chairperson Chairperson EGSF EGSF South South Africa. Africa

At the timeprices of theamid 1970sthe energy crisis, Sweden was the world’s Rising increasingly convincing specter Peak Oil and Oilindustrialized Wars, give most nations on Earth mostof oil-dependent nation. Since then athe compelling reason to move away from oil as the fuel country has reduced its oil dependence from 77% to 32%on of its which their trade depends. For compelling environmental energy supply. It plans to beemissions an oil-freeand society by 2020. reasons, high lifecycle impact on water using oil shales, coal or first-generation biofuels based on mono-cropping makeinliquid fuels,isare not The industrial energy consumption per to person New York a quarter either. largely due to the fact that the city that viable of thealternatives USA as a whole, is compact and serviced by a well-integrated public transport The world needs to move more efficiently: by rail and mass network. transit and by swopping the wasteful internal combustion engine for high efficiency electric motors, batteries and fuel cells. Beyond challenging the nature, efficiency and equity of cities and We transport infrastructure, theturbines sustainable revolution need to plug our wind and mobility solar panels into also our offers exciting opportunity cars and busses, making themfor partinnovation, of a smarter like grid. smart, We already energy-powered have thousands ofvehicles electric and vehicles: renewable smarttrains, trafficforklifts, systems. heavy-duty mining trucks, elevators and escalators.

eNDorsemeNt messAge

One of government priorities is providing sufficient food to the South African public. Food security is at the same time linked to a comprehensive rural development 0)11 218 7600 f: +27 (0)11 218(CRDP). 7601 Therefore water quality remains a programme nnesburg@arup.com priority to sustain an agricultural infrastructure and for farming to remain an economic activity. up.com The recent economic downturn has cast challenges on food ISBN affordability dropped 978 0 as 620income 45065 levels 2 especially due to job loses. In response, the agricultural, 2 forestry and fishery sector has once0again occupied centre stage with its ability to create jobs and absorb a wide range of cross cutting skills. Economists have argued that9 these sectors have the ability of creating 780620 450652 more jobs per R1 million investments than any other sector. Through research and innovation, food production especially at household levels is supported by smart water recycling solutions bringing0 relief in water 2 densely populated areas such as Muyexe Village in the Limpopo Province. The use of veggie towers, an innovation that limit water loss in growing food was

The InSustainable a secure view of the process Mobility we mightHandbook reinvent theoffers past to thethe economic thatwere can be found amidst the necessity future. opportunity In 1900, there more electric vehicles than internal combustion engined cars caters around of transforming transport in a way that for to thesecure evolving theoffuture. needs our People and Planet. The Environmental Goods and Services Forum of South

The Africa Environmental Services Forum of and South regards theGoods conceptand of sustainable transport mobility to beand fundamentally important for South Africa’s Africa welcomes endorses this valuable addition to the successful development and fully endorses this handbook. Sustainability Handbook series. SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY HANDBOOK 9 THE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY HANDBOOK

www.waterresource.co.za

7


T H E AV I S R O A D T O S AV I N G W A T E R

A

vis Rent-A-Car (Avis) is the largest car rental company in South Africa. In order to provide the consumers with the level of service expected, the rental vehicles are required to be kept exceptionally clean, which leads to thousands of cars being washed daily around the country. This is clearly an issue when considering that fresh water is a scarce resource in South Africa. In 2007, Avis undertook during its planned vehicle cleaning facility upgrades, to embark on a quest to reduce water usage and in so doing, invested in a few initiatives that would have significant impact in this regard at its three major vehicle cleaning facilities at O R Tambo International Airport (Isando), Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) in Kwa-Zulu Natal. These major vehicle preparation sites were fitted with new state of the art, fast line drive

avis feb 2011.indd 2-3

through car wash machines (3 in Isando, 2 in both Cape Town and KSIA). Little did the management know what they would learn about their use of water. The first shock was that each car washed consumed a small bathtub of between 200 and 250 litres of water per wash. This made the introduction of water recycling a far more serious affair than initially envisaged. Car wash recycling experts were brought in to assist with the design of the recycle plant, which needed to be effective in saving as well as quality of water reused. Although the aim of the recycling system was to reduce the amount of freshwater needed for car washing, while the technicians were working to refine the recycling system, they discovered that each car wash machine’s use of water could be tweaked and reduced from an average of 220 litres to around 160 litres per wash. This


in itself was a 25% to 30% reduction in the use of water. The team also learned that in order to have the vehicles in a clean condition, they had no option but to use fresh clean water in the “Final Rinse Arch” which is also where the fine wax application is also applied. This meant that recycled water could only be used during the “pre-soak” and “shampoo” stages, which incidentally used the most water. Of the 160 litres of water now being used per wash, the company was able to divert the “grey” water into soak-pits and recycle plant for reuse and the need for clean water during the final rinse stage accounted for around 40 litres (or 25%), with fresh water used now reduced to only 75% of its needs. In a quest to further reduce the amount of freshwater needed for the final rinse arch, timers were fitted to delay the rinse water start up. However, due to driver speed inconsistancy there was a comprimise in wash quality of some cars. The timer device was removed and replaced with a sensor which can detect the presence of a vehicle entering and leaving the rinse arches. This has resutled in a reduction to aproximately 20 litres freshwater per car wash. Without realising it, the process had other benefits:1. The final rinse arch adds enough “new” water to the system which was very necessary to keep the levels topped up and with some clean water, much needed to reduce the continuous use of the same water, plus overcomes some water loss through evaporation. 2. The soap water washed into the underground water recycling tanks still retained a lot of its cleaning properties, thereby re-

ducing the need to use so much new soap for each wash cycle. This reduced the use of chemicals used in the process. Today, the Avis car wash process machines recycle up to 88% of the water used, which is cleaned to 90% clarity and has significantly reduced the need for municipal water from over 220 litres to around 20 litres per car washed. One would think that enough water saving had been achieved, but not so. In pursuit to quench the desire to find even more solutions to its water use, the company decided to introduce underground rainwater harvetsing reservoirs, which would capture rain water off the rooves from the facility’s buildings and use this through the introduction of a valve system which automatically shuts off the clean municipal supply and replace this with the harvested rainwater, effectively making the Avis depot a “water neutral” facility during the wet periods. The Avis Water Management process now saves the company (and our planet) in excess of 100 million litres of water per annum. It is also just one of the many initiatives (such as carbon neutral status, hybrid cars and others) introduced to reduce their impact on South Africa’s water and other environmental resources, establishing the company as the “green leader” within the car rental industry.

01/02/2011 17:23


Sustainable water, energy and air management programs...protecting a fragile world Nalco Africa is committed to helping African industry achieve and maintain environmentally sustainable operations. We’re perfectly poised to help businesses reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, minimize environmental releases and operate more cost-efficiently. Nalco Africa is part of the Nalco Company, the world’s leading water treatment and process-improvement company. Our Essential Expertise in Water, Energy and Air™ is implemented through over 7,000 technically trained professionals serving more than 70,000 global customer locations. The world’s most advanced chemistries. Global reach. Local focus. Sustainable solutions. Combined, they present a clear advantage for environmentally responsible businesses. Contact Nalco Africa today.

NALCO Africa Operations Building 14, Ground Floor Greenstone Office Park Emerald Parkway Greenstone Hill, South Africa Tel: +27 10 590 9120 Fax: +27 10 590 9130 www.nalco.com/sa © 2010 Nalco Company


FORWARD

DEPARTMENT OF WATER AFFAIRS Lately, the media has been running headlines about the “Water Crisis” in South Africa and although some of the arguments are based on concrete facts and thorough analysis, we simply cannot overcome these challenges unless we work collectively. The Overseas Development Institute broadly explains global water crisis as follows: “Three quarter’s of the world’s fresh water is frozen in glaciers and icebergs. Less than 1% flows in rivers and lakes. That which does, together with the 20% lying underground, faces increasing pressure as global population grows and demand for water rises”. South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world and faces the challenges of a growing population and economy. As a water stressed country, it is therefore a frightening reality to know that we do not have enough of this precious resource. It is also clear that if we continue to waste and pollute increasingly limited water resources at our disposal, we will aggravate the shortage and plunge our country into a severe crisis. The South Africa Government has come a long way since 1994 by becoming one of the first countries to proclaim access to running water as a constitutional right for all citizens but unless we work together, South Africa will be forever vulnerable to threats of fresh water resources due to population growth, food insecurity, urbanisation, industrialisation, pollution of water, poor management structures and the lack of necessary scientific and technical expertise that is so crucial to the sustainability of water. It is in light of these challenges that we choose to endorse The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook as it serves to equip water industry professionals and stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to bring us towards a more sustainable future. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2


eNDorsemeNt messAge

FORWARD

One of government priorities DEPARTEMENT OFis providing sufficient food to the South African public. Food security is atAND the same AGRICULUTRE, FORESTRY time linked to a comprehensive rural development FISHERIES programme (CRDP). Therefore water quality remains a

priority to sustain an agricultural infrastructure and for farming to remain an economic activity. The recent economic downturn has cast challenges As theondepartment, we support initiatives suchdropped as The food affordability as income levels especially due to job loses. In response, the agricultural, Sustainable Water Resource Handbook which brings light forestry and fishery sector has once again occupied to the centre challenges all its face in our Our finite stagewe with ability to environment. create jobs and absorb a wide range of cross cutting skills. Economists have water resources come under increasing pressure from argued that these sectors have the ability of creating our growing economic development and more jobspopulation, per R1 million investments than any other sector. various forms of pollution, which have led to continuous Through research and innovation, food production research on water technologies that willby optimise especially at efficient household levels is supported smart water recycling solutions bringing relief in water agricultural production and innovative processes to mitigate densely populated areas such as Muyexe Village in agricultural pollution.Province. The use of veggie towers, an the Limpopo innovation that limit water loss in growing food was recently piloted in the village among 15 households. In lineHere, withthe our strategic priorities, we inhave contributed neighbourhood is involved the construction of similar devices to replicate and enlarge to the acceleration of delivery on food securityvegetable through production using grey water. the revitalisation of irrigation schemes that are situated The involvement of rural communities in designingin these innovative suit communal needs for former homelands andmodels small-holder farms, through the the creation of sustainable economic opportunities Letsema/ Ilima Programme. The provision and availability of in agro-ecology for SMMEs and cooperatives. The CRDP provides local production to replace imports adequate and appropriate infrastructure is a prerequisite for to minimise the carbon footprint of the sector, where successful, efficient agricultural production,over especially highotherwise, food would be transported large areas. Further, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and input, high-value irrigated agriculture. At the same time, Fisheries will facilitate the establishment of agricultural we recognise that poverty and efficiency access to of water by farmers infrastructure to improve production for all commodity value chains. This will include systematic is still one of South Africa’s socio-economic challenges and efforts in irrigation projects in areas receiving little we must looktoatincrease ways whereby each and every sector can rainfall, local food production. Furthermore, the department willtogether have to consider contribute towards reducing it. Working with the the effects of agriculture on climate change and vice sector versa, and alland South Africans we can do more. develop appropriate responses which would include among others, investing in cleaner production methodologies, improved water care through limited pollution as a result of pesticides, creating green job opportunities, promoting innovation and applying scientific technology in the production processes through investments in employment, economic and development opportunities to mitigate the effects of climate change. If we manage our natural resources together, we can do more and increase food security for all. the sUstAINABLe WAter resoUrce hANDBooK

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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FORWARD

THE DEPARTEMENT OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) continually seeks to radically change the focus on our system of local governance so that we can accelerate the provision and delivery of services to the many South Africans, who after 17 years of democracy, still do not have access to decent sanitation and clean water. We are pleased that our interventions in 2010 have yielded positive results and we are closely monitoring the situation by assessing project plans, visiting the worst performing municipalities, and crafting acceleration plans. In light of the water stresses that have developed and accelerated in South Africa in the last few years, we are pleased to continue our endorsement into Vol 2 of The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook. Such endeavours, to bring about knowledge transfer to those industry professionals that need it most, are endeavours that we seek to encourage and support. It is DCoG’s shared vision to develop partnerships, social cohesion and community mobilisation through education platforms such as this. Let us work together to protect our natural resources for the sake of all South Africans and the rest of the world.

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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PROFILE

Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd. Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd is a joint venture between Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC) and Protea Chemicals a company of the Omnia group. Nalco Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) and is a provider of chemical and equipment solutions optimising natural resources and driving prosperity through unrivalled engineered and sustainable solutions. Nalco Africa is divided in three divisions: 1) Water & Process Services; 2) Mining Services and 3) Energy Services Downstream. Our sales & marketing team serves a wide variety of industries such as food & beverage, medium and light manufacturing, chemicals, steel, mining and mineral processing, petrochemicals, refining, automotive, power generation and pulp and paper in process and water applications. Our services provide integrated solutions that improve customers’ products and positively impact their operations through greater asset reliability, decreased total cost of operation (TCO), improved operating and production efficiencies and minimised environmental, health and safety concerns.

Nalco Company

Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC), with global corporate and research headquarters in Naperville, Illinois (USA), provides essential expertise for water, energy and air — delivering significant environmental, social and economic performance benefits to our customers. Nalco helps customers reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, enhance air quality, minimize environmental releases and improve productivity and end products while boosting their bottom line. Together our comprehensive solutions contribute to the sustainable development of customer operations. Nalco is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and is one of the world leaders in water treatment and process improvement applications providing services, chemicals and equipment solutions. In 2009, Nalco sales reached $3.7 billion of which $1,662 million from Water Services, $666 million for Paper Services and $1,418 million from Energy Services. More than 11,500 Nalco employees work at more than 50,000 customer locations, in more than 150 countries supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centres to serve a broad range of end markets.

Our Vision

We aim to achieve long-term partnership with our customers while enhancing the lives of our stakeholders (employees, communities, shareholders and customers) and protecting our planet

Our Mission Our mission is to lead the industry in creating value for customers and Nalco through differentiated services and technologies that save water and energy, enhance production and improve air quality while reducing total costs of operation.


fFORWARD orE ward

FORWARD

The EnvironmentalGOODS Goods and EnvironmEntal goods ENVIRONMENTAL AND Services Forum of South Africa and sErvicEs SERVICES FORUM forum OF SOUTH (EGSF) of south africa – AFRICA

an Initiative of the department of Trade In South Africa -and as in Industry many other countries, oil is our number

one import. However, it is a grudge purchase. More than 90% of While immensely in just about every other natural Moving up inwealthy the world is an ambition not just for the world’s is dependent on it. continents. People, individuals, but nations andbiodiversity entire resource – transport including minerals, and renewable food and commodities come from far and move into and

energy – South Africa is a water-scarce country.

planet’s growing cities. Untilbetween 2000, oilthe prices onlymany exceeded $24 per barrel in times of war or conflict in the Middle East. Today the price is $80, after Freight transport enables global trade, while mobility, To deal with this challenge we have built more damscrisis. for a $140 spike in 2008, preceding the global economic including both the passenger transport and communication The number poor (people and countries) especially exposed to in the the of people than almost any other country industries , enables humans toare interconnect beyond their home villages. impact of oil priceand increases. the world. Lives livelihoods depend on the availability

and However, quality ofinwater in these dams and the rivers that feed an age of increasing scarcity, we have no

When factors like oil spills and oil wars, Peak Oil, climate change, gas flaring, congestion and road deaths are and added to the mix, reliant on a single, geographically limited increasingly dams, and wetlands aremobility deteriorating to world. factors – oil – than any othertosector inbeyond the therefinite isrivers a resource clear imperative for movedue a 100It is also the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas like pollution, silting and eutrophication. year tradition of oil-burning “horseless carriages”. choice to change way we Transport is more them. It isbut therefore of the concern tomove. all South Africans that

emissions globally.

Peet du Plooy, Chairperson Chairperson EGSF EGSF South South Africa. Africa

At mixed the time of theamid 1970s energy crisis, wasand the world’s Rising prices the increasingly convincing specter A record in managing waterSweden wastage water of Peak Oil and Oil Wars, give most nations on Earth a

most oil-dependent industrialized nation. Since then the treatment works, along with emerging threats like climate compelling reason to move away from oil as the fuel on

country has reduced its oil dependence from 77% to 32% of its energy supply. It plans to beemissions an oil-freeand society by 2020. reasons, high lifecycle impact on water

which their trade depends. For compelling change and acid mine drainage makes it environmental imperative for

South Africa to act with urgency to secure the future of its using oil shales, coal or first-generation biofuels based on

people and consumption economy through the astute management mono-cropping make fuels,isare notof The industrial energy per to person inliquid New York a quarter

viable alternatives either. largely due to the fact that the city that of the USA as a whole, its blue gold – water.

is compact and serviced by amore well-integrated The world needs to move efficiently: bypublic rail andtransport mass network. transit and by swopping the wasteful internal combustion

The Environmental Goods and Services Forum of South engine for high efficiency electric motors, batteries and

Africa fuel(EGSF) cells. promotes the sharing of information and

Beyond challenging the nature, efficiency and equity of cities

knowledge the sustainability sector in order to assist the and transportininfrastructure, the sustainable mobility revolution We need to plug our wind turbines and solar panels into

promotion environmentally responsible actions. also our offers exciting opportunity for like cars of and busses, making them partinnovation, of a smarter grid. smart, We already energy-powered have thousands ofvehicles electric and vehicles: renewable smarttrains, trafficforklifts, systems. heavy-duty mining trucks, elevators and escalators.

We welcome the second volume of the Water Resource

The InSustainable Mobility a secure of the process we mightHandbook reinvent theoffers past to thethe Handbook and encourage decision-makers inview the water economic thatwere can be found amidst the necessity future. opportunity In 1900, there more electric vehicles than internal combustion engined cars caters around of transforming transport in a way that for to thesecure evolving theoffuture. needs our People and Planet.

sector to make use of it.

The Environmental Goods and Services Forum of South

The Africa Environmental Services Forum of and South regards theGoods conceptand of sustainable transport mobility to beand fundamentally important for South Africa’s Africa welcomes endorses this valuable addition to the successfulHandbook development and fully endorses this handbook. Sustainability series. SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2 9 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY HANDBOOK 9 THETHE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY HANDBOOK

7


CREDITS PAGE

The The Sustainable The Handbook

Green Building Green Building Water Resource Handbook Green Building South Africa Handbook The

Sales Manager Tuffy Shayawabaya

Chief Executive HEAD OF SALES Lloyd Macfarlane HEAD SALES Annie OF Pieters Pieters HEAD Annie OF SALES Directors Volume 2 Annie Pieters ADVERTISING SALES Editor GordonADVERTISING Brown EDITOR SALESKulp, James Benns, Andre Evans, Glenda Dr. William Harding EDITOR Andrew Fehrsen Llewellyn van Wyk Andre Evans, Glenda Kulp,Rae, James Benns, ADVERTISING SALES Joseph de Villiers, Louna Llewellyn van Wyk EDITOR Lloyd Joseph de Villiers, Louna Rae, AndreMacfarlane Evans, Glenda Kulp, James Benns,Pheiffer Muqmeena Rodriques, Siobhan CONTRIBUTORS Llewellyn van Wyk Contributors Rodriques, JosephMuqmeena de Villiers, Louna Rae, Siobhan Pheiffer CONTRIBUTORS Al Stradford, Dr. Andre de Villiers, Chris Brooker, David Kaufmann, Bruce Kania, Dr.Dr.Chris Dickens, Mr. LeoBrooker, Quayle,David Prof.Kaufmann, Anthony Principal forRodriques, Africa & Mauritiius Muqmeena Siobhan Pheiffer Al Andre de Villiers, Dr.Stradford, Dirk Conradie, Dorothy Brislin,Chris Dr. Graham Grieve, Graham Young, CHIEF EXECUTIVE CONTRIBUTORS Turton, Dr.Dr. Nicola Rodda, Dr.Ittman, Mark Dent, Stephen Mitchell, Dr. Tim GordonCHIEF BrownMacfarlane Dr. Conradie, Brislin, Dr. r.Graham Grieve, Young, EXECUTIVE Dr. Dirk Gwen Theron, Hans Hans Scheff erlie, HansGraham Wegelin, Al Stradford, Andre deDorothy Villiers, Chris Brooker, David Kaufmann, Lloyd Ms.Theron, Bettina Genthe, Dr. Irene Barnhoorn Gwen Hans Ittman, Hans Scheff erlie, Hans Wegelin, Dr. Hennie de Clercq, Jason Buch, Johan Bothma, Macfarlane Dr. Downing, DirkDr. Conradie, Dorothy Brislin, Dr. Graham Grieve, Graham Young, CHIEF Lloyd EXECUTIVE Dr. Hennie de Clercq, Jason Buch, Johan Bothma, Luke Osburn, Miranda Kolev, Naalamkai Dr. Gwen Theron, Hans Ittman, Hans Scheff erlie,Ampofo-Anti, Hans Wegelin, Principal for United States Lloyd Macfarlane DIRECTORS Luke Osburn, Miranda Kolev, Naalamkai Ampofo-Anti, Santie Dr. Sidney Dr. Tony Paterson Dr. Peer Hennie de Gouws, Clercq, Jason Buch,Parsons, Johan Bothma, Reviewer DIRECTORS James Smith Gordon Brown Santie Gouws, Sidney Parsons,Ampofo-Anti, Dr. Tony Paterson Luke MirandaDr. Kolev, Naalamkai DrOsburn, Jeff Thornton Gordon DIRECTORS AndrewBrown Fehrsen LAYOUTDr.&Sidney DESIGN Santie Gouws, Parsons, Dr. Tony Paterson Andrew Fehrsen Gordon Brown LAYOUT & DESIGN Lloyd Macfarlane Rashied Rahbeeni Lloyd Macfarlane Andrew Fehrsen Layout & Design Rashied Rahbeeni LAYOUT & DESIGN Lloyd Macfarlane SUB-EDITOR Celeste Yates Rashied Rahbeeni PRINCIPAL FOR AFRICA & MAURITIUS SUB-EDITOR Trisha Bam PRINCIPAL FOR AFRICA & MAURITIUS Gordon Brown Trisha Bam SUB-EDITOR Gordon Brown PRINCIPAL FOR AFRICA & MAURITIUS Sub-editor MARKETING MANAGER Trisha Bam GordonPRINCIPAL Brown FOR UNITED STATES Trisha Bam Macfarlane MARKETING MANAGER Cara-Dee PRINCIPAL James SmithFOR UNITED STATES Cara-Dee Macfarlane MARKETING MANAGER James Smith PRINCIPAL FOR UNITED STATES MARKETING ASSISTANT Editorial and Brand Manager Cara-Dee Macfarlane James Smith MARKETING Anri Tredoux Cara-Dee CarlsteinASSISTANT PUBLISHER Anri Tredoux MARKETING ASSISTANT PUBLISHER GENERAL MANAGER Anri Tredoux PUBLISHER Divisional GENERAL MANAGER Suraya Manager Manuel Cara-Dee Carlstein Suraya Manuel GENERAL MANAGER & ADMINISTRATION Suraya ACCOUNTS Manuel ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Wadoeda Accounts andBrenner Administration www.alive2green.com Wadoeda Brenner Ursula& Thomas ACCOUNTS ADMINISTRATION Wadoeda Brenner www.alive2green.com Ursula Thomas Rashieda Cornelius www.greenbuilding.co.za Wadoeda Brenner Chantall Okkers www.alive2green.com www.alive2green.com Rashieda Cornelius www.greenbuilding.co.za Ursula Thomas Rashieda Cornelius www.greenbuilding.co.za

Handbook The Essential Guide

South Africa Volume South2 Africa

TheSouth EssentialAfrica Guide The Essential Guide Volume 2 Volume 2 Guide The Essential

www.waterresource.co.za

The Sustainability Series The Sustainability Series Of Handbooks Of Handbooks The Sustainability Series Of Handbooks PHYSICAL ADDRESS: ISBN No: 978 0 620 45065 2. Volume 2 first Published January 2011 INTERNATIONAL Suite 207, Building 20 ENQUIRIES ISBN No: 978 0 620 45240 3. Volume 2 first Published January 2010. FRANCHISE PHYSICAL ADDRESS: DISTRIBUTION AND Waverley Business Park AllISBN rights reserved. No45240 part of3.of this publication may bebe reproduced or international@alive2green.com COPY SALES ENQUIRIES No: 978 0 620 Volume 2 first Published January 2010. PHYSICAL ADDRESS: DISTRIBUTION AND All rights reserved. No part this publication may reproduced Suite 207, Building 20 distribution@alive2green.com COPY SALES ENQUIRIES All rights reserved. part of2form this may be reproduced Suite 207, Building 20 1 Kotzee Road transmitted in 45240 anyin way or in any without theJanuary priorthe written consent or978 transmitted any way or in form without prior written Waverley Business Park ISBN No: 0 620 3.No Volume fiany rstpublication Published 2010. PHYSICAL ADDRESS: DISTRIBUTION AND distribution@alive2green.com transmitted in any way or inexpressed any form without the prior written Waverley Business Park All rights Mowbray ENQUIRIES of or the publisher. The opinions herein are not necessarily COPYADVERTISING SALES ENQUIRIES consent of No thepart publisher. opinions expressed herein are 1 Kotzee reserved. of this The publication may be reproduced Suite 207, BuildingRoad 20 INTERNATIONAL consent ofany the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are distribution@alive2green.com 1Mowbray Kotzee Cape TownRoad those the Publisher Editor. Allor editorial are sales@alive2green.com not of necessarily those ofany the Publisher the All editorial or transmitted in way or inor form without the Editor. priorcontributions written Waverley Business Park FRANCHISE ENQUIRIES INTERNATIONAL not necessarily those of the Publisher the Editor. All editorial Mowbray South Africa accepted on the are understanding theorcontributor either contributions accepted onthat the understanding theowns or Cape Town consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein arethat 1 Kotzee Road international@alive2green.com FRANCHISE ENQUIRIES INTERNATIONAL arethe accepted onor the understanding that copyrights the Cape contributor owns or has obtained all All necessary 7705 hascontributions obtained alleither necessary copyrights and permissions. CPD ENQUIRIES SouthTown Africa international@alive2green.com not necessarily those of Publisher the Editor. editorial Mowbray FRANCHISE ENQUIRIES ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES contributor either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights South Africa and permissions. 7705 cpd@alive2green.com contributions are accepted on the understanding that the Cape Town international@alive2green.com sales@alive2green.com ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES and either permissions. 7705 021 447 4733 IMAGES ANDowns DIAGRAMS: contributor or has obtained all necessary copyrights SouthTEL: Africa sales@alive2green.com ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES IMAGES AND DIAGRAMS: TEL: 021 447 4733 and permissions. 086 6947443 Space limitations and source format have affected the size of certain 7705 FAX: PAPER CPD ENQUIRIES sales@alive2green.com IMAGES AND DIAGRAMS: TEL: 447 4733 Space limitations and source format have affected the of PDF FAX:021 086 6947443 Website: www.alive2green.com published images and/or diagrams in this publication. Forsize larger cpd@alive2green.com CPD ENQUIRIES Space limitations and source format have aff ected the size of FAX: 086 6947443 certain published images and/or diagrams in this publication. For Website: www.alive2green.com IMAGES ANDof DIAGRAMS: TEL: 021 447 4733 Company registration Number: versions these images please contact the Publisher. cpd@alive2green.com CPD ENQUIRIES certain published images and/or in this For Website: larger PDF versions offormat these images contact the Publisher. Company registration Number: PAPER PRINTER Space limitations and source havediagrams affplease ected the sizepublication. of FAX: 086 6947443www.alive2green.com 2006/206388/23 cpd@alive2green.com larger PDFimages versions of these images please contact theFor Publisher. PRINTER PAPER PRINTER 2006/206388/23 certain published diagrams in this publication. Website: www.alive2green.com VatCompany Number:registration 4130252432Number: DISTRIBUTION ANDand/or COPY SALES ENQUIRIES 2006/206388/23 Vatregistration Number: 4130252432 PDF versions of these images please contact the Publisher. Company Number: largerdistribution@alive2green.com PAPER PRINTER Vat Number: 4130252432 2006/206388/23 Vat Number: 4130252432 alive2green is a member of the following organisations: alive2green is a member of the following organisations: alive2green is a member of the following organisations:

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THE GREEN BUILDING HANDBOOK THEGREEN SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2 THE BUILDING HANDBOOK THE GREEN BUILDING HANDBOOK


EDITORS NOTE

EDITOR’S NOTE Water is Life. Without sufficient water of good quality, our socio-economic future will become extremely dire. The aspect of water quality has long been overlooked in favour of quantity, yet a massive proportion of our stored water is already problematical. This volume of the handbook addresses water quality and the major factors that threaten it in South Africa. This is a critical and necessary debate not only for the people of South Africa, who will continue to depend on safe water for drinking and sanitation, but also for the continued economic growth of the country. Debates

Dr. William (Bill) Harding

on water quality issues are conspicuous by their absence at water and energy-related forums. There are alternative energy sources, there are no alternatives for water! This edition of the Sustainable Water Resource Handbook focuses on the threats to water stored in our nations dams. These storages receive negligible attention in terms of their management as artificial lakes. For too long they have been perceived simply as “tanks” of water. As is evident around the world, this lack of attention is a can of worms that is now being opened! It is hoped that the material contained in this volume will empower more people to understand the problems and their causes.

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Contents 16

Chapter One

Dams and the Water Crisis Dr. William (Bill) Harding

26

Chapter Two

The Importance Of Dams As Multifunctional & Multiuse Ecosystems Prof. Anthony Turton

36

Chapter Three

Eutrophication Threats To Surface Water Quality In South Africa Dr. William (Bill) Harding

48

Chapter Four

Managing Greywater In South Africa Dr. Nicola Rodda

68

Chapter Five

Phosphate-Free Detergents Dr. Chris Dickens and Mr. Leo Quayle

82

Chapter Six

Emerging Pollutants Ms. Bettina Genthe and Dr. Irene Barnhoorn

96

Chapter Seven

Cyanobacteria Dr. Tim Downing

112

Chapter Eight

Institutional Responses To Eutrophication Dr. Mark Dent

130

Chapter Nine

An Overview of Floating Treatment Wetlands Bruce Kania

144

Chapter Ten The Way Forward Dr. Stephen Mitchell

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The Sustainability Series: The

Transport &for Mobility Handbooks Environmental Stakeholders Sustainable

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South Africa Volume 2

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Transport &Guide Mobility The TheEssential Essential Guide Handbook Volume 3

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CHAPTER 01: DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS

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CHAPTER 01: DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS

DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS Dr. Bill Harding

INTRODUCTION South Africans will (or certainly should) be aware that our country is not blessed with abundant rainfall – in fact, quite the opposite. Ours is generally an arid climate – with an average rainfall of only 450mm per year – compared with the global average of 860mm per annum. The little rainfall we do get is unevenly distributed and evaporation removes a considerable amount of stored water back to the atmosphere. Without substantial supplies of underground water, we rely very heavily on water that is stored in dams. Our reliance on stored water is rendered increasingly critical by population growth and industrial expansion, and water resources are dwindling per capita of population. At the same time, pressure on many dams, especially those in the economic heartland of the country (Gauteng), is increasing, with a considerable portion of their inflows being comprised of wastewater effluents and polluted urban run-off. Water deficits are common in 10 of the 19 Water Management Areas since the year 2000. The Department of Water Affairs and Environment (DWAE) manages some 586 large dams, of which 320 are considered to be major dams each holding more than 1 million m3 of water. These dams store a combined 32 billion m3, equivalent to 65% of South Africa’s annual run-off. From this storage, irrigation uses 62%, urban and domestic use equals 27% and mining, industry and power generation absorb a further 8%. Commercial forestry utilises the remaining 3%. Interestingly, the National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS) makes no mention is made of the original 10% commitment for environmental use. Insofar as water quality is concerned, 31 dams, or 24% of the total storage, have reduced water quality as a result of elevated nutrient levels – largely derived from sewage effluents. In these waters there is a significant risk of potentially-toxic algal blooms occurring. A further 45 dams are on the brink of becoming similarly problematic. Hence, a total of 20 billion litres, or 62% of the water that can be stored in a single annual cycle, is negatively impacted by what is known as eutrophication! Since not all of the 586 dams have been surveyed, the numbers, in fact, may be somewhat higher.

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CHAPTER 01: DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS

Dams are, in reality, man-made or artificial lakes. While natural lakes form robust natural ecosystems, dams are semi-natural at best. Both types are prone to pollution and other pressures arising from man’s development of catchment areas, with dams being generally more sensitive and less resilient. Ensuring the healthy functioning of both natural and artificial lakes requires that deliberate lake management practices be applied. The South African National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS, 2004) recognises that “water resource management supports the provision of potable water to all people”, that “water is central to the economy”. Our Constitution enshrines the right to “an environment that is not harmful to life or wellbeing”, while the NWRS further observes that “the deterioration of the quality of surface water resources is one of the major threats to South Africa’s capability to provide sufficient water of appropriate quality to meet its needs and to ensure environmental sustainability”. In this situation, the obvious conclusion, surely, would be to ensure that both the quality and quantity of the water in our dams is managed in an optimal manner. Evidence suggests that South Africa is deficient in this role, with the quality of some 35% of the storable volume already severely impaired – and nearly all of this in the economic heartland. Water quality, in fact, is poorest in the areas with the lowest run-off and highest contribution to GDP! Insidious and sinister changes are appearing in some dams, completely unnoticed by routine monitoring programmes. How should dams be managed? Lake and reservoir (dams) management is a component of the freshwater aquatic sciences – also known as limnology. Aquatic sciences encompass rivers, wetlands and dams. Scientific attention to lakes and dams became increasingly relevant post-World War II, as global populations and industrial expansion placed increasing pressure on water supplies. This led to the problem of eutrophication, ie, the pollution of surface waters with nutrients, resulting in the excessive and unwanted growths of plants and algae. From the above it may be reasonably assumed that South Africa would possess a cohesive, welldeveloped and academically-supported national programme for reservoir management. It will come as a shock to learn that South Africa has no such programme, none of our academic institutions teach limnology as a career subject and the Department of Water Affairs, custodian of our water resources, has no Directorate of Reservoir Management that coordinates appropriate management of our dams. Curiously, the National Aquatic Ecosystem Health Monitoring Programme does not mention the word ‘dams’! Recent months have seen many reports referring to the so-called ‘Water Crisis’ - not least mentioning the extreme levels of pollution that exist in most Gauteng dams. So, what is the condition of South African aquatic sciences (limnology)? “South African limnology is in disarray. It is poorly-funded, failing to address certain important environmental problems, lacks a

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cohesive sense of direction and its potential contributions to effective water resource management are grossly underrated”. This statement is, in several ways, almost as true now in 2010 as it was back in 1989 when it was first made by one of the world’s eminent limnologists, the late Dr Bill Williams. He continued, “Additionally, many of its [South Africa’s] practitioners are dispirited and disillusioned, there has been significant attrition from their ranks, and few young South Africans regard limnology as a secure and attractive career. All of this might be comprehensible in a country with plentiful water of good quality; for this to be the case in a country wherein water is a basic resource and is in short supply, faced with demographic problems of the magnitude prevailing, seems incomprehensible”. The Williams Report was commissioned by the then Foundation for Research and Development (FRD), a unit that existed within the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It was compiled at the time when the FRD was terminating its Inland Waters Ecosystem (IWE) research programme, which encompassed a number of projects spanning all aspects of aquatic sciences. The report was the culmination of interviews with 58 scientists – then and since South Africa’s single largest group of limnologists and/or scientists active in this field. Less than 10 of the original group are still active in aquatic science in South Africa – there are only four with a day-to-day career involvement in this field. The Williams Report was never disclosed, although the findings were circulated to the aforementioned group. Curiously and inexplicably, given the presumed understanding of the importance of limnology to a country such as South Africa, the FRD considered that “it would be counterproductive to enter into open debate on the issues raised by the evaluation”, yet noted that “the future of limnology activity [is] of concern”. Why was this allowed to happen? At best, the lack of a concerted – or indeed any – response to the findings by the then limnological fraternity is without doubt a damning indictment of inaction. At worst, all sorts of possible ulterior motives may be considered – ranging from the elimination of competitors to ensuring security of research funding. Moreover, during the late 1980s the very nature of South African governance was changing – perhaps with very short-sighted awareness of the implications for science in this country. The logical question is: “What is the status of South African aquatic sciences now – 21 years later? How many publications have emerged during the past 20 years? How many career graduates have been produced, how many young scientists have jobs and what is the level of funding and the associated funding trends?”.

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Human and economic investment in South African limnology experienced a significant decline towards the end of the 1980s – especially with respect to attention to the science and management of reservoir lakes (dams). This was, in part, underpinned by inaction on the part of the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and this department’s perception that eutrophication was not a priority issue. The emergence of the Williams Report, however, suggests that, in the absence of clear guidance from the scientific community, the DWA could reasonably assume that there was no cause for concern. A review of North American (and probably European) literature of the time might have suggested that eutrophication was considered, ill-advisedly, to be ‘resolved’ as a result of legislative initiatives and engineering solutions applied to municipal wastewater treatment. Emphasis was shifting to more exotic contaminants and nonpoint sources. In fact, the DWA’s own website contains a decade-old treatise on eutrophication policy which clearly illustrates the level of threat. Other reports, also kept confidential, ignored the overwhelming impact of sewage-derived phosphorus on surface waters and, instead, suggested that nitrogen might play a greater role in South African eutrophication. While this may be partially true, it diverted the focus from phosphorus and ignored the sheer practicality of being able to manage it, something not nearly so easily achieved with nitrogen. During the 1990s, the bulk of applied lake management, research and monitoring was carried by the larger municipalities and Water Boards – generating a wealth of unpublished reservoir-lake data. The bulk of this work was born of self-preservation and the need, in the absence of nationally-funded, basic monitoring and research support, to understand and manage the nature of the water resources being treated and supplied to consumers. The need for effective early-warning protocols for cyanobacterial blooms is a case in point. Regrettably, most of this knowledge base remains inaccessible as internal documents and databases. In the absence of a concerted and motivated need, negligible funding has been made available for reservoir studies since 1990. An examination of Water Research Commission projects shows that approximately R10 million has been spent on six projects, this being both a fraction of the Commission’s budget and that applied to river and wetland science. The National Research Foundation, successor to the FRD, has not funded any lake-limnology projects during the same period, while universities, with minor exceptions, have focused on studies of river ecology and, only recently, wetland science, despite the fundamental reliance of the economy and all South Africans on dams as the basis of their water supplies. The disbandment of government-sponsored aquatic science, coupled to the South African revolution and redress of apartheid, resulted in another, negative phenomenon. As a result of affirmative action, many scientists were forced to move into consulting roles. This not only separated them from the collegiate atmosphere provided by research units such as the NIWR, but also from funding – especially 20

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funding for basic research. Traditional funding agencies generally direct capital funding only into tertiary organisations or local authorities, precluding individuals from acquiring basic, yet expensive, equipment such as microscopes. The ability to travel and attend conferences and symposia, similarly, was limited for consultants not employed by large firms or engineering companies. Lastly, in the private sector, the individual’s focus has been on income security and there are few opportunities for consultants to find the time to undertake research and publish their findings. The disarray in South African aquatic sciences mentioned by Williams appears to persist as an identity crisis. Despite this country having many river scientists, they were conspicuous by their absence at the world’s premier limnology gathering, SIL, held in Cape Town last August! One can only speculate as to why they do not see themselves as part of the wider limnological fraternity – perhaps this is why aquatic sciences are so fragmented in this country? South African aquatic science reached its all-time high during the 1980s, with this and prior research detailed in a monograph entitled The Inland Waters of Southern Africa: An Ecological Perspective. Subsequently, reservoir management became both the ‘Cinderella’ of aquatic science in South Africa – the science upon which everyone depends, but no-one explicitly recognises – as well as the ‘Cassandra’ of environmental management, as no one heard the dire warnings of threats to our water resources. While there has been some recent funding for detailed, functional examinations of impoundment foodwebs and the use of stable isotope analysis to track both nutrient and pollutant movement through aquatic ecosystems, the findings of these efforts have been slow to add value to the management of freshwaters in this country, despite the DWA (post-2000) rendering its National Eutrophication Monitoring Programme more encompassing. Parallel developments have seen renewed attention to wetlands, continuing the national wetland programme that was managed under the former FRD. Direct (DWA) attention to Reservoir Management (limnology sensu strictu) remains unheeded – and the words dam, reservoir lake or impoundment do not appear anywhere in the National Aquatic Ecosystem Health Programme! So, what should have been done? The management of aquatic ecosystems requires an understanding of two separate issues: firstly, the nature and degree of long-term changes in water quality and, secondly, the nature and degree of natural changes in these same factors, as opposed to human-induced climatic alterations. Both can exert profound changes – with natural impacts causing alterations at least as profound as those brought about by man. However, the magnitude of anthropogenic change is significant, increasing and, as recognised by the United Nations Millenium Assessment, a major threat to marine and freshwaters worldwide. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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All of this was known back in the 1980s –the aspect of human-induced climate change figured prominently in a 1988 report on southern Africa’s renewable natural resources. In his 1989 assessment, Bill Williams suggested a number of issues that he considered supportive of the robust development of limnology in South Africa. Many of these are as relevant now as they were then and are highlighted below, together with this author’s comments: • Increase dialogue between limnologists and engineers, hydrologists and water-user agencies. This has been achieved to a substantial degree, but only insofar as river ecology has been concerned. Attention to the need to be able to determine implementable Environmental Flow Requirements has underpinned a commendable, long-term example of how scientists, engineers and managers can interact. • Involve limnologists in the early planning stages of water resource management schemes. This also has occurred widely in the realm of river biology. However, the construction of new dams, for example, has not seen the involvement of lake biologists. • Commence relevant, long-term monitoring of key environments. Knowledge of the threat of human-induced climate change has been around for 30 years. Two key approaches are fundamental to understanding climate change and disaggregating climatic influence from that of man. These are the careful interpretation of long-term data sets and, secondly, the use of paleolimnological assessments. A number of long-term, aquatics-related datasets exists in South Africa but, regrettably, no effort has been made to combine and synthesise them. These include two major studies on the role of climate in mountain fynbos and the role of climate in coastal forest systems. Paleolimnology, using bioindicators such as diatoms – which are preserved in sediments over centuries, has the potential to define the nature of aquatic systems during periods of drought and flood pre-human influence, ie, to accurately define reference conditions. Although now a prominent tool elsewhere, the value of this approach has not yet been recognised in South Africa. • Consider changes to the Water Act that more comprehensively address environmental concerns. The new South Africa saw a complete re-write of the Water Act to align it with social, environmental and economic issues but, centrally, lacks an an advocate such as an Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the DWA and other government structures meet their obligations. • Consolidate and rationalize limnological expertise. Regrettably this has not occurred, at least not in a formal sense. The national professional body, the Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists, has devolved from a broad-based group to one dominated by river ecologists. Further, South Africa has a mere 16 members of the International Limnological Society (SIL) – of which only three are actively involved in work on dams. Somewhat worryingly, many of the same people who advised the regulator during the development of the Water Crisis are still providing this role. There appears to be resistance to the inclusion of new ideas and thinking – which can only be counterproductive. 22

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• Raise the environmental consciousness of all groups of the South African community. No efforts have been directed towards dams in this regard. • Consider the formation of a post-graduate school of water resource management (inclusive of limnological training). An inclusive training programme, linked to a tertiary institution, was offered by a group of South African limnologists to the DWA in 2005 and again during 2010 – but continues to be declined. • Support on a secure funding basis, several regional field stations (the lake stations, all on natural coastal lakes – none on ‘dams’, have fallen into disrepair and there is not a single river laboratory anywhere). The lack of aquatic biology research stations in South Africa has long been deplored – and goes hand-in-hand with the need for long-term research projects on key ecosystems. • Recognise more fully the contributions that can be made by institutions other than universities. Williams recognised this vital need back in 1989 and the situation has not changed. In fact, it is likely that a lot of very valuable information, in the so-called ‘grey literature’ of internal reports and documents, already may have been irretrievably lost. Indeed, considerable efforts have been made in many countries to empower citizen science, through volunteer environmental monitoring programmes and similar efforts to increase both awareness of and participation in environmental science by citizens, schools, and civic organisations. The ability to attract young biological scientists to the field of limnology, especially reservoir limnology, is a major constraint to progress. As long as the subject does not form part of any nationally-recognized need, no training or career opportunities will open up. Limnology is not a ‘sexy’ science. Unlike chemistry and microbiology, where funds and publication opportunities abound, lake biologists do not become financially-rich but certainly have a unique opportunity for a ‘rich’ life. Convincing newcomers is the difficult part! Ultimately there needs to be an admission by the Department of Water Affairs that there is a problem. To date, they have been loathe to make any such admission and until they do progress will be difficult. All the while the situation continues to get worse.

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Tugela River in the grassland region of the Natal Drakensberg.

Nedbank’s 20-year water journey

The The colour colour of of water water

Green is not a look or a colour, it is a culture: it is about understanding our impact on our planet and changing the way we approach life. Nedbank is the green bank. Twenty years ago Nedbank foresaw the critical future of water and the natural environment in South Africa. Working for Water Identifying the need for immediate action, The Green Trust funded the appointment of a specialist water adviser to the Minister of Water Affairs. This led directly to the establishment of the Working for Water Programme. Since its inception in 1995, the programme has cleared more than one million hectares of invasive alien plants, providing jobs and training for over 20 000 people from the most marginalised sectors of society. Of these, 52% are women. Working for Water currently runs over 300 projects in South Africa’s nine provinces.

The Enkangala Grasslands Project Eight years ago The Green Trust started funding the Enkangala Grasslands Project. Grasslands are irreplaceable water catchment, purification and storage areas that ensure good, clean water is slowly released throughout the year.

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One of the main aims of this project is to conserve a priority water catchment region for South Africa, spanning 1,6 million hectares of threatened, high-altitude grasslands between KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State. This region includes the headwaters of the Tugela, Pongola, Usutu and Vaal Rivers, providing water for the whole of Gauteng, as well as to the major power stations in the region (which provide most of South Africa’s power).

Kouga River Valley Rehabilitation Project This Green Trust-supported project, in collaboration with programmes such as Working for Water, is tackling the enormous problem of alien infestation of South Africa’s river systems. For the past three years the project team has been working on a riparian rehabilitation project along several kilometres of a tributary of the Kouga River in the Eastern Cape. The team is pioneering systems that successfully reintroduce indigenous vegetation after alien clearing. This will inform the national policy for public works projects throughout our country’s river systems.

Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) In the foothills of the Drakensberg lies a myriad of valley wetlands in the Sand River Catchment. In these wetlands over 100 subsistence farmers from the Craigieburn community have planted

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vegetable crops: madumbis, wild spinach, mealies, bananas, groundnuts and pumpkins. For several years AWARD has been helping these farmers (mostly elderly women) to adopt environmentally sustainable farming practices. One of The Green Trust’s cornerstone principles is to integrate environmental conservation with poverty alleviation and community upliftment.

Nedbank is carbon-neutral In 2010 Nedbank achieved carbon neutrality – the only financial institution in Africa to have done so. Water is one of four key focus areas for Nedbank to achieve carbon neutrality. Nedbank CEO, Mike Brown, has proactively steered the carbon neutrality drive, which requires all staffmembers to collaborate in meeting strict reduction targets for water, energy, paper, and carbon emissions. As the green bank, Nedbank is tracking each and every kilolitre used. In 2009, one year ahead of schedule, Nedbank achieved the target it set of 5% reduction in water consumption by the end of 2010. As a result, Nedbank has set higher water reduction targets, namely a 12% reduction on 2009’s figure by the end of 2011. ‘Nedbank is on a journey to achieve water neutrality and one of the steps in this exercise is to ensure that we minimise our annual consumption. We are also working on offsetting our usage by supporting key water conservation projects throughout South Africa,’ explains Howard Rauff, Head of Portfolio and Facilities Management at Nedbank. In view of achieving the abovementioned targets, Nedbank has introduced several water-saving initiatives, including heightened awareness around sorting out general water leaks, a water-wise awareness campaign to educate all

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staffmembers not to waste water, installing dualflush toilet systems and turning off the hot water to the washbasins. Nedbank has also introduced a waterless car wash system on its campus sites. During 2011 additional initiatives will be introduced to Nedbank’s campus sites, including rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals and the installation of ‘energy star’ dishwashers in its canteens and dining areas, which use up to 40% less water than standard machines. All major air-conditioning equipment due for an upgrade will be changed to water-efficient systems. The new Nedbank campus sites – 135 Rivonia Road Phase 2 in Sandton and Ridgeside in Umhlanga – are Green Star-rated buildings with low water usage. An exceptional new green facility is the black water treatment system at Nedbank’s Phase 2 headoffice building at 135 Rivonia Road. All water used in this building is recycled through a plant in the basement and reused for non-potable water purposes, including toilets and cooling towers, and to irrigate the indigenous campus garden. This saves up to 120 kl of water per day.

20-year headstart In 1990 Nedbank established The Green Trust, in partnership with the leading conservation organisation, WWF-SA, and has since raised over R100 million through its Green Affinity Programme to fund more than 170 conservation projects throughout South Africa. ‘The Green Trust was the first giant step in Nedbank’s green vision,’ says Maseda Ratshikuni, Head of Cause Marketing and Affinities at Nedbank. ‘The development of this vision over two decades led us to the point where in 2010 we were able to declare Nedbank’s carbon-neutral status.’

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CHAPTER 02: IMPORTANCE OF DAMS AS MULTIFUNCTIONAL ECOSYSTEMS

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CHAPTER 02: IMPORTANCE OF DAMS AS MULTIFUNCTIONAL ECOSYSTEMS

THE IMPORTANCE OF DAMS AS MULTIFUNCTIONAL & MULTIUSE ECOSYSTEMS Prof. Anthony Turton

INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 has illustrated that, in the absence of a well-funded, properly informed and cohesive strategic plan for South African dams, the country will remain ill-equipped to manage its limited water supplies. The rapidly worsening condition of many of South Africa’s dams will soon catapult the problems to the fore – as has been illustrated by various concerned specialists. The driver for this potentially cataclysmic event is what is now being thought of in limited circles as ‘peak water’ Associated with the concept of ‘peak oil’, peak water can be thought of as that management dilemma arising when a national economy transitions from being demand-driven to that of being supplyconstrained. In a demand-driven economy, increases in demand for goods and services simply mean that existing business models can be used to fill the gap between demand and supply. This is no longer possible in a supply-constrained economy, because in essence the previous business models are no longer applicable, having been based on an assumption of water and energy resources always being available at relatively low costs and in relatively abundant supply. In short, this will trigger a major rethink of the way the economy is structured, and can be thought of as previous extinction events that caused changes to the global ecosystem by rearranging relationships between organisms and the environment that sustained them.

NEED FOR INTEGRATED PROGRAMMES South Africa had allocated around 98% of its total national water resources at a high assurance of supply in 2004 (NWRS, 2004). What is now known is that the total resource was over-estimated by about 4% (Middleton & Bailey, 2008), so in effect all of our national resources have been allocated, and in many Water Management Areas (WMAs) over-allocated by as much as 120%. This means that, as a national economy, we are now surviving on the contribution from waste stream ‘return’ flows, mostly from dysfunctional sewage treatment plants, agriculture and mining. It is in this context that eutrophication must be understood – because, as water quality worsens, so the pressure on the limited quantity of water increases. More than ever before there is now a need for a fully-integrated programme (rivers, wetlands, dams) of assessment and management because, in essence, the hydrological foundation to our national economy is at risk. If we get this right then that economy will continue to grow in the post-peak water world, but this will require significant investments in human THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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capital and scientific endeavour. If the components of limnology are not meaningfully brought together, then we are disrespecting the intentions of the South African Water Act and the Constitution while also placing future social stability and economic wellbeing at risk. The concept of ‘source to sea’ integrated management for river systems is enshrined in the Water Act but, sadly, there has been an over-emphasis on rivers. The nature of dams, as semi-natural lakes (ecosystems), has been all but totally neglected.

A WATER-CONTRAINED COUNTRY South Africa is a water-scarce country, largely dependent on water stored in man-made reservoirs (reservoir-lakes) for a sustainable supply of raw potable and irrigation water. The numbers here are enlightening: South Africa is the 30th most water-constrained country in the world, yet we have one of the most diversified economies for the type of arid ecosystem in which we are embedded. This economic growth was enabled by the massive capture and storage of water that arose from the 1966 Commission of Enquiry into Water Matters (RSA, 1970). That event made many predictions of the future that are now becoming realities, and it propelled the management of the resource to the highest level of strategic importance. Sadly, that institutional memory was lost when we became a democracy in 1994, as everything from the past was rejected as having been tainted by history. Few of the current managers of water are even aware of that Commission of Enquiry and no similar strategic framework has been put into place, so water resource management gradually slipped off the radar screens of the leadership of the country.

HYDROLOGY-BASED ECONOMY What is generally unknown to the broader public is that our national economy is based on a national hydrology. This hydrology remains invisible to the economy when things are going well, but it rapidly becomes relevant when things start to fall apart. Our national hydrology has a number of unique aspects to it: one of the major aspects that contribute to its uniqueness is the low conversion of rainfall to run-off. Known technically as the MAP (Mean Annual Precipitation) to MAR (Mean Annual Run-off ) conversion ratio, this is a paltry 5.1% in our two major transboundary rivers (Limpopo and Orange) (Ashton et al., 2008). This means that only 5% of the water falling as rain ends up as water in a river and thus useful in terms of sustained economic development. Significantly South Africa has developed its national economy on the logic of dam-building, being listed as one of the twentieth largest dambuilding nations of the world (WCD, 2000). In effect we have dammed rivers to such an extent that we have altered their natural flow regimes in a fundamental – and permanent – way. In the case of the South African portion of the Orange River, for example, the total storage capacity in the system is 2.71 times greater than the MAR. In effect, we have almost three times more storage capacity than water that flows in the river during an annual cycle. This is a major alteration to the ecosystem, transforming it from a flood-pulse driven system into a slack water system, in which the natural variability has been 28

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removed. The existence of major dams also has altered evaporative losses, because a mathematical relationship exists between the volume of water stored and the surface area. The greater the volume, the larger the surface area, and the higher the evaporative losses from the exposed surface area to a point where evaporative losses start to exceed natural inflows. This is the case with the Vaal Dam. In a nutshell, assurance of supply has been engineered by fundamentally altering the aquatic ecosystem. However, the logic of dams, as strategic storage, is no longer valid in post-peak water conditions, as evaporative losses start to become more relevant and significant.

DEVELOPMENTAL CONSTRAINTS A unique developmental constraint in South Africa is that the major areas of economic activity (Gauteng) are located on a watershed divide. This means that major sources of potential enrichment (pollution) are located upstream of strategic water storage facilities. Stated differently, the sewage return flows from major areas of economic activity and population density enter large dams, rendering the water storage in those impoundments unfit for purposes of downstream reuse – if not management appropriately. South African reservoirs impound a total of 32 412 Mm3 (NWRS, 2004), of which some 35% is currently (2007 data) classified as eutrophic or hypertrophic. This means nutrient levels exceeding generally-accepted trophic boundaries (eg, OECD, 1982) by several-fold and contributing to the excessive growths of algae (with the associated risks of toxicity) and aquatic plants (with their high rates of evapotranspiration of water to the atmosphere). Water quality in many of these waters is exacerbated further by acidic drainage from mines, discharge of compounds that disrupt, for example, the functioning of endocrine systems from urban areas, as well as the introduction of many other pollutants as a result of human activities and natural processes. In the absence of an appropriate reservoir management system, including environmental monitoring, the precise state of the quality of water in South Africa’s impoundments is currently unknown. South African dams do not only simply store raw water for later use in towns or on farms; many also provide recreational opportunities and enhance property values. In an ecological context, all provide a suite of services ranging from being carbon and nutrient sinks to contributing to food security (through fisheries and aquaculture).

NOT JUST ‘BIG TANKS OF WATER’ As a broad generalisation, the open waters habitats of dams typically support algae, photosynthetic bacteria and aquatic plants (akin to grasses in the terrestrial sense), with herbivorous (the ‘cows’ grazing on the grass) and carnivorous (the ‘lions’ grazing on the cows) zooplankton, bottom-dwelling organisms and fishes contributing to the productivity of these systems, and microbial saprobes (bacteria and viruses) acting as recyclers. The structural composition of these groups of living organimsms (biota) is determined, jointly, by the prevailing abiotic conditions (including inter alia THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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temperature, water chemistry, dissolved oxygen, and nutrient availability), and complex and multifacetted interactions between the various community assemblages – fundamentally based on foodwebs and feeding ecology. A multitude of combinations of the above factors collectively leads to differences in assemblage composition or community structure that have a profound effect on the appearance, utility, and function of the entire water resource. In short, dams are complex ecological systems, not just big tanks of water!

Figure 2.1: Side affects from drinking from water containing algal toxins

Figure 2.2: Algal blooms affect the natural habitat of many animals

The availability of nutrients serves as an overriding driver that, along with underwater light climate, determines the system’s primary production level (the amount of grass produced), with concomitant cascading effects (both direct and indirect) on and through the food-web structure that influences subsequent higher trophic level assemblages. In terms of water quality, elevated nutrient loading generally induces undesirable changes at the bottom of the food web (typically too much inedible grass in the form of unpalatable or toxic blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria). Furthermore, in dams, the fishes tend to become dominated by so-called ‘coarse’ species, such as the introduced common carp (Cyprinus carpio), that exert a variety of negative impacts on the reservoir-lake foodweb.

EUTROPHICATION While

a

surplus

of

nutrients

(eutrophication) (See Chapter 3) creates negative effects from the bottom (too much grass) upwards, an unbalanced fishery, in turn, brings about bottomup and top-down pressures. In the terrestrial case, for example, too many lions might reduce the numbers of herbivores, resulting in overgrowth 30

Figure 2.3 Algal blooms often become unsightly and smelly areas

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Figure 2.4: A healthy, balanced ecosystem

of trees, shrubs and grasses. Most commonly, coarse fish are bottom-feeders and cause excessive sediment disturbance (reduced water clarity) as they grub around for food, releasing trapped nutrients (supporting more algal growth) and modifying the aquatic plant community frequently in favour of less desirable species. In short, nutrient overloads affect food-web structures and the resulting biotic assemblages both in qualitative and quantitative terms – usually adversely. The solution to improving conditions is to reduce the external loading. The process of storing (impounding) water in dams can emphasise the unintended consequence of adversely-altering the physico-chemical and biological conditions over time. This process is accelerated and exacerbated by a variety of anthropogenic pressures, commonly typified by increased pollutant loadings – with nutrients being most problematical – and the occurrence of invasive or opportunistic plant and animal species. In some cases, these species are introduced by humans in order ‘to fill a vacant niche’ in the newly created ecosystem of an impoundment. Some of these non-native or invasive species can exert substantial impacts on native species and/or ecosystem processes, resulting in a progressive decline in water quality and ecosystem health. Well-known illustrative examples of such changes are Lake Victoria (Central African Great Lakes Region), where the introduction of Nile perch (Lates niloticus) has altered the entire food-web structure of the lake as a consequence

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of their voracious appetite for the native cyprinids, reducing phytoplanktivore grazing, and seriously modifying the aquatic plant communities in the lake. In the Laurentian Great Lakes (Canada and the USA), non-native zebra and quagga mussels have out-competed Diporeia shrimp, leading to a decline in the indigenous whitefish (Coregonus sp.) which traditionally supported an extensive lake fishery. In the South African Hartbeespoort and Roodeplaat Dams, sustained eutrophication, as a consequence of urban effluent disposal, has created sustained long-term conditions of noxious algal blooms, including toxic varietals, that have not only impaired the aesthetic enjoyment of the resources but also led to public health concerns. Elevated levels of eutrophication-related impacts are now especially commonplace in several inland reservoirs serving the economic heartland of South Africa. As highlighted earlier, effluent flows form a recognised and substantial fraction of the annual water balance of many of the impoundments in this region of the country. Many more reservoirs exist on the verge of becoming eutrophic condition and the problem continues to increase. In the Crocodile-West Marico Water Management Area, 65% of the total bulk storage is classed as hyper-eutrophic (Van Ginkel, 2007), or so impaired as to require major and costly pre-treatment before the stored waters can be used for the majority of human purposes. Thus, substantial and increasing ecological, economic and social costs go hand-in-hand with these negative changes.

ADDITIONAL THREATS Eutrophication is the most common example of man’s impact on surface waters. In South Africa, two additional threats have become increasingly evident in recent years. These are acid mine drainage (AMD) (Bell et al., 2001: Winde, 2009) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) (See Chapter 6). Not to be forgotten is the increasingly-evident spectre of climate change and the likelihood that it will exacerbate all existing negative impacts. Combined, these mean that the water being stored is of a declining quality, no longer fit for purpose without significant costs involved in cleaning it up and potentially diminishing quantity. The longer these problems are allowed to fester, the more entrenched they will become and the more costly they will be to remedy. It should be clear from the foregoing that, if South Africa’s dams are to remain healthy, then they will require focused management – taking into account their non-natural origin and the pollution pressures that man places on them. With reference to Chapter 1, all of this must occur within the context of an arid, water-scarce country.

CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE Both the National Water Act and the Constitution guarantee South Africans access to clean water and conditions that do not pose a health risk. This legal promise is rapidly becoming non-viable given 32

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the deteriorating condition of our water resources. What is needed to meet this aspiration is a radical rethink of the way that we manage water. In reality water is in flux, moving in time and space, so if we manage it accordingly then we can continue to grow our economy even if we have reached peak water. A proactive management approach would see users of water becoming custodians of that resource, returning water to the national hydrological system in a quality that does not limit the usefulness of that resource to downstream users. This will imply costs to treat the effluent, but this will be the cost of sustainability in a water-constrained economy.

CONCLUSION A rough calculation suggests that if we adopt a recycling approach to the management of water as a flux, then we need to recycle our total national resource 1.7 times by 2035 if we wish to have full employment and some degree of economic prosperity. This target is do-able if we can mobilise the political will necessary to change our thinking. A simple policy statement that recognises our water constraints, committing us to a recycling future, will unlock the necessary financial and human resources needed to put that vision into practice. None of the above will be possible, however, without a professional and experienced management team that is able to apply practical and pragmatic solutions to water quality problems, especially in dams. This does not imply that more research is needed – the problems (and solutions) are clear and well understood. What is needed is a commitment from government to address the causes of the problems – through the application of appropriate institutions that implement the laws and policies for which government has been commended on the global stage, the employment of appropriate professionals that can provide a comprehensive look at and response to the problems, and the allocation of financial resources to manage the environmental resources that sustain our economy – a fundamental concept that has been ignored in South Africa as long as we have had dams! References Ashton, P.J., Hardwick, D. & Breen, C.M., 2008. Changes in water availability and demand within South Africa’s shared river basins as determinants of regional social-ecological resilience. In: Burns, M.J. & Weaver, A.v.B. (Eds.) Advancing Sustainability Science in South Africa. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University Press. Pp 279 – 310. Bell, F.G., Bullock, S.E.T., Hälbich, T.F.J. and Lindsay, P., 2001. Environmental impacts associated with an abandoned mine in the Witbank coalfield, South Africa. International Journal of Coal Geology. Vol. 45. p. 195−216. Middleton, B.J. & Bailey, A.K., 2008. Water Resources of South Africa, 2005 Study (WR 2005). Water Research Commission Report No. TT 381/08. Pretoria: Water Research Commission. RSA. (1970). Report of the Commission of Enquiry into Water Matters. Document No. R.P. 34/1970. Pretoria: Government Printer Winde, F., 2009. Uranium Pollution of Water Resources in Mined-out and Active Goldfields of South Africa: A Case Study in the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment on Extent and Sources of U-Contamination and Associated Health Risks. Paper presented at the International Mine Water Conference, 19 – 23 October 2009, Pretoria, South Africa. Available in the Proceedings: ISBN 978-0-9802623-5-3.

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PROFILE

Free Rain Conservation

Free Rain Conservation is a dynamic company that installs a range of water products that allows companies and individuals to reduce, re-use and recycle their water. Our main products are: • • • • •

Rain Water Harvesting Systems Water Treatment Solutions Grey Water Recycling Systems Irrigation Water Filtration

Rain Water Harvesting Systems

A report released in early October 2009 by the Water Research Commission of South Africa found that South Africa has 4% less water than 20 years ago. » Rand Water is predicting that demand for water in South Africa will outstrip supply by 2025. Rainwater harvesting works on collecting rain as it falls, then substituting it for municipal water in applications such as: • • • •

Washing machines Garden irrigation Car washing Toilet flushing

The harvesting process involves channelling the rainwater from the gutter downpipes to a storage tank, via a filter which removes debris that has fallen onto the roof. A first flush diverter then removes the first 1mm of rainfall which is filled with dust, droppings etc, and allows the remaining water to fill a water tank. Roughly, for every 1mm of rainfall that falls per 1 m2, 1 litre will be captured. A 100 m2, with an annual rainfall of 700mm will capture around 70 000L. We can install the simplest system that captures water from one gutter downpipe into a 750L tank, up to a commercial system that captures water from hundreds of m2 of roof, pipes the water underground to rainwater tanks placed elsewhere on the property and then pump the water to either a fully computerised irrigation system monitored by a weather station or, after additional filtration and treatment, to supplement municipal water for whole house use.


PROFILE

Water Purification and Treatment

We are proud solution partners with Safe Water Solutions and use a proprietary electro-flocculation method of water filtration. This technology, imported from Australia, cleans water to the highest standard and is capable of filtering from 2000L per day to a megalitre of water per day. SWS Afriwater Purification and Treatment Systems are successfully deployed for removing impurities from water in three primary applications: • Purifying water sourced from contaminated dams, rivers, boreholes and local authorities to produce safe drinking water • Treatment of bath/shower and laundry waste water for reuse in garden, laundry and toilet flush (Grey Water Recycling) • Treating contaminated industrial water for reuse or safe disposal

Scope of Pollutant and Toxin Removal

The SWS Afriwater System is extremely effective in removing bacteria, spores, cysts, viruses, parasites and suspended solids down to near nanometre size. The SWS Afriwater System will also remove, vegetable matter, dyes and other sources of colour in water, as well as heavy metal ions such as lead, tin mercury, iron, aluminium, nickel, barium, cobalt, boron, cadmium, uranium and similar and specific molecules such as phosphates, arsenates, cyanates , algae and similar organisms. The SWS Afriwater System also liberates emulsified fats, oils and greases, glues, monomers and other materials from industrial waste water recycling that rapidly clog filter based processes. BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) removal rates vary dependent on the nature of the material but are typically greater than 95%.

Operating Costs

To remove contaminants from polluted river and dam water the electricity requirement is approximately 1kw/hr per 1000 litres.

Advantages of the Afriwater System

• Cost effectively eliminates bacteria, spores, cysts, viruses, parasites, suspended solids, heavy metals and algae producing safe drinking water • Treats a wider range of contaminants than any other currently available system • Cost effectively treats industrial waste water containing fats, oils and greases (FOG) that clog expensive conventional filter membrane based systems • Does not use toxic chemicals • No expensive consumable filters and chemicals • Minimal water wastage. Normally between 1% and 5% is lost via the concentrated “slurry” • In many instances the concentrated “flocculated slurry” from industrial water treatment can be recycled for fertiliser or other use. Where the contaminant is toxic it means a lot less has to be captured and stored • The system is fully automated and there is minimal manual intervention or maintenance involved Free Rain Conservation T: (+27) 011 024 3815; Mobile: 074 101 7300; F: (+27) 086 584 5297 enquiries@freerain.co.za; www.freerain.co.za


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EUTROPHICATION THREATS TO SURFACE WATER QUALITY IN SOUTH AFRICA Dr. William (Bill) Harding

INTRODUCTION Reservoirs (dams, impoundments, man-made lakes) are vitally important for providing drinking water for people, irrigation water for agriculture, process water for industry and mining and water for recreation. They also need water for themselves as ecosystems. Their artificiality, combined with pressures arising from socio-economic development in their catchments, requires that dams be managed with special care (see Chapters 1 and 2). Eutrophication is a scientific term for the process whereby a body of water, for example a dam, becomes so enriched with nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), such that the waterbody experiences elevated algal and/or higher plant growth. In the same vein, trophic status reflects the degree to which this enrichment has occurred, ranging from oligotrophic (low to negligible enrichment) to hypertrophic (gross enrichment). In South Africa the most common cause of eutrophication is the release of inadequately-treated wastewater effluent into streams, rivers and dams. Additional nutrients are added via urban run-off and return flows from agriculture. It is important to note that neither phosphorus nor nitrogen is a pollutant unless and until the concentrations of these nutrients reach the point where excessive growths of aquatic plants occur. Eutrophication is but one of the threats to surface waters, others being hazardous micropollutants from industrial, agro-chemical, medical and household sources, as well as acidification (due to acidic precipitation or discharge of mining effluents), salinisation, introduction of pest species and the unbalanced development of certain species in relation to others. Eutrophication is, however, the oldest and best-known of the range of impairments likely to affect the use of lake waters. The fundamental drivers of eutrophication were described almost a century ago (Bernhardt, 1992). All of the problems listed above are common and globally-occurring. An additional commonality, with the potential to bring about further instability and worsening of conditions, is climate change. Climate change also is not new. At the Rio Conference on the Environment and Development of 1992, the findings of some 10 years of investigation informed the compilation of Agenda 21, of which Chapter 18 focused on freshwater as a major resource within which ecology and economics were THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Figure 3.1: Algal blooms degrade healthy ecosystems

linked. Without adequate supplies of water of appropriate quality, human activities were deemed to be unlikely to be sustainable. Going hand-in-hand with this threat to socio-economic stability has been the common trend of not taking meaningful action to offset eutrophication – that action that has been taken has been limited by economics of the management process without equivalent regards for the ecosystem response, which in many cases shifts required investments downstream. This is extremely worrying in South Africa, an arid, water-scarce country with enormous reliance on water stored in dams for our socio-economic future.

DAM MANAGEMENT – cornerstone of water management Environmentally-sound and sustainable management of South Africa’s dams as ecologically-viable components of the river systems which they punctuate should be a fundamental cornerstone of water resource management. Although this approach is enshrined in the Water Act, as is the integrated ecosystem management of river systems (the source to sea concept), attention to South African dams has been sorely neglected (see Chapter 1). Rivers cannot be evaluated as entities distinct from the dams that have been built on them, neither can wetlands. All functions and uses (natural and anthropogenic) of every component of an integrated ecosystem need to be simultaneously considered – as dictated by the catchment basin approach. Anything else contradicts the intentions of our much-lauded environmental protection legislation – but this reality does not appear to have been noticed. Man-made lakes (dams) have much less resilience to pollution and/or other impacts than do natural lakes. The reasons for this should be obvious. Dams are often created in topography where lakes would 38

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not occur, dams experience massive fluctuations in water levels and become occupied by riverine as opposed to lake organisms and they (dams) slow the flow of water so that microorganisms injurious to human health proliferate. Being at the downstream ends of their drainage areas also means that dams are subjected to higher levels of nutrient and contaminant loading than many of their natural counterparts. Accordingly, the threshold for the physico-chemical and ecological stability of dams is likely to be very low and occur relatively early in the ageing process following construction – if not recognised and appropriately managed from an early stage. The latter consideration has never been the norm in South Africa and even in the case of recently-constructed dams (Berg River, De Hoop, Steelpoort) no attention was given to their ecological future. They were seen simply as tanks of water – although, ironically, much is made of ensuring variable draw-off levels to maintain biota-determined temperature regimes in the downstream (river) environment! The availability of uncontaminated water is considered to be the single most important factor limiting quality of life and socio-economic development worldwide (Kira and Sazanami, 1991). In South Africa, there has existed a pervasive attention to the quantity of water available – without commensurate attention to quality. Degraded water quality may be equated with not having the water at all. The old argument of “don’t worry about the quality, we can just treat it better” does not hold as technological limitations and associated costs have skyrocketed or, strategically, are not an option in cash-strapped developing countries.

Figure 3.2: A healthy and balanced aquatic environment

Figure 3.3: Unhealthy water systems cannot support much life

‘UNDERSTANDING’ NOT TRANSLATED INTO REMEDIATION South Africa developed a comprehensive understanding of eutrophication during the 1970s and 1980s, achieving global recognition as a centre of expertise in eutrophication management and control. Regrettably, the investment made was never translated into remediation. A large percentage of the water stored in our dams is and remains eutrophic, as well as – in many cases – being compromised by pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other hazardous pollutants. An even larger percentage is on THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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its way to suffering the same fate (see Chapter 1). Recognition of and doing something about the problem is constrained by a general lack of understanding of what eutrophication is all about, both amongst the responsible officialdom and the general public. The benefits of a well-organised and informed public sector have been shown to be vital to effectively and comprehensively addressing the problems of eutrophication (eg, Jackson and Eder, 1991). Eutrophication as a process is both slow and insidious. The symptoms can take a long time to become apparent and the nature of the symptoms is often lake-specific. By the time the symptoms are recognised, it is often already too late to implement rehabilitation measures. Remediation to an alternative condition – with increasingly onerous requirements for human intervention – may be all that is possible. Because wastewater is the cause of many of our eutrophication problems, and because wastewater contains a lot more than simply nutrients, nutrient enrichment serves as a crude proxy for the alteration of foodwebs by a range of chemicals and for the biomagnification of these chemicals in various organisms. As mentioned earlier, perhaps the most common symptom of eutrophication is algal blooms – which are not only unsightly and malodorous, but also potentially toxic to organisms in the lake, humans and animals ingesting or coming into contact with the water (see Chapter 7). Sustained eutrophication imparts a marked resistance to restoration, with visible effects often only apparent after many, many years. The thresholds at which the negative effects of nutrient enrichment become apparent, based on phosphorus (P), are very very low in dams (~ 55 g P ℓ-1, Harding, 2008), and even lower in rivers (~ 20 g P l-1, King, 2009). These limits are exceeded at very low loads of wastewater, with many wastewaters containing 5 000 to 10 000 ug ℓ-1 P. In most of the cases where South African dams have been diagnosed as eutrophic, the annual loads of phosphorus being discharged into the dams exceed the desired limit by massive margins (Harding, 2008). This is because South Africa has no policy demanding that phosphorus removal from wastewaters be in accordance with the assimible loads dictated by the dams into which they discharge. The fact that so many of South Africa’s wastewater works are dysfunctional makes this problem so much worse!

RISK TO SHORELINE DWELLERS The quality of water in dams, and in rivers downstream of polluted dams, presents a direct threat to the health and livelihood of poor, as shoreline dwellers are likely to drink water straight from the dam. It is a characteristic of dams in Africa that many local communities Figure 3.4 Many animals die from blooms like this in farm dams

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are not provided with potable water treatment


PROFILE

WATERMASTER MULTIPURPOSE DREDGER FOR WATER MAINTENANCE Watermaster is a multipurpose water construction machine with excellent mobility.

APPLICATIONS

Where • Shallow waters, rivers, canals, marinas, wetlands… • Industrial ponds, drinking water reservoirs… • Confined places, under bridges, narrow passages… • Where no other machine can operate What • Maintenance and deepening of rivers, canals, channels and marinas • Removing vegetation • Maintenance of industrial pools • Flood control • Reconstructions of shorelines, buildings quays MOBILITY Moving Watermaster is easy. The machine is transportable as complete unit on public roads. It can load and unload by itself and “walk” in and out of water without crane assistance. When it is in water it cruises to the site using its own propulsion system. Anchoring and moving at the working site is also independent, so no wire-cables, separate anchors or assisting vessels are needed. Watermaster is designed for shallow waterways, small rivers, lakes, ponds, basins and sea shores. The maximum working depth is about 5 meters. Watermaster reduces investment, operational and maintenance costs, since one machine can do the work of many separate machines. Watermaster technology is sturdy and reliable. Production is ISO quality certified and nearly 200 machines have already been manufactured. Watermaster Southern Africa P.O.Box 6321, Rustenburg North West Province Tel: 014 5331994 Cell: 083 6356694


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facilities – exposing those who live in such communities to all the hazards present in the water (eg, Mulashi, 1991). I was recently amazed to learn that the mega Massingir Dam in Mozambique does not provide treated water to the many communities on the shores – despite the presence of bilharzia and toxic algae, as well as industrial waste from South Africa! In recent years dams have been painted in a very negative light based on the many ecological, social and economic impacts that their construction may have brought about. However, South African development is intimately linked to being able to store water in dams as there are no equivalent alternatives. In time, the debate on the evils of dams will defer to whether or not water should be diverted from crop production and food security in order to sustain a measure of ecological functioning in rivers. Sober reflection suggests that certain rivers may have to be sacrificed in order to meet these needs but also that existing stocks of water may be stretched a lot further if they are not allowed to become polluted. In China, for example, where 70% of the lakes are eutrophic, 25% have been proclaimed to be unusable even for crude industrial purposes! It is also ironic that while so much debate centres on alternative energy sources, so little attention has focused on the finite nature of water resources and the simple fact that there are no alternatives for water! So, what can be done to remedy eutrophication? If excessive algal (or aquatic plant) growth is to be limited, then the supply of nutrients must be reduced accordingly. It makes no sense to attempt this in the lake (through in-lake treatment) but rather to attenuate nutrient loading at source – ie, at the wastewater treatment works or ‘upstream’ of them. Options for reducing loads to the actual works may accrue via greywater reuse (see Chapter 4) and especially through replacing phosphoruscontaining detergents with phosphorus-free variants (see Chapter 5). Within the works, adoption of emerging technologies may present options for nutrient recovery. There are many successful examples of reducing phosphorus in wastewater effluents to very low levels (eg, USEPA, 2007). This practice has been in place in countries such as Finland for decades. Although South African effluent standards dictate precise concentrations for nitrogen and phosphorus, these standards, where they have been established, are set at, in environmental terms, ridiculously-high levels. Where the so-called special standards for phosphorus have been set, these have been based on the technology available and not on the assimilable capacity of the waterbody to which the waste is being directed. Bold reductions in loading, commensurate with meeting the pre-determined assimilable threshold at which significant reductions in plant biomass can be achieved, need to be made. It is important to note that recovery from eutrophication is not the inverse of the eutrophication process itself (Margalef, 1994). Anything less than the aforementioned substantial load reduction will not bring about the 42

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desired change. Load reduction barriers may be encountered, beyond which in-lake management practices may have validity. Rendering such load reductions possible will require a change in thinking (wastewater treatment culture) as well as upgrading of works and the possible offsetting of costs through reuse of nutrients recovered through the wastewater treatment process. In South Africa, eutrophication is currently a regional crisis (Gauteng), with sub-regional crises elsewhere. This allows for eutrophication management to be implemented on a prioritised basis – targeting large scale repair in the worst-hit areas and preventative (proactive) management in other areas. Adjuncts to attenuating eutrophication, such as phosphorus-free detergents, would also be best implemented on a regional basis rather than nationwide. This is not likely to achievable as manufacturers are loathe to operating two separate product lines.

CONCLUSION South Africa urgently needs to re-invest in lake management and re-build lost lake management skills. South African limnological science needs to invest in actual lake science investigations – as opposed to generating more and more renditions of water quality data – which do nothing more than to confirm how long a problem has been in place. Given the centrally-important role that dams play in our socio-economic milieu, South Africa should have a directorate, appropriately-staffed by professionals, who can direct the management of our dams in the best possible informed manner. There is an equally-urgent and parallel need to equip civil society with an understanding of the causes and consequences of eutrophication – so that they can fully understand the implications of both the water quality and quantity aspects of this phenomenon for their continuing economic development and societal well-being. There is no time to lose! References Harding, W.R, 2008. The Determination of Annual Phosphorus Loading Limits for South African Dams. Water Research Commission Report 1687/1/08. Jackson, J and T Eder (1991) The publics role in lake management: the experience in the Great Lakes. In: Guidelines of Lake Management Volume 2. International Lake Environment Committee, United Nations Environment Programme. 1-5. King, R.S., 2009. Linking Observational and Experimental Approaches for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria for Wadeable Streams Section 104(b)(3) Water Quality Cooperative Agreement #CP-966137-01. Final Report. USEPA Region6. Kira T and Sazanami H., 1991. Utilization of Water Resources and Problems of Lake Management. In: Guidelines of Lake Management Volume 2. International Lake Environment Committee, United Nations Environment Programme. 31-46. Margalef, R.,1994. The Place of epicontinental waters in global ecology. In: Limnology Now: A Paradigm of Planetary Problems. (R. Margalef ed). Elsevier. Mulashi, A.S., 2001. Local, Social and Environmental Impacts of Water Resource Developments. In: Guidelines of Lake Management Volume 2. International Lake Environment Committee, United Nations Environment Programme. 142-155. USEPA (2007) Advanced Wastewater Treatment to Achieve Low Concentration of Phosphorus. EPA 910-R-07-002.

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PROFESSIONAL PROJECT PROFILE

EKURHULENI MAINTAINS BLUE DROP STATUS According to the Constitution, the Municipal Structures Act and the Water Services Act, responsibility for the provision of water and sanitation services lies with the municipalities. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is, therefore, responsible for providing its citizens with clean and healthy water in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner. In order to ensure that municipalities achieve this goal, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has introduced Blue Drop certification. This prestigious certification is only awarded to municipalities that achieve a score above 95% of the Blue Drop certification programme criteria. In 2009 EMM was one of the first municipalities to obtain the prestigious Blue Drop Certification, issued by the Department of Water Affairs, managing to obtain the certificate for a second consecutive year in 2010. The Blue Drop status achieved by EMM is indicative of EMM’s efficiency with regards to overall management of drinking water quality. Ekurhuleni’s Blue Drop score increased from 96% to 96.8%. These scores fall within the 95% - <100% scoring category and means Ekurhuleni is ‘managing drinking water quality with excellence’. “Compliance with this scoring category implies that the specific water supply system qualifies for Blue Drop certification. This would imply that the DWA has confidence that the water services institution (municipality) is capable of sustaining safe quality of water supply and will act responsibly when deviation in tap water quality is detected (which might pose a health risk) through continuous efficient operational and compliance monitoring.” (Page 13, Blue and Green Drop 2010, Published by 3S Media for Department of Water Affairs).

EKURHULENI INDIGENT WATER LEAK REPAIR PROGRAMME South Africa is a semi-arid country with finite water resources. Gauteng is in a situation whereby if water demand continues to increase at the current rate, we might be faced with inadequate water supply in the near future. The Department of Water Affairs has, therefore, set a target of reducing the total water


PROFESSIONAL PROJECT PROFILE demand for Gauteng by 15% over the next five years (2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2015). In order for Gauteng to reach its target Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (the second largest municipal consumer in the Rand Water supply area) needs to reduce its water demand by 20% of the Gauteng target. The Metro has, therefore, committed itself to an integrated and sustainable water conservation and demand management strategy. Approximately 80% of water wastage is due to plumbing leaks within households. Since the consumer is fully responsible for any leaks that occur within the household or after the water meter it is their responsibility to pay for these wasted resources. Through analysis of the water consumption data of indigent households it became evident that we had a very large number of indigent households consuming above 60kl per month. Due to the fact that these consumers are indigents, they cannot afford to pay for these services. This represents a double dilemma in the sense that EMM is losing water and is not able to recover revenue. It has, therefore, decided to embark on an Indigent Leak Repair Programme. This is a once-off opportunity and the owner of the property still bears the responsibility to repair and maintain the plumbing on their premises. Aim of the Programme The aim of the programme is to minimise water loss, ensure that households only consume the amount of water they need and afford to pay for and that the benefits of free basic water are realised. How is it implemented? The first step involves the analysis of the financial data to determine the water consumption of the indigent households. The water consumption data is then sorted from the highest consuming to the lowest consuming indigent households. Based on the 80 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 20 principle the highest consuming indigent households are targeted first as this would result in the highest impact in terms of our water conservation and water demand management goals. The next step involves an audit of the prioritised indigent households to establish the pipes and fixtures that need repair/replacement and obtain the household meter readings. These high level plumbing audits evaluate the extent of the plumbing problem(s), if any, within the indigent households. The next step includes the repair/replacement of leaking pipes and fixtures identified during the audit. Once the repair/replacement has been carried out, the extent of the repairs done is assessed and meter readings obtained. Consumer education is also included in the programme. Contractors appoint Community Liaison Officers from the affected communities to carry out the consumer education, thereby creating jobs. The indigent households are educated on how to save water, how to determine if they have a leak and about their responsibility to maintain their plumbing. The final step is the impact assessment phase. The initial consumption of the indigent households as obtained from the financial system prior to auditing the households is used as a benchmark for post-impact assessment. Once the repairs are carried out the initial water usage will then be compared with the post impact consumption. This will determine if the repairs done in the indigent households has impacted positively on the water consumption.


PROFESSIONAL PROJECT PROFILE

Figure 1: Illustration of the water consumption data from an indigent household between November 2004 and November 2008. The areas in blue ((A) & (C)) highlight periods when there were no leaks and the area in red (B) highlights a period when the indigent household was experiencing water leaks.

Findings During the pre-assessment it was found that more than 75% of the problems that required fixing were leaking taps and toilets. Achievements On the next page is an illustration of the water consumption of one of the indigent households that benefited from this programme (Figure 1). The benefits for the municipality were quite tangible as well. Considering that the EMM spent an average of R898 on each house and saved an average of R107 per month in supply costs per household, the intervention would pay for itself in only 8.4 months.

Conclusion

Through this programme Ekurhuleni managed to minimise water loss, ensure that households only consume the amount of water they need and afford to pay for and that the benefits of free basic water are realised. The programme has also shown that water conservation and water demand management can pay for itself. Water Services Department

Tel: 011 999 3823 Fax: 011 394 9949 E-mail: Jeffrey.Senoelo@Ekurhuleni.gov.za Web: www.ekurhuleni.gov.za


17: SANITATION IN THE BUILT IN ENVIRONMENT CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER SOUTH AFRICA

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA Dr Nicola Rodda

INTRODUCTION Greywater comprises all household wastewater – except that from the toilet (blackwater) – and originates from the bath, shower, hand basins and from laundry (Morel and Diener, 2006). Wastewater from the kitchen sink is included in the definition of greywater by some authors, but is excluded by others because it carries the higher pollutant loads in terms of particulate matter; oil, fat and grease; and bacteria (Alcock, 2002; Roesner et al, 2006). In urban South Africa, almost all greywater is disposed of to the sewer system – but this is not the case in informal or rural settlements. Greywater that is not managed by appropriate means may form pools of stagnant dirty water between houses or on pathways, or may run-off into surface waters. This can provide a medium for transmission of diseases, for breeding of disease vectors (eg, mosquitoes, flies), and for transport of nutrients and other chemical contaminants (eg, salts, detergents, particulates) into surface waters such as dams or the streams and rivers that feed them. This simply adds to the eutrophication fuelled by wastewater (see Chapter 3). Provided that it is properly processed and treated, greywater can be reused at the household level for irrigation of the garden, or for food gardens. In this manner, uncontrolled discharge to the environment, as well as reducing pressure on wastewater treatment works, can be achieved. Depending on the diligence with which greywater is handled, such irrigation may have negative or positive outcomes. In the case of sewered areas, negative impacts could result if greywater use reaches a scale at which so much water is removed from the general wastewater stream as to increase the concentration of organics, nutrients and micro-organisms significantly. Such concentration increases arise from the diversion of greywater for other purposes, thus removing a potentially significant volume of liquid from the waste stream. This could overload the wastewater treatment plants and decrease the quality of the effluent which is discharged from them. However, it is unlikely that greywater use would occur on such a scale. Irrigation use of greywater can have a positive impact, particularly for people with onsite sanitation, such as pit latrines or urine diversion toilets. These sanitation measures do not provide for the disposal of greywater.

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WATER COST-SAVING The obvious benefit associated with the use of greywater for irrigation is a water saving – and hence a cost saving – to the householder. Where income is marginal and additional water for irrigation would require the householder to exceed the free basic water supply, use of treated water for irrigation may be a financial burden. For rural or low income householders, other sources of water may be difficult to obtain, particularly if the supply of household water is not on-site. Greywater can, therefore, provide a source of irrigation water at no extra cost and little extra portage, depending on the siting of the greywater-irrigated garden. If used in concert with remediation measures, such as floating wetlands (see Chapter 9), dual-benefits can be obtained. Greywater can be gathered in ponds fitted with treatment devices that also serve as substrates on which to grow vegetables or flowers (food and economic security). Greywater contains nutrients: carbon and nitrogen from organic matter, particularly kitchen waste, and from hygiene and cleaning products, as well as phosphorus from detergents where phosphorusfree detergents have not yet been introduced (Morel and Diener, 2006; Roesner et al, 2006) (see Chapter 5). These constitute sources of plant nutrients, particularly to low income food gardeners who are unlikely to be able to afford chemical fertilisers, and for whom greywater thus provides a low grade fertiliser. Crops irrigated with mixed greywater have been shown to contain higher levels of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, than crops irrigated with tap water (Rodda et al, 2010). In low income settlements, production of crops using greywater can contribute to family food security. Where crops in excess of the family requirements are produced, these can be traded locally for goods or services, or can be sold. In this way, greywater irrigation can contribute to both food security and the informal economy. In more affluent environments, the use of greywater for garden irrigation can help householders avoid punitive water tariffs and can provide a supplementary source of irrigation water in times of drought. However, appropriate use of greywater requires education.

GREYWATER RISKS The risks associated with greywater use for irrigation are threefold: • Health risks to humans; • Risks to plant growth and crop production; and • Risks to the continued ability of irrigated soil to support future plant growth.

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Pollution of water sources is not considered here because it is assumed that greywater used for irrigation is retained within the boundaries of the property on which it is used. Furthermore, controlled use of greywater for irrigation would be expected to result in comparatively less water pollution than would uncontrolled run-off of the same volume of greywater, especially in the case of properties not provided with means of greywater disposal (eg, rural and/or informal settlements), as the nutrient content of the greywater would be used by plants in their production cycle. Additionally, the ability of clay soils, for example, to adsorb elements such as phosphorus would reduce the next loss of nutrients to an aquatic system. Irrigators using greywater are exposed to all the micro-organisms present in the greywater, including those which are potentially pathogenic, and thus face the risk of disease transmission. Bacteria and viruses are most likely to be present in greywater, with parasites less likely to occur (Ottosson, 2003; Jackson et al, 2010); hence, the need to separate black water wastes from greywater reuse systems. Risks are greatest for those handling and applying greywater, but also affect consumers of greywaterirrigated produce (WHO, 2006; Jackson et al, 2010). Risks to plant growth and crop production include elements that are likely to reduce plant growth, crop production or crop quality. Foremost among these is the elevated concentration of sodium salts in greywater (DWAF, 1996; Morel and Diener, 2006). Sodium has been shown to accumulate in crops irrigated with greywater (Rodda et al, 2010) and to cause reduced yields (DWAF, 1996). Risks to soil include all of the factors which reduce the long-term ability of soil to support plant growth. As with plants, the greatest risk to soils irrigated with greywater is the accumulation of sodium salts, which increase the salinity and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sodicityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of soil. Salinisation of soil reduces the ability of plants to absorb water while sodic soil conditions result in the breakdown of soil structure (DWAF, 1996; Morel and Diener, 2006). Recent studies on the effect of greywater on soil also indicate that detergents cause an increase hydrophobicity and water repellant properties of soil (Travis et al, 2010). Particular risks are associated with greywater in dense, informal settlements. As has been described in some detail by Carden et al (2007) and Winter et al (in Press), greywater in such settlements, typically characterised by dysfunctional water and waste services, is often severely degraded as a result of multiple uses and contamination with other waste streams. Use of greywater for irrigation under these conditions must be avoided unless suitable safeguards and behavioural changes can be instituted, and can only succeed within the context of a broader improvement in services. Experience has indicated that these are all difficult to achieve in the social and political climate of informal settlements (Winter et al, press), although at least one pilot project in eThekwini Municipality presently shows promise (Gounden, pers. comm.). Greywater irrigation should definitely not be misinterpreted as a catchall THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

way of managing greywater disposal in all environments. It is a tool for specific use under specific and controlled conditions, applied by informed users.

LEGISLATION AND GREYWATER The National Water Act (NWA) of 1998 is the major piece of legislation addressing the use and disposal of water and wastewater in South Africa. The Act makes no specific reference to greywater, but refers to “disposal of waste or water containing waste”. In terms of the NWA, use of water containing waste for irrigation is considered a “controlled activity”. Discharge or use of water containing waste requires that the use is listed in a General Authorisation (GA) of the Act or alternately requires issue of a licence. Obviously the scale at which the water is to be used plays a role here. General Authorisations provided under the NWA were revised in 2004 to allow limited use of “biodegradable industrial wastewater” for irrigation (DWAF, 2004). Although greywater is not mentioned among the types of wastewater considered, this is probably the closest that existing legislation comes to providing guidance for quality of greywater intended for irrigation use. Three categories of wastewater quality are mentioned, linked to the volume irrigated per day. Although irrigation use of wastewater under this revision does not require a licence, users are required to register such use with a responsible authority. More informally, the Department of Water Affairs has indicated that it supports single household use of greywater for irrigation as a water-saving measure, provided this poses no health or pollution hazards. For larger scale use, either the requirements under the General Authorisations apply, or a licence would have to be obtained (Gravele’t-Blondin, pers. comm., 2010). Thus, existing legislation does not specifically exclude use of greywater for irrigation, but there are inconsistencies which arise from the absence of a clear definition of greywater as a subset of domestic wastewater. These need to be resolved to clarify the legal position of use of greywater for irrigation. The major contaminants of greywater are solids and particulates, nutrients, pH, salts, hypochlorite and heavy metals. Food particles, raw animal fluids from kitchen sinks, turbidity, soil particles, hairs, and fibres from laundry wastewater are among the solids which could clog soil and piping (Weston, 1998; Eriksson et al, 2002). Alkalinity, pH and hardness in greywater are largely determined by the quality of drinking water and by chemicals added during the use of water. Detergents also affect pH. High levels of pH, hardness and alkalinity indicate risk of soil clogging, which could have negative effects on plant growth and soil quality. Phosphorus and nitrogen are essential nutrients for plant growth but are also responsible for excessive plant growth, eutrophication of surface waters and nitrate contamination of groundwater (see Chapter 3). Excessive salts cause soil permeability problems and damage plants. 52

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Specific ions, including chloride, sodium and boron, are toxic to some plants at concentrations greater than those beneficial to plants (Weston, 1998; Morel and Diener, 2006; Roesner et al, 2006; Murphy, 2007). Excessive amounts of free chlorine cause damage to plants and also pose potential concerns related to ground water contamination. Other constituents of possible concern in the reuse of greywater include heavy metals, hypochlorite, xenobiotic organic compounds, endocrinedisrupting chemicals and pharmaceutically active compounds (Eriksson et al, 2002). Illustrative values for greywater originating from an informal settlement in South Africa are shown in Table 4.1. Constituent

Units

Mean value

mg/L CaCO3

330

pH Alkalinity

8.1-9.8

Electrical conductivity

mS/m

267

Sodium

mg/L

188

Chemical oxygen demand

mg/L

295

Calcium

mg/L

7.5-9.0

Chloride

mg/L

220

Chrome

mg/L

0.14

Copper

mg/L

0.1

Lead

mg/L

0.5

Magnesium

mg/L

7.5

Nickel

mg/L

<0.10

Nitrate + Nitrite

mg/L

88

Total nitrogen

mg/L

206

Ortho-phosphate

mg/L

40

Selenium

mg/L

0.08

Potassium

mg/L

31

Sulphate

mg/L

576

Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen

mg/L

206

Total phosphate

mg/L

69

Zinc

mg/L

0.24

Boron

mg/L

3.4

CFU/100 mL

4.2Ă&#x2014;09

Average sodium adsorption ratio Total coliforms

5.9

E. coli

CFU/100 mL

4.0Ă&#x2014;109

Coliphage

pfu/100mL

Not detected Ascaris ova

Ascaris ova

Ova/L

Not detected

Table 4.1: Mean chemical and microbiological analyses of greywater from an informal settlement (Cato Manor, eThekwini Municipality) (n=4, sampled over a period of approximately 1 year) (from Rodda et al., 2010; Jackson et al., 2010). THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Two approaches can be taken to managing the quality of greywater for irrigation; namely: Mitigative practices which primarily aim to minimise the potential adverse effects of physicochemical greywater components â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as salinity, sodium, boron â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as part of the process of plant/ crop cultivation. (Mitigation also applies to the management of microbial health risks.); and Treatment systems, which primarily aim to remove suspended solids, oil and grease, oxygen demanding substances (ie, COD) and health-related micro-organisms from greywater. The most suitable irrigation method, from the perspective of minimising problems associated with both microbial contaminants and salinity, is one which applies the water as close as possible to the root zone of the plant, preferably below the surface of the soil. This avoids contact of the leaves or fruit with health-related micro-organisms, and with greywater constituents which can be absorbed through the leaves. EThekwini Municipality has developed a low-cost form of drip irrigation for food gardens in rural areas, using punctured cooldrink bottles to deliver greywater directly to plant roots (Figure 4.1). Sprinkler application of greywater must be avoided since the associated aerosols disperse micro-organisms and droplets on leaves result in foliar uptake of sodium. Mitigation is of central importance in the management of health risks associated with greywater. Essential minimum measures include disposing safely of all water which may have been faecally contaminated (eg, water used to wash soiled infants, soiled clothing or soiled bedlinen); avoiding sprinkler irrigation; wearing gloves and boots when handling greywater; and paying scrupulous attention to personal hygiene, particularly washing of hands and face with clean water and soap after working with greywater. Consumers of greywater-irrigated crops can also take simple but effective

A

B

Figure 4.1: Sub-surface irrigation of crops using a plastic 500 mL bottle punctured at the base (A) and buried two-thirds to half its length alongside plants (B) (from Jackson et al., 2010).

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precautions to minimise risks resulting from viable micro-organisms remaining on the surfaces of crops. All crops should be washed with clean water and preferably soap, and should be left to dry in direct sunlight. They should also be peeled if possible and preferably cooked prior to consumption. In the case of leaf vegetables that may be eaten raw, soaking in a dilute bleach solution is generally recommended; chlorine in the form of a hypochlorite solution with 50 to 200 ppm of active chlorine is popularly used for washing vegetables and fruits. Implementation of such measures can reduce microbial health risk to well within acceptable proportions (WHO, 2006; Jackson et al, 2010). Boron toxicity to trees, causing increased leaf drop, can be mitigated by applying extra nitrogen to soil to promote vegetative growth. Elevated sodium levels can be counteracted by the addition of soluble salts of calcium or magnesium to either the irrigation water or the soil (DWAF, 1996). The ratio of sodium to calcium and magnesium in the soil is evaluated using the Sodium Absorption Ration (SAR), with value greater than 12 to 15 units being considered as a threshold above which serious soil and plant problems can occur. Applying irrigation water in excess of plant requirements leaches boron and salts out of the root zone of the soil, although relatively more water is required to leach boron (DWAF, 1996). The potential disadvantage of this practice is its contribution to salinisation of groundwater, but it is improbable that greywater irrigation will be practised on a sufficiently large scale for this to be a significant impact. Planting of tolerant plant species can minimise the effect of boron, salt and sodium in soil. An alternative is to accept a reduced crop yield. This is a common mitigation practice where levels of, eg, boron or salt, are not excessive (DWAF, 1996). The greywater treatment processes described here are confined to generic processes known to have been tested in pilot studies in South Africa for use at household level. They aim to lower levels of total suspended solids, oil and grease, COD and health-related micro-organisms. Some removal of nutrients may also occur, although this is of lesser concern where the treated greywater is used for irrigation.

FILTRATION OF GREYWATER Simple filtration Simple filtration is a first step to improving the quality of greywater. Used on its own, it will not much improve the quality of greywater other than reducing the suspended solids content and is therefore not recommended for use in isolation. However, it can be used effectively to prevent blockages of irrigation equipment and clogging of soil, or as a pre-screening method to minimise blockages in treatment processes which follow it.

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Mulch filter/ tower A mulch filter is a filter which incorporates inert inorganic and organic media through which greywater is passed, while a mulch tower is such a filter implemented in an above-ground structure. Either is a primary treatment process, aimed at removal of suspended solids and oil and grease, and some biological degradation of COD. Typically, the top layer of a mulch tower comprises an organic substrate (eg, coconut fibres, wood chips), followed by layers of different sizes of gravel and, possibly, coarse sand (Ridderstolpe, 2007). The support material acts as a sieve for suspended particles, while macro- and micro-organisms in the organic layer and in the biofilm which forms on the inert layer break down organic matter (Figure 4.2). The mulch layer requires replacing periodically, the interval tower can be used for irrigation. Two studies testing the performance of mulch towers have shown

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY CMY

that they significantly improve greywater quality (Naicker et al, 2009; Zuma et al, 2009).

K

between replacements depend on how heavily the mulch filter is loaded. Water draining from the

A

B

Figure 4.2: Mulch tower situated at outlet of kitchen sink (A), and view of mulch tower from above (B), showing organic filtering material (mulch) (from Whittington-Jones, 2007, used with permission).

Mulch tower and resorption bed Page 1

A mulch tower followed by a sub-surface resorption bed represents a combination of primary and secondary treatment. The mulch tower provides primary treatment, while secondary treatment is iliso2.FH11 Tue Jul 20 10:00:53 2010

performed by the resorption bed. Effluent from the mulch tower drains into the resorption bed. In a design implemented in the Hull Street Project (Sol Plaatjies Municipality) and in the Scenery Park housing project (Buffalo City Municipality), the resorption bed included an embedded infiltration zone (Ridderstolpe, 2007; Whittington-Jones, 2007).

The resorption bed and infiltration zone consist of stone chips, and are enclosed within geotextile (Figures 4.3, 4.4). Biofilm development on the stone chips serves as a site for removal of oxygen 56

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2


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                  

    

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

demanding substances (measured as chemical oxygen demand [COD] and/or biological oxygen demand [BOD]), and facilitates even distribution of the influent on the resorption bed. The base of the resorption bed also allows for biofilm development, which is expected to remove the bulk of COD and to contribute to removal of nutrients and waste-derived micro-organisms (Ridderstolpe, 2007). Water travelling through the resorption bed permeates through the geotextile and enters the soil. Planting alongside the resorption bed allows use of the treated water for irrigation. Testing of a model system built to the specifications

of

Whittington-Jones

(2007)

indicated that the bulk of the treatment occurred in the mulch tower, with a smaller proportion performed by the resorption bed and infiltration zone (Naicker et al, 2009). However, this may have been the result of time limitations in experimental design. Observational studies in the Hull Street implementation showed that Figure 4.3: Longitudinal section of sub-surface resorption bed with infiltration zone (Infiltra in figure), not drawn to scale (adapted from Ridderstolpe, 2007).

the combined system successfully treated household greywater over a number of months (Ridderstolpe, 2007).

Tower gardens and ‘Agritubes’ Tower gardens as a means of using greywater for irrigating vegetables have been applied on a smallscale in various places throughout the developing world. An implementation tested in South Africa was developed by communal water use consultant Chris Stimie based on observations in Kenya. The ‘tower’ comprises a column of soil contained within supporting material and surrounding a central core of stones. Holes are made in the supporting material and vegetables planted in these (Figure 4.5). Greywater is poured onto the stone core, which serves as a biofilter and as a means of distributing the greywater (Crosby, 2005). The tower garden is simultaneously a means of treating greywater (as it moves over the stones which become coated in biofilm, and as it moves through the soil) and of delivering greywater to the roots of the plants.

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Figure 4.4: Combination of mulch tower and sub-surface resorption bed with embedded infiltration zone. Note access points for sampling (from Naicker et al., 2009).


CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

A

B

Figure 4.5: Tower gardens, (A) shortly after construction and planting, (B) obscured by spinach growing on the outer wall of the tower garden and tomato plants growing on the upper surface of the tower garden (from Crosby, 2005, used with permission).

Growing tubes, or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Agritubesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, are a similar concept, designed by Khanyisa Projects and presently being introduced in informal settlements in eThekwini Municipality (Alcock, pers. comm.; Gounden, pers. comm.). As with the tower gardens, Agritubes are supported cylinders filled with soil in which holes can be cut to plant vegetables (Figure 4.6). In this case, the central core of stones is absent, greywater being distributed instead via a slotted pipe inserted into the centre of the column. Both tower gardens and Agritubes can be preceded by mulch towers for pretreatment of kitchen greywater to avoid clogging by grease, fat and particulates, which could otherwise reduce the lifespan of these systems. The reuse of greywater is clearly not simple or straightforward, but requires a considerable amount of care and thought. The ponding of greywater, and the use of floating wetland devices on which to grow crops or flowers, provides a means of installing a barrier between the water and the user (see Chapter 9).

CONCLUSION Run-off of greywater, such as from households not connected to a sewerage system, is a potential source of pollution in catchments. Use of greywater for irrigation is one possible means of minimising the adverse impacts of greywater, while bringing other benefits in terms of food security and improvement of the immediate environment of the household. Mitigative 60

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

A

B

Figure 4.6: Growing tubes (Agritubes), as tested by eThekwini Municipality for growing plants with greywater (courtesy of Nick Alcock, Khanyisa Projects, used with permission).


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The availability of water affects commerce in multiple ways. Localised flooding and droughts in areas previously unaffected by drought require us to rethink both our operational infrastructure and water usage. Secondly, much of our available water is saline or increasingly polluted, which in turn requires a good understanding of both the required clean-up levels and the available water treatment options. Thirdly, water sustainability must be evaluated in terms not only of local water usage, but as part of the entire catchment area from which water is drawn. Finally, water costs, water-supply disruptions, consumer purchases based on environmental awareness, and investiture and legislative pressure for sustainability are making responsible water usage the norm.

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help you manage your water resources sustainably

At ERM, we understand that water is limited, that you have to protect the water you do have. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll assess your water-related needs and measure your impacts over time, and then develop a practical water management strategy and plan to ensure water sustainability. But more importantly, we understand that sustainability needs to make economic sense. The solutions we provide are guaranteed to be economically prudent, yielding returns over time. Having worked for over 60% of the Global Fortune 500 companies, you can rest assured that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll deliver innovative solutions and professional service. For more information, go to www.erm.com or contact: Dr Johanita Kotze Tel: 011 802 8263 E-mail: johanita.kotze@erm.com Marinda van der Merwe Tel 012 342 2895 E-mail: marinda.vandermerwe@erm.com


CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

practices or simple biological treatment can be used to minimise the impacts of greywater use on human health, plant growth and productivity, and the ability of soil to support plant growth. It is a tool more suited to the rural, rather than the serviced urban, environment but requires informed implementation and management. References Alcock, P., 2002. The Possible Use of Greywater at Low-Income Households for Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Purposes: A South African Overview. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Alcock, pers. comm. (2010). Personal conversations with N. Alcock, Khanyisa Projects, Durban, South Africa. Carden, K., Armitage, N.,Winter, K., Sichone, O., and Rivett U., 2007. Understanding the Use and Disposal of Greywater in the Non-sewered Areas in South Africa. WRC Report No. 1524/1/07, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa. Crosby C., 2005. Food from used water, making the previously impossible happen. The Water Wheel, January/February 2005, 10-13. DWAF (1996). South African Water Quality Guidelines (SAWQG), 2nd edition, Volume 4: Agricultural Water Use: Irrigation. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria, South Africa. DWAF (2004). Revision of General Authorisations in Terms of Section 39 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998). Government Gazette No. 26187, Government Notice No. 339, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. http://faolex.fao.org/dos/pdf/saf74188.pdf. Last accessed March 2010. Eriksson, E., Auffarth, K., Henze, M. and Ledin, A., 2002. Characteristics of greywater. Urban Water 4, 85-104. Gounden, pers. comm. (2009). Personal consultations with T. Gounden, eThekwini Water and Sanitation, eThekwini Municipality, Durban South Africa. Gravele’t-Blondin, pers. comm. (2010). Personal consultations with L.R. Gravele’t-Blondin, Water Lily Consulting, Durban, South Africa. (L.R. Gravele’t-Blondin previously of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) Jackson S.A.F., Muir, D. and Rodda, N., 2010. Use of domestic greywater for small-scale irrigation of food crops: health risks. Paper presented at the 11th WaterNet/ WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium on IWRM for National and Regional Integration. 27-29 October, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Morel, A. and Diener, S., 2006. Greywater Management in Low and Middle-Income Countries, Review of Different Treatment Systems for Households or Neighbourhoods. Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), Dübendorf, Switzerland. Murphy, K., 2006. A Scoping Study to Evaluate the Fitness-for-Use of Greywater in Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture. WRC Report No. 1479/1/06, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa. Naicker, P., Smith, M.T., Rodda, N., Jönsson, H., Ridderstolpe, P., 2009. An evaluation of an onsite ecological greywater treatment system. Paper presented at the Pan African Chemistry Network Conference on Sustainable Water, 25-28 August, Nairobi, Kenya. National Water Act (NWA) of 1998. http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Legislature/nw_act/NWA.pdf, last accessed March 2010. Ottosson, J. and Stenström, T.A., 2003. Faecal contamination of greywater and associated microbial risks. Water Research 37, 645-655. Ridderstolpe, P., 2007. Mulch Filter and Resorption Trench for Onsite Greywater Management: A Report for a Demo Facility Built in Kimberley, South Africa. Report to Water Revival Systems (WRS) and EcoSanRes. Rodda, N., Salukazana, L., Smith, M.T. and Jackson, S.A.F., 2010. Use of domestic greywater for small-scale irrigation of food crops: effects on plants and soil. Paper presented at the 11th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium on IWRM for National and Regional Integration. 27-29 October, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Roesner L., Qian Y., Criswell M., Stromberger M. and Klein S., 2006. Long-term Effects of Landscape Irrigation using Household Greywater: A Literature Review and Synthesis. Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), Washington DC, USA. Travis, N.J., Wiel-Shaffran, A., Weisbrod, N., Adar, E. and Gross, A., 2010. Greywater reuse for irrigation: effect on soil properties. Science of the Total Environment 408(12), 2501-2508. Weston, R.F., 1998. Environmental Fate and Effects of Cleaning Product Ingredients. Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), Washington DC, USA. Whittington-Jones, K., 2007. Construction of Grey Water Treatment Systems for the Scenery Park (Buffalo City Municipality) Pilot Project, Phase 2 Report. Report prepared for EcoSanRes and the Stockholm Environment Institute by Scarab Resource Innovations. South Africa. WHO (2006). WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater, Volume IV, Excreta and Greywater Use in Agriculture. WHO Press, World Health Organisation, Geneva. Winter, K., Spiegel, A., Armitage, N. and Carden, K. (in Press). Sustainable Options for Community Level Management of Greywater in Settlements Without On-Site Waterborne Sanitation. Final report on Water Research Commission Project K5/1654. Zuma, B.M., Tandlich, R., Whittington-Jones, K.J., Burgess, J.E., 2009. Mulch tower treatment system Part I: Overall performance in greywater treatment. Desalination 242, 38-56.

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PROFILE

The WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership – thinking ahead, for a blue planet

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

The wise management of our water resources and aquatic ecosystems is one of the most decisive factors that will affect the socio-economic development of South Africa and the wellbeing of the poorest sectors of our society over the next twenty years. South Africa’s new democracy in 1994 allowed for the development of one of the most progressive and innovative examples of freshwater legislation in the world. However, the implementation of this legislation has proved challenging and simply cannot be successfully implemented by Government working alone. Only a cohesive and concerted effort from Government, the private sector and civil society will ensure success. South Africa is located in a predominantly semi-arid part of the world, with an annual rainfall of ca. 450mm; almost half the global average of 860mm.To meet the country’s growing water requirements, water resources are highly stressed in large parts of the country. Most river systems have been significantly altered as a result of dams and weirs, the removal of water and return flows to rivers, as well as the impacts of irresponsible land use. In many instances this has resulted in a severe degradation of the quality of water, the integrity of aquatic life in rivers, and the wellbeing of dependent rural communities. Anticipated further industrialisation and urbanisation will result in even greater stress on water resources and increased conflict between different water-use sectors, basic human needs and the needs of a healthy environment. In response to this WWF and Sanlam have developed the WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership, which seeks to catalyze concerted action from Government, the private sector and civil society around the sound management of our freshwater resources. The vision of the Living Waters Partnership is that : Government, civil society and the private sector work together to build a future in which healthy aquatic ecosystems underpin the sustainable development of South Africa and enhance the quality of life of all its people. The Partnership continuously challenges itself, its partners, Government and ultimately the country to achieve this vision.


PROFILE Socio-economic relevance of the Partnershipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conservation work Healthy ecosystems underpin the livelihood and wellbeing of all humans. Globally, numerous cases have been documented where WWF projects, aimed at improving the health of our ecosystems, have resulted in improved human wellbeing and longterm livelihood opportunities. This argument cannot be more clearly illustrated than in the arena of freshwater conservation where healthy freshwater ecosystems literally result in improved water quality and quantity, providing direct life-giving socio-economic benefits, especially to the poorest rural communities. The WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership also seeks to, through its conservation projects, explicitly address the global socio-economic goals of reducing poverty, creating employment, reducing racial and gender biases, increasing education and developing life skills. Preference is therefore given to projects that have high conservation value and also create added social benefits such as job creation or skills development. In addition to seeking to achieve the conservation targets listed above, the WWF Living Waters Partnership is also implementing a novel capacity building programme that seeks to develop local community champions within our aquatic conservation projects. The Leaders for Living Waters programme identifies local community champions from within our projects and makes resources available for these individuals to develop and hone their skills to become knowledgeable leaders within their communities. We also work closely with our many conservation partners to actively career-path these individuals into the formal employment sector. Contact us: IKE NDLOVU HEAD: GROUP SUSTAINABILITY Sanlam Group Limited Sanlam Office Park, No. 3A Summit Road, Dunkeld West, Hyde Park Private Bag X137, Halfway House, 1685 Tel +27 11 778 6312 Fax +27 11 778 6743 Mobile +27 82 655 8050 e-mail Ike.Ndlovu@sanlam.co.za Web www.sanlam.co.za


PROFILE

“The Natural Wheel”: Saving Resources by Re-Using Wastewater Sewage • Liquid Manure • Industrial and Processed Water • Leachate and Abattoirs • Biological Waste Water Treatment Plants Residential, Commercial and Industrial Compact Module Sewage Plants: Below and Above Ground EuroDrain compact module sewage plants, with capacities starting at 6 - 30 000 population equivalents (PE), clean the wastewater of individual houses, housing developments, districts, villages, towns and cities. The modular design of the treatment plants allows the combination with any other treatment process. EuroDrain modules are often used to improve, rehabilitate or to increase the treatment capacity of existing sewage treatment plants.

A compact modular sewage plant for a below ground installation

A compact modular sewage plant for an above ground installation

Solutions for Industrial and Processed Water EuroDrain highly efficient technology can be adapted to a wide range of applications in domestic, municipal and industrial fields. EuroDrain supplies products and components for the treatment of industrial and processed water as well as individual made-to-measure solutions for these applications. EuroDrain developed a comprehensive range of modular components to provide individual solutions for water and wastewater treatment plants. The various components can be arranged according to the local requirements and the wastewater characteristics.

A below ground compact modular sewage plant with water effluent flowing into a dam/ holding pond for the use of irrigation.


PROFILE

A below ground compact modular sewage plant onsite installation

Above ground manure treatment plant

Modern Agriculture EuroDrain developed a special biological treatment for liquid manure. The system can be adapted to all kinds of manure. It is especially applicative for manure from biogas-production. Aims: • Nutrient removal • ammonia • phosphorus • organic compounds • Odour removal • Production of a solid fertiliser Advantages of using EuroDrain Products and Services: • • • • • • • •

Low energy input Durable and reliable technical equipment Low maintenance High removal efficiency No additional ammoniac-emission We design, manufacture, supply, install, maintain and service within Southern Africa We specialise in domestic and municipal waste water treatment Upgrading and renovating existing plants

Contact Details: EuroDrain Technology (Pty) Ltd Lanseria centre, Unit 1, Pelindaba Road, Lanseria, 1739 Postnet suite 688, Private Bag X9, Benmore, 2010 Telephone: +27 11 701 2201 Fax: +27 11 701 2223 Email: office@eurodrain.com Website: www.eurodrain.com


CHAPTER 05: PHOSPHATE-FREE DETERGENTS

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CHAPTER 05: PHOSPHATE-FREE DETERGENTS

PHOSPHATE-FREE DETERGENTS Dr. Chris Dickens

Mr. Leo Quayle

INTRODUCTION Many South Africans may have heard about ‘phosphate-free detergents’ but may not have grasped the importance of phosphorus as a determinant of our water-quality driven socio-economic future. A careful reading of the preceding chapters in this book should have clarified this. The detergent phosphorus contribution to eutrophication is not new. Some countries, specifically in the Nordic region, mandated P-free detergents many years ago. The United States and Australia are moving rapidly to introduce similar legislation by 2012/3. Here in arid, water-scarce South Africa, we are still somewhat behind the curve in doing something to address this major component of phosphorus loading to our rivers and dams. The phosphorus (P) in laundry detergents is contained in pentasodium tri-polyphosphate (STPP, Na5P3O10). STPP is an effective water softener that readily reacts with minerals that make water ‘hard’, such as Ca2+ and Fe2+. Hardness hinders the cleaning ability of the detergent. In addition, by binding up iron and aluminium ions, STPP helps to prevent rust and corrosion of washing machines. In South African dry powdered detergents, STPP makes up an average of 23% (by mass). The phosphorus in this compound makes up 5.3% of the detergent mass. STPP is highly soluble in water and hydrolyses readily, producing orthophosphate (PO4), also referred to as Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP). This substance is the biologically-available form of phosphorus and is an essential nutrient for organic growth. It is regarded as being a limiting nutrient in freshwater systems and thus, when orthophosphate is released into the aquatic environment, it contributes to organic growth of all kinds, but specifically to algal growth (see Chapter 3). The release of excessive amounts of orthophosphate into water bodies thus leads to excessive algal growth or eutrophication with all of the resulting water resource management problems that stem from that (increased cost of treatment, loss of aesthetic quality of the water, odour and toxin production, loss of ecosystem health including biodiversity etc) (see Chapters 2 and 7). In many countries around the world, the use of phosphates in laundry detergents has been limited, banned or is being banned, in response to nutrient enrichment problems. Certainly the majority of THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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countries in Western Europe have put in place either legislated or voluntary restrictions, while 14 states in the USA had by the mid-1990s instituted limits or banned their use outright. Wider restrictions will be in place by 2012-2013 in most western countries. In areas where limitations have been imposed, a variety of substances have been used as substitutes for STPP. The most commonly used is a combination of Zeolite A, together with various â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;co-buildersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; such as NTA (Nitrilotriacetic acid), polycarboxylates, carbonates and citrates. Possibly the most favoured substitute is the three-builder system of Zeolite A, sodium carbonate and polycarboxylate.

PHOSPHORUS AT WWTWS Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTWs) are the most significant point source of phosphorus and orthophosphate entering natural water resources all around the world. This is especially the case in the landlocked areas of South Africa. There are several sources of the orthophosphate arriving at these waste-processing facilities, including industrial chemicals such as phosphoric acid. Domestic sewage, however, including human waste (urine and faeces) and laundry detergents, constitutes the bulk source. This fact establishes a link between detergents and the deleterious effects of excessive nutrient loading on freshwater resources. In an attempt to quantify the role played by detergent phosphates in eutrophication of South African water resources, the Water Research Commission (WRC) recently funded a project to examine the positive and negative effects of introducing zero phosphate detergents into the South African market (Quayle et al, 2010). This study aimed to further understand the impact of detergent phosphate on the phosphate loading at WWTWs and to establish the merits of eliminating phosphate from detergents through national or regional restrictions on its use. Using the Darvill WWTW (uMngeni River catchment in KwaZulu-Natal) as a case study, the contribution of detergent phosphates to the loading of WWTWs was estimated based on the number of households in the catchment and the average quantity of detergent used per household (information supplied by Unilever). The Darvill WWTW had a loading contribution coming from detergents of approximately 22% (total phosphorus) or 40.3% (SRP), as estimated on the basis of the mass balance shown in Table 5.1. Several WWTWs in Gauteng were assessed using the same methodology and the results reflected the nature of the influent arriving at each facility (see Table 5.2). The facilities servicing industrial areas in the south of Johannesburg (Goudkoppies and Driefontein) had lower percentage P contributions (due to higher industrial wastewater contributions), than those servicing more residential areas (Ennerdale, Oliphants and Northern works). 70

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No of households

57500

Avg people per household

3.6

Detergent (det) consumption

17.3

kg/hshld.annum-1

% P composition of detergents (from builder only)

5.3

%

Household Pdet consumption

0.917

kg/hshld.annum-1

Darvill Pdet total

52.72

T/annum

Darvill TP total

239.4

T/annum

Darvill SRP Total

130.6

T/annum

% TP composition

22.0%

% SRP composition

40.3%

Table 5.1: Contribution of detergents phosphate to the total phosphorus loading at darvill WWTW

Unfortunately only SRP results were available for some of these facilities and so comparisons must be drawn using this parameter only. WWTW

Pdet (SRP) % contribution

Study dams downstream

Bushkoppies

17.75

Bloemhof

Goudkoppies

15.40

Bloemhof

Driefontein

15.10

Hartebeestpoort / Roodekopje

Ennerdale

58.82

Bloemhof

Oliphantsvlei

28.12

Bloemhof

Northern

28.53

Hartebeestpoort / Roodekopje

Table 5.2: Comparison of PDET contributions to SRP totals at various Gauteng WWTWS

It was furthermore determined that if wastewater from any large urban centre was limited to purely domestic sewerage, the detergent contribution would be approximately 33% (TP). This finding was in line with a study in Australia of a WWTW treating purely domestic wastewater where between 14% and 38% of total phosphorus was determined to have originated from detergents.

IMPACTS ON DAMS In addition to estimating the impact of detergent phosphates on phosphorus loading at WWTWs, the WRC study also estimated their impact on selected important dams around the country. The importance of excess phosphorus as a driver of eutrophication has been highlighted in Chapter 3. These estimates were based on phosphate export coefficients assigned to different uses of land in each catchment. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Urban Residentialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; land-cover was assigned a conservative 5kg PO4-P/Ha/annum. This value was based on calculated results from the reasonably efficient Darvill WWTW, where THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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biological nutrient removal, as well as alum dosing (chemical removal), is used to remove phosphates. Many WWTWs (particularly the smaller ones) will be markedly less efficient. The example of Howick WWTW shows their export coefficient to be approximately 8.5Kg/Ha/annum, more than 50% higher than that of the Darvill treatment works. In order to include the impact of rural in-stream laundering, rural residential areas were assigned a coefficient of 0.1 Kg/Ha/annum based on compiled field study results (Enongene and Rossouw, 2007) and case study calculations. The results documented in Table 5.2 show the ten worst affected dams from the study based on the proportion of detergent phosphorus in total dam phosphorus loading. Catchment

Total P

kg Pdet

Proportion (%)

Albert Falls

9302.83

1627.4

17.49

Bloemhof

1156796.4

175825.8

15.20

Hartbeestpoort

321421.69

90020.8

28.01

Hazelmere

3498.7

772.1

22.07

Inanda

62011.30

17362.2

28.00

Klipfontein

8353.4

1560.5

18.68

Klipvoor

208420.4

55957.6

26.85

Laing

42859.3

12125.4

28.29

Roodeplaat

64378.5

18883.4

29.33

Shongweni

21944.1

4608.7

21.00

Table 5.3: Calculation of the contribution of detergent phoshorus to dam phosphorus loading

Figure 5.1: Graphical Representation of predicted declines in TP and chlorophyll â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; concentrations in key dams following the removal of detergent phosphates at source

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REDUCTION OF IN-LAKE & CHLOROPHYLL ‘A’ LEVELS The average detergent phosphorus contribution to the loading of these 10 dams is 23.5%; ie, a significant proportion of the total. This implies that should phosphates be removed from detergents, significant amounts of phosphate currently reaching these dams can be removed and thus augment the ability of the WWTWs to treat phosphorus originating from other sources and further lower the impact of eutrophication! When factored into the phosphorus modeling for selected dams, this average reduction results in a predicted average decline in lake phosphorus and algal response, measured as chlorophyll-a, of 23% and 20% respectively (see Table 5.3 and Figure 5.1). This is a significant reduction via the management of a single source of phosphorus. Dam

Total Phosphorus

Chlorophyll ‘A’

Albert Falls

11%

9%

Bloemhof

14%

12%

Hartbeestpoort

26%

22%

Hazelmere

21%

18%

Inanda

35%

30%

Klipfontein

17%

15%

Klipvoor

25%

21%

Laing

26%

23%

Roodeplaat

27%

23%

Shongweni

26%

22%

Average

23%

20%

Table 5.4: Predicted declines in-dam total phosphrus and chlorophyll ‘A’ following removal of detergent phosphorus at source

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF PHOSPHATE DETERGENTS The current approach to the control of phosphate pollution, adopted by the Department of Water Affairs, is that of removing phosphate at WWTWs before effluent enters the environment. This is in line with the findings of two previous studies on this subject (Pillay 1994, Heynike and Wiechers, 1986). The earlier studies indicated that, although there was a link between detergent phosphorus and enhanced nutrient levels, the overall costs of removing phosphate builders from detergents outweighed the cost of removing phosphates from wastewater at WWTWs. Both of these studies thus recommended that efficient phosphate removal at WWTWs was the solution to phosphate pollution. The 1mg/ℓ standard was put in place in the late 1980s in response to the 1986 study in an attempt to limit excessive phosphate pollution – typical phosphorus concentrations in sewage effluent entering a WWTW were on the order of 5 to 10 mg/ℓ – but has not achieved the desired reductions. The standard has no ecological validity and, being based on a concentration, has no volumetric component. Quite simply, the product of volume times concentration (load) is important, not simply concentration. Load-based THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Figure 5.2: Map of the Inanda composite catchment showing intense detergent phosphate use in urban centres

management allows for population growth, whereas concentration-based management simply leads to the situation becoming progressively worse! The 1mg/ℓ standard is an example of ‘bounded reality’ (see Chapter 8). More recently a body of literature has built up which, predictably, demonstrates that this approach is failing and that excessive amounts of phosphate are entering the natural aquatic environment (Moolman, 2004, Snyman et al, 2006, Hols et al, 1998, Harding, 2008). The inability of WWTWs to successfully remove sufficient phosphate to protect water resources suggests that an alternative approach, which includes the removal of phosphates at source, (specifically detergent phosphates) should be considered as part of a wider phosphorus attenuation strategy. As part of the recent WRC study, a qualitative cost benefit analysis was undertaken to assess the impact of zero-phosphate detergents on the environment, WWTWs, the manufacturers and consumers. Several issues scored negatively, such as the inability to recycle zeolite and hence the increased volume of sludge waste that may be produced, the cost of upgrading manufacturing plants and the possibility of residue being left on clothes. But, what would we rather have: A small heap of secondhand zeolite or, the quality of water in all of our dams unfit for use? To-date the bounded reality decision-makers have tended to go with the latter option! 74

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These negative costs were however outweighed by positive benefits such as the decrease in overall environmental phosphate loading and algal growth, the avoidance of the rising cost of phosphate and its resultant increase in cost of detergents, the improvement in the aesthetic and recreational quality of aquatic resources and possible cost savings at WWTWs and WTWs. This resulted in an overall conclusion that the introduction of zero-phosphate detergents is, in fact, beneficial to the future development of South Africa. We should not pat ourselves on the back regarding this discovery, it was obvious 20 years ago! This finding is significant in that it reverses the findings of previous cost-benefit studies that had shown that the introduction of zero phosphate detergents would in fact have a net cost to society (the cost of eutrophic dams would be astronomically greater). The shift to that of a net benefit is largely due to the change in understanding that zero-phosphate detergents may in fact not result in damage to washing machines and fabrics (as previously assumed), and due to the rising cost of phosphate. Furthermore, the finding is entirely in accordance with P-reduction strategies already being implemented elsewhere the world. While the economic costs of phosphorus-free detergents may be competitive, analysis of the social impacts of phosphorus removal from detergents in Zimbabwe, in response to their 1979 Water Act, suggest that there was a very negative response to the lower-foaming phosphorus-free detergents by especially the rural population. Within that sector of the population, it was found that foaming action was equated with cleaning action, and that the lower foaming associated with the replacement of phosphorus with other agents led to the perception that the products were less effective than â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;traditionalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; detergents. It was found that in order to restore the perceived lack of cleaning capacity, people were turning to other chemicals, including carbon tetrachloride, that were more environmentally damaging than phosphorus. Hence, it was necessary to supplement the introduction of phosphorus-free detergents with an extensive public information campaign, and to continue to make phosphorus detergents available in rural areas during this period of transition. Unfortunately, this increased production costs for manufacturers, who had to maintain two production lines at least during the transition period. Urban areas also were not immune from this concern related to lack of foaming. It was found that detergent use increased as people added more detergent than the recommended amount in an attempt to generate the same level of perceived cleaning power.

LIMITING PHOSPHATES IN DETERGENTS Limiting the use of phosphates in detergents is a popular method of combating rising levels of nutrients in water resources globally. A review of local and international literature has shown that countries or regions where the eutrophication of water resources is a problem, legislated or voluntary limitation of phosphates in detergents has, in many cases, partially remediated the problem. This THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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approach to reducing phosphorus in effluents has gained popularity in both Europe and the USA and has set a strong precedent which countries and regions with limited water resources are likely to follow. Because zero-phosphate detergents have been in use internationally for a long time, the WRC study was able to gain insight into the costs and benefits associated with them that were not available to prior studies. Significantly, it has been shown that, if correctly-formulated and correctly-used, zerophosphate detergents can perform just as well as phosphate containing detergents and are no more likely to cause damage to washing machines or fabrics than their phosphate-rich counterparts. This fact negates the cost-based conclusions of the earlier studies – studies which failed to project future growth and environmental conditions. There can be little argument concerning the impact phosphates exert on the water resources in South Africa. Given that a large proportion of WWTWs are struggling to meet even the ineffective 1mg/ℓ effluent phosphate concentration limit, a 15% - 50% (depending on the make-up of waste water) reduction in SRP loading at WWTWs is considered highly significant. Reducing the influent phosphate loading is especially important for small WWTWs where phosphate removal is generally inefficient. This reduction would not only go a long way to assist WWTWs in achieving effluent concentration targets, but it would also help alleviate the problems created by the overflow of WWTWs during heavy rains or because of equipment failure, and phosphate loading in rural settings where detergent phosphates are introduced directly into water courses. In addition to the impacts on WWTWs, the indications are that as much as 35% of the loading of phosphorus to our dams could be eliminated through the removal of detergent phosphorus, resulting in an estimated reduction in algal growth of up to 30%. In dams where algal growth is resulting in significant costs (such as reductions in biodiversity, reduction of dam-side property values, increased water treatment costs and loss of recreational amenity value) a reduction of this nature must be regarded as strategically-important (see Chapters 1-3). Implementation of a programme to remove the phosphate from detergents could be considered either on a regional or country-wide basis. However, it is unlikely that it will be cost effective for large manufacturers to run two manufacturing processes in parallel (phosphate and non-phosphate) in order to make this possible. It is more likely that manufacturers will switch their entire existing processes to alternative builder production. Certainly Unilever (South Africa’s largest manufacturer) have only one detergent production facility and have indicated that should they implement zero phosphate detergents, all their products would make the change (H. Bhoola, 2009). A regional ban would thus not make sense and action would need to take place at a National level. 76

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It should also be noted that the predictive results of the WRC study are considered conservative estimates, based on the fact that Darvill WWTW was used as a case study and represents a reasonably efficient phosphate removal facility. The effluent of many other WWTWs would show considerably higher phosphate loading values.

MANUFACTURERS’ ROLE According to South African manufacturers, some products on the market are already phosphate-free (C. de Lange, 2009.). This has introduced the concept of zero-phosphate detergents to the South African market place. Based on international trends, Unilever (South Africa’s largest manufacturer) has already prepared itself for a change to zero-phosphate detergents, and feel that if the decision were taken to move to phosphate free detergents, it would take them as little as three to five years to adapt their process (H. Boolah, 2009; R. Plumbley, 2009). These facts, when seen against the backdrop of the exponential increase in the cost of phosphate, can be seen as an indication of the willingness of manufacturers to move away from phosphate-rich detergents.

CONCLUSION In conclusion, it is important to note that the environmental benefits of eliminating phosphate from detergents will only be fully-realised if the resulting reduction in WWTWs’ influent phosphate loading is translated into a reduction in their effluent loading. This will not necessarily occur at efficient facilities if they merely enjoy the reduction in treatment costs that would accompany a reduced phosphate loading and continue to target the 1mg/ℓ effluent concentration standard. Accordingly, the phosphorus discharge limits for WWTWs must be set based on loads that will not cause eutrophication downstream. Based on the findings of the WRC study which have been summarised in this chapter, the following recommendations can be made: • The elimination of phosphorus from detergents is both beneficial and desirable, and it is thus recommended that the replacement of phosphate containing detergents with zero-phosphate alternatives should be carried out as soon as is feasible. • It is also the recommendation of this study that negotiations be entered into between the DWA and detergent manufacturers to establish a mutually agreeable process for this transition to be achieved. Such a transition must also include an extensive public informational programme and outreach effort so that people understand what to expect from the transition. Given the urban-rural cross section of people, use of multiple media – ie, radio, television, print, posters – is recommended. • Although it is recommended that this process be approached in a co-operative manner that allows manufacturers to take a leading role (and thus achieve a maximum benefit from the THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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process through marketing and public relations exercises), it is important that the change to zerophosphate detergents be consolidated through legislation. This would mean that, should a change in world markets result in phosphate rich detergents once again providing a competitive advantage, that the possibility of manufacturers returning to them is negated. It is also recommended that the efficacy of the 1mg/ℓ phosphate effluent standard be urgently reviewed – as has been called for over many years. This is specifically important given the predicted reductions in influent phosphate loading at WWTWs that will result from the elimination of detergent phosphate, and the importance of transferring that benefit to downstream aquatic environments. References Boolah, H., 2009. Personal communication – Unilever, Durban De Lange, C., 2009. Personal communication – Protea Chemicals Enongene G.N, Rossouw J.N., 2007. Collation and Development of Nutrient Export Coefficients for South Africa. DWAF, Water Resources Planning Systems Directorate, Report no P14/12/16/2 Hohls, B.C., Quibell, G., Du Plessis, B.J., and Belcher, T., 1998. Assessment of the Implementation of the Phosphate Standard at the Baviaanspoort and the Zeekoegat Water Care Works. Report No. N/A230/01/DEQ0797. Institute for Water Quality Studies, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria, South Africa. Pillay M., 1994. Detergent Phosphorus in South Africa: Impact of Eutrophication with Specific Reference to the Umgeni Catchment. Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering, December 1994, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa Plumbley, R., 2009. Personnal communication – Unilever , Durban Quayle. LM, Dickens. CWS, Graham. M, Simpson. D, Goliger. A, Dickens JK, Freese. S, Blignaut. J., 2010. Investigation of the positive and negative consequences associated with the introduction of zero-phosphate detergents into South Africa. WRC Report No: 1768/1/09 Snyman, H.G, van Niekerk, A.M and Rajasakran,N., 2006b. Sustainable wastewater treatment – What has gone wrong and how do we get back on track. In: Proceedings of WISA 2006.

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Enviro Options (Pty) Ltd Enviro Options (Pty) Ltd proudly presents the Enviro Loo; a waterless, on-site, dry sanitation toilet system that functions without water or chemicals. The Enviro Loo is designed for the benefit of all communities, and can be installed almost anywhere. It is an effective-solution to the numerous sanitation challenges facing the World. The Enviro Loo was first produced in the Republic of South Africa in 1993 by Dr Brian La Trobe. More than 55000 are installed in 39 countries Then Enviro loo has a large international recognition. Is a respectable, hygienic system that meets the health and functional requirements of all users and government authorities

CHARACTERISTICS • • • • • • • • •

The system does not use water. The system does not use chemicals. It is a closed circuit system. The system is odourless. No expensive sewage treatment plants required. Does not attract flies. There is no power required. (although not precluded) It has minimum monthly operating costs It allows for indoor installation ( Indoor installations require a low wattage electrical fan ) Kenya

Applications • Beaches • Clinics • Campsites • Domestic both rural and urban • Golf Courses • Ecologically sensitive areas • Farms • Humanitarian needs • Parks • Schools • Rest Areas Walking trails • High water table and rocky areas

Low Cost Housing Thembisa

Contact:

ENVIRO OPTIONS (PTY) LTD PostNet Suite # 505 Private Bag X 5 Fourways North 2086 TEL:(011) 762-1624 FAX:(011) 762-3717 e-mail: info@envirooptions.co.za Web: www: enviro-loo.com

Rural Schools


PROFILE

Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd. Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd is a joint venture between Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC) and Protea Chemicals a company of the Omnia group. Nalco Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) and is a provider of chemical and equipment solutions optimising natural resources and driving prosperity through unrivalled engineered and sustainable solutions. Nalco Africa is divided in three divisions: 1) Water & Process Services; 2) Mining Services and 3) Energy Services Downstream. Our sales & marketing team serves a wide variety of industries such as food & beverage, medium and light manufacturing, chemicals, steel, mining and mineral processing, petrochemicals, refining, automotive, power generation and pulp and paper in process and water applications. Our services provide integrated solutions that improve customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; products and positively impact their operations through greater asset reliability, decreased total cost of operation (TCO), improved operating and production efficiencies and minimised environmental, health and safety concerns.

Nalco Company

Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC), with global corporate and research headquarters in Naperville, Illinois (USA), provides essential expertise for water, energy and air â&#x20AC;&#x201D; delivering significant environmental, social and economic performance benefits to our customers. Nalco helps customers reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, enhance air quality, minimize environmental releases and improve productivity and end products while boosting their bottom line. Together our comprehensive solutions contribute to the sustainable development of customer operations. Nalco is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and is one of the world leaders in water treatment and process improvement applications providing services, chemicals and equipment solutions. In 2009, Nalco sales reached $3.7 billion of which $1,662 million from Water Services, $666 million for Paper Services and $1,418 million from Energy Services. More than 11,500 Nalco employees work at more than 50,000 customer locations, in more than 150 countries supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centres to serve a broad range of end markets.

Our Vision

We aim to achieve long-term partnership with our customers while enhancing the lives of our stakeholders (employees, communities, shareholders and customers) and protecting our planet

Our Mission Our mission is to lead the industry in creating value for customers and Nalco through differentiated services and technologies that save water and energy, enhance production and improve air quality while reducing total costs of operation.


PROFILE Sustainability Nalco Africa is committed to sustainable development. We believe in “Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN Brunt land Report 1987). Our Air Protection Technologies combines Nalco-Mobotec’s (a Nalco Company subsidiary) patented combustion improvement technology with innovative Nalco chemistry and application expertise to reduce many critical pollutants, including greenhouse gases, nitrogen and sulphur dioxides (NOx/ SOx), mercury, hydrogen chloride and particulates. Nalco continuously looks for ways to extend its innovative solutions to more industries, geographies and systems. The ability of 3D TRASAR® technology to measure key system parameters, detect upsets and take appropriate action in cooling water systems has saved more than 757 million cubic meters of water worldwide since its introduction.

Our Greatest Asset is Our People Our highly trained sales engineers, who specialize in water-related and process chemical solutions, work on-site to optimize customer operations and their bottom line. As Nalco Africa we invest heavily in recruiting and training our personnel, with more than half of the first year spent in formal training with accelerated universities set for rapid-growth industries – Nalco University and Nalco Downstream University. Nalco Africa’s district managers averages 15 years experience, the collective knowledge of the company exceeds 50-years of experience in water and process related industries.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) At Nalco Africa, our commitment to broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) is focused on the spirit, beyond the letter, of transformation. Our aim is to play an active role in the transformation process in a manner that is sustainable, credible and of benefit to the Nalco Africa, our stakeholders and the country as a whole. We are determined to broaden the base of the South African economy and promote participation in the economy by all citizens. We follow measurements and scorecard targets as set out in the Department of Trade and Industry’s Codes of Good Practice for Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment. As a start-up joint venture company Nalco Africa was granted a Level 4 Contributor. Nalco Africa (PTY) Ltd Building 14 Ground Floor Greenstone Hill Office Park Emerald Boulevard Greenstone 1609

Phone +27 10 590 9120 Fax + 27 10 590 9130 Email nalcoafricareception@nalco.com


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EMERGING POLLUTANTS Dr Irene Barnhoorn

Ms. Bettina Genthe

INTRODUCTION The acronym ‘EDC’ is globally used by researchers and scientists when describing chemicals that may influence the endocrine system in humans and animals. It stands for endocrine disrupting chemical/s and consists of a variety of different pollutants that target the body’s endocrine system. EDCs may alter normal hormone function in humans and animals in four different ways, as described by the Environmental Protection Agency (1997): • Imitate the sex steroid hormones (estrogens and androgens) by binding to hormone receptors; • Obstruct, prevent and modify hormonal binding to hormone receptors; • Alter the synthesis and metabolism of natural hormones; and, • Change the formation and function of hormone receptors. EDCs, working in the same way as natural hormones, cause unnatural sexual development, reproductive disorders, behavioural disorders, immunological disorders, and neurological defects (Toppari et al, 1996). The endocrine system regulates processes as diverse as blood pressure, smooth muscle contraction, fluid balance and bone-resorption (International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), 2002). Many of these systems are programmed during foetal development and an abnormal environment during this critical stage can result in permanent mis-programming (IPCS, 2002) – ie, resulting in birth defects. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that endocrine disrupting chemicals cause transgenerational effects in animals (Zala and Penn, 2004). Developmental toxicity can result either from exposure of parent prior to conception or from exposure of the embryo in utero (World Health Organization (WHO), 2003). EDCs consist of a wide range of chemicals including: • Pesticides, including DDT and metabolites, endosulfan, dieldrin, methoxychlor, kepone, dicofol, toxaphene, chlordane; • Herbicides, such as atrazine, alachlor and nitrofen; • Fungicides such as benomyl, mancozeb and tributyl tin; THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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• Nematocides, such as aldicarb and dibromochloropropane; • Plasticisers, such as bisphenol A and phthalates; • Cleaning products, metabolites of detergents and related surfactants, such as nonylphenol and octylphenol; • Pharmaceuticals, such as drug estrogens - birth control pills, DES, cimetidine, diazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, metoprolol, gemfibrozil, diclofenac, naproxen, ibuprofen, carbamazepin (SWITCH); • Industrial chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and benzo(a)pyrene; and • Heavy metals, such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd).

GLOBAL EDC STUDIES Research on humans and wildlife, conducted during the past 20 years, has focused on reproductive effects and endpoints of EDCs in the environment, with a few studies focusing on the effects on the immune system and thyroid function (Genthe and Steyn, 2010). EDCs and pharmaceuticals are not removed adequately by current wastewater treatment practices. They pose a major threat to the ecosystem health of dams and user-health. The symptoms of eutrophication, already evident in South African waters, thus serve as a proxy for a host of other evils deposited into our dams via the disposal of wastewater effluents into our streams and rivers. Globally, the most common known effect of EDCs in wildlife is intersex, via either masculinisation or feminisation of various species. Alkylphenols and pesticides have been identified as the main EDCs leading to intersex in fish from the UK (Jobling et al 1998), Europe (Vigano et al, 2001; Gercken and Sordyl, 2002), and America (Harshbarger et al, 2000). In Florida, male alligators with abnormally small penises, abnormalities of the testes, and altered levels of sex hormones have been found after a spill of DDT and dicofol in Lake Apopka (Guillette et al, 1994). Furthermore, a study done by Facemire et al. (1995) was indicative of reproductive impairment in the Florida black panther, as a result of exposure to EDCs. The reproductive success of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Great Lakes (North America) were compromised by p,p’-DDE which led to thinning of the egg shells (Bowerman et al, 1998). Fry (1995) found that p,p’-DDE induced eggshell thinning resulted in crushed eggs and breeding failure of piscivorous birds. p,p’-DDE is a metabolite of the pesticide DDT and acts both as an androgen receptor antagonist and as inhibitor of testosterone (Kelce et al, 1995).

SOUTH AFRICAN RESEARCH In South Africa, research on the effects of EDCs, other than DDT and its cogeners, began in 1998 and focussed mainly on the identification and effects of EDCs in water. Barnhoorn et al (2004) reported that EDCs are present in South African waters (Barnhoorn et al, 2003; Fatoki and Awofolu, 2003), with some sources showing estrogenic activity (Aneck-Hahn, 2002 and 2005; De Jager et al, 2002; Timmerman, 2003), this being an indicator of significant environmental pollution. 84

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Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting was formed by Mr. Moudy Mudzielwana in 2005 with a vision to Share Cutting edge Environmental, Waste and Communication Solutions. Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting focuses on youth development and is committed to providing youth with job training opportunities in order to reduce challenges and to help them gain the experience of qualified and experienced personnel in the industry. The Director Moudy has completed a Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Venda for Science and Technology in 2000. Moudy has certificates in Integrated Waste Management Planning, Environmental Impact Assessment, Occupation Health and Safety, Project Management, Effective Speaking and Presentation Skills, Communication Science, Journalism and Waste Management. Moudy has participated in the development of the General Waste Facility Minimum Requirements Standard for the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Moudy has worked for Butterfield Bakery, Caxton Limited as a reporter, Environmental Impact Management Services, BKS, Zitholele Consulting, PDNA, Enviro-Fill and EnviroServ. Moudy is a Director of Eco-Eye Waste Management: www.ecoeye.co.za Company Services Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting offers the following prices: • Environmental Project Management • Environmental Impact Assessment • Mining Environmental Management Programmes • Occupational Health and Safety • MHI Risk Assessment • Supply of Environmental and SHERQ officers on construction sites • Supply of PPP Equipments • Integrated Waste Management and Environmental Management Plans • Training on Environmental and Waste Management • Landfill Operation and Supervision • Water and Roads Civil Engineering Where to find us:

Gauteng Office Contact Person: Moudy Ngwedzeni Mudzielwana 37 Villa Valencia Office Park, Anemoon Street, Glen Marais, 1619 Contact: Cell: 076 431 1016 Tel: 011 396 1236 Fax:086 600 1016 Polokwane Office 91 Hans Rensburg Street, Eurasia Office Complex, Polokwane, 0699, Contacts: Cell: 076 431 1016: Tel: 015-297-6060: Our Website: www.tshikovha.co.za

We are the cutting edge In Sharing Environmental, Waste and Communication Sound Solutions


CHAPTER 06: EMERGING POLLUTANTS

Research by Bornman et al (2007, 2009, 2010) showed EDC-induced effects on the reproductive organs of South African wildlife, including freshwater fish species and mammals from an urban nature reserve and in a DDT sprayed area (Rietvlei, Pretoria). Furthermore Barnhoorn et al (2004; 2010) reported intersex in two indigenous freshwater fish species as result of exposure to EDCs. Numerous works have been published on the possible effects of EDCs on human reproduction, especially urogenital disorders in men (Toppari et al, 1996) that include cryptorchidism, hypospadias, testicular cancer and poor semen quality (SkakkebĂŚk et al, 2001; Weber et al, 2002). In South Africa, Aneck-Hahn et al (2007) found that healthy men living in a DDT-sprayed area had impaired semen quality. Recently, Bornman et al (2009) found shocking results from the same area; viz, that male offspring from mothers living in a DDT-sprayed area had one or more urogenital birth defects. Sharpe and Skakkebaek (1993) suggested that most of these effects might be caused by EDCs acting as synthetic hormones in the environment and mimicking the female sex hormone, estrogen. Conversely, some synthetic hormones might act as the male hormone androgen, showing antiestrogenicity. Amid EDCs found in water are the steroidal estrogens, such as 17-estradiol, estrone, estriol and the xenoestrogen 17a-ethynylestradiol, all of which have been found in sewage effluents in low concentrations. For some endocrine disrupting chemicals, extremely low doses cause in vivo changes or have damaging effects. With the advent of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), such as antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones, seizure medication, pain killers, tranquilizers and cholesterol-lowering compounds (all found in varied water resources), the need to understand which chemicals to test for, and which processes remove these chemicals in drinking water and wastewater treatment processes, has become critically important. Many pharmaceutical products are not significantly adsorbed in subsoil as a result of their polar structures and are therefore soluble and mobile in aquatic environments. Previous research at an artificial groundwater recharge site in South Africa identified the following pharmaceuticals in the different water samples along the treatment chain: Sulfamethoxazole, Carbamazepine, Dihydrodihydroxy- Carbamazepine, Iopromid, Iohexol, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and traces of psychoactive Drugs < 50 ng/l (Temazepam, Codeine, Oxazepam, Diazepam). The largest concern was that some of the chemicals were found in trace quantities in the final drinking water. This has highlighted the need to understand what happens to these emerging contaminants and what processes remove them.

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Various South African waters (both treated and raw waters) have recently been found to have oestrogenic activity present in varying concentrations. Various naturally-occurring, as well as synthetic, chemicals have been identified that elicit endocrine activity. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have classified 48 chemicals as endocrine disruptors (Choi et al, 2004), whereas the Japanese have listed 67 chemicals as suspected endocrine disruptors (Tohyama et al, 2000). Chemicals considered to be endocrine disruptors have been found in South African waters and wastewaters in several previous studies (Bornman et al, 2005; Aneck-Hahn et al, 2002; Dalvie et al, 2003). The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has formulated a priority list of suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals for South Africa. Thirty-three substances were listed as potential endocrine disrupting chemicals that are frequently used in South Africa and occur in different water bodies around the country.

CONCLUSION From this evidence it can be assumed that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is likely in humans, and that preventative action needs to be taken. It is clear that the use of these chemicals needs to be managed and exposure prevented or limited. However, for economic reasons, scientific evidence of adverse effects is needed before a chemical compound can be defined as an endocrine disruptor, and therefore be controlled. Many synthetic chemicals suspected of causing adverse effects are persistent in the environment, tend to accumulate in fat tissue of humans and wildlife, and are released during times of stress, malnutrition, and pregnancy (American Chemical Society, 1998). People are seldom (if ever) exposed to a single hazardous substance. From the literature it is evident that mixtures of chemicals cause effects quite different and often more extreme than those from single chemicals. This is a major limitation for water quality guidelines as most toxicological studies examine the effects of only a single chemical at a time. However, endocrine disrupting chemicals can act additively and even synergistically (Silva et al, 2002 cited in MRC/IEH, 2004). Most of the research undertaken to-date has focused on the reproductive effects and endpoints of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment, with a few investigations on effects on the immune system and thyroid function. South African waters (both treated and raw waters) have recently been found to have oestrogenic activity present in varying concentrations. At this stage we are not certain at which levels endocrine disruptors adversely affect health, although we do have an indication that adverse effects occur. We therefore recommend using an overall screening of biological activity, such as oestrogenic and thyroid activity, rather than analysing for specific chemicals. 88

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Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Arch Water Products South Africa’ s ICM division delivers on-site, innovative, water sanitizing solutions. The industries we serve include: Industrial, Commercial, Municipal and Food & Farming. We utilise the following unique products and equipment: HTH® Scientific Frexus® CH Pulsar® Dosers Chip Dosers In-Line Feeders Controlling and Monitoring Units Arch Water Products SA is a subsidiary of Arch Chemicals, Inc., a world leader in water sanitization through its HTH® Water Products business. From municipal drinking water, waste water treatment, food processing industries, to commercial swimming pools, our products are keeping our water clean and suitable for human consumption. Our popular brands – HTH® and Pace®- are recognized around the globe. The 21st century provides more opportunity for our HTH® Scientific products and services and we’re moving to capture the advantage that our research and experience provide. Already a leader in treating water, Arch Chemicals is on track to achieve world class results through our patented Pulsar® and Industrial Controller and Feeder systems. Designed to work optimally with our range of products, there is a large base of installed feeders in various applications across Southern Africa and the rest of the world. We believe that our simple and reliable feeders and proven chlorinating chemicals also provide the keys to unlocking a growth market – drinking water sanitation and sewage effluent in municipalities and in developing nations. Application of our water treatment expertise to potable water could significantly reduce the 10,000 deaths a day the World Health Organization attributes to waterborne illnesses. As we continue to innovate, one thing will never change – our focus on our customers, service and superior products. Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd www.hthscientific.co.za. Tel: (011) 393 9000 Fax: (011) 393 9020


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References American Chemical Society. (1998). Endocrine Disruptors. Science in Focus Aneck-Hahn NH, De Jager C, Bornman MS and Du Toit D., 2005. Oestrogenic activity using a recombinant yeast screen assay (RCBA) in South African laboratory water sources. Water SA. 31(2):253-256. Aneck-Hahn NH, Schulenburg GW, Bornman MS, Farias P, de Jager C., 2007. Impaired semen quality associated with environmental DDT exposure in young men living in a malaria area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. J Androl 28: 423–34 Aneck-Hahn, N.H., 2002. Screening for anti-oxidant pollutants and estrogenic activity in drinking water in poverty stricken areas of South Africa. Ph.D.Thesis. Doctor Technologiae in Biomedical Sciences, Technikon Pretoria,Pretoria, South Africa. Barnhoorn IEJ, Bornman MS, Pieterse GM and Van Vuren JHJ., 2004. Histological evidence of intersex in feral sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) from an estrogens-polluted water source in Gauteng, South Africa. Environ. Toxicol. 19:603-608. Barnhoorn IEJ, Pieterse GM, Bornman MS, van Vuren JHJ, van Dyk C., 2003. Intersex in feral sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Poster presented at the 38th South African Society of Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS) annual congress held in conjunction with ZSSA (Zoological Society of South Africa), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. Barnhoorn IEJ, Van Dyk JC, Pieterse GM and Bornman MS., 2010. Intersex in feral indigenous freshwater Oreochromis mossambicus, from various parts in the Luvuvhu River, Limpopo Province, South Africa, Ecotoxicol Environ Saf, 73: 1537–1542. Barnhoorn, IEJ., Bornman, MS., Pieterse, GM. And van Vuren, JHJ., 2004. Histological evidence of Intersex in feral sharptooth catfish (Clarias garipinus) from an estrogen-polluted water source in Gauteng, South Africa. Environmental Toxicology. Volume 19. Issue 6. pp 603-608. Bornman MS, Barnhoorn IEJ, Aneck-Hahn NH., 2009. A pilot study on the occurrence endocrine disruptive chemicals in a DDT-sprayed area. Water Research Commission. WRC Report No KV 220/09, Pretoria, South Africa. Bornman, M.S., Barnhoorn, I.E.J., de Jager, C., Veeramachaneni, D.N.R., 2010. Testicular microlithiasis and neoplastic lesions in wild eland (Tragelaphus oryx): Possible effects of exposure to environmental pollutants? Environ Res 110: 327–333 Bornman MS, Delport R, Becker P, Risenga S and De Jager C., 2005. Urogenital birth defects in neonates from a high-risk malaria area in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Epidemiology. 16:S126. Bornman, R., de Jager, C., Worku, Z., Farias, P., Reif., 2009. DDT and urogenital malformations in newbornboys in a malarial area. B J U International. Bornman MS, Van Vuren JHJ, Bouwman H, De Jager C, Genthe B and Barnhoorn IEJ., 2007. Endocrine disruptive activity and the potential health risk in an urban nature reserve. WRC report No. 1505/1/07. Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa Bowerman, W.W., Best, D.A., Grubb, T.G., Zimmerman, G.M., Giesy, J.P., 1998. Trends of contaminants and effects in bald eagles of the Great Lakes basin. Environ Monit Assess 53:197–212. Choi, S.M, Yoo, S.D, Lee, B.M., 2004. “Toxicological characteristics of endocrine-disrupting chemicals: developmental toxicity, carcinogenicity, and mutagenicity.”, J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev, vol. 7, No.1, pp 1-24 De Jager, C., Myburgh, J., van der Burg, B., Lemmen, J.G., Bornman, M.S., 2002. Estrogenic contamination of South African river waters: a pilot study. American Waterworks Water Association, April 18–20, Cincinnati, OH. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/630/R-96/012. Special report on environmental endocrine disruption: An effects assessment and analysis. 1997. Facemire, C.F., Gross, T.S., Guillette Jr, L.J., 1995. Reproductive impairment in the Florida Panther: nature or nurture? Environ Health Perpect. 103 (4), 79–86. Fatoki, O.S., Awofolu, R.O., 2003. Methods for selective determination of persistent organochlorine pesticide residues in water and sediments by capillary gas chromatography and electron-capture detection. J Chrom A 983(1–2):225–236. Fry, D.M., 1995. Reproductive effects in birds exposed to pesticides and industrial chemicals. Environ. Health Perspect. 103 (Suppl 7), 165–171. Genthe,B., Steyn, M., Aneck-Hahn, N.H., Van Zijl, C., De Jager, C., 2010. The feasibility of a health risk assessment framework to derive guidelines for oestrogen activity in treated drinking water. WRC Report, in press Gercken, J., Sordyl, H., 2002. Intersex in feral marine and freshwater fish from Northeastern Germany. Mar Environ Res 54:651– 655. Guillette, L.J. (Jr), Gross, T.S., Masson, G.R., Matter, J.M., Franklin Percival, H., Woodward, A.R., 1994. Developmental abnormalities of the gonad and abnormal sex hormone concentrations in juvenile alligators from contaminated and control lakes in Florida. Environ. Health Perspect. 102:680-688. Harshbarger, J.C., Coffey, M.J., Young, M.Y., 2000. Intersexes in Mississippi River shovelnose sturgeon sampled below Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Mar Environ Res 50:247–250. IPCS- The International Programme on Chemical Safety. (2002). Global Assessment if the State-of –the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors. WHO/PCS/EDC/002.2 Jobling, S., Nolan, M., Tyler, C.R., Brighty, G., Sumpter, J.P., 1998. Widespread sexual disruption in wild fish. Environ. Sci. Technol. 32, 2498–2506. Kelce, W., Stone, C., Laws, S., et al, 1995. Persistent DDT metabolite p,p’-DDE is a potent androgen receptor antagonist. Nature 375, 581–585. MRC /IEH. Medical Research Council (MRC) / Institute for Environment and Health (IEH). (2004). Current Scope and Future Direction of Research into Endocrine Disruption. Report of the Fourth IEH Table Meeting on Endocrine Disrupters, 10 – 11 March 2004. Sharpe, R., Skakkebaek, N., 1993. Are oestrogens involved in falling sperm counts and disorders if the male reproductive tract? Lancet. 341:1392-5. Skakkebæk, N.E., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Main, K.M., 2001. Testicular dysgenesis syndrome: an increasingly common developmental disorder with environmental aspects. Hum Reprod 16(5): 972-978. Timmerman, V., 2003. In vitro bioassays for estrogenic activity in food, water, and household products. M.Sc Thesis, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Tohyama, C., Ohsako, S., Ishimura, R.,2000. “Health risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals”, Nippon Rinsho, 58(12): 2393-2400. Toppari, J., Larsen, J.C., Christiansen, P., Giwercman, A., Grandjean, P., Guillette Jr, L.J., Jegou, B., Jensen, T.K., Jouannet, P., Keiding, N., Leffers, H., McLachlan, J.A., Meyer, O., Muller, J., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Scheike, T., Sharpe, R., Sumpter, J., Skakkebaek, N.E., 1996. Male reproductive health and environmental xenoestrogens. Environ. Health Perspect. 104 (Suppl. 4),741–803. Vigano, L., Arillo, A., Bottero, S., Massari, A., Mandich, A., 2001. First observation of intersex cyprinids in the Po River (Italy). Sci Tot Environ 269:189 –194. Weber, R.F.A., Pierik, F.H., Dohle, G.R., Burdorf, A., 2002. Environmental influences on male reproduction. BJU International 89:143-148. World Health Organization (WHO). (2003). Environmental Health Criteria 225. Principles for Evaluating Health Risks to Reproduction Associated with Exposure to Chemicals. World Health Organisation, Geneva. Zala, S.M., and Penn, D.J., 2004. Abnormal behaviours induced by chemical pollution: a review of evidence and new challenges. Animal Behaviour. 68: 649 – 664.

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TURNKEY GROUNDWATER CONTRACTORS AND CONSULTANTS Aqua Earth Consulting offers professional, practical solutions to our clients’ geohydrological and engineering geological environments. These services include an integrated and effective approach to the management, utilisation and monitoring of water resources, as well as legal and environmental aspects related to these environments. Our firm consists of a team of specialists in hydrogeology (groundwater), engineering geology and geology with expert knowledge in all aspects of groundwater related projects, including amongst others siting, drilling, testing, characterization, aquifer classification, groundwater modelling, monitoring, maintenance and management of groundwater related infrastructure. These environments include mines, industry and rural water supply throughout Africa. Our equipment includes state of the art percussion drill rigs, pump test units and down the hole logging equipment and a borehole camera. All projects have full logistical support with backup vehicles, site personnel and professional planning. Our crews are trained in all aspects of safe and efficient operations, and adhere to the best practice health, safety and environmental standards. All our crews adhere to highest standards of health and safety regulations with health and safety Risk Assessments and best practice guidelines in place on all our professional and contractual operations. The clients we serve include local and internationally based mines, national and international government departments, local authorities, municipalities, private clients and our network of Consultants. In conjunction with: GOEREM INTERNATIONAL – Environmental Contractors G E S – Geothermal Installation Contractors Contact us at: 260 Kent Road, Ferndale, Randburg, 2194, South Africa +27(0) 11 787 5994 +27(0) 11 507 6612 aquaearth@aquaearth.co.za

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PROFILE

Capricorn is on course to clear off water backlogs

Capricorn District Municipality is firing on all cylinders to clear off the remaining backlog of 13%. The municipality inherited a backlog of 42.4% in the year 2000 and to date the backlog has been reduced to 13% - thus increasing access to water to 87% of the District population. During the District Water Indaba in 2009, the municipality noted that 80% of the district population still depends on ground water sources for supply; further that the growing patterns of communities put pressure on our groundwater source, thus increasing the demand of water to the reticulation network, which our boreholes cannot carry. These ultimately cause water shortages in some areas. To that end, the municipality moves with speed to maintain water schemesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; infrastructure in order to circumvent the risk of creating â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;new backlogsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. As the district municipality serves communities in five local municipalities, Blouberg has got higher number of households with access to water with a backlog of only 5% compared to other relatively rural municipalities such as Aganang (11 backlog), Lepelle-Nkumpi (8% backlog), Molemole (21% backlog). In these local municipalities, over 427 652 families depend on indigent packages and free basic services such as water, sanitation and energy. These programmes help to ensure that poor households are not excluded from accessing clean water because of their socio-economic status. R4-m has been set aside free basic water for the 2010/11 financial year. The aim of the municipality is to increase the number of beneficiaries by 10% annually. As a Water Service Authority (WSA), CDM continues to support all local municipalities in carrying out their water services provider functions of responding to water supply interruptions and other operations and maintenance challenges. And to this end, R6 million has been allocated for transfer to local municipalities. In areas where there are water supply shortages, the municipalities dispatches 12 water tanker trucks that are working efficiently to address daily water shortages throughout the district.


PROFILE

Although CDM has got inadequate capital resources for bulk water services, the municipality is working on prospects of sourcing water from from Nandoni and Glen Alpine dams - mega projects that will augment water supply to Molemole, Blouberg and Aganang respectively. The municipality is also conducting regular water quality tests to ensure that all the households receive clean drinkable water. In this financial year, plans are already underway to establish our districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water quality laboratory with a view to ensure purification of our drinking water to meet the South African National Standards (SANS 241) and drinking water quality Blue Drop standard. For this financial year, CDM has allocated a total of R120.4 million for water supply to communities and a further total of R96 million for Operations and Maintenance. This will cover the establishment of the water quality laboratory, electrification of boreholes, refurbishment of water schemes and the implementation of water demand management plan.

Decent sanitation to restore peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dignity

The municipality has strengthened effort to restore the dignity of people through provision of decent sanitation facilities. This will relieve people of many related health hazards like cholera. However, we require well over R100 million to clear off the 50% backlog - a resource sadly not available in the coffers at this point. For the 2010/11 financial year, CDM has made an allocation of R36 million to further reduce the sanitation backlog. Part of this budget, will be used to upgrade the Lebowakgomo WWTW, sewer reticulation in Mogwadi as well as health and hygiene promotion. Hopefully, this will help to enhance the status of our waste water treatment and comply with the Green Drop standards. CONTACT DETAILS

41 Biccard Street PO Box 4100 POLOKWANE 0700 Limpopo, RSA Tel: (+27) 15 294 1000 Fax: (+27) 15 291 4297 Email: info@cdm.org.za Website: www.cdm.gov.za


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CHAPTER 07: CYANOBACTERIA

CYANOBACTERIA Dr. Tim Downing

INTRODUCTION Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic bacteria that have an evolutionary history probably spanning in excess of three billion years (Schopf, 1993; Holland, 1997; Boal and Ng, 2010). For example, cyanobacteria are the organisms responsible for the massive production of oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic era, 3.5 billion years ago (Kopp et al, 2005; Schopf, 1996). Cyanobacteria are true bacteria with the only similarity to algae being their photosynthetic apparatus. In addition to chlorophyll, they also contain accessory photosynthetic pigments, the most common of which is phycocyanin, which imparts the blue-green or ‘cyan’ colour, from which the term ‘blue-green algae’ was derived. This ancient group has diversified both morphologically, into unicellular and filamentous forms, and ecologically to the extent that it is found both in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Cyanobacteria are widely distributed in marine, brackish and freshwater environments, as well as in terrestrial habitats. ranging from the Antarctic to dry deserts (Dor and Danin, 1996). Their ecological diversity makes them ubiquitous and cyanobacterial species occur at temperatures ranging from below 0°C (Paerl and Priscu, 1998; Fritsen et al, 1998), and even as low as -20°C (Psenner and Sattler, 1998), to temperatures in excess of 70°C (hot springs). The taxonomy of cyanobacteria is based on a polyphasic approach (combining both phenetic and genetic characteristics), but is also currently founded in the taxonomic system described by Anagnostidis

Figure 7.1 shows cyanobacteria that are growing in geothermally-heated water in Yellowstone National Park (USA), as a surface mat in desert conditions (Nevada, USA) and in an artificial water body in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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and Komรกrek (1985). Current classification is therefore based largely on morphological and ultrastructural criteria, including the presence and position of specialised cells such as akinetes and heterocysts (Castenholz and Waterbury, 1989). Cyanobacteria

are

either

unicellular

or

filamentous, with filamentous forms being either uniseriate (one row of cells) or multiseriate (two or more rows of cells) and the latter being either branched or unbranched. Certain classes of filamentous types contain specialised cells. Cyanobacteria in water may be benthic (bottom-

Figure 7.2 shows examples of cyanobacteria isolated from various freshwater impounds in South Africa: Oscillatoria sp. (a), Anabaena sp. (b), Pseudoanabaena sp. (c), Calothrix sp. (d), Synechocystis sp. (e), Limnothrix sp. (f ), and Anabaena sp. (g).

dwelling) or planktonic (free-floating). Some planktonic forms may have the ability to regulate their buoyancy depending on their ability to form gas vesicles. Many form colonies or are members of complex biofilms or aggregations. Colonies of either unicellular cyanobacteria, such as Microcystis aeruginosa, or laterally-arranged bundles of filamentous bacteria, as in the case of Aphanizomenon sp., may be visible to the naked eye as suspended or floating particulate matter. Cyanobacteria may, if given adequate nutrients, form dense populations in water bodies, leading to so-called cyanobacterial blooms and scums. These are not only visually unappealing, but may also produce geosmin and/or methyl isoborneol, which are compounds giving rise to unpleasant tastes and odours. Added to the negative visual impact is the potential for many cyanobacteria to produce toxins. Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria pose a risk to recreational water users and consumers of untreated water, as well as an additional monitoring and treatment burden to bulk water suppliers. The potential threat posed by dense benthic (bottom-dwelling) accumulations of cyanobacteria should not be ignored as several toxigenic species such as Oscillatoria sp. can produce large amounts of benthic biomass in otherwise clear water. Bloom formation is not limited to freshwater environments but also occurs in brackish, marine and hypersaline waters.

CYANOBATERIAL ECOLOGY Cyanobacteria require only light and inorganic nutrients for growth and reproduction. In addition to sunlight, cyanobacteria require nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus in relatively large quantities, as well as sulfur, potassium and trace elements to grow. Non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria (ie, species unable 98

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to fix diatomic nitrogen) require either ammonium or nitrate, whereas nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (diazotrophs) can obtain their nitrogen from the atmosphere. Growth is dependent on nutrient and light availability but is also controlled to a significant extent by temperature. Despite the fact that green algae (chlorophytes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; typically have a faster doubling time, cyanobacteria remain competitive (Schreurs, 1992) by virtue of their nutrient scavenging abilities, their ability to harvest light more effectively (Van Liere and Walsby, 1982; Van Liere and Mur, 1979), their favourable energy balance which allows maintenance of cell integrity with relatively low energy expenditure (Gons, 1977), and their ability to survive relatively long periods of unfavourable conditions. Cyanobacteria are able to utilise light over a very wide spectrum. This, coupled with a wide tolerance of light intensities and the ability to continue photosynthesis under relatively low light, afford cyanobacteria certain advantages in shaded, deep stratified, and turbid water. In shallow, eutrophic lakes, cyanobacteria rapidly increase the water turbidity, thereby ensuring dominance by creating a low light environment (Scheffer et al, 1997). Cyanobacteria possess a host of physiological advantages that support their dominance in otherwise harsh or unsuitable situations. For example, cyanobacteria are able to continue to fix carbon at very low dissolved CO2 levels by virtue of their CO2 concentrating mechanism. They are also able to respond to nitrogen deficiency by the expression of active transporters for the uptake of nitrite and nitrate. Several genera of cyanobacteria are also capable of nitrogen fixation. The active nitrogen uptake under nitrogen deficiency, the ability to store nitrogen (Obst and SteinbĂźchel, 2006), and the ability of many cyanobacteria to fix diatomic nitrogen supports a strong competitive advantage over other algal forms. Phosphorus is widely considered to be the predominant nutrient limiting algal development in fresh water. Many species of freshwater cyanobacteria respond to phosphorus limitation by switching on a high affinity phosphate uptake system (Moore et al, 2005). In addition to the enhanced uptake of phosphate under limitation, cyanobacteria produce and export alkaline phosphatases (Whitton et al, 1991) that make dissolved organic

phosphorus

available.

The

combined effect of nutrient scavenging and growth under low light afford cyanobacteria an advantage under certain conditions and

Figure 7.3 shows the absorbance spectra of chlorophyll a and cyanobacterial accessory pigments. Incident sunlight (yellow), chlorophyll a (green), phycocyanin (blue) and phycoerythrin (red) THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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explains the frequent dominance of cyanobacteria in blooms and scums. Certain cyanobacteria are also able to produce akinetes, cells that provide a resting stage that are able to survive relatively long periods of unfavourable conditions. With the return of favourable temperatures and conditions suitable for growth, akinetes germinate.

CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS AND OTHER PROBLEM MOLECULES Several cyanobacterial genera are capable of producing metabolites that are toxic to higher organisms, or molecules that result in taste and odour problems in water and surrounding water bodies where blooms occur. Toxin producers may be benthic or planktonic. Toxins are generally categorised according to modes of action and include cytotoxins, hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. The hepatotoxins appear to be the most widely distributed toxins among freshwater cyanobacteria, with microcystin production by members of Microcystis sp., Anabaena sp., Halosiphon sp., Oscillatoria sp., Nostoc sp., Phormidium sp., Anabaenopsis sp., and Planktothrix sp., with the hepatotoxin

Figure 7.4 shows a Microcystis sp. bloom on Hartebeespoort dam in 2010. Common bloom forming cyanobacteria in freshwater systems include toxin producing genera such as Anabaena sp., Anabaenopsis sp., Aphanizomenon sp., Cylindrospermopsis sp., Microcystis sp., Nodularia sp., Phormidium sp. and Planktothrix sp.

nodularin produced by Nodularia sp.. Cylindrospermopsin, produced by Clylindrospermopsis sp. and Aphanizomenon sp.(PreuĂ&#x;el et al, 2006), is hepatotoxic but also effects many other organs and will be discussed separately. Over 80 variants of microcystin (see Figure 7.5) are now known to occur (Purdie et al, 2009. The most common variant is microcystin-LR, which contains L-leucine and L-arginine. Nodularins have a similar cyclic structure consisting of only five amino acids, including Adda. Unlike microcystins, only Nodularia spumigena is known to produce nodularins and does not form blooms in freshwater, preferring brackish or marine environments. 100

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Microcystins are potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases in mammals (MacKintosh et al, 1990). Intoxication results in liver enlargement and haemorrhage that leads to circulatory shock. Microcystins are also tumour promoters. Nodularin hepatotoxicity is similar but nodularins has also been shown to exhibit carcinogenic activity (Ohta, 1994). The alkaloid neurotoxins that are most widely recognised as common problems are the saxitoxins and anatoxins. Saxitoxins, also common from shellfish poisoning events, are produced by the common cyanobacterial genera Anabaena sp., Aphanizominon sp., Lyngbya sp. (Carmichael et al, 1997), and Planktothrix sp. (Sivonen and Jones, 1999). The molecule exerts its toxic effect by blocking sodium channels (Wiese et al, 2010) and in so doing results in paralysis and, in severe cases, death. Symptoms of intoxication include weakness, staggering, loss of muscle coordination, difficulty in swallowing and labored respiration. Humans often report tingling around the mouth and fingertips, as well as exhibiting slurred speech. These toxins are most commonly associated with marine ‘red tides’ where the symptoms they cause are known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). There are 59 variants within the saxitoxin group, such as neosaxitoxin, decarbomoyl saxitoxin and gonyautoxin, which differ in the side chains (Wiese et al, 2010) depicted in the generalised structure below. Anatoxins cause a neuromuscular blockade and those affected may exhibit staggering, gasping, muscle twitching, convulsions and paralysis. Death may result in extreme cases. Similar symptoms are seen with homoanatoxin-a, which differs from anatoxin-a by a single methyl group. Anatoxin-a(s) is structurally completely different and only known to be produced by Anabaena sp.. This naturally occurring organophosphate acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor leading to paralysis and potentially death. Symptoms are similar to those caused by anatoxin-a, but include hypersalivation, tremors, involuntary muscle twitching, diarrhea and cyanosis. The most recent addition to the list of neurotoxic compounds produced by cyanobacteria is β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). This non-proteinogenic amino acid is produced by most cyanobacteria (Cox et al, 2005; Esterhuizen and Downing, 2008) and has been implicated in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex (PDC) (Alzheimers Disease) (Cox et al, 2003). The role of BMAA in ALS-PDC appears to be via long-term accumulation, with symptoms occurring several years into, or after, exposure to the toxin. BMAA is, however, also acutely excitotoxic, acting as a glutamate agonist (Ross et al, 1987). BMAA also induces oxidative stress and appears to inhibit oxidative stress response enzymes (Esterhuizen and Downing, unpublished).

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Figure 7.5. Microcystin-LR (Left) and nodularin (right) Microcystins are potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases in mammals (MacKintosh et al, 1990). Intoxication results in liver enlargement and haemorrhage that leads to circulatory shock. Microcystins are also tumour promoters. Nodularin hepatotoxicity is similar but nodularins has also been shown to exhibit carcinogenic activity (Ohta, 1994).

Cylindrospermopsin, a sulfated-guanidinium alkaloid, is produced by Cylindrospermopsis sp., Aphanizomenon sp., Umezakia sp., Anabaena sp. and Raphidiopsis sp. and in addition to being hepatotoxic is toxic to the lungs and intestine (Ohtani et al, 1992). Its mode of action is via protein synthesis inhibition and genotoxicity. Symtoms of intoxication are as for other hepatotoxins although the onset of symptoms is delayed compared to those induced by microcystin (Shaw et al, 2000). In recent years there has been a global increase in the occurrence of Cylindrospermopsis, including in South Africa along the Orange River. In addition to the abovementioned toxins, all cyanobacteria, in common with all Gram negative bacteria, can produce lipopolysacharide (LPS) as a component of their cell envelope. This endotoxin is heat stable and toxic in mammals where symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and hypotension. Aplysiatoxins are produced by Lyngbya sp., Schizothrix sp., Planktothrix sp. and Oscillatoria sp. and are potent tumour promoters and protein kinase C activators (Mynderse et al, 1977; Fujiki et al, 1990) which result in severe dermatitis on exposure to filaments of the toxin producing cyanobacteria. The potential for toxin production by cyanobacteria, and the wide range of cyanobacteria that produce toxins coupled with the diversity of toxins produced is of particular concern where increased eutrophication results in cyanobacterial blooms.

MANAGEMENT OF CYANOBACTERIAL BLOOMS AND TOXINS Figure 7.8 shows a sign erected at Silolweni dam in the Kruger National Park giving information on the cyanobacterial bloom. This type of informative signage is also used to warn against human exposure to cyanobacteria where applicable. 102

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CHAPTER 07: CYANOBACTERIA

Figure 7.6. Generalised structure of saxitoxin. Differences in the side chains give different toxins.

Figure 7.7. Anatoxin-a, anatoxin-a(s), homoanatoxin-a and BMAA Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a are produced by Anabaena sp., Aphanizomenon sp. (Wood et al, 2007) and Planktothirx sp. (Viaggiu et al, 2004).

The emergence of a cyanobacterially-dominated overgrowth in an aquatic environment is generally caused by eutrophication (see Chapter 3). Prevention of anthropogenic eutrophication remains the primary management strategy for reduction in frequency and severity of cyanobacterial blooms. Where blooms are common remedial approaches have included extensive mixing and de-stratification of water bodies, addition of chemicals including sodium chloride and hypochlorite, addition of barley straw bales and draining of dams. These approaches have met with mixed success in the short term, although none are suitable for large drinking water supply dams. In such cases, the use of dissolved air flotation filtration (DAFF) to remove the algae from the raw water prior to treatment, and use of activated carbon to remove toxins from treated water have proven effective. Nevertheless, in the

Figure 7.8. Cylindrospermopsin.

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PROFILE

Water Technology Plastic Industries (Pty) Ltd WTPI is one of the largest manufacturers of PVC Borehole Casings and Screens in the Southern Hemisphere. Founded in 1997 and situated in Randburg South Africa, WTPI supplies PVC Products in all forms, extensively covering all aspects of water supply and the movement of water. WTPI lends its expertise to Contractors and Engineers alike, problem solving and advising when the need arises. The Company involves itself in the putting together of complete “Drill Rig Packages” with competent staff to assist in the training of local personnel throughout the African Continent. We have an extensive client base within South Africa and are the leading suppliers to all Drilling Contractors, Consulting Engineers, Mines, Municipalities and other interested parties. WTPI’s parent company SOTICI is based in Cote d’ Ivoire, one of the largest PVC and Polyethylene manufacturers in West Africa accredited with ISO 9003. With over 20 years experience in the water supply field, it puts the organisation among the priviledged few who regularly supply the ongoing needs of companies who use PVC pipes. These range from Construction companies, Borehole drilling companies, Water supply companies and Corporations. Current production capacity exceeds 7 000 tons/year with a turnover exceeding 3 Billion French Francs in a wide variety of activities. Contact: Telephone No: Fax No: E-mail: Address:

+ 27 11 708-3691/2/3 + 27 11 708-3695 wtpi@icon.co.za Box 4793, Randburg


CHAPTER 07: CYANOBACTERIA

absence of alternative remedial strategies the only alternative is to manage nutrient input at source until such time as residual sediment nutrients are depleted and cyanobacterial bloom frequency and severity is reduced. Where blooms do occur, management strategies must include monitoring for toxic compounds, appropriate communication of potential dangers, and appropriate treatment option implementation for removal of toxic and taste and odour compounds from water.

Summary Cyanobacteria remain a serious problem in surface waters, particularly in eutrophic water bodies. The competitive advantage offered by their relatively low light requirements, nitrogen and phosphorus scavenging abilities, and the ability of many cyanobacteria to fix nitrogen, results in frequent bloom events. That many of these organisms also produce toxic compounds requires not only management of biomass but monitoring for toxic compounds and appropriate action when such compounds are present. Much of the current research on cyanobacteria and their toxins is focused on streamlining monitoring of both cyanobacteria and toxins and the use of molecular genetic tools for detection and identification of problem organisms, developing rapid and simple field tests for toxins, and attempting to develop predictive models for bloom development. Some research on bioaccumulation and secondary exposure continues. More knowledge on the neurotoxin BMAA is required as the potential for exposure and the associated risk appears great in the light of the recent but limited literature on the toxin. References Anagnostidis, K and Komárek, J, 1985. Modern approach to the classification system of cyanophytes. Algological Studies 38/39: 291-302 Badger M.R and Price G.D., 2002. CO2 concentrating mechanisms in cyanobacteria: molecular components, their diversity and evolution Journal of Experimental Botany 54:609-622 Boal D and Ng R., 2010. Shape analysis of filamentous Precambrian microfossils and modern cyanobacteria. Paleobiology 36:555-572 Botes, D.P., Tuinman, A.A., Wessels, P.L., Viljoen, C.C. and Kruger, H.,1984. The structure of cyanoginosin-LA, a cyclic heptapeptide toxin from the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Transactions, I:2311-2318. Carmichael, W.W., Evans, W.R., Yin, Q.Q., Bell, P. and Mocauklowski, E., 1997. Evidence for paralytic shellfish poisons in the freshwater cyanobacterium Lyngbya wollei (Farlow ex Gomont) comb. nov. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 63, 3104-3110. Castenholz, R.W. and Waterbury, J.B., 1989. In: J.T. Staley, M.P. Bryant, N. Pfennig and J.G. Holt [Eds] Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Vol. 3, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1710-1727. Cohen-Bazire, G. and Bryant, D.A., 1982. Phycobilisomes: composition and structure. In: N.G. Carr and B.A. Whitton [Eds] The Biology of Cyanobacteria. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. Cox, P.A., Banack, S.A. and S.J. Murch, 2003. Biomagnification of cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease among the Chamorro people of Guam. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 100: 13380–13383 Cox P.A, Banack S.A, Murch SJ, Rasmussen U, Tien G, Bidigare R.R, Metcalf J.S, Morrison L.F, Codd G.A, Bergman B., 2005. Diverse taxa of cyanobacteria produce β-methylamino-L- alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102: 5074–5078. Dor, I. and Danin, A., 1996. Cyanobacterial desert crusts in the Dead Sea Valley, Israel. Arch. Hydrobiol. Suppl. 117, Algological Studies, 83, 197-206 Esterhuizen M, Downing T.G., 2008. β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in novel South African cyanobacterial isolates. Ecotoxicol. and Environ. Safety. 71: 309– 313. Fay, P., 1965. Heterotrophy and nitrogen fixation in Chlorogloea fritschii. J. Gen. Microbiol. 39, 11-20. Fritsen, C.H. and Priscu J.C., 1998. Cyanobacterial assemblages in permanent ice covers on Antarctic lakes: distribution, growth rate, and temperature response of photosynthesis. Journal of Phycology 34:587-597 106

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Fujiki H, Suganuma M, Suguri H, Yoshizawa S, Takagi K, Nakayasu M, Ojika M, Yamada K, Yasumoto T, Moore R.E, Sugimura T., 1990. New tumor promoters from marine natural products. In: S. Hall and G. Strichartz [Eds] Marine Toxins, Origin,Structure and Molecular Pharmacology, 418:232-240. Haselkorn R, Buikema W J., 1992. Nitrogen fixation in cyanobacteria. In: Stacey G, Burris R H, Evans H J, editors. Biological nitrogen fixation. New York, N.Y: Chapman & Hall; pp. 166–190. Holland. H.D., 1997. Evidence for life on earth more than 3,850 million years ago. Science, 275:38-39. Kopp R.E, Kirschvink J.L, Hilburn I.A and Nasch C.Z., 2005. The Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth: A climate disaster triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. PNAS 102:11131-11136. MacKintosh C, Beattie K.A, Klumpp S, Cohen P, Codd G.A., 199XXXXXX Cyanobacterial microcystin-LR is a potent and specific inhibitor of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A from both mammals and higher plants Febs Letters 264:187-192. Moore L.R, Ostrowski M, Scanlan D.J, Feren K, Sweetsir, T., 2005. Ecotypic variation in phosphorus-acquisition mechanisms within marine picocyanobacteria. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 39:257-269. Mynderse, J.S, Moore R.E, Kashiwagi M, Norton T.R (1977) Antileukemia activity in the Oscillatoriaceae, isolation of debromoaplysiatoxin from Lyngbya. Science, 196:538-540. Obst M, Steinbüchel, A., 2006. Cyanophycin—an Ideal Bacterial Nitrogen Storage Material with Unique Chemical Properties. In: Shively, Jessup editor. Microbiology Monographs - Inclusions in Prokaryotes. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. pp 167-193. Ohta T, Sueoka E, Iida N, Komori A, Suganuma M, Nishiwaki R, Tatematsu M, Kim S-J, Carmichael W.W, Fujiki H., 1994. Nodularin, a Potent Inhibitor of Protein Phosphatases 1 and 2A, Is a New Environmental Carcinogen in Male F344 Rat Liver Ohtani I, Moore R.E, Runnegar M.T.C (1992). Cylindrospermopsin: A potent hepatotoxinfrom the blue-green algae Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 114:7941-7942. Paerl, H.W. and Priscu J.C., 1998. Microbial phototrophic, heterotrophic and diazotrophic activities associated with aggregates in the permanent ice cover of Lake Bonney, Antarctica. Microbial Ecology 36:221-230. Preußel K, Stu¨ken A, Wiedner C, Chorus I, Fastner J ., 2006. First report on cylindrospermopsin producing Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (Cyanobacteria) isolated from two German lakes Toxicon 47:156–162. Psenner R and Sattler B., 1998. MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES: Life at the Freezing Point Science 280:2073 – 2074 Purdie E.L, Young F.M, Menzel D, Codd G.A., 2009. A method for acetonitrile-free microcystin analysis and purification by high-performance liquid chromatography, using methanol as mobile phase. Toxicon 54:887–890. Reyes J C, Florencio F J., 1994. A new type of glutamine synthetase in cyanobacteria: the protein encoded by the glnN gene supports nitrogen assimilation in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. J Bacteriol. 176:1260–1267. Ross S.M, Seelig M, Spencer P.S.,1987. Specific antagonism of excitotoxic action of uncommon‘ amino acids assayed in organotypic mouse cortical cultures. Brain Research, 425:120-127. Scheffer M, Rinaldi S, Gragnani A, Mur LR, and Van Nes, E.H., 1997. On the dominance of filamentous cyanobacteria in shallow turbid lakes Ecology, 78: 272–282. Schopf J.W (1993) Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life Science 260:640 – 646 Schopf, J.W., 1996. Cyanobacteria. Pioneers of the early Earth. In: A.K.S.K, Prasad, J.A. Nienow and V.N.R Rao [Eds] Contributions in Phycology. Nova Hedwigia, Beiheft 112, J. Cramer, Berlin, 13-32. Schreurs, H.,1992. Cyanobacterial dominance, relation to eutrophication and lake morphology. Thesis, University of Amsterdam. Shaw G.R, Seawright A.A, Moore M.R, Lam P.K.S., 2000. Cylindrospermopsin, a cyanobacterial alkaloid: Evaluation of its toxicologic activity. Therap. Drug Monit 22:89-92 Sivonen K, Jones G., 1999. Cyanobacterial toxins. - In: Chorus & Bertram, J. (eds.) Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: a Guide to Public Health Significance, Monitoring and Management. Van Liere, L. and Mur, L.R., 1979. Chapter 9. Some experiments on the competition between a green alga and a cyanobacterium. In: L. Van Liere, Thesis, University of Amsterdam. Van Liere, L. and Walsby, A.E., 1982. Interactions of cyanobacteria with light. In: N.G. Carr and B.A. Whitton [Eds] The Biology of the Cyanobacteria. Blackwell Science Publications, Oxford, 9- 45. Vázquez-Bermúdez M.F, Paz-Yepes J, Herrero A , Flores E., 2002. The NtcA-activated amt1 gene encodes a permease required for uptake of low concentrations of ammonium in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 Microbiology. 148:861-869 Viaggiu E, Melchiorre S, Volpi F, Di Corcia A, Mancini R, Garibaldi L, Crichigno G, Bruno M (2004) Anatoxin-a toxin in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens from a fishing pond in northern Italy Environmental Toxicology, 19:191-197. Whitton B.A, Grainger S.L.J, Hawley G.R.W, Simon W.W., 1991. Cell-Bounf and Extracellular Phosphatase Activities in Cyanobacteria. Microb Ecol. 21:85-98 Whitton, B.A., 1992. Diversity, ecology and taxonomy of the cyanobacteria. In: N.H. Mann and N.G. Carr [Eds] Photosynthetic Prokaryotes. Plenum Press, New York, 1-51. Wiese M, D‘Agostino P.M, Mihali T.K, Moffitt M.C Neilan B.A., 2010 Neurotoxic Alkaloids: Saxitoxin and Its Analogs. Mar. Drugs. 8:2185-2211. Wood S.A, Rasmussen J.P, Holland P.T, Campbell R, Crowe A.L.M.,2007. First Report of the Cyanotoxin Anatoxin-a from Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi (cyanobacteria), J. Phycol, 43:356-365.

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Bateman Engineered Technologies to launch Mobile Sludge Dewatering Plant Bateman Engineered Technologies (BET) is to launch a Bellmer Winklepress Mobile Dewatering Plant for sewage and effluent sludge early in 2011. The press will be used in mining, municipal, paper and general industrial applications. BET Water and Effluent manager, Marius Botha says that a demonstration unit is being assembled with the full commercial roll-out towards the end of January 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bellmer Winklepress belt presses have been used successfully in Southern Africa for many years in municipal wastewater treatment plants and in the paper and fruit juice industries. With this mobile press, we hope to extend significantly the applications in which it will be used,â&#x20AC;? says Botha. He adds that BET will be demonstrating its performance and efficiency to clients with the aim of using that demonstration to build full-scale dewatering plants for those sites.

Operating Data/Capacity The capacity of the plant depends largely on the properties of the sludge. The technical data listed below gives an indication of the range in which the mobile plant can operate: Sludge feed pump: 7,5 to 30 m3/h Hydraulic loading max: 30m3/h Dry Solids Loading: depends entirely on type of sludge: Waste Activated Sludge max: 750 kg/h Digested Sludge max: 900 kg/h Sludge feed concentration min: 0,6 % Filter Cake Discharge Conveyors 8000 kg/h

The parameters that can be assessed in such a demonstration include: hydraulic loading capacity, dry solids loading capacity, polyelectrolyte consumption, achievable cake dry solids concentration, filtrate solids concentration, overall solids capture rate, ultimately therefore establishing the cost for dewatering the sludge.

Plant Description

The Mobile Dewatering Plant is fully automated complete with PLC and SCADA system all mounted on a 12.2m semi trailer. The peripheral equipment includes: Sludge feed pump, wash water feed pump; automatic polyelectrolyte make up and dosing system, screw conveyors for filter cake discharge; instruments and MCC. The operation of the plant is controlled according to variable set-points selected by the operator according to particular process requirements. All instrumentation supplied by Endress+Hauser and all positive displacement pumps supplied by Netzsch.

Conclusion

The expected results from test-work that will be performed using the Mobile Dewatering Plant will show the efficiencies and cost savings of this top quality equipment. For more information please contact: Marius Botha on 011 201 2300 or marius.botha@bateman-bet.com

Bateman Engineered Technologies is to launch a Bellmer Winklepress Mobile Dewatering Plant for sewage and effluent.


focus

Sedibeng Water Delivering quality water through quality service, systems and processes.

Established in 1991 Our laboratory has grown from a small operational laboratory where a few routine analyses were performed by operational staff to a department staffed by professionally qualified personnel, able to provide a professional consultancy service on all water-related problems and equipped to analyse all chemical, hydrobiological and bacteriological determinands needed for research, process optimisation and quality control.

Sedibeng provides a professional consultancy service on all water-related problems. We believe in the continuous development of our employees through furthering of their studies and in-house training through practical experience and mentorship. Our staff complement is 12 professional members with expertise and experience in the delivery of accurate and reliable analytical services to all clients.

What we stand for Our goal is to provide an accurate, reliable, professional and economically viable service to internal and external clients.

Leading the industry in the Free State Province

Our capability

Our laboratory is an international state-ofthe-art SANAS ISO/IEC 17025-accredited On average we undertake over 3 000 chemical laboratory. It was accredited in 2002 and has analyses and almost 1 700 bacterial analyses maintained its accreditation since then. It is the a month. only accredited laboratory in the Free State The average total analyses per annum is that is part of a drinking-water supply system about 60 000. or wastewater treatment facility.

Our services

Our people

The key services offered by the department mainly centre around the performing of chemical and bacteriological analyses. These are associated with the production of potable water, wastewater treatment and

The departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most valuable asset is the recognised technical expertise in water-related services, accumulating to more than 100 years of experience in the water industry. free state business 2011

2


focus Wastewater laboratory

environmental management and research and development for the management of drinkingwater quality. Water-related consultancy services are also offered, including process control and the training of plant operators and process controllers.

• Oxygen absorbed • Chemical oxygen demand • Ammonia • Nitrate and nitrite • Suspended solids • Ortho-phosphate • Sludge analyses

Water purification

• Chemical and bacteriological analyses Research and development • Process problem solving and control • Process optimisation and upgrading • Plant audits • Training: laboratory staff, process controllers • Assessment and evaluation of various water and operators

treatment chemicals Plant optimisation Investigation into water-quality problems Development of new processes Presenting of research papers at national and international conferences • Training of water and wastewater treatment plant personnel – internal and external • Facilitation, assessment and moderation of SETA training

• • • •

Water-quality management in network

• Consultancy

Training services

• Training on unit processes and optimisation • In-service training and experiential training programmes, working as partners with academic institutions • Sampling

Our clients

Service units

Our internal clients are the different regions served by the organisation. We are responsible for monitoring of both bulk and reticulation. Our external clients include district and local municipalities over three provinces (Free State, North West and Northern Cape), government institutions and private companies.

Chemistry laboratory Determination of physical properties and stability indexes of water for potable use: • pH, turbidity, colour, conductivity, suspended solids, total hardness, total dissolved solids and alkalinity Instrumentation laboratory Instrumentation includes: ICP, ion chromatograph, gas chromatograph and DOC analyser.

contact details Key contact person: ND Basson Tel: +27 56 515 0334 Email: ceosec@sedibengwater.co.za Central Laboratory: Balkfontein Postal address: Private Bag X5, Bothaville 9660 Website: www.sedibengwater.co.za

Biological science Microbiology laboratory • Coliphages • Heterotrophic plate counts • Total coliform organisms • Faecal coliform organisms • E. coli Hydrobiology

• Chlorophyll-a

3

free state business 2011


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INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO EUTROPHICATION Dr Mark Dent

INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses two key institutional questions that relate to the crisis of water quality issues described in Chapters 1-7. These are: • How did we get here in terms of water resource management? and • How do we get to where we want to be? “Institutions behave the way they do because the people in them behave the way they do”. I cannot recall who wrote these words, but I believe that they are profound when considering the institutional aspects of our water management predicament in South Africa. We are all part of one or more institution, some formal, some informal, in government, business and civil society. How we think, individually and collectively, influences how we behave. The key to understanding our situation and also to changing it, therefore, lies in changing our thinking. There is evidence, notably from Keidel (1994), that re-thinking has far more influence on performance improvement in institutions than re-engineering processes or re-structuring. The latter has the least influence of the three. This chapter will focus primarily on our thinking in a number of key areas related to water. As a motivation for approaching my topic in this way, I ask you to consider the following extracts: ”Throughout human history the critical threats to survival came as dramatic external events: floods, earthquakes, attacks by wild animals or rival tribes, fire. Today, the most critical threats are slow, gradual processes to which we have contributed ourselves; environmental destruction, the global arms race, the decay of educational, family and community structures. These types of problems cannot be understood, given our conventional ways of thinking. There is no beast to slay, no villain to vanquish, no one to blame - just a need to think differently and to understand the underlying patterns of dependency. Individual change is vital, but not sufficient. If we are going to address these conditions in any significant way, it will have to be at the level of collective thinking and THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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understanding - at the level of organisations, communities and society.” (Senge, Roberts, Ross, Smith and Kleiner 1995). “Institutions matter. Today’s world is shaped not by individuals alone, but by the networks of businesses and governmental and non-governmental institutions that influence the products we make, the food we eat, the energy we use, and our responses to problems that arise from these systems. No single person could destroy a species or warm the planet, no matter how hard he or she tried. But that is exactly what we are doing collectively, as our individual actions are mediated through the web of institutions that interconnect the world. It is folly to think that these changes needed in the coming years will not involve fundamental shifts in the way institutions function, individually and collectively. Ironically, despite increasing interdependence, most institutions are more consumed than ever by short-term thinking, frenzy, and opportunism. The gap between the need to think and act interdependently and our abilities to do so sits at the heart of all the most difficult decisions we face today”. (Senge, Smith, Kruschwitz, Laur and Schley 2008)

BOUNDED RATIONALITY Could the present dire water situation in South Africa be the result of rational thinking and thus rational behaviour? To a large extent, the answer is YES! How can that be, you may ask? To understand this paradox we need to consider two key facts; firstly the phenomenon of bounded rationality (Simon, 1991) and, secondly, that every action in an interconnected system, such as water, has consequences, often negative, which manifest elsewhere in space or time. Because of one’s bounded rationality, it is only possible to act rationally within one’s own cognitive space. This means that although my actions may be viewed as rational, for me, they may be irrational in terms of the bigger picture. When we have millions of people acting ‘rationally’ for themselves, but irrationally in terms of the bigger picture, then it is no wonder we have a mess. No laws and policing by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) or the SA Police Service (SAPS) or anybody else will stop the mess from growing. We have to stop thinking and acting irrationally in terms of the whole. A pertinent example of where bounded rationality affects progress is the manner in which the proposed remediation of Hartbeespoort Dam has been interpreted and implemented by non-skilled individuals. Whereas scientists, in the main have a low level of bounded rationality, because they work in a peer-structured environment of checks and balances, science administrators are likely to constrain scientific development because of their limited, blinkered view of the greater picture. Limnological science, at the time of the Williams Report (see Chapter 1) was based on teams of specialists and had a very wide boundary of rationality. The fact that river ecologists have since ignored dams is an expression of their bounded rationality to their chosen discipline (rivers). 114

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As the loss of trained specialists and informed managers has increased over time, so has the bounded reality of the individuals appointed to replace these individuals. The narrowing of the rational space has occurred in inverse proportion to the loss of institutional knowledge post-1990.

INTEGRATION Recognising the danger of bounded rationality, policy makers in many countries acknowledge the need to widen, rapidly, the sphere of our collective thinking and learning. In short we need to implement integrated water resources management (IWRM). This is happening worldwide as the following extract indicates: “At the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico (2006) it was reported that out of 95 countries examined, 74 percent either had IWRM strategies in place or had initiated processes for the formulation of such strategies”. UNESCO (2009, pg 4). South Africa’s, world acclaimed 1997 National Water Policy (NWP) and 1998 National Water Act (NWA) both strongly mandate IWRM – but it is not implemented effectively – or not at all in some cases. A working explanation of IWRM is that it is a management phenomenon which requires a level of interaction between: • individuals, disciplines, institutions, such that we can • collectively, timeously, wisely and cost effectively, visit the consequences of our proposed, present and past actions. In SADC, 70% of the land area is comprised of shared river basins. We need to recognise that we are dealing with a common integrated resource and that whatever we do to it, there are consequences for others. IWRM is imperative both in South Africa and in the SADC region.

LEARNING TO SEE THE WHOLE To achieve integration we need to drastically lower the transaction costs of such interaction. Goleman (2009) gives us hope of this in his book entitled “Ecological Intelligence:- the coming age of radical transparency”in which he illustrates with many powerful examples how humankind is piecing together, in thought, the world that we have fragmented in thought and actions. Goleman’s radical thesis is that, as consumers, we are becoming empowered to make purchase decisions that are consistent with our values. Business to business transactions are adding substantial and positive momentum to THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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our rapidly growing consciousness of the whole social and environmental story behind the products we buy. Water is inextricably bound into this story. The transaction costs of getting this information are being lowered drastically through radical transparency and global information technology (IT) systems that are helping to connect large groups of the world’s best minds. Wheatley (2006) writes that information is the creative energy of the universe and she explains her view in this way: “In the universe that new science is exploring, information is a very different “thing”. It is not the limited, quantifiable, put-it-in-an-e-mail-and-send commodity that we pretend it to be. In the new theories of evolution and order, information is a dynamic, changing element, taking centre stage. Without information, life cannot give birth to anything new; information is absolutely essential for the emergence of new order”. Stakeholders – those individuals, corporations or communities with a common area of concern or interest – create and share information on water. To achieve sustainability it is crucial that society is not blindsided by something that we did not see coming. The biggest threat to sustainability is leaving a crucial part out of the whole picture. Ison, et al (2004) conveyed this message so eloquently when they record: “it is very useful to view sustainability as an emergent property of stakeholder interaction, and not a technical property of the ecosystem.” Their (Ison, et al) report on Social Learning for the Integrated Management and Sustainable Use of Water at Catchment Scale was a multi-country research project funded by the European Commission. Its main theme was the investigation of the socio-economic aspects of the sustainable use of water. Within this theme, its main focus of interest lies in understanding the application of social learning as a conceptual framework, an operational principle, a policy instrument and a process of systemic change. The above is a tiny example of the extensive research, in every conceivable area of human endeavour, that we can draw on to transform our individual and collective thinking and behaviours in relation to water.

MULTI-SECTOR STAKHOLDER INTERACTION What are the practical steps to putting it all together in South Africa so that one outcome can be a drastic improvement in the quality of our river water? The short answer is: implement our world class 116

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1997 NWP and 1998 NWA. Our policy, law and institutional arrangements provide the crucible for multi-sector stakeholder interaction. The rest of this chapter will be dedicated to explaining how this interaction can happen now, in an affordable manner and to a world class standard. Society is naturally-organised into ‘sector’ interest groups. These groups engage in a wide range of (often overlapping) socio-political and economic activities. The South African Government’s Cabinet and Government Departments are grouped according to sectors and so is much of business and civil society. For the past 20 years or more, there has been a steady migration of water and aquatic ecosystem scientific skills from public sectors to private and civil society sectors, or out of the system entirely (emigration or career change). This migration, first publically highlighted by DWAF/UNESCO/ WMO (1998), has been one of the key elements in the growing inability of the public sector to manage water resources and aquatic ecosystems on its own. All the relevant water policies, laws and institutional arrangements developed since 1994 recognise this and mandate integrated, co-operative, co-ordinated governance also involving business and civil society. The sector is the unit of representation and engagement in Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and this was decided after a five-year long process of public participation. The migration of skills to various sectors outside of Government, as well as DWA’s policy response to these developments, combined with the imperative to democratise the processes of management for water, find expression in Figure 8.1. The NWRS is the National Water Resources Strategy and the CMA is the Catchment Management Agency.

National Water Resources Strategy (NWRS)

What is particularly interesting and

Scientist employed by stakeholder sector. The well resourced have bought such expertise to greatly assist that sectors CMA Board members

DWA

encouraging about this diagram is that it shows that the scientific and other water related skills are all focused on

Sector

the ‘centre’. This holds great potential

?

Sector

for

institutional

memory

creation

and retention, economies of scale,

CMA Board

countering the negative effects of

DWAF Regional Tech & Admin

job hopping and creating a critical

?

mass of skills as we move into multisector stakeholder engagement. The

? Poorly resourced sectors

migration of scientific skills has created a

Figure 8.1: Sectors engaging each other under the oversight of DWA and with the scientific and other knowledge skills in close attendance in the intellectual space surrounding the sector representatives on the CMA Board.

context which is well placed to engage in Participatory Agent based Social Simulation as explained below:

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“Participatory Agent based social

Expert advisors will begin to form networks and to share. They will begin to develop trust; seek ways of reducing transaction costs & speeding up investigations. They will become acutely conscious that DWAF is going to be requiring their sector principals to start funding catchment management costs themselves. They will be tough but fair with each other. They will not collude because they need to serve different sectors.

simulation is a very promising approach Crocodile West Marico

to represent the complex dynamics of social systems and to develop integrated models for human-technologyenvironment systems”.

Nkomati

There are probably 12 major Sectors that cover the full spectrum of stakeholder groups in South Africa. If 4 top experts exist in each we are looking at a target leadership group of 48 sector advisors people. This dynamic de facto leadership group could make an enormous difference.

“Models and the whole process of model development therefore become part of

Participatory Agent for Sector D

Participatory Agent for Sector H

Participatory agent for Sector E

Expert Advisors Expert Advisors To Sector B To Sector A Expert Advisors To Sector F Expert Advisors To Sector C

Oilfants

Expert Advisors To Sector G

a process of social learning.” (Pahl-Wostl and Hare, 2004) Such a process is crucial for creating actionable knowledge also referred to as socially robust knowledge:

Figure 8.2. The emerging configuration of participatory agents for social simulation modeling and whole systems interaction among Stakeholder Sectors.

“socially robust knowledge is the product of intensive (and continuous) interaction between results and interpretation, people and environments, applications and implications” (Nowotny, Scott and Gibbons, 2001). The evidence of current developments in a range of sectors shows that the Sector Advisors, shown in Figure 8.1, would begin to self-organize as described in Figure 8.2. Herein lies the solution to the fragmentation, bounded rationality, non-integration, non-communication, and non-sharing of information, in the short grand folly, on the part of all, that has brought us to the current state of our freshwater systems in South Africa. The Strengths and Weaknesses analysis below, which embodies also the way forward, is premised on the belief that the highest-level aggregate unit of engagement for IWRM in South Africa is the sector. It is from this aggregate level that I believe the core transformational, knowledgeable and servant style leadership will come. In my experience people in grass roots organisations are desperate for such leadership at national level.

WEAKNESS AND STRENGTHS OF OUR INSTITUTIONAL SITUATION When considering the list below, it is encouraging to note how many of the weaknesses can be turned into strengths, simply by a change of thinking by the stakeholders in government, business and civil society. Thinking can change quickly and this is what gives me hope. Reflect on the changes 118

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in thinking in South Africa from 1989 to 1994. If we can do that, then we can certainly change our thinking enough to clean up our water resources and keep them clean forever. Weakness

Strength

Policy and Law have been only partially implemented with respect to integrated management of water resources.

Integrated management can be quickly implemented as attitudes change.

Actors are generally unaware of unintended consequences of seemingly rational behaviours.

The Policy and the Law has foreseen this and makes provision for structures, processes and laws to facilitate collective thinking and actions.

Dis-integrated, fragmented, duplicated and disconnected efforts drain finances and overstretch human capacity.

Many realms of human endeavour have examples of how these shortcomings can be turned around by wise integration. The IT, aerospace and telecommunications industries are prime examples.

Transaction costs of the communication required to integrate are currently high.

The IT industry, the transport industry (containerisation), airline industry and countless others have shown ways to drastically reduce the transaction costs of integration. All sectors can do the same as they interact in the realm of integrated water resources management. OpenMI has shown the way with respect to water. We just need to embrace it.

Institutional memory loss is currently high.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures that can facilitate enhanced institutional memory formation and retention in multi-stakeholder institutions, most notably CMAs.

Critical mass in human resources is currently low in most areas due to fragmentation and dis-integrated efforts.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures, that will, if implemented with the right attitude, enable multi-sector stakeholders to greatly increase critical mass in human resources terms.

Economies of scale in terms of using intellect are currently almost non- existent.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures, that will, if implemented with the right attitude, enable multi-sector stakeholders to greatly increase these economies of scale. As a strength it should be borne in mind that universities and technicons are already in place.

Collective awareness of issues and linkages is currently low and non-transparency is a severe problem.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures, that will, if implemented with the right attitude, enable multi-sector stakeholders to greatly increase their collective awareness.

Indulging in rights-based clashes instead of interest based bargaining is still the dominant conflict related paradigm.

With a change in attitude sector stakeholders can change to interest based bargaining, overnight.

Almost no engagement in participatory agent-basedsocial simulation modeling at present.

Participatory agent-based-social simulation modeling will naturally and quickly evolve if we make the attitude and thinking changes mentioned above and employ the dynamics illustrated in Figure 8.2.

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Viewing the scientific challenges in purely normal science paradigms as opposed to mixture of normal and post-normal science paradigms limits ‘vision’.

Post-Normal Science is the methodology that is appropriate when facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high and decisions are urgent. We can shift to this science paradigm rapidly if we change our attitudes.

Currently almost no inter-operability standards exist to bring down transaction costs in modeling and information systems.

We can immediately adopt OpenMI standards and make rapid progress toward integration, if we change our attitude. OpenMI is revolutionising the developments in water information and modeling systems. South Africa is being left behind.

There is poor understanding of the role of reasoning processes and the consideration of consequences in the continuous cycle of decision-making.

This can change fast once sector leaders gain insights into the value of reasoning and consequence consideration, in which the authority does not have to engage.

Given the current ways of organising intellect we have limited absorptive capacity for research results, especially innovations that require engaging complexity.

When our intellect is re-organised according to the right hand column of this analysis and Figure 8.2 above our collective absorptive capacity for research results and innovation will be drastically improved.

We are not engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogue on a continuous basis; groups are talking at Water Affairs officials on an individual basis.

Our Policy, Legal and Institutional frameworks have created a space for multi-sectoral, simultaneous and continuous engagement to generate options, with DWA in an oversight role. This is a great strength and it is primarily why our 1998 NWA is hailed worldwide. We can start doing this overnight.

The complexity of the socio-ecological systems within which we exist has not been accepted widely and certainly is not translated into our organisational behaviours with respect to knowledge management.

Increasingly the complexity of the socio-ecological water realm is being accepted, in concept if not yet in actions, in Government, Business and Civil Society. This acceptance can take place overnight and it will dramatically strengthen our collective approaches.

Self-organisation opportunities are not being taken up. We are still fixated on engaging only with the DWA and not directly with multiple stakeholders.

Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize for her work on selforganising to manage the commons has dramatically raised the profile of self-organising. Our strength is that our Water Policy and Legal framework already has made world class provision for self-organising (within CMAs, for example) in a responsible and controlled manner under DWA oversight.

DWA’s tendering system for knowledge based systems is still being framed in terms of building construction paradigms. This is expensive, slow and detrimental in many ways.

This paradigm can change overnight and will most likely do so when multi-sector endeavours to produce installed modeling systems as espoused in the DWAF Internal Strategic Perspectives (ISP) Reports (2004) are implemented.

Almost all previously sunk costs are lost each time a new tender is awarded for water-related modeling work

This can be changed overnight if Stakeholder Sectors agree on installed modeling and information generation systems, probably from the OpenMI world wide movement. Furthermore the multi-sector stakeholder body can insist on only value added actions and no continual repayment of sunk costs from the consulting sector.

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SOILLAB The accurate scientific testing of civil engineering materials forms an essential element of any project. Soillab has been providing high quality testing to the civil engineering industry for over 50 years and is currently ISO17025:2005 accredited for a range of tests. Laboratories: At present, Soillab has established commercial laboratories in Pretoria (Gauteng), Secunda (Mpumalanga) and in Kraaifontein (Western Cape). Soillab has also increased its range of services with the introduction of a Rock Mechanics Laboratory in Pretoria called Rocklab. Soillab also establishes many laboratories on sites when required to do so by the nature of the project and the need for rapid testing of materials during construction. Staff: The combined Soillab and Rocklab staff compliment includes some 300 people of which 1/3 are technically trained, skilled staff. Range of Tests: Soillab prides itself on being one of only a few laboratories in the world able to provide a full range of testing services using up-to-date equipment and qualified and experienced staff. In addition to the various categories of testing shown alongside, Soillab also carries out testing related to research and development and carries out a wide range of special tests on civil engineering projects. In conjunction with Rocklab it also carries out many tests for mining projects. Satisfied clients: Soillabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s list of clients include many public authorities, consulting engineers, contractors, project developers, mining houses as well as many smaller businesses such as nurseries and farms.

SOILLAB PRETORIA Wim Hofsink VKE Centre, 230 Albertus Street, Empowerment Initiatives: Soillab is a 30% blackowned company. When working on site projects, the La Montagne 0184, Pretoria PO Box 72928, company augments its core team with labour and temporary staff from the surrounding communities. Lynnwood Ridge 0040, South Africa Tel: +27 (0) 12 481 3801 This approach underpins its commitment to onFax: +27 (0) 12 481 3812 going community upliftment and skills transfer. e-mail: hofsinkw@soillab.co.za


CHAPTER 08: INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO EUTROPHICATION

There is no installed modeling system to analyse water quality and quantity in an integrated fashion as advised by the 1998 NWA and DWAF’s 2004 ISPs.

The world wide developments in OpenMI can be deployed immediately to rectify this weakness and turn the installed modeling systems into a great strength.

We have not operationally embraced the practices of Strategic Adaptive Management. The practice requires the use of models to enable the stakeholders to visit the consequences of their proposed actions. We have not implemented simulation models for this purpose.

A key element in Strategic Adaptive Management is for the role players to make their implicit assumptions explicit in and through modeling systems. This weakness can be changed to a strength overnight if we adopt OpenMI and a change in attitude concerning participatory agent-based-social simulation modeling (Pahl-Wostl and Hare, 2004; Pahl-Wostl, 2007).

The DWA has only slightly let go and the large, wellresourced stakeholders have only slightly taken up their responsibilities to engage each other. This is a major weakness.

The letting go of certain matters by DWA and taking up responsibility by well resourced multi-sector stakeholders can happen very quickly and hence become a strength. DWA has all the legislation in place to perform its oversight of multi-sector interactive processes, in the CMA space, that generate options on which DWA has the authority for the final decision.

A collective identity as social learners in the same boat is almost non-existent amongst and between all stakeholders.

The transformation to accepting the need for a collective identity can happen fast as the Dinokeng Scenarios showed; we are all in the same boat. Nothing is gained by pointing to the hole in the other side of the boat. The recent National Business Initiative (NBI) Summit on Sustainable Development revealed a rapidly growing collective identity, at least in concept if not in actions, on sustainability matters.

Social learning on water-related matters is currently low.

The concept of social learning is taking root in a myriad of other areas of society and all sectors can learn from these endeavours. There is a fast growing recognition among key roleplayers in water that social learning offers much potential.

Our world class Financial Services Sector has not taken up the considerable opportunities to reduce water related risk and introduce innovative new paradigms into our collective behaviours In the form of, for example, Payment for Ecosystem Services; thinking in terms of potential (financial) benefits in place of purely water.

Our Financial Services Sector is world class. Given a change in insight they have shown the ability to act rapidly and responsibly. Attitudes and actions can change rapidly when this Sector looks sufficiently far downstream in its customer chain or at the matters of water related systemic risk. It is not rational for the Financial Services Sector to ignore the wider systemic issues in provision of a natural resource such as water which is vital to the wellbeing of every one of their clients. A strength is that this ‘bounded rationality’ is likely to end very soon.

CONCLUSIONS Return to the questions posed at the beginning of this chapter. Our thinking got us into our current situation and a change in thinking will have to get us to where we want to be. Changed attitudes towards the full implementation of the spirit of our world class 1998 National Water Act, on the part of 122

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THE Q DRUM: Water is essential to all forms of life and a clean and accessible supply is a need that many of us take for granted. In disadvantaged communities around the globe, millions of people live kilometers away from their nearest reliable source. The task of fetching water therefore proves to be a cumbersome and time consuming one, mostly affecting the women and young children of these communities and often resulting in debilitating neck injuries from carrying heavy loads on their heads. The Q Drum, a unique South African design, aims to ease the burden of transporting potable water. It is a rolling, durable container which when full holds 50 litres of water and other compatible edible liquids.

Our mission: Get the Q Drum to people who need it, but can’t afford it, with the help of people who can afford it but don’t need it.

The Problem

The Q Drum Solution


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government, business and civil society can bring about a turnaround in a very short time. Senge, et al (1995) wrote in the quote at the beginning of this chapter that, “there is no one to blame, just a need to think differently”. I stress the one, because we are all to blame. We all need to change our thinking. Pre- and post-1994 South Africa has shown that it has many transformational leaders at all levels in our society. All such leaders should now mandate and support their institutions to engage in the processes of IWRM. The hard work of creating the policy, legal and institutional frameworks has been achieved. What is now required is a change of heart on the part of all but especially of sector leaders. Attitudinal change is a fundamental imperative on the path to the goal of ‘Some, for all, forever’. Perhaps the most relevant attitudinal change needs to come from government and the DWA in order to provide a space for all of the Sectors to engage in a fruitful and positive manner. Quite simply, DWA needs to acknowledge the existence of the Water Crisis! References DWAF/UNESCO/WMO (1998) Mission on the Assessment of the Education and Training Needs of the Water Resources Management Services of the Republic of South Africa. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, RSA; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; World Meteorological Organization. ISBN 0-620-22756-7, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria. Goleman,D., 2009. Ecological Intelligence:- the coming age of radical transparency. pp 276. Penguin Books. London. Ison, R.L. Steyaert, P., Roggero, P.P., Hubert, B. and Jiggins, J., 2004. Social Learning for the Integrated Management and Sustainable Use of Water at Catchment Scale. EVK1-2000-00695SLIM. European Commission (DG RESEARCH – 5th Framework Programme for research and technological development, 1998–2002) Keidel, R.W., 1994. Rethinking organisational design. Academy of Management Executive. Vol 8, No 4 pp 12-28. Nowotny, H., Scott, P. and Gibbons, M., 2001. Re-thinking Science Knowledge and the Public in an age of uncertainty. Polity Press. Pahl-Wostl, C. and Hare, M., 2004.Processes of Social Learning in Integrated Resources Management. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 14: 193–206 Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). Pahl-Wostl, C., 2007. The implications of complexity for integrated resources management. Environmental modelling and software 22 : 561-569. Senge,P., Roberts,C., Ross,R.B., Smith,B.J. and Kleiner,A., 1995 The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook:- Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organisation. Nicholas Brealey, London. Senge , P., Smith, B., Kruschwitz, N. Laur,J. and Schley, S., 2008. The Necessary Revolution:- how individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. Nicholas Brealey, London. Simon, H., 1991. Bounded Rationality and Organizational Learning. Organization Science 2 (1): 125–134 UNESCO (2009) World Water Assessment Programme Dialogue Paper:- Integrated Water Resources Management in Action. UNEP Jointly prepared by DHIWater Policy and UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment. Wheatley, M.J., 2006. Leadership and the New Science:- Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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UASA Water Crusade While it may be strange for a trade union to become involved in such a huge socio-economic issue such as water, we have been mandated by our members to pursue the matter to make a positive difference to the situation. That is why we started the UASA water crusade. Through the involvement of experts, we discovered that rapid urbanisation caused long-term trends such as pollution problems with salinity from mining activities and bacteriological problems from sewage. • Mines closing down – uncontrolled rising of underground water levels resulting in acid mine drainage • Malfunctioning sewage works at Local Authorities This has a major impact on downstream users resulting in major effects on cost to treat, usability, relationships, corporate image, etc. Currently our water landscape is characterised by: • South Africa is a water scarce country, ranking 30th driest globally. • Water unaccounted for up to 52% in municipal systems due to: » Leaks and iIlegal connections » Poor operation and maintenance • Debt to water boards > R 700 million • Human capacity lacking • Threatening acid mine drainage Some frightening facts and what the experts are saying: • 3,6 million South Africans still with no access to safe water • 16 million have no access to hygienic sanitation • 35% of our dams Eutrophic • 80% of existing sewage treatment works overloaded • 40% of sewage treatment works in towns on the brink of collapse • Quality of river water reduced by 20% over the past 5 years • Estimated that South Africa will run out of water supplies by 2025 • A moratorium should be placed on new mining in the Vaal,Usutu and Komati catchments • One in five (19,41%) of all deaths of children in the age group 1–5 years could be attributed to a number of different water-related infections. The information gathered at three Water Security Seminars have been consolidated into a position paper which we submitted to Nedlac as part of our application in terms of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995.


PROFILE Agreement was reached with Government that we will be part of the review process of the National Water Strategy as well as a process of identifying places where water treatment works are not functioning at full capacity as well as issues that need to be addressed to restore water security in the country. UASA calls its crusade the H20 4 Life campaign and developed a website where the latest information regarding our crusade can be accessed. Visit www.h2o4life.co.za or www.uasa. org.za Chief Seattle (1852) The rivers are our brothers, they carry our canoes and feed our childrenâ&#x20AC;Ś.. So you must give to the river the same kindness you would give to your brother. Contact Us:

The Trade Union UASA 42 Goldman Street/PO Box 565 Florida South Africa 1710 Switchboard: +27 11 4723600 Fax: +27 11 674 4057 Corporate Communications AndrĂŠ Venter Andre.venter@uasa.org.za

Left to right: Koos Bezuidenhout, UASA CEO; Prof. Terence McCarthy, Scientist, Wits University; Francois van Wyk, Water Quality Specialist; Carin Visser, Water Activist, Sannieshof; Jaap Kelder, Chairman, National Taxpayers Union; Dr. Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist, Stellenbosch University; Louw du Toit, Facilitator; Costa Raftopoulos, President, UASA and Pavel Polasek, Water Quality Specialist


PROFILE

Zetachem: More than just Chemicals for the Water Treatment Market Zetachem over the past 24 years has become a major manufacturer and supplier of organic and inorganic coagulants to the South African water treatment industry. It was this strength that was identified by the Omnia Group and that led to the acquisition of Zetachem in January 2008. Joining a larger group has had numerous benefits for Zetachem. As part of the Omnia Group, Zetachem are able to tap into the network of suppliers within the organization such as Omnia’s operations in China and the Protea Chemicals Group. Through this association, Zetachem has access to the various commodity chemicals that can be offered to customers as part of a complete basket. On the technology front, the company can tap into the Omnia Research and Development facility in Sasolburg. This together, with Zetachem’s state of the art R& D facility in Mobeni, allows continual investigation of new products, new materials and new manufacturing techniques.

Monomer Plant

Service Focus

Zetachem is a company that focuses on quality, accompanied by a high level of customer service. Zetachem’s extensive manufacturing capability and large stock of key raw materials, enables it to respond rapidly to changes in market demands.

ISO and NSF Certification

The name Zetachem has always been associated with consistency, quality and innovation. In 1994 Zetachem was awarded ISO 9002 and currently holds ISO 9001:2008 Certification. Zetachem pioneered the introduction of NSF into South Africa in 2000, being the first South African drinking water additive manufacturer to be awarded NSF Certification for a range of drinking water additives. NSF approval guarantees that the products carrying NSF Certification are manufactured to a consistently high international drinking water standard.

Reducing The Carbon Footprint

Alongside Zetachem’s focus on quality, is its holistic approach to environmental issues. To this end production facility changes are always implemented with environmental improvements in mind. This enables the company to supply superior products at competitive pricing, while minimizing the carbon footprint. Zetachem is a water treatment chemical supplier that will continue to supply innovative chemical solutions into and beyond the 21st century. Contact details: Tel. 031 469 0165 Fax. 031 469 0408 International Code (+2731) E. Mail: enquiries@zetachem.co.za www.zetachem.co.za

Polymer Plant


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AN OVERVIEW OF FLOATING TREATMENT WETLANDS Bruce Kania

INTRODUCTION In the past half-century, there has been a rediscovery of the wetland as nature’s primary tool to clean water. Many variations of constructed wetland have been implemented successfully to clean all kinds of contaminated water, from wastewater and stormwater to drinking water. It used to be assumed that plants were the major contributor to this cleaning task. But recently, biofilm-generating microbes have been found to play a dominant role. According to Prof Otto Stein, of Montana State University: “The majority of wetland biogeochemical transformations are due to microbal activity.” This has given rise to a new form of constructed wetland, the floating wetland (known variously as floating islands, floating treatment wetlands or even floating emergent wetlands), which maximise the ability for microbes to thrive. In the past five years, several thousand floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) have been deployed at numerous locations around the globe by various public and private organisations. While initially most of these islands were marketed into private waterways as waterscape features, a credit to their aesthetic potential, research tracking their nutrient uptake efficacy indicates they have a unique place in water stewardship applications. These FTWs, which differ from more conventional floating hydroponic platforms, ‘biomimic’ floating peat bogs that occur around the world. They can sustain both wetland and terrestrial plant species. They are associated with clean water and record fish growth. Wetland scientists at New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) rated them first in a survey of all man-made floating wetlands (2007). The reason: they provide the most ‘concentrated wetland effect’. NIWA scientists Dr Chris Tanner and Dr Tom Headley, in a paper addressing the ICWSWPC, tested one commercially-available FTW (www.floatingislandinternational.com) and described it as “a hybrid wetland; they behave hydraulically similar to a stormwater detention pond, whilst imparting similar treatment processes to that of a wetland. The plant roots hang beneath the floating matrix, (a membrane type material composed of recycled plastics) and provide an additional large surface area for biofilm growth which forms an important part of the treatment reactor.”

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Figure 9.1: Planted floating islands

Figure 9.2: Anchoring a planted mat

FTWs are a flexible water stewardship tool that can be specifically designed to biomimic natural wetlands. Using rooted, emergent macrophytes (similar to those used in surface and subsurface flow wetlands) growing on a matrix mat, floating on the surface of the water rather than rooted in the sediments, they uptake nutrients and move them into and through the food chain. They provide a unique ability to measure nutrient pathways and, correspondingly, track water quality enhancement. In addition, many new design options unfold around the multiplicity of benefits provided by these systems, which can be constructed to any size and buoyancy. Their modular design also contributes to new stewardship options in that they can be installed in nearly any waterway and launched with a minimum of disturbance. When it comes to water treatment, stewarding towards nature’s process of microbial remediation represents an alternative to chemical solutions.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND FLOATING TREATMENT WETLAND TECHNOLOGY Biofilms are formed when communities of microbes adhere to a surface by means of the extracellular polymer (ECP) that they excrete. ECP is the sticky slime found on any submerged aquatic surface, and most certainly on the bottom substrate of a waterway. It is ubiquitous: biofilmproducing microbes are among the most persistent and adaptable of life forms. In an aquatic setting, biofilm and whatever bonds to it is known as periphyton, the base of the food web. Suspended and colloidal particles, phytoplankton in its various forms, and a wide range of other life forms – including protozoa, diatoms, and zooplankton – occur within it. It is noteworthy that the biofilm-forming bacteria 132

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Figure 9.3: Medium scale test ponds


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that generate the base of periphyton are found to be more effective in terms of nutrient uptake than any other life form, including suspended phytoplankton. However, as with all life forms, they are limited by certain primary variables, which include, in this case, surface area and circulation. Free-floating phytoplankton, for which human systems tend to inadvertently design, are not limited by surface area but by sunlight. As with most natural systems, blurred lines of differentiation are common. However, today we understand that biofilm generating microbes are the critical natural agent associated with the ‘wetland effect’, nature’s primary method by which nutrients and carbon are moved through aquatic environments. Biomimicry of this process can result in water that is both healthy and supportive of productive fisheries.

‘THE WETLAND EFFECT’ = SURFACE AREA + CIRCULATION Biofilm-producing microbes are the primary agent associated with nutrient uptake in a wetland; plants are a secondary agent. While plants account for some degree of phytoremediation, their root hairs – and even primary roots where they extend below the matrix of an island – make their biggest contribution by adding to the surface area available for microbial uptake. In the most productive of natural systems there will inevitably be found an abundance of surface area with correspondingly high levels of circulation and aeration. Biomimicry is the study of these ‘model’ systems as a basis for invention of human stewardship solutions. So, biomimetic FTWs represent a form of constructed wetland specifically designed to maximise the critical limiting variables associated with biofilm generation – surface area and circulation. Twenty centimeters is considered the minimum thickness to insure sufficient surface area to support the full spectrum of aerobic, anaerobic and anoxic microbial habitats. Without all three classes of microbes present in sufficient abundance, phosphate or nitrogen, in its various forms, or other micronutrients, such as fatty oils associated with petroleum distillate, may accumulate and ultimately

Figure 9.4: Root growth through Biohaven mat

Figure 9.5: Anchoring a planted mat THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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compromise the fecundity of a natural system. Using wastewater as an example, the ammonia removal and most of the organic carbon removal are achieved by aerobic bacteria in the presence of abundant oxygen; nitrate removal is achieved under anoxic conditions by facultative bacteria which use nitrate as a substitute for oxygen when oxygen is in short supply; and the remaining recalcitrant portion of organic carbon is finally broken down by anaerobic bacteria that can only thrive in the absence of oxygen. One of the major advantages of FTWs over other types of treatment is that all three types of microbes can exist and function simultaneously within a single FTW5. Circulation is similarly critical, in order to expose nutrients and carbon present in water to microbes. Without it, and especially in the presence of excess nutrients, de-oxygenation is a likely outcome. In the context of a waterwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s normal, seasonal stratification, appropriate water stewardship requires monitoring of dissolved oxygen levels and responding with sufficient circulation/aeration. To maximise the efficacy of FTWs, it is fundamental that circulation be prioritised together with surface area. Surface area without circulation is typically less than one fifth as effective; or to put it another way, circulation can increase the effectiveness by as much as 500%3. Designing a treatment system to take advantage of natural circulation provided by wind, current or gravity is ideal. Similarly, designing any new waterway to take advantage of natural surface area, such as that provided by gravel, cobble, sand and other structure, is also ideal, and will supplement the treatment provided by the concentrated surface of the floating island. Lack of dissolved oxygen is a frequent variable limiting a wetlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efficacy since most nutrients are taken out of the water and into and through the food web through aerobic processes. It follows that designing for maximum circulation and controlled aeration through the concentrated wetland effect offered by BioHaven islands is of strategic importance. As biomimetic FTWs develop and mature, most aerobic microbial activity will occur within only 12cm of their perimeter unless the island is designed for internal circulation. A standard 20cm thick island is designed to optimise this characteristic on a passive basis, ie, without Figure 9.6: Taking oxygen measurements under planted mats

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circulation. Despite this advantageous design feature, incorporating additional circulation/aeration will always further enhance for nutrient uptake efficacy. It is instructive to note that the productivity of healthy waterways is rarely associated with humanintroduced nutrient loading. On the other hand, distressed waterways are typically due to human activity, especially nutrient loading. The resulting hyper-eutrophication – and the de-oxygenation associated with it - often leads to freshwater dead zones. Given sufficient wetland effect, such waterways could become both healthy and, perhaps, hyper-productive. In an ideal model, such systems maintain a large degree of natural autonomy in which human stewardship is minimal.

FTW TREATMENT STRATEGIES AND OPTIONS The following paragraphs describe variations of FTWs and strategies to optimise their nutrient uptake potential. Passive and active FTW systems Water circulation through an FTW may be either passive (ie, by water currents present in the water body) or active (ie, by mechanical pumps, discharge pipes, or other man-induced flow sources). An FTW can have any footprint and thickness, above certain minimum criteria for stability and effectiveness. In general, the body of an effective FTW must be permeable, porous, resistant to degradation by UV light, and able to withstand mechanical stresses such as water current, waves, and boats. In addition, the FTW should have a very large internal surface area to support large populations of naturally occurring, beneficial microbes. Buoyancy variations can be incorporated into the design, usually from about 20kg to 120 kg of reserve buoyancy for every square meter of top surface of a standard FTW. In addition, FTWs can be customised to allow for much higher levels of reserve buoyancy. Multipurpose floating structures that serve as walkways, levees, bridges, and even roadways – while providing the concentrated wetland effect that results in healthy, clean water – are a means by which to integrate a clean water strategy with provision of recreational or simply functional amenities. Biomimetic FTWs are a perfect palette for a landscape architect’s imagination. Lay people inevitably assume that the lush growth of plants is driving the improvement to the water. The visual impact of a beautiful island lends an opportunity to educate the public about what’s really going on. This can be accomplished with placards telling the story of wetlands, positioned at appropriate viewing stations. Hosting tours is a popular strategy. A well-designed BioHaven installation can maximise this educational element by providing the general public with a close-up opportunity to experience a healthy, working wetland. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Figure 9.7: Islands in nature reserve pond

Another way of looking at FTWs is that they represent modular wetlands. Their great versatility allows them to be incorporated into a wide range of waterways, including park and recreational ponds, storm water management ponds, waste water lagoons and impoundments, lakes, existing wetlands, and rivers and streams. FTWs can also be constructed to perform in marine settings, including harbors and marinas, where the effects of human nutrient loading can be significant. The modular nature has many benefits: they can be installed progressively, as finances, space and need dictate; and they can be clustered together to form archipelago configurations which allow for aerobic circulation around the riparian edges of the floating structures. As stated earlier, microbes are ubiquitous. Through biomimicry we can steward microbes and in the process circulate nutrients into and through the food web. The alternative is to let these nutrients stack up. The result, invariably, is relative monocultures of extreme life forms with toxic consequences. The efficacy of an FTW can be optimised by providing forced water circulation onto and through the interior portion of the structure via mechanical pumps. The pumped water can be made to flow into open channels where it is exposed to sunlight, periphyton, and macrophytes. After flowing through the open channels, the water can be made to flow through porous biofilm-rich media, where it can receive additional treatment from aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic microbes. The intakes and 136

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PROFILE

CORPORATE PROFILE OF BTC PRODUCTS & SERVICES We have been commercializing our OXICAT Chlorine Dioxide generators, technology, products and services into Southern Africa over the last 15 years and have built up a solid reputation as a reliable and safe ISO certified technology supplier. Our Company was appointed, in July 2010, as the Distributor for Du Pont Water Technologies (DWT), based on Du Pont’s Chlorine Dioxide Business Unit, for customers in the SADC countries. For over 50 years, DWT has been a knowledge-intensive business, focused on sodium chlorite solutions, Chlorine Dioxide generation technologies, and innovative solutions in the areas of disinfection, deodourization, sanitation, environmental applications and microbiological control in industrial water applications. Over the years DWT has developed the broadest range of chemicals, equipment and application knowledge in the Chlorine Dioxide industry and today their Chlorine Dioxide products, technology and services represent the leading edge currently available worldwide. DWT’s main business in the USA, Europe and Far East is the supply of their Chlorine Dioxide products, technology and services into the Municipal Market (Drinking Water and Wastewater); Industrial and Environmental applications and the disinfection of seawater. Hence, BTC Products’ focus is going to be to offer DWT’s expertise to the leading companies who can benefit from utilization of our joint expertise and knowledge in Drinking Water disinfection and purification of wastewater that is being experienced in the SADC countries. Contact Details:

PO Box 1611, Randburg 2125 Tel: +27 82 331 9720 Fax: 086 610 7205 www.btcproducts.co.za btc001@btcproducts.co.za


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discharges of the FTW can selectively be set to optimum depths for the particular site conditions and desired treatment. A key feature is that it does not cost appreciably more to move water from the lowest depth, where it is typically cooler and, in the case of hypertrophied waterways, frequently devoid of dissolved oxygen. Active-circulation FTWs can be designed to re-oxygenate such water prior to moving it through the island matrix membrane surface area. The strategic placement of active FTWs allows waterways currently experiencing high levels of organic accretion in their benthic zones to stop, possibly even reverse, such accumulation. The same organics are instead moved through island matrix where they are exposed to biofilm-generating bacteria, then to periphyton, the base of the fresh water food web. The availability of resulting biota leads to fishery enhancement. The alternative is a prematurely aged waterway, one in which dissolved oxygen may be low or absent, where the air-breathing life-forms so valued by humans are correspondingly absent. The biomimetic, active-circulation FTW concept represents the most effective method of achieving maximum water cleanup within a given footprint of floating structure FTWs with additional features FTWs can be designed and constructed with rigidified walkways or vehicle tracks for either commercial or consumer-scale access permanently attached to the top. Such systems bring the benefits of the concentrated wetland effect to the normal functions of a dock or pier. A typical commercial-scale dock FTW requires a reserve buoyancy of 142 kg per square meter of top surface, while a consumerscale system’s reserve buoyancy is typically one half this amount. Non-floating treatment structures for use in swales and channels Non-buoyant treatment structures (NBTS) may be deployed to clean up run-off water in urban and agricultural settings. These NBSTs can utilise the same permeable and porous materials as FTWs, but are designed to be positioned within or over swales or seasonal streambeds, or even live streams. They function as ‘leaky dams’, in that water will continuously flow through the matrix and the macrophyte root systems within it. However, surges of water are slowed down by the NBSTs. Accordingly the flushing effect connected with water events is mediated. NBSTs represent a strategy by which to induce sequestration of heavy metals associated with water exposed to mine tailings. Overhanging banks FTWs can be used to mediate wave energy4. They can achieve wave attenuation in sensitive areas such as low-lying swamps or other erosion-vulnerable sites. Research is currently being carried out 138

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profile

The Chemical and Allied Industries’ AssociationP R O F I L E The Chemical and Allied THE CHEMICAL ANDIndustries’ ALLIED INDUSTRIES’ Association (CAIA) was established ASSOCIATION in 1994 to promote a wide range of interests pertaining

to the chemical industry. These include fostering South Africa’s science base; seeking ways to promote the sector; promoting the industry’s commitment a high The Chemical growth and Allied in Industries’ Association (CAIA) was established in 1994 to promote a wide to range of standard of health, safety and environmental performance; consulting interests pertaining to the chemical industry. These include fostering South Africa’sand science base; seekingwith government and other role promoting players on wide variety of issues. ways to promote growth in the sector; the a industry’s commitment to a high standard of health, safety and environmental performance; and consulting with government and other role players on a wide Membership variety of issues. is open to chemical manufacturers and traders as well as to organisations which

provide a service to the chemical industry, such as hauliers and consultants.

Membership is open to chemical manufacturers and traders as well as to organisations which provide a service tothe the chemical industry, such as hauliers consultants. Responsible Care initiative, which has CAIA is South African custodian of theand international

been adopted by 53 countries worldwide.

CAIA is the South African custodian of the international Responsible Care initiative, which has been adopted by 53 countries worldwide.

This component of the work of the Association. obtains guidance the implementation of the Thisis aiskey a key component of the work of the CAIA Association. CAIA on obtains guidance on the initiative throughof its the principal, the International of Chemical Associations (ICCA). 142of members implementation initiative through itsCouncil principal, the International Council Chemical are now signatories to Responsible Care in are South Africa. Associations (ICCA). 167 members now signatories to Responsible Care in South Africa. Responsible CareCare is anisinitiative of the of global industry inindustry which companies, their national Responsible an initiative thechemical global chemical in whichthrough companies, through associations, commit to work together to continuously improve the safety and improve environmental their national associations, commit to work together tohealth, continuously the health, performance their products and processes, and contribute to the sustainable development of local to safety and of environmental performance of so their products and processes, and so contribute communities and ofdevelopment society as a whole. It encourages\ companies associations inform It theencourages public the sustainable of local communities andand of society as atowhole. about what they make and do, about their performance including reporting performance data, and about companies and associations to inform the public about what they make and do, about their their achievements and challenges.The chemical industry isdata, aware and that water is becoming an increasinglyand performance including reporting performance about their achievements scarce resource. As part of Responsible Care, members are encouraged to continuously strive to use water challenges. as efficiently as possible. This has resulted in a decrease of 20% of water usage per tonne of production when comparing 2009 with 2005 levels.

CAIA promotes a proactive relationship with government. Advocacy efforts are primarily channelled through Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) which represents business in the

CAIA promotes a proactive relationship with government. Advocacy efforts are primarily channelled through National Economic Development Labour Council (NEDLAC). Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) which and represents business in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). Contact details Dr M D Booth, Contact detailsDirector Information Resources, Tel: 011 482 1671; E-mail: caiainfo@iafrica.com Dr M D Booth, Director Information Resources, Tel: 011 482 1671; E-mail: caiainfo@iafrica.com


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in a number of settings in the US, including off the coast of Louisiana, USA. In these applications, FTWs may be either tethered to the shoreline or anchored a short distance from shore. FTWs in an overhanging bank application not only absorb wave energy before it reaches the shore but also provide security and habitat for fish, and can be installed along fish migration Figure 9.8: Fish sheltering beneath a mat

routes.

Operational implications Commercially available FTW systems are constructed from a variety of materials, including postconsumer polyester (from PET drinking bottles) and other non-toxic, non-degradable materials that are appropriate for long-term residence in water. FTWs should be installed in compliance with the manufacture’s instructions. Particular attention should be paid to anchoring and tethering requirements.

CONCLUSION Biomimetic FTWs are a sustainable way of moving nutrients into and through the food web on lakes, rivers and streams. They provide critical wetland habitat and can result in expanded biodiversity. They can also provide recreational and functional benefits to stakeholder communities. Modular configurations can be designed and constructed so as to be straight forward to launch, and in fact, launches tend to become community events. They require little maintenance and are based on natural systems – which people intuitively respond to as ‘the right thing to do’. References 1. Application of Floating Wetlands for Enhanced Stormwater Treatment: A Review Auckland Regional Council Publication no 324 (November, 2006) 2. 11th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control Floating Treatment Wetlands: an Innovative Option for Stormwater Quality Applications. T. R. Headley, C.C. Tanner (November, 2008) 3.Final Report: Biomimetic floating islands that maximise plant and microbial synergistic relationships to revitalise degraded fisheries, wildlife habitats, and human water resources. Principal Investigator: Frank M Stewart, PE (December, 2007) 4.Hydraulic model study of floating treatment wetlands modules’ ability to attenuate waves on a shoreline. Brian McMahon, Nick Lucia (Alden Research lab) (Sept, 2009) 5. J.L Faulwetter et al. (September, 2010). Floating Treatment Wetlands for Domestic Wastewater Treatment. 12th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control. Other reading (can be accessed on www.floatingislandinternational.com): NZWWA - water & wastes in New Zealand, issue 155, July 2008. Article by Dr Chris C Tanner and Dr Tom Headley Floating treatment wetlands - an innovative solution to enhance removal of fine particulates, copper and zinc Land Contamination & Reclamation, 16 (1), 2008 - 2008 EPP Publications Ltd Floating islands as an alternative to constructed wetlands for treatment of excess nutrients from agricultural and municipal wastes - results of laboratory-scale tests Frank M. Stewart, Tim Mulholland, Alfred B. Cunningham, Bruce G. Kania and Mark T.Osterlund. 140

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CHAPTER 10: THE WAY FORWARD

THE WAY FORWARD Dr Steve Mitchell

INTRODUCTION Rivers are linear systems and need to be managed as such. With the increasing pressure on South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water resources, resulting from a combination of increasing population and an increase in purchasing power from the upliftment of the population, there has been a shift in the understanding of the way in which water resources need to be managed. This shift has moved from the study of classical limnology, as practised three and more decades ago, to a more holistic view of the resource as a complex social ecological system (SES). This view demands a systems approach to the inter-relationship between the socio-economic activities within a river basin and the water resource, a concept originally proposed by Thornton and Boddington (1989) for the management of eutrophication and used by Heeg and Breen (1994) on their work on the Phongolo floodplain through the 1980s. Limnology, the study of the biophysical aspects of lakes and ponds, was strongly supported up to and through the 1980s by organisations such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Research Foundation (NRF) and from the mid 1980s by the Water Research Commission (WRC). This research support built up a strong cadre of limnologists with considerable knowledge on the functioning and management of impoundments. The culmination of this was the Inland Waters Ecosystem Programme, spearheaded by the NRF and the CSIR. One important product of this programme was the report on the Limnology of Hartbeespoort Dam (Ashton et al, 1985). After this, funding was moved to support research in rivers, with the flagship programme being the Kruger National Park Rivers Research Programme, and research into the limnology of impoundments has since been poorly supported. At the same time, there has been a shift in the emphasis of research, from the study of the fundamental science, towards applied science and management. In part, this shift began during the 1980s when government funding was withdrawn from state-funded research organisations in the UK. This example was followed by other countries, including South Africa, although locally the escalating South Africa border war constrained expenditure on research (Roux et al, in prep).

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However, the need for capacity in aquatic sciences is now greater than ever. With South Africa’s water crisis (Chapter 1, this volume) getting worse and the demand for the benefits we get from aquatic ecosystems increasing, the need for effective management of our water resources, including impoundments, is becoming ever more critical. An area of integrated water resource management that would be of significant benefit to the country would be in skills transfer and training at all levels. There is a critical need for training at the local government level. The Green Drop Report (DWA, 2010), reporting on the performance of South Africa’s wastewater treatment works (WWTWs), awarded only 32 out of the country’s 852 WWTWs with the Green Drop Status for achieving the required standards in waste water treatment! But only 449 (53%) of the country’s works could be evaluated as the others did not have adequate records to enable them to be assessed. The Water Institute of Southern Africa has readily accessible training material for process controllers on water and wastewater treatment works (see http://www.ewisa.co.za/), but the municipal officials also need training on their responsibilities in the operation and maintenance of the works. The very few remaining professional limnologists have a wealth of skills and knowledge that will be lost should they not be provided with a scheme to mentor newcomers to this science. Involvement of the public in resource management has proved successful in a number of countries. Not only do the public recognise the value of the amenities offered by the environment, they also tend to be more outspoken about problems than the government agencies mandated with their management. With many more pairs of eyes watching, fewer problems are likely to go by unnoticed.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER Water is increasingly being recognised as the limiting resource world-wide but not all stakeholders have an understanding of this. A recently published global survey (BBC, 2010) indicated that 60% of the 147 firms responding to the survey have already set performance targets on the way they use water as they see future water shortages as a growing concern. The World Economic Forum (2009) has reviewed the main economic and geopolitical water issues likely to arise in the world during the next two decades and quote the Chairman of the Nestlé’s Board as saying that he is convinced that the world will run out of water before it runs out of fuel! This viewpoint may be more true than most will readily accept if the need to protect the quality of water resources is not heeded. The South African Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has launched a policy on water conservation and demand management. Elsewhere in the world where such policies have been fully implemented, water savings of up to 20% have been realised. The importance of caring for our scarce water resource is, in fact, clearly communicated to South African citizens through the Schools Water Action Project

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(SWAP) and the Adopt-a-River Programme, which are designed to help South Africans to understand the interlinkages of resource management.

THE NEED FOR COHERENT POLICIES There is a need to align the policies of the many economic sectors that use water in South Africa. The DWA is the lead department for water but water is used in every one of our activities – ie, water is a national or government responsibility. The government, through the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), is aiming at an economic growth rate of between 4.5% and 6% annually. Six ‘binding constraints’ are identified on the ASGISA website, but the possible shortage of water or the cost to the national economy of the deterioration of water quality are not among these, even though the management of water quality and quantity are given considerable importance in the Department of Water Affairs) policy document on Water for Growth and Development (DWAF, 2009). At present, the drive to develop and implement is such that officials from other departments or tiers of government do not take the time to check that the water required for the planned development is available. Another aspect that needs attention is the absence of coordination between the Integrated Development Plans (IDP) required from each municipality and the DWA, regarding the water required for planned developments that are included in the IDPs. Where developments have been planned in catchments that are already closed there is a real possibility that expectations regarding increased economic activity in the jurisdiction of the municipality will not be met.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Community involvement in the monitoring and management of water resources has been successful in a number of countries, including South Africa, where institutional space has been provided for the public to become involved in resource management. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance has well-developed CEPA (Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness) guidelines and training materials, some of it shared with the Convention for Biodiversity, which has advanced the sustainable management of wetlands in a number of countries. The Ramsar Convention regards the nomination of CEPA National Focal Points by every Contracting Party as the starting point for an effective review of CEPA needs within each country, leading ultimately to a CEPA Action Plan. Water Watch Australia has over 3 000 groups monitoring water quality and conducting biological and habitat assessments at over 7 000 sites across the country. In the nearly two decades that the programme has been in existence, groups have undertaken activities that have improved waterways THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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where monitoring indicated that their quality was declining. While Water Watch itself does not provide funding, funding may be available from other government agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency of the USA has manuals on water monitoring by volunteers and provide guidance to sources of funding that are available for the improvement of watersheds. Volunteers have proven their capability again and again in resource monitoring and protection. They are keen to make a real difference and will get satisfaction out of a job well done. In addition, unlike government-run monitoring programmes in which the results are not always readily available, volunteers will highlight the achievements of their work. The SWAP (Schools Water Action Programme) (Schreuder, 1997) started in South Africa in the 1990s and gave many school pupils experience in monitoring water quality and usage. As a tool, SWAP has helped students access the profoundly rich source of information offered by rivers and streams through a non-prescriptive process of curriculum innovation, and this has led to effective catchment action in a wide variety of communities. A South African model that aims to involve the general public nationally in water resource management and is currently being introduced is the Adopt-a-River Programme.

THE ADOPT-A-RIVER PROGRAMME Origins The idea for the Adopt-a-River Programme arose when a question was asked in Parliament whether South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rivers were healthy and fit for use. Parliament recognised the part that all South Africans could play in caring for the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scarce water resources and some members of Parliament volunteered to adopt a river and serve as patrons for those rivers as a sign of their own commitment to protecting the health of our rivers. The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry requested the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) officials to plan and implement such a programme as soon as was practicably possible and in a way that would encourage people to show their commitment to the protection and management these resources in an integrated manner. It has to be emphasised that the programme has no intention to replace existing initiatives, but to co-ordinate related activities in close geographic proximity. A phased approach is being followed to develop and implement the programme. Phase 1 was the initiation and development of a Strategic Framework. Phase 2 was the development of an Implementation Plan and Phase 3 is pilot implementation on selected rivers. It was recognised that there is no single institution in South Africa with the capacity to host and implement the entire programme. It was necessary, therefore, to form partnerships between authorities, agencies, concerned community organisations and the public in order to adequately fulfil the roles involved in the Adopt-a-River programme. 148

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Aims The Adopt-a-River programme is designed to create awareness among South Africans of the need to care for our scarce water resources and to actively participate in their protection and management. It will be based on community participation, training, partnerships, and focused action plans. Objectives The programme has several objectives. Firstly, it will provide a means for communities with a caring and trusting environment that encourages personal development and a breeding ground for talent through the promotion of the spirit of volunteerism in cleaning the riverine environment, so promoting greater public sector accountability. Secondly, it will provide rural riverside communities, particularly women, with work-based training in the monitoring of water quality and other life skills. It will alleviate poverty through the creation of temporary jobs, provide education on preserving the environment while at the same time contributing to the DWAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission for the sustainable provision of water resources. Activities The activities as planned may be divided broadly into two categories. Firstly, there will be a series of activities on the riverbank such as the clearing of solid waste from around the river, taking samples for monitoring and finding sources of pollution. Then there will be training aspects for people involved in the project which will include technical aspects of water quality monitoring, recognition of different types of pollution and the development of interventions to curb further pollution as well as personal aspects such as safety when working in and around water bodies. There will also be a more general programme of public education and awareness-raising in the surrounding communities. Stakeholders A number of stakeholders groupings have been identified, mostly from formal organisations, but it is the poor rural women living alongside water bodies at whom the early implementation is aimed. The organisations which have been identified are DWA, Municipalities, Water Boards, Sector Departments (Environmental Affairs, Nature Conservation, Agriculture), the Department of Education, the Department of Health, Water User Associations, community representatives (civil society organizations), institutions of higher learning and schools. First rivers The Adopt-a-River programme has been launched on the Umsunduzi River, KwaZuluNatal, the Mtata River, Eastern Cape and the Eerste River, Western Cape and, more recently, by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudhafasi, on the Luvuvhu River, Limpopo, the Isipingo River, KwaZuluNatal (SEE PHOTOS) and the Buffalo River, Eastern Cape. Once these projects have been THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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established, the programme will be open for anyone anywhere in the country to apply for support to restore a river near them. The Isipingo Adopt-a-River project was launched into an already running initiative of about 100 women from neighbouring Umlazi who were so appalled by the deteriorated state of the river that they had begun to clean it up on their own (Durban women take charge, 2010). A part of their initiative was the development of vegetable gardens in the areas that they had cleaned up. Approach The Adopt-a-River approach encourages active participation of communities in the programme and projects to ensure sustainability. The programme is resourced by the DWA. The municipalities, sector partners, tertiary institutions, schools, private sector, agricultural communities, industries, community leaders and women in the vicinity of river projects will be the key role players of the programme. The spin offs here will be water saving, skills development for our youth, job creation, improvement of water quality and of the state of our rivers. The Department intends to swiftly broaden this initiative to other areas in the country, building capacity and sharing lessons learned through this initiative. Monitoring Resource Quality Services of the DWA runs a series of national programmes monitoring microbial water quality, aquatic ecosystem health (including the River Health Programme), eutrophication, toxicity and chemical pollutants. The Adopt-a-River Programme incorporates aspects of each of these, and is backed by the analytical capabilities of Resource Quality Services. The website (www.dwaf. gov.za/iwqs/rhp/naehmp.asp and follow the Adopt-a-River menu) currently houses the document repository, promoting awareness, but an information management system which allows users to both load river water quality related data and to view river water quality related data still needs to be developed. Accessibility of research findings to resource managers Scientific research is often presented in a way that is inaccessible to non-scientists. Researchers tend to write up their work, by and large, for other researchers to read. This presupposes that the receiving audience understands the language and terminology used as well as the context of the work, which is perfectly in order when the communication is aimed at others in the same field. However, where the work is being presented with the intention of contributing to a wider field, such as resource management or public understanding of science, the terminology used is often the same as is used in the technical publications. The assumption that the recipients of the communication will understand not only the terminology but also the importance of work for their position and responsibilities is seldom confirmed and may be false. Wilhelm-Rechmann and Cowling (in Press), 150

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investigating the reasons behind maps for biodiversity conservation not being included in the landuse planning process of local government, found that local government decision-makers either did not understand the concepts in the same way as the conservation planners or, for various reasons, were negatively disposed to these concepts, indicating that this interface requires attention (see Chapter 8). Investigation may also show a similar breakdown between the science, engineering and technical water professionals and those who should benefit from the work. Results Management of South Africa’s limited water resources is not simply the job of DWA. As has been demonstrated throughout this book, officials, legislators, citizens, and corporations all have a role to play in ensuring the sustainability of our water supply, not only to ensure continuing economic productivity, but also human health and the survival of our natural ecosystems (and the tourism and recreational industries that they support). Citizen science, or the actions of individuals in acquiring scientific information, is increasingly becoming a foundation upon which environmental management decisions are made. Citizen science makes the practice of research accessible to more people within our communities. These communities have a much greater reach in terms of their geographic locations than can be achieved by the limited human resources generally associated with governmental agencies; hence, citizen science forms a critical element in the acquisition of knowledge and the application of responses to deteriorating (or improving) environmental conditions. Citizen scientists often become citizen advocates, communicating their insights and knowledge to others, including decision-makers and elected officials. Citizens, as has been pointed out, have the facility to ‘translate’ technical language into the more commonly used language of the people. While citizen scientists may rarely achieve the levels of expertise achieved by persons schooled in a science, they can serve as effective intermediaries between academic or research institutions and communities, as well as lines of communication to decision-makers. Incorporation of citizen science into schools programmes also is effective in making connections between science and communities. This occurs in two principle ways; namely, by the school children taking the message of clean water home to their parents, and, within the schools, of making environmental studies more tangible. Studying environmental science in the abstract frequently lacks the excitement or immediacy of a single excursion into the surrounding neighbourhood, where plants and animals can become ‘real’. Even if students do not undertake further studies in the natural sciences, they will mature into citizens with at least a basic understanding of the world and their place in it. By creating an understanding of the fundamental nature and necessity of water in our world, this next generation of businesspeople, politicians, homemakers, and scientists will approach environmental management in a new light. 152

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CONCLUSIONS Overall, South Africa has a rich knowledge of water and water management but this is not being fully implemented and is being allowed to disappear. There would seem to be space for innovation in the methods used in the communication of this knowledge to the resource managers so that they are able to access the knowledge that is available. This begs the question as to how well the current advisory groupings understand the situation within the bounds of their individual realities? Participation in resource management, particularly monitoring and restoration, by a trained and informed public, has proved successful in a number of countries including South Africa. The fact that a group of concerned women from Umlazi initiated their own restoration project on the Isipingo River, indicates that the country is ready for and will be able to benefit from a programme such as Adopta-River. Such a programme should go some way towards generating accountability amongst those responsible for managing our water resources, including operating treatment works, where these are not being operated effectively. References Ashton PJ, F.M. Chutter, K.L. Cochrane, F.C. de Moor, J.R. Hely-Hutchinson, A.C. Jarvis, R.D. Robarts, W.E. Scott, J.A. Thornton, , A.J. Twinch and T. Zohary, 1985. The Limnology of Hartbeespoort Dam. South African National Scientific Programmes Report No. 110. Published by the National Research Foundation. (now available at http://researchspace.csir.co.za/dspace/bitstream/10204/2425/1/SANSP%20110.pdf AsigSA. http://www.info.gov.za/asgisa/ BBC, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11744918 Durban women take charge, 13 Sep 2010. http://www.buanews.gov.za/news/10/10091311051001 . DWAF, 2009. Water for Growth and Development (version 7). http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Notices/WFGD_Framework_v7.pdf DWA, 2010. Green Drop Report 2009, Version 1: South African Waste Water Quality Management Performance. Department of Water Affairs, Pretoria. Heeg, J and CM Breen, 1994. Resolution of conflicting values on the Pongoloriver and floodplain (South Africa). In: Wetlands and Shallow Continental Water Bodies, volume 2, pp. 303 – 359. Edited by B. C. Patten et al., SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, The Netherlands. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-ramsar-movie/main/ramsar/1%5E24724_4000_0__ Roux, DJ, in prep. A chronology of aquatic science In South Africa: overview of research topics, key individuals, institutional change and operating culture since 1900. Water Research Commission Project No. 852. Water research Commission, Pretoria. Schreuder, DR, 1997. Issues of inequity, health and water: reflections on the schools water action programmes in post-apartheid South Africa. Health Education Research: Theory & Practice 12 (4) 461-468. http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/4/461.full.pdf Thornton, J. A. and G. Boddington, 1989. A “new” look at the “old” problem of eutrophication management in southern Africa. The Environmentalist, 9:121-129 Water Watch Australia. http://www.waterwatch.org.au/index.html World Economic Forum: http://www.weforum.org/en/initiatives/water/index.htm

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T H E AV I S R O A D T O S AV I N G W A T E R

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vis Rent-A-Car (Avis) is the largest car rental company in South Africa. In order to provide the consumers with the level of service expected, the rental vehicles are required to be kept exceptionally clean, which leads to thousands of cars being washed daily around the country. This is clearly an issue when considering that fresh water is a scarce resource in South Africa. In 2007, Avis undertook during its planned vehicle cleaning facility upgrades, to embark on a quest to reduce water usage and in so doing, invested in a few initiatives that would have significant impact in this regard at its three major vehicle cleaning facilities at O R Tambo International Airport (Isando), Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) in Kwa-Zulu Natal. These major vehicle preparation sites were fitted with new state of the art, fast line drive

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through car wash machines (3 in Isando, 2 in both Cape Town and KSIA). Little did the management know what they would learn about their use of water. The first shock was that each car washed consumed a small bathtub of between 200 and 250 litres of water per wash. This made the introduction of water recycling a far more serious affair than initially envisaged. Car wash recycling experts were brought in to assist with the design of the recycle plant, which needed to be effective in saving as well as quality of water reused. Although the aim of the recycling system was to reduce the amount of freshwater needed for car washing, while the technicians were working to refine the recycling system, they discovered that each car wash machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of water could be tweaked and reduced from an average of 220 litres to around 160 litres per wash. This


in itself was a 25% to 30% reduction in the use of water. The team also learned that in order to have the vehicles in a clean condition, they had no option but to use fresh clean water in the “Final Rinse Arch” which is also where the fine wax application is also applied. This meant that recycled water could only be used during the “pre-soak” and “shampoo” stages, which incidentally used the most water. Of the 160 litres of water now being used per wash, the company was able to divert the “grey” water into soak-pits and recycle plant for reuse and the need for clean water during the final rinse stage accounted for around 40 litres (or 25%), with fresh water used now reduced to only 75% of its needs. In a quest to further reduce the amount of freshwater needed for the final rinse arch, timers were fitted to delay the rinse water start up. However, due to driver speed inconsistancy there was a comprimise in wash quality of some cars. The timer device was removed and replaced with a sensor which can detect the presence of a vehicle entering and leaving the rinse arches. This has resutled in a reduction to aproximately 20 litres freshwater per car wash. Without realising it, the process had other benefits:1. The final rinse arch adds enough “new” water to the system which was very necessary to keep the levels topped up and with some clean water, much needed to reduce the continuous use of the same water, plus overcomes some water loss through evaporation. 2. The soap water washed into the underground water recycling tanks still retained a lot of its cleaning properties, thereby re-

ducing the need to use so much new soap for each wash cycle. This reduced the use of chemicals used in the process. Today, the Avis car wash process machines recycle up to 88% of the water used, which is cleaned to 90% clarity and has significantly reduced the need for municipal water from over 220 litres to around 20 litres per car washed. One would think that enough water saving had been achieved, but not so. In pursuit to quench the desire to find even more solutions to its water use, the company decided to introduce underground rainwater harvetsing reservoirs, which would capture rain water off the rooves from the facility’s buildings and use this through the introduction of a valve system which automatically shuts off the clean municipal supply and replace this with the harvested rainwater, effectively making the Avis depot a “water neutral” facility during the wet periods. The Avis Water Management process now saves the company (and our planet) in excess of 100 million litres of water per annum. It is also just one of the many initiatives (such as carbon neutral status, hybrid cars and others) introduced to reduce their impact on South Africa’s water and other environmental resources, establishing the company as the “green leader” within the car rental industry.

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FORWARD

DEPARTMENT OF WATER AFFAIRS Lately, the media has been running headlines about the “Water Crisis” in South Africa and although some of the arguments are based on concrete facts and thorough analysis, we simply cannot overcome these challenges unless we work collectively. The Overseas Development Institute broadly explains global water crisis as follows: “Three quarter’s of the world’s fresh water is frozen in glaciers and icebergs. Less than 1% flows in rivers and lakes. That which does, together with the 20% lying underground, faces increasing pressure as global population grows and demand for water rises”. South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world and faces the challenges of a growing population and economy. As a water stressed country, it is therefore a frightening reality to know that we do not have enough of this precious resource. It is also clear that if we continue to waste and pollute increasingly limited water resources at our disposal, we will aggravate the shortage and plunge our country into a severe crisis. The South Africa Government has come a long way since 1994 by becoming one of the first countries to proclaim access to running water as a constitutional right for all citizens but unless we work together, South Africa will be forever vulnerable to threats of fresh water resources due to population growth, food insecurity, urbanisation, industrialisation, pollution of water, poor management structures and the lack of necessary scientific and technical expertise that is so crucial to the sustainability of water. It is in light of these challenges that we choose to endorse The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook as it serves to equip water industry professionals and stakeholders with the knowledge and skills to bring us towards a more sustainable future. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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FORWARD

One of government priorities DEPARTEMENT OFis providing sufficient food to the South African public. Food security is atAND the same AGRICULUTRE, FORESTRY time linked to a comprehensive rural development FISHERIES programme (CRDP). Therefore water quality remains a

priority to sustain an agricultural infrastructure and for farming to remain an economic activity. The recent economic downturn has cast challenges As theondepartment, we support initiatives suchdropped as The food affordability as income levels especially due to job loses. In response, the agricultural, Sustainable Water Resource Handbook which brings light forestry and fishery sector has once again occupied to the centre challenges all its face in our Our finite stagewe with ability to environment. create jobs and absorb a wide range of cross cutting skills. Economists have water resources come under increasing pressure from argued that these sectors have the ability of creating our growing economic development and more jobspopulation, per R1 million investments than any other sector. various forms of pollution, which have led to continuous Through research and innovation, food production research on water technologies that willby optimise especially at efficient household levels is supported smart water recycling solutions bringing relief in water agricultural production and innovative processes to mitigate densely populated areas such as Muyexe Village in agricultural pollution.Province. The use of veggie towers, an the Limpopo innovation that limit water loss in growing food was recently piloted in the village among 15 households. In lineHere, withthe our strategic priorities, we inhave contributed neighbourhood is involved the construction of similar devices to replicate and enlarge to the acceleration of delivery on food securityvegetable through production using grey water. the revitalisation of irrigation schemes that are situated The involvement of rural communities in designingin these innovative suit communal needs for former homelands andmodels small-holder farms, through the the creation of sustainable economic opportunities Letsema/ Ilima Programme. The provision and availability of in agro-ecology for SMMEs and cooperatives. The CRDP provides local production to replace imports adequate and appropriate infrastructure is a prerequisite for to minimise the carbon footprint of the sector, where successful, efficient agricultural production,over especially highotherwise, food would be transported large areas. Further, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and input, high-value irrigated agriculture. At the same time, Fisheries will facilitate the establishment of agricultural we recognise that poverty and efficiency access to of water by farmers infrastructure to improve production for all commodity value chains. This will include systematic is still one of South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s socio-economic challenges and efforts in irrigation projects in areas receiving little we must looktoatincrease ways whereby each and every sector can rainfall, local food production. Furthermore, the department willtogether have to consider contribute towards reducing it. Working with the the effects of agriculture on climate change and vice sector versa, and alland South Africans we can do more. develop appropriate responses which would include among others, investing in cleaner production methodologies, improved water care through limited pollution as a result of pesticides, creating green job opportunities, promoting innovation and applying scientific technology in the production processes through investments in employment, economic and development opportunities to mitigate the effects of climate change. If we manage our natural resources together, we can do more and increase food security for all. the sUstAINABLe WAter resoUrce hANDBooK

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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5


FORWARD

THE DEPARTEMENT OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) continually seeks to radically change the focus on our system of local governance so that we can accelerate the provision and delivery of services to the many South Africans, who after 17 years of democracy, still do not have access to decent sanitation and clean water. We are pleased that our interventions in 2010 have yielded positive results and we are closely monitoring the situation by assessing project plans, visiting the worst performing municipalities, and crafting acceleration plans. In light of the water stresses that have developed and accelerated in South Africa in the last few years, we are pleased to continue our endorsement into Vol 2 of The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook. Such endeavours, to bring about knowledge transfer to those industry professionals that need it most, are endeavours that we seek to encourage and support. It is DCoGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shared vision to develop partnerships, social cohesion and community mobilisation through education platforms such as this. Let us work together to protect our natural resources for the sake of all South Africans and the rest of the world.

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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PROFILE

Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd. Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd is a joint venture between Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC) and Protea Chemicals a company of the Omnia group. Nalco Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg (Gauteng, South Africa) and is a provider of chemical and equipment solutions optimising natural resources and driving prosperity through unrivalled engineered and sustainable solutions. Nalco Africa is divided in three divisions: 1) Water & Process Services; 2) Mining Services and 3) Energy Services Downstream. Our sales & marketing team serves a wide variety of industries such as food & beverage, medium and light manufacturing, chemicals, steel, mining and mineral processing, petrochemicals, refining, automotive, power generation and pulp and paper in process and water applications. Our services provide integrated solutions that improve customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; products and positively impact their operations through greater asset reliability, decreased total cost of operation (TCO), improved operating and production efficiencies and minimised environmental, health and safety concerns.

Nalco Company

Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC), with global corporate and research headquarters in Naperville, Illinois (USA), provides essential expertise for water, energy and air â&#x20AC;&#x201D; delivering significant environmental, social and economic performance benefits to our customers. Nalco helps customers reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, enhance air quality, minimize environmental releases and improve productivity and end products while boosting their bottom line. Together our comprehensive solutions contribute to the sustainable development of customer operations. Nalco is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and is one of the world leaders in water treatment and process improvement applications providing services, chemicals and equipment solutions. In 2009, Nalco sales reached $3.7 billion of which $1,662 million from Water Services, $666 million for Paper Services and $1,418 million from Energy Services. More than 11,500 Nalco employees work at more than 50,000 customer locations, in more than 150 countries supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centres to serve a broad range of end markets.

Our Vision

We aim to achieve long-term partnership with our customers while enhancing the lives of our stakeholders (employees, communities, shareholders and customers) and protecting our planet

Our Mission Our mission is to lead the industry in creating value for customers and Nalco through differentiated services and technologies that save water and energy, enhance production and improve air quality while reducing total costs of operation.


fFORWARD orE ward

FORWARD

The EnvironmentalGOODS Goods and EnvironmEntal goods ENVIRONMENTAL AND Services Forum of South Africa and sErvicEs SERVICES FORUM forum OF SOUTH (EGSF) of south africa – AFRICA

an Initiative of the department of Trade In South Africa -and as in Industry many other countries, oil is our number

one import. However, it is a grudge purchase. More than 90% of While immensely in just about every other natural Moving up inwealthy the world is an ambition not just for the world’s is dependent on it. continents. People, individuals, but nations andbiodiversity entire resource – transport including minerals, and renewable food and commodities come from far and move into and

energy – South Africa is a water-scarce country.

planet’s growing cities. Untilbetween 2000, oilthe prices onlymany exceeded $24 per barrel in times of war or conflict in the Middle East. Today the price is $80, after Freight transport enables global trade, while mobility, To deal with this challenge we have built more damscrisis. for a $140 spike in 2008, preceding the global economic including both the passenger transport and communication The number poor (people and countries) especially exposed to in the the of people than almost any other country industries , enables humans toare interconnect beyond their home villages. impact of oil priceand increases. the world. Lives livelihoods depend on the availability

and However, quality ofinwater in these dams and the rivers that feed an age of increasing scarcity, we have no

When factors like oil spills and oil wars, Peak Oil, climate change, gas flaring, congestion and road deaths are and added to the mix, reliant on a single, geographically limited increasingly dams, and wetlands aremobility deteriorating to world. factors – oil – than any othertosector inbeyond the therefinite isrivers a resource clear imperative for movedue a 100It is also the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas like pollution, silting and eutrophication. year tradition of oil-burning “horseless carriages”. choice to change way we Transport is more them. It isbut therefore of the concern tomove. all South Africans that

emissions globally.

Peet du Plooy, Chairperson Chairperson EGSF EGSF South South Africa. Africa

At mixed the time of theamid 1970s energy crisis, wasand the world’s Rising prices the increasingly convincing specter A record in managing waterSweden wastage water of Peak Oil and Oil Wars, give most nations on Earth a

most oil-dependent industrialized nation. Since then the treatment works, along with emerging threats like climate compelling reason to move away from oil as the fuel on

country has reduced its oil dependence from 77% to 32% of its energy supply. It plans to beemissions an oil-freeand society by 2020. reasons, high lifecycle impact on water

which their trade depends. For compelling change and acid mine drainage makes it environmental imperative for

South Africa to act with urgency to secure the future of its using oil shales, coal or first-generation biofuels based on

people and consumption economy through the astute management mono-cropping make fuels,isare notof The industrial energy per to person inliquid New York a quarter

viable alternatives either. largely due to the fact that the city that of the USA as a whole, its blue gold – water.

is compact and serviced by amore well-integrated The world needs to move efficiently: bypublic rail andtransport mass network. transit and by swopping the wasteful internal combustion

The Environmental Goods and Services Forum of South engine for high efficiency electric motors, batteries and

Africa fuel(EGSF) cells. promotes the sharing of information and

Beyond challenging the nature, efficiency and equity of cities

knowledge the sustainability sector in order to assist the and transportininfrastructure, the sustainable mobility revolution We need to plug our wind turbines and solar panels into

promotion environmentally responsible actions. also our offers exciting opportunity for like cars of and busses, making them partinnovation, of a smarter grid. smart, We already energy-powered have thousands ofvehicles electric and vehicles: renewable smarttrains, trafficforklifts, systems. heavy-duty mining trucks, elevators and escalators.

We welcome the second volume of the Water Resource

The InSustainable Mobility a secure of the process we mightHandbook reinvent theoffers past to thethe Handbook and encourage decision-makers inview the water economic thatwere can be found amidst the necessity future. opportunity In 1900, there more electric vehicles than internal combustion engined cars caters around of transforming transport in a way that for to thesecure evolving theoffuture. needs our People and Planet.

sector to make use of it.

The Environmental Goods and Services Forum of South

The Africa Environmental Services Forum of and South regards theGoods conceptand of sustainable transport mobility to beand fundamentally important for South Africa’s Africa welcomes endorses this valuable addition to the successfulHandbook development and fully endorses this handbook. Sustainability series. SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2 9 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY HANDBOOK 9 THETHE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY HANDBOOK

7


CREDITS PAGE

The The Sustainable The Handbook

Green Building Green Building Water Resource Handbook Green Building South Africa Handbook The

Sales Manager Tuffy Shayawabaya

Chief Executive HEAD OF SALES Lloyd Macfarlane HEAD SALES Annie OF Pieters Pieters HEAD Annie OF SALES Directors Volume 2 Annie Pieters ADVERTISING SALES Editor GordonADVERTISING Brown EDITOR SALESKulp, James Benns, Andre Evans, Glenda Dr. William Harding EDITOR Andrew Fehrsen Llewellyn van Wyk Andre Evans, Glenda Kulp,Rae, James Benns, ADVERTISING SALES Joseph de Villiers, Louna Llewellyn van Wyk EDITOR Lloyd Joseph de Villiers, Louna Rae, AndreMacfarlane Evans, Glenda Kulp, James Benns,Pheiffer Muqmeena Rodriques, Siobhan CONTRIBUTORS Llewellyn van Wyk Contributors Rodriques, JosephMuqmeena de Villiers, Louna Rae, Siobhan Pheiffer CONTRIBUTORS Al Stradford, Dr. Andre de Villiers, Chris Brooker, David Kaufmann, Bruce Kania, Dr.Dr.Chris Dickens, Mr. LeoBrooker, Quayle,David Prof.Kaufmann, Anthony Principal forRodriques, Africa & Mauritiius Muqmeena Siobhan Pheiffer Al Andre de Villiers, Dr.Stradford, Dirk Conradie, Dorothy Brislin,Chris Dr. Graham Grieve, Graham Young, CHIEF EXECUTIVE CONTRIBUTORS Turton, Dr.Dr. Nicola Rodda, Dr.Ittman, Mark Dent, Stephen Mitchell, Dr. Tim GordonCHIEF BrownMacfarlane Dr. Conradie, Brislin, Dr. r.Graham Grieve, Young, EXECUTIVE Dr. Dirk Gwen Theron, Hans Hans Scheff erlie, HansGraham Wegelin, Al Stradford, Andre deDorothy Villiers, Chris Brooker, David Kaufmann, Lloyd Ms.Theron, Bettina Genthe, Dr. Irene Barnhoorn Gwen Hans Ittman, Hans Scheff erlie, Hans Wegelin, Dr. Hennie de Clercq, Jason Buch, Johan Bothma, Macfarlane Dr. Downing, DirkDr. Conradie, Dorothy Brislin, Dr. Graham Grieve, Graham Young, CHIEF Lloyd EXECUTIVE Dr. Hennie de Clercq, Jason Buch, Johan Bothma, Luke Osburn, Miranda Kolev, Naalamkai Dr. Gwen Theron, Hans Ittman, Hans Scheff erlie,Ampofo-Anti, Hans Wegelin, Principal for United States Lloyd Macfarlane DIRECTORS Luke Osburn, Miranda Kolev, Naalamkai Ampofo-Anti, Santie Dr. Sidney Dr. Tony Paterson Dr. Peer Hennie de Gouws, Clercq, Jason Buch,Parsons, Johan Bothma, Reviewer DIRECTORS James Smith Gordon Brown Santie Gouws, Sidney Parsons,Ampofo-Anti, Dr. Tony Paterson Luke MirandaDr. Kolev, Naalamkai DrOsburn, Jeff Thornton Gordon DIRECTORS AndrewBrown Fehrsen LAYOUTDr.&Sidney DESIGN Santie Gouws, Parsons, Dr. Tony Paterson Andrew Fehrsen Gordon Brown LAYOUT & DESIGN Lloyd Macfarlane Rashied Rahbeeni Lloyd Macfarlane Andrew Fehrsen Layout & Design Rashied Rahbeeni LAYOUT & DESIGN Lloyd Macfarlane SUB-EDITOR Celeste Yates Rashied Rahbeeni PRINCIPAL FOR AFRICA & MAURITIUS SUB-EDITOR Trisha Bam PRINCIPAL FOR AFRICA & MAURITIUS Gordon Brown Trisha Bam SUB-EDITOR Gordon Brown PRINCIPAL FOR AFRICA & MAURITIUS Sub-editor MARKETING MANAGER Trisha Bam GordonPRINCIPAL Brown FOR UNITED STATES Trisha Bam Macfarlane MARKETING MANAGER Cara-Dee PRINCIPAL James SmithFOR UNITED STATES Cara-Dee Macfarlane MARKETING MANAGER James Smith PRINCIPAL FOR UNITED STATES MARKETING ASSISTANT Editorial and Brand Manager Cara-Dee Macfarlane James Smith MARKETING Anri Tredoux Cara-Dee CarlsteinASSISTANT PUBLISHER Anri Tredoux MARKETING ASSISTANT PUBLISHER GENERAL MANAGER Anri Tredoux PUBLISHER Divisional GENERAL MANAGER Suraya Manager Manuel Cara-Dee Carlstein Suraya Manuel GENERAL MANAGER & ADMINISTRATION Suraya ACCOUNTS Manuel ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Wadoeda Accounts andBrenner Administration www.alive2green.com Wadoeda Brenner Ursula& Thomas ACCOUNTS ADMINISTRATION Wadoeda Brenner www.alive2green.com Ursula Thomas Rashieda Cornelius www.greenbuilding.co.za Wadoeda Brenner Chantall Okkers www.alive2green.com www.alive2green.com Rashieda Cornelius www.greenbuilding.co.za Ursula Thomas Rashieda Cornelius www.greenbuilding.co.za

Handbook The Essential Guide

South Africa Volume South2 Africa

TheSouth EssentialAfrica Guide The Essential Guide Volume 2 Volume 2 Guide The Essential

www.waterresource.co.za

The Sustainability Series The Sustainability Series Of Handbooks Of Handbooks The Sustainability Series Of Handbooks PHYSICAL ADDRESS: ISBN No: 978 0 620 45065 2. Volume 2 first Published January 2011 INTERNATIONAL Suite 207, Building 20 ENQUIRIES ISBN No: 978 0 620 45240 3. Volume 2 first Published January 2010. FRANCHISE PHYSICAL ADDRESS: DISTRIBUTION AND Waverley Business Park AllISBN rights reserved. No45240 part of3.of this publication may bebe reproduced or international@alive2green.com COPY SALES ENQUIRIES No: 978 0 620 Volume 2 first Published January 2010. PHYSICAL ADDRESS: DISTRIBUTION AND All rights reserved. No part this publication may reproduced Suite 207, Building 20 distribution@alive2green.com COPY SALES ENQUIRIES All rights reserved. part of2form this may be reproduced Suite 207, Building 20 1 Kotzee Road transmitted in 45240 anyin way or in any without theJanuary priorthe written consent or978 transmitted any way or in form without prior written Waverley Business Park ISBN No: 0 620 3.No Volume fiany rstpublication Published 2010. PHYSICAL ADDRESS: DISTRIBUTION AND distribution@alive2green.com transmitted in any way or inexpressed any form without the prior written Waverley Business Park All rights Mowbray ENQUIRIES of or the publisher. The opinions herein are not necessarily COPYADVERTISING SALES ENQUIRIES consent of No thepart publisher. opinions expressed herein are 1 Kotzee reserved. of this The publication may be reproduced Suite 207, BuildingRoad 20 INTERNATIONAL consent ofany the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are distribution@alive2green.com 1Mowbray Kotzee Cape TownRoad those the Publisher Editor. Allor editorial are sales@alive2green.com not of necessarily those ofany the Publisher the All editorial or transmitted in way or inor form without the Editor. priorcontributions written Waverley Business Park FRANCHISE ENQUIRIES INTERNATIONAL not necessarily those of the Publisher the Editor. All editorial Mowbray South Africa accepted on the are understanding theorcontributor either contributions accepted onthat the understanding theowns or Cape Town consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein arethat 1 Kotzee Road international@alive2green.com FRANCHISE ENQUIRIES INTERNATIONAL arethe accepted onor the understanding that copyrights the Cape contributor owns or has obtained all All necessary 7705 hascontributions obtained alleither necessary copyrights and permissions. CPD ENQUIRIES SouthTown Africa international@alive2green.com not necessarily those of Publisher the Editor. editorial Mowbray FRANCHISE ENQUIRIES ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES contributor either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights South Africa and permissions. 7705 cpd@alive2green.com contributions are accepted on the understanding that the Cape Town international@alive2green.com sales@alive2green.com ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES and either permissions. 7705 021 447 4733 IMAGES ANDowns DIAGRAMS: contributor or has obtained all necessary copyrights SouthTEL: Africa sales@alive2green.com ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES IMAGES AND DIAGRAMS: TEL: 021 447 4733 and permissions. 086 6947443 Space limitations and source format have affected the size of certain 7705 FAX: PAPER CPD ENQUIRIES sales@alive2green.com IMAGES AND DIAGRAMS: TEL: 447 4733 Space limitations and source format have affected the of PDF FAX:021 086 6947443 Website: www.alive2green.com published images and/or diagrams in this publication. Forsize larger cpd@alive2green.com CPD ENQUIRIES Space limitations and source format have aff ected the size of FAX: 086 6947443 certain published images and/or diagrams in this publication. For Website: www.alive2green.com IMAGES ANDof DIAGRAMS: TEL: 021 447 4733 Company registration Number: versions these images please contact the Publisher. cpd@alive2green.com CPD ENQUIRIES certain published images and/or in this For Website: larger PDF versions offormat these images contact the Publisher. Company registration Number: PAPER PRINTER Space limitations and source havediagrams affplease ected the sizepublication. of FAX: 086 6947443www.alive2green.com 2006/206388/23 cpd@alive2green.com larger PDFimages versions of these images please contact theFor Publisher. PRINTER PAPER PRINTER 2006/206388/23 certain published diagrams in this publication. Website: www.alive2green.com VatCompany Number:registration 4130252432Number: DISTRIBUTION ANDand/or COPY SALES ENQUIRIES 2006/206388/23 Vatregistration Number: 4130252432 PDF versions of these images please contact the Publisher. Company Number: largerdistribution@alive2green.com PAPER PRINTER Vat Number: 4130252432 2006/206388/23 Vat Number: 4130252432 alive2green is a member of the following organisations: alive2green is a member of the following organisations: alive2green is a member of the following organisations:

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10 10 10

THE GREEN BUILDING HANDBOOK THEGREEN SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2 THE BUILDING HANDBOOK THE GREEN BUILDING HANDBOOK


EDITORS NOTE

EDITOR’S NOTE Water is Life. Without sufficient water of good quality, our socio-economic future will become extremely dire. The aspect of water quality has long been overlooked in favour of quantity, yet a massive proportion of our stored water is already problematical. This volume of the handbook addresses water quality and the major factors that threaten it in South Africa. This is a critical and necessary debate not only for the people of South Africa, who will continue to depend on safe water for drinking and sanitation, but also for the continued economic growth of the country. Debates

Dr. William (Bill) Harding

on water quality issues are conspicuous by their absence at water and energy-related forums. There are alternative energy sources, there are no alternatives for water! This edition of the Sustainable Water Resource Handbook focuses on the threats to water stored in our nations dams. These storages receive negligible attention in terms of their management as artificial lakes. For too long they have been perceived simply as “tanks” of water. As is evident around the world, this lack of attention is a can of worms that is now being opened! It is hoped that the material contained in this volume will empower more people to understand the problems and their causes.

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Contents 16

Chapter One

Dams and the Water Crisis Dr. William (Bill) Harding

26

Chapter Two

The Importance Of Dams As Multifunctional & Multiuse Ecosystems Prof. Anthony Turton

36

Chapter Three

Eutrophication Threats To Surface Water Quality In South Africa Dr. William (Bill) Harding

48

Chapter Four

Managing Greywater In South Africa Dr. Nicola Rodda

68

Chapter Five

Phosphate-Free Detergents Dr. Chris Dickens and Mr. Leo Quayle

82

Chapter Six

Emerging Pollutants Ms. Bettina Genthe and Dr. Irene Barnhoorn

96

Chapter Seven

Cyanobacteria Dr. Tim Downing

112

Chapter Eight

Institutional Responses To Eutrophication Dr. Mark Dent

130

Chapter Nine

An Overview of Floating Treatment Wetlands Bruce Kania

144

Chapter Ten The Way Forward Dr. Stephen Mitchell

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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The Sustainability Series: The

Transport &for Mobility Handbooks Environmental Stakeholders Sustainable

Handbook

South Africa Volume 2

The Essential Guide

The

Sustainable

Water Resource Handbook

South Africa 2009/10

The Essential Guide The Sustainable The

Sustainable & Mobility Transport Handbook Energy Resource South Africa Volume 2

More than fifty thousand people in South Africa will read at least one of the Handbooks in the ‘Sustainability Series’ this year. The 5 Handbooks in the series are published by alive2green in a high quality A5 format and are available for purchase online at www.alive2green.com/handbooks.

Handbook

The Guide SouthEssential Africa Volume 1

The Essential Guide The

Waste Revolution The Handbook South Africa Volume 1 Sustainable

The GuideResource to Water Waste Revolution Handbook

Sustainable Management The Guide to Waste South Africa 2009/10 Sustainable WasteGuide Management The Essential South Africa Volume 1

The

Sustainable The

EnergyBuilding Resource Green The Handbook Handbook Sustainable SouthAfrica Africa Volume 1 South

Transport &Guide Mobility The TheEssential Essential Guide Handbook Volume 3

South Africa Volume 2

The Essential Guide

Waste Revolution

The The Guide to Sustainable Waste Management Sustainable South Africa Volume 1

Water Resource

The

Handbook Sustainable South Africa 2009/10

Transport & Guide Mobility The Essential Handbook The

South Africa Volume 2

Green Building The Essential Guide Handbook The Africa South

Sustainable The Essential Guide

Energy Resource

Volume 3

The

Handbook Sustainable South Africa Volume 1

Water Resource The Essential Guide

The Sustainability Series Handbooks tackle the key areas within the broader context of sustainability and include contributions from South Africa’s best academics and researchers. The Handbooks are designed for government and business decision makers and are produced in Volume format. Each new Volume builds on the previous Volume without replacing it. The Sustainable Transport and Mobility Handbook and the Green Building Handbook deal with two sectors that are the largest contributors to greenhouse gasses. The Water and Energy Handbooks tackle the issues and solutions that South African’s face with two of our most important resources and finally the Waste Handbook deals with the principles concerned with waste minimisation and ultimately waste eradication.

Handbook

South Africa 2009/10

The Essential Guide

Waste Revolution

The Guide to The Sustainable Waste Management Sustainable

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The Handbooks also profile some of the top companies and organisations that are represented in each important sector.

Green Building Handbook South Africa

The Essential Guide Waste Revolution Sustainability Series Handbooks are also used as text books Volume 3 The Guide to for the alive2green eLearning Modules. Please consult Sustainable Waste Management South Africa Volume 1 www.alive2green.com/education for further information. Handbooks and eLearning Modules in some instances validated for CPD The Category 3 and/or Credits via SACAP Green1 Building

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improve performance, and provide credibility.

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the green building hAndbOOK

13


CHAPTER 01: DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS

16

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2


CHAPTER 01: DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS

DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS Dr. Bill Harding

INTRODUCTION South Africans will (or certainly should) be aware that our country is not blessed with abundant rainfall – in fact, quite the opposite. Ours is generally an arid climate – with an average rainfall of only 450mm per year – compared with the global average of 860mm per annum. The little rainfall we do get is unevenly distributed and evaporation removes a considerable amount of stored water back to the atmosphere. Without substantial supplies of underground water, we rely very heavily on water that is stored in dams. Our reliance on stored water is rendered increasingly critical by population growth and industrial expansion, and water resources are dwindling per capita of population. At the same time, pressure on many dams, especially those in the economic heartland of the country (Gauteng), is increasing, with a considerable portion of their inflows being comprised of wastewater effluents and polluted urban run-off. Water deficits are common in 10 of the 19 Water Management Areas since the year 2000. The Department of Water Affairs and Environment (DWAE) manages some 586 large dams, of which 320 are considered to be major dams each holding more than 1 million m3 of water. These dams store a combined 32 billion m3, equivalent to 65% of South Africa’s annual run-off. From this storage, irrigation uses 62%, urban and domestic use equals 27% and mining, industry and power generation absorb a further 8%. Commercial forestry utilises the remaining 3%. Interestingly, the National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS) makes no mention is made of the original 10% commitment for environmental use. Insofar as water quality is concerned, 31 dams, or 24% of the total storage, have reduced water quality as a result of elevated nutrient levels – largely derived from sewage effluents. In these waters there is a significant risk of potentially-toxic algal blooms occurring. A further 45 dams are on the brink of becoming similarly problematic. Hence, a total of 20 billion litres, or 62% of the water that can be stored in a single annual cycle, is negatively impacted by what is known as eutrophication! Since not all of the 586 dams have been surveyed, the numbers, in fact, may be somewhat higher.

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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CHAPTER 01: DAMS AND THE WATER CRISIS

Dams are, in reality, man-made or artificial lakes. While natural lakes form robust natural ecosystems, dams are semi-natural at best. Both types are prone to pollution and other pressures arising from man’s development of catchment areas, with dams being generally more sensitive and less resilient. Ensuring the healthy functioning of both natural and artificial lakes requires that deliberate lake management practices be applied. The South African National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS, 2004) recognises that “water resource management supports the provision of potable water to all people”, that “water is central to the economy”. Our Constitution enshrines the right to “an environment that is not harmful to life or wellbeing”, while the NWRS further observes that “the deterioration of the quality of surface water resources is one of the major threats to South Africa’s capability to provide sufficient water of appropriate quality to meet its needs and to ensure environmental sustainability”. In this situation, the obvious conclusion, surely, would be to ensure that both the quality and quantity of the water in our dams is managed in an optimal manner. Evidence suggests that South Africa is deficient in this role, with the quality of some 35% of the storable volume already severely impaired – and nearly all of this in the economic heartland. Water quality, in fact, is poorest in the areas with the lowest run-off and highest contribution to GDP! Insidious and sinister changes are appearing in some dams, completely unnoticed by routine monitoring programmes. How should dams be managed? Lake and reservoir (dams) management is a component of the freshwater aquatic sciences – also known as limnology. Aquatic sciences encompass rivers, wetlands and dams. Scientific attention to lakes and dams became increasingly relevant post-World War II, as global populations and industrial expansion placed increasing pressure on water supplies. This led to the problem of eutrophication, ie, the pollution of surface waters with nutrients, resulting in the excessive and unwanted growths of plants and algae. From the above it may be reasonably assumed that South Africa would possess a cohesive, welldeveloped and academically-supported national programme for reservoir management. It will come as a shock to learn that South Africa has no such programme, none of our academic institutions teach limnology as a career subject and the Department of Water Affairs, custodian of our water resources, has no Directorate of Reservoir Management that coordinates appropriate management of our dams. Curiously, the National Aquatic Ecosystem Health Monitoring Programme does not mention the word ‘dams’! Recent months have seen many reports referring to the so-called ‘Water Crisis’ - not least mentioning the extreme levels of pollution that exist in most Gauteng dams. So, what is the condition of South African aquatic sciences (limnology)? “South African limnology is in disarray. It is poorly-funded, failing to address certain important environmental problems, lacks a

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cohesive sense of direction and its potential contributions to effective water resource management are grossly underrated”. This statement is, in several ways, almost as true now in 2010 as it was back in 1989 when it was first made by one of the world’s eminent limnologists, the late Dr Bill Williams. He continued, “Additionally, many of its [South Africa’s] practitioners are dispirited and disillusioned, there has been significant attrition from their ranks, and few young South Africans regard limnology as a secure and attractive career. All of this might be comprehensible in a country with plentiful water of good quality; for this to be the case in a country wherein water is a basic resource and is in short supply, faced with demographic problems of the magnitude prevailing, seems incomprehensible”. The Williams Report was commissioned by the then Foundation for Research and Development (FRD), a unit that existed within the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It was compiled at the time when the FRD was terminating its Inland Waters Ecosystem (IWE) research programme, which encompassed a number of projects spanning all aspects of aquatic sciences. The report was the culmination of interviews with 58 scientists – then and since South Africa’s single largest group of limnologists and/or scientists active in this field. Less than 10 of the original group are still active in aquatic science in South Africa – there are only four with a day-to-day career involvement in this field. The Williams Report was never disclosed, although the findings were circulated to the aforementioned group. Curiously and inexplicably, given the presumed understanding of the importance of limnology to a country such as South Africa, the FRD considered that “it would be counterproductive to enter into open debate on the issues raised by the evaluation”, yet noted that “the future of limnology activity [is] of concern”. Why was this allowed to happen? At best, the lack of a concerted – or indeed any – response to the findings by the then limnological fraternity is without doubt a damning indictment of inaction. At worst, all sorts of possible ulterior motives may be considered – ranging from the elimination of competitors to ensuring security of research funding. Moreover, during the late 1980s the very nature of South African governance was changing – perhaps with very short-sighted awareness of the implications for science in this country. The logical question is: “What is the status of South African aquatic sciences now – 21 years later? How many publications have emerged during the past 20 years? How many career graduates have been produced, how many young scientists have jobs and what is the level of funding and the associated funding trends?”.

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Human and economic investment in South African limnology experienced a significant decline towards the end of the 1980s – especially with respect to attention to the science and management of reservoir lakes (dams). This was, in part, underpinned by inaction on the part of the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and this department’s perception that eutrophication was not a priority issue. The emergence of the Williams Report, however, suggests that, in the absence of clear guidance from the scientific community, the DWA could reasonably assume that there was no cause for concern. A review of North American (and probably European) literature of the time might have suggested that eutrophication was considered, ill-advisedly, to be ‘resolved’ as a result of legislative initiatives and engineering solutions applied to municipal wastewater treatment. Emphasis was shifting to more exotic contaminants and nonpoint sources. In fact, the DWA’s own website contains a decade-old treatise on eutrophication policy which clearly illustrates the level of threat. Other reports, also kept confidential, ignored the overwhelming impact of sewage-derived phosphorus on surface waters and, instead, suggested that nitrogen might play a greater role in South African eutrophication. While this may be partially true, it diverted the focus from phosphorus and ignored the sheer practicality of being able to manage it, something not nearly so easily achieved with nitrogen. During the 1990s, the bulk of applied lake management, research and monitoring was carried by the larger municipalities and Water Boards – generating a wealth of unpublished reservoir-lake data. The bulk of this work was born of self-preservation and the need, in the absence of nationally-funded, basic monitoring and research support, to understand and manage the nature of the water resources being treated and supplied to consumers. The need for effective early-warning protocols for cyanobacterial blooms is a case in point. Regrettably, most of this knowledge base remains inaccessible as internal documents and databases. In the absence of a concerted and motivated need, negligible funding has been made available for reservoir studies since 1990. An examination of Water Research Commission projects shows that approximately R10 million has been spent on six projects, this being both a fraction of the Commission’s budget and that applied to river and wetland science. The National Research Foundation, successor to the FRD, has not funded any lake-limnology projects during the same period, while universities, with minor exceptions, have focused on studies of river ecology and, only recently, wetland science, despite the fundamental reliance of the economy and all South Africans on dams as the basis of their water supplies. The disbandment of government-sponsored aquatic science, coupled to the South African revolution and redress of apartheid, resulted in another, negative phenomenon. As a result of affirmative action, many scientists were forced to move into consulting roles. This not only separated them from the collegiate atmosphere provided by research units such as the NIWR, but also from funding – especially 20

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funding for basic research. Traditional funding agencies generally direct capital funding only into tertiary organisations or local authorities, precluding individuals from acquiring basic, yet expensive, equipment such as microscopes. The ability to travel and attend conferences and symposia, similarly, was limited for consultants not employed by large firms or engineering companies. Lastly, in the private sector, the individual’s focus has been on income security and there are few opportunities for consultants to find the time to undertake research and publish their findings. The disarray in South African aquatic sciences mentioned by Williams appears to persist as an identity crisis. Despite this country having many river scientists, they were conspicuous by their absence at the world’s premier limnology gathering, SIL, held in Cape Town last August! One can only speculate as to why they do not see themselves as part of the wider limnological fraternity – perhaps this is why aquatic sciences are so fragmented in this country? South African aquatic science reached its all-time high during the 1980s, with this and prior research detailed in a monograph entitled The Inland Waters of Southern Africa: An Ecological Perspective. Subsequently, reservoir management became both the ‘Cinderella’ of aquatic science in South Africa – the science upon which everyone depends, but no-one explicitly recognises – as well as the ‘Cassandra’ of environmental management, as no one heard the dire warnings of threats to our water resources. While there has been some recent funding for detailed, functional examinations of impoundment foodwebs and the use of stable isotope analysis to track both nutrient and pollutant movement through aquatic ecosystems, the findings of these efforts have been slow to add value to the management of freshwaters in this country, despite the DWA (post-2000) rendering its National Eutrophication Monitoring Programme more encompassing. Parallel developments have seen renewed attention to wetlands, continuing the national wetland programme that was managed under the former FRD. Direct (DWA) attention to Reservoir Management (limnology sensu strictu) remains unheeded – and the words dam, reservoir lake or impoundment do not appear anywhere in the National Aquatic Ecosystem Health Programme! So, what should have been done? The management of aquatic ecosystems requires an understanding of two separate issues: firstly, the nature and degree of long-term changes in water quality and, secondly, the nature and degree of natural changes in these same factors, as opposed to human-induced climatic alterations. Both can exert profound changes – with natural impacts causing alterations at least as profound as those brought about by man. However, the magnitude of anthropogenic change is significant, increasing and, as recognised by the United Nations Millenium Assessment, a major threat to marine and freshwaters worldwide. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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All of this was known back in the 1980s –the aspect of human-induced climate change figured prominently in a 1988 report on southern Africa’s renewable natural resources. In his 1989 assessment, Bill Williams suggested a number of issues that he considered supportive of the robust development of limnology in South Africa. Many of these are as relevant now as they were then and are highlighted below, together with this author’s comments: • Increase dialogue between limnologists and engineers, hydrologists and water-user agencies. This has been achieved to a substantial degree, but only insofar as river ecology has been concerned. Attention to the need to be able to determine implementable Environmental Flow Requirements has underpinned a commendable, long-term example of how scientists, engineers and managers can interact. • Involve limnologists in the early planning stages of water resource management schemes. This also has occurred widely in the realm of river biology. However, the construction of new dams, for example, has not seen the involvement of lake biologists. • Commence relevant, long-term monitoring of key environments. Knowledge of the threat of human-induced climate change has been around for 30 years. Two key approaches are fundamental to understanding climate change and disaggregating climatic influence from that of man. These are the careful interpretation of long-term data sets and, secondly, the use of paleolimnological assessments. A number of long-term, aquatics-related datasets exists in South Africa but, regrettably, no effort has been made to combine and synthesise them. These include two major studies on the role of climate in mountain fynbos and the role of climate in coastal forest systems. Paleolimnology, using bioindicators such as diatoms – which are preserved in sediments over centuries, has the potential to define the nature of aquatic systems during periods of drought and flood pre-human influence, ie, to accurately define reference conditions. Although now a prominent tool elsewhere, the value of this approach has not yet been recognised in South Africa. • Consider changes to the Water Act that more comprehensively address environmental concerns. The new South Africa saw a complete re-write of the Water Act to align it with social, environmental and economic issues but, centrally, lacks an an advocate such as an Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the DWA and other government structures meet their obligations. • Consolidate and rationalize limnological expertise. Regrettably this has not occurred, at least not in a formal sense. The national professional body, the Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists, has devolved from a broad-based group to one dominated by river ecologists. Further, South Africa has a mere 16 members of the International Limnological Society (SIL) – of which only three are actively involved in work on dams. Somewhat worryingly, many of the same people who advised the regulator during the development of the Water Crisis are still providing this role. There appears to be resistance to the inclusion of new ideas and thinking – which can only be counterproductive. 22

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• Raise the environmental consciousness of all groups of the South African community. No efforts have been directed towards dams in this regard. • Consider the formation of a post-graduate school of water resource management (inclusive of limnological training). An inclusive training programme, linked to a tertiary institution, was offered by a group of South African limnologists to the DWA in 2005 and again during 2010 – but continues to be declined. • Support on a secure funding basis, several regional field stations (the lake stations, all on natural coastal lakes – none on ‘dams’, have fallen into disrepair and there is not a single river laboratory anywhere). The lack of aquatic biology research stations in South Africa has long been deplored – and goes hand-in-hand with the need for long-term research projects on key ecosystems. • Recognise more fully the contributions that can be made by institutions other than universities. Williams recognised this vital need back in 1989 and the situation has not changed. In fact, it is likely that a lot of very valuable information, in the so-called ‘grey literature’ of internal reports and documents, already may have been irretrievably lost. Indeed, considerable efforts have been made in many countries to empower citizen science, through volunteer environmental monitoring programmes and similar efforts to increase both awareness of and participation in environmental science by citizens, schools, and civic organisations. The ability to attract young biological scientists to the field of limnology, especially reservoir limnology, is a major constraint to progress. As long as the subject does not form part of any nationally-recognized need, no training or career opportunities will open up. Limnology is not a ‘sexy’ science. Unlike chemistry and microbiology, where funds and publication opportunities abound, lake biologists do not become financially-rich but certainly have a unique opportunity for a ‘rich’ life. Convincing newcomers is the difficult part! Ultimately there needs to be an admission by the Department of Water Affairs that there is a problem. To date, they have been loathe to make any such admission and until they do progress will be difficult. All the while the situation continues to get worse.

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Tugela River in the grassland region of the Natal Drakensberg.

Nedbank’s 20-year water journey

The The colour colour of of water water

Green is not a look or a colour, it is a culture: it is about understanding our impact on our planet and changing the way we approach life. Nedbank is the green bank. Twenty years ago Nedbank foresaw the critical future of water and the natural environment in South Africa. Working for Water Identifying the need for immediate action, The Green Trust funded the appointment of a specialist water adviser to the Minister of Water Affairs. This led directly to the establishment of the Working for Water Programme. Since its inception in 1995, the programme has cleared more than one million hectares of invasive alien plants, providing jobs and training for over 20 000 people from the most marginalised sectors of society. Of these, 52% are women. Working for Water currently runs over 300 projects in South Africa’s nine provinces.

The Enkangala Grasslands Project Eight years ago The Green Trust started funding the Enkangala Grasslands Project. Grasslands are irreplaceable water catchment, purification and storage areas that ensure good, clean water is slowly released throughout the year.

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One of the main aims of this project is to conserve a priority water catchment region for South Africa, spanning 1,6 million hectares of threatened, high-altitude grasslands between KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State. This region includes the headwaters of the Tugela, Pongola, Usutu and Vaal Rivers, providing water for the whole of Gauteng, as well as to the major power stations in the region (which provide most of South Africa’s power).

Kouga River Valley Rehabilitation Project This Green Trust-supported project, in collaboration with programmes such as Working for Water, is tackling the enormous problem of alien infestation of South Africa’s river systems. For the past three years the project team has been working on a riparian rehabilitation project along several kilometres of a tributary of the Kouga River in the Eastern Cape. The team is pioneering systems that successfully reintroduce indigenous vegetation after alien clearing. This will inform the national policy for public works projects throughout our country’s river systems.

Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) In the foothills of the Drakensberg lies a myriad of valley wetlands in the Sand River Catchment. In these wetlands over 100 subsistence farmers from the Craigieburn community have planted

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vegetable crops: madumbis, wild spinach, mealies, bananas, groundnuts and pumpkins. For several years AWARD has been helping these farmers (mostly elderly women) to adopt environmentally sustainable farming practices. One of The Green Trust’s cornerstone principles is to integrate environmental conservation with poverty alleviation and community upliftment.

Nedbank is carbon-neutral In 2010 Nedbank achieved carbon neutrality – the only financial institution in Africa to have done so. Water is one of four key focus areas for Nedbank to achieve carbon neutrality. Nedbank CEO, Mike Brown, has proactively steered the carbon neutrality drive, which requires all staffmembers to collaborate in meeting strict reduction targets for water, energy, paper, and carbon emissions. As the green bank, Nedbank is tracking each and every kilolitre used. In 2009, one year ahead of schedule, Nedbank achieved the target it set of 5% reduction in water consumption by the end of 2010. As a result, Nedbank has set higher water reduction targets, namely a 12% reduction on 2009’s figure by the end of 2011. ‘Nedbank is on a journey to achieve water neutrality and one of the steps in this exercise is to ensure that we minimise our annual consumption. We are also working on offsetting our usage by supporting key water conservation projects throughout South Africa,’ explains Howard Rauff, Head of Portfolio and Facilities Management at Nedbank. In view of achieving the abovementioned targets, Nedbank has introduced several water-saving initiatives, including heightened awareness around sorting out general water leaks, a water-wise awareness campaign to educate all

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staffmembers not to waste water, installing dualflush toilet systems and turning off the hot water to the washbasins. Nedbank has also introduced a waterless car wash system on its campus sites. During 2011 additional initiatives will be introduced to Nedbank’s campus sites, including rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals and the installation of ‘energy star’ dishwashers in its canteens and dining areas, which use up to 40% less water than standard machines. All major air-conditioning equipment due for an upgrade will be changed to water-efficient systems. The new Nedbank campus sites – 135 Rivonia Road Phase 2 in Sandton and Ridgeside in Umhlanga – are Green Star-rated buildings with low water usage. An exceptional new green facility is the black water treatment system at Nedbank’s Phase 2 headoffice building at 135 Rivonia Road. All water used in this building is recycled through a plant in the basement and reused for non-potable water purposes, including toilets and cooling towers, and to irrigate the indigenous campus garden. This saves up to 120 kl of water per day.

20-year headstart In 1990 Nedbank established The Green Trust, in partnership with the leading conservation organisation, WWF-SA, and has since raised over R100 million through its Green Affinity Programme to fund more than 170 conservation projects throughout South Africa. ‘The Green Trust was the first giant step in Nedbank’s green vision,’ says Maseda Ratshikuni, Head of Cause Marketing and Affinities at Nedbank. ‘The development of this vision over two decades led us to the point where in 2010 we were able to declare Nedbank’s carbon-neutral status.’

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THE IMPORTANCE OF DAMS AS MULTIFUNCTIONAL & MULTIUSE ECOSYSTEMS Prof. Anthony Turton

INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 has illustrated that, in the absence of a well-funded, properly informed and cohesive strategic plan for South African dams, the country will remain ill-equipped to manage its limited water supplies. The rapidly worsening condition of many of South Africa’s dams will soon catapult the problems to the fore – as has been illustrated by various concerned specialists. The driver for this potentially cataclysmic event is what is now being thought of in limited circles as ‘peak water’ Associated with the concept of ‘peak oil’, peak water can be thought of as that management dilemma arising when a national economy transitions from being demand-driven to that of being supplyconstrained. In a demand-driven economy, increases in demand for goods and services simply mean that existing business models can be used to fill the gap between demand and supply. This is no longer possible in a supply-constrained economy, because in essence the previous business models are no longer applicable, having been based on an assumption of water and energy resources always being available at relatively low costs and in relatively abundant supply. In short, this will trigger a major rethink of the way the economy is structured, and can be thought of as previous extinction events that caused changes to the global ecosystem by rearranging relationships between organisms and the environment that sustained them.

NEED FOR INTEGRATED PROGRAMMES South Africa had allocated around 98% of its total national water resources at a high assurance of supply in 2004 (NWRS, 2004). What is now known is that the total resource was over-estimated by about 4% (Middleton & Bailey, 2008), so in effect all of our national resources have been allocated, and in many Water Management Areas (WMAs) over-allocated by as much as 120%. This means that, as a national economy, we are now surviving on the contribution from waste stream ‘return’ flows, mostly from dysfunctional sewage treatment plants, agriculture and mining. It is in this context that eutrophication must be understood – because, as water quality worsens, so the pressure on the limited quantity of water increases. More than ever before there is now a need for a fully-integrated programme (rivers, wetlands, dams) of assessment and management because, in essence, the hydrological foundation to our national economy is at risk. If we get this right then that economy will continue to grow in the post-peak water world, but this will require significant investments in human THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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capital and scientific endeavour. If the components of limnology are not meaningfully brought together, then we are disrespecting the intentions of the South African Water Act and the Constitution while also placing future social stability and economic wellbeing at risk. The concept of ‘source to sea’ integrated management for river systems is enshrined in the Water Act but, sadly, there has been an over-emphasis on rivers. The nature of dams, as semi-natural lakes (ecosystems), has been all but totally neglected.

A WATER-CONTRAINED COUNTRY South Africa is a water-scarce country, largely dependent on water stored in man-made reservoirs (reservoir-lakes) for a sustainable supply of raw potable and irrigation water. The numbers here are enlightening: South Africa is the 30th most water-constrained country in the world, yet we have one of the most diversified economies for the type of arid ecosystem in which we are embedded. This economic growth was enabled by the massive capture and storage of water that arose from the 1966 Commission of Enquiry into Water Matters (RSA, 1970). That event made many predictions of the future that are now becoming realities, and it propelled the management of the resource to the highest level of strategic importance. Sadly, that institutional memory was lost when we became a democracy in 1994, as everything from the past was rejected as having been tainted by history. Few of the current managers of water are even aware of that Commission of Enquiry and no similar strategic framework has been put into place, so water resource management gradually slipped off the radar screens of the leadership of the country.

HYDROLOGY-BASED ECONOMY What is generally unknown to the broader public is that our national economy is based on a national hydrology. This hydrology remains invisible to the economy when things are going well, but it rapidly becomes relevant when things start to fall apart. Our national hydrology has a number of unique aspects to it: one of the major aspects that contribute to its uniqueness is the low conversion of rainfall to run-off. Known technically as the MAP (Mean Annual Precipitation) to MAR (Mean Annual Run-off ) conversion ratio, this is a paltry 5.1% in our two major transboundary rivers (Limpopo and Orange) (Ashton et al., 2008). This means that only 5% of the water falling as rain ends up as water in a river and thus useful in terms of sustained economic development. Significantly South Africa has developed its national economy on the logic of dam-building, being listed as one of the twentieth largest dambuilding nations of the world (WCD, 2000). In effect we have dammed rivers to such an extent that we have altered their natural flow regimes in a fundamental – and permanent – way. In the case of the South African portion of the Orange River, for example, the total storage capacity in the system is 2.71 times greater than the MAR. In effect, we have almost three times more storage capacity than water that flows in the river during an annual cycle. This is a major alteration to the ecosystem, transforming it from a flood-pulse driven system into a slack water system, in which the natural variability has been 28

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removed. The existence of major dams also has altered evaporative losses, because a mathematical relationship exists between the volume of water stored and the surface area. The greater the volume, the larger the surface area, and the higher the evaporative losses from the exposed surface area to a point where evaporative losses start to exceed natural inflows. This is the case with the Vaal Dam. In a nutshell, assurance of supply has been engineered by fundamentally altering the aquatic ecosystem. However, the logic of dams, as strategic storage, is no longer valid in post-peak water conditions, as evaporative losses start to become more relevant and significant.

DEVELOPMENTAL CONSTRAINTS A unique developmental constraint in South Africa is that the major areas of economic activity (Gauteng) are located on a watershed divide. This means that major sources of potential enrichment (pollution) are located upstream of strategic water storage facilities. Stated differently, the sewage return flows from major areas of economic activity and population density enter large dams, rendering the water storage in those impoundments unfit for purposes of downstream reuse – if not management appropriately. South African reservoirs impound a total of 32 412 Mm3 (NWRS, 2004), of which some 35% is currently (2007 data) classified as eutrophic or hypertrophic. This means nutrient levels exceeding generally-accepted trophic boundaries (eg, OECD, 1982) by several-fold and contributing to the excessive growths of algae (with the associated risks of toxicity) and aquatic plants (with their high rates of evapotranspiration of water to the atmosphere). Water quality in many of these waters is exacerbated further by acidic drainage from mines, discharge of compounds that disrupt, for example, the functioning of endocrine systems from urban areas, as well as the introduction of many other pollutants as a result of human activities and natural processes. In the absence of an appropriate reservoir management system, including environmental monitoring, the precise state of the quality of water in South Africa’s impoundments is currently unknown. South African dams do not only simply store raw water for later use in towns or on farms; many also provide recreational opportunities and enhance property values. In an ecological context, all provide a suite of services ranging from being carbon and nutrient sinks to contributing to food security (through fisheries and aquaculture).

NOT JUST ‘BIG TANKS OF WATER’ As a broad generalisation, the open waters habitats of dams typically support algae, photosynthetic bacteria and aquatic plants (akin to grasses in the terrestrial sense), with herbivorous (the ‘cows’ grazing on the grass) and carnivorous (the ‘lions’ grazing on the cows) zooplankton, bottom-dwelling organisms and fishes contributing to the productivity of these systems, and microbial saprobes (bacteria and viruses) acting as recyclers. The structural composition of these groups of living organimsms (biota) is determined, jointly, by the prevailing abiotic conditions (including inter alia THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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temperature, water chemistry, dissolved oxygen, and nutrient availability), and complex and multifacetted interactions between the various community assemblages – fundamentally based on foodwebs and feeding ecology. A multitude of combinations of the above factors collectively leads to differences in assemblage composition or community structure that have a profound effect on the appearance, utility, and function of the entire water resource. In short, dams are complex ecological systems, not just big tanks of water!

Figure 2.1: Side affects from drinking from water containing algal toxins

Figure 2.2: Algal blooms affect the natural habitat of many animals

The availability of nutrients serves as an overriding driver that, along with underwater light climate, determines the system’s primary production level (the amount of grass produced), with concomitant cascading effects (both direct and indirect) on and through the food-web structure that influences subsequent higher trophic level assemblages. In terms of water quality, elevated nutrient loading generally induces undesirable changes at the bottom of the food web (typically too much inedible grass in the form of unpalatable or toxic blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria). Furthermore, in dams, the fishes tend to become dominated by so-called ‘coarse’ species, such as the introduced common carp (Cyprinus carpio), that exert a variety of negative impacts on the reservoir-lake foodweb.

EUTROPHICATION While

a

surplus

of

nutrients

(eutrophication) (See Chapter 3) creates negative effects from the bottom (too much grass) upwards, an unbalanced fishery, in turn, brings about bottomup and top-down pressures. In the terrestrial case, for example, too many lions might reduce the numbers of herbivores, resulting in overgrowth 30

Figure 2.3 Algal blooms often become unsightly and smelly areas

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Figure 2.4: A healthy, balanced ecosystem

of trees, shrubs and grasses. Most commonly, coarse fish are bottom-feeders and cause excessive sediment disturbance (reduced water clarity) as they grub around for food, releasing trapped nutrients (supporting more algal growth) and modifying the aquatic plant community frequently in favour of less desirable species. In short, nutrient overloads affect food-web structures and the resulting biotic assemblages both in qualitative and quantitative terms – usually adversely. The solution to improving conditions is to reduce the external loading. The process of storing (impounding) water in dams can emphasise the unintended consequence of adversely-altering the physico-chemical and biological conditions over time. This process is accelerated and exacerbated by a variety of anthropogenic pressures, commonly typified by increased pollutant loadings – with nutrients being most problematical – and the occurrence of invasive or opportunistic plant and animal species. In some cases, these species are introduced by humans in order ‘to fill a vacant niche’ in the newly created ecosystem of an impoundment. Some of these non-native or invasive species can exert substantial impacts on native species and/or ecosystem processes, resulting in a progressive decline in water quality and ecosystem health. Well-known illustrative examples of such changes are Lake Victoria (Central African Great Lakes Region), where the introduction of Nile perch (Lates niloticus) has altered the entire food-web structure of the lake as a consequence

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of their voracious appetite for the native cyprinids, reducing phytoplanktivore grazing, and seriously modifying the aquatic plant communities in the lake. In the Laurentian Great Lakes (Canada and the USA), non-native zebra and quagga mussels have out-competed Diporeia shrimp, leading to a decline in the indigenous whitefish (Coregonus sp.) which traditionally supported an extensive lake fishery. In the South African Hartbeespoort and Roodeplaat Dams, sustained eutrophication, as a consequence of urban effluent disposal, has created sustained long-term conditions of noxious algal blooms, including toxic varietals, that have not only impaired the aesthetic enjoyment of the resources but also led to public health concerns. Elevated levels of eutrophication-related impacts are now especially commonplace in several inland reservoirs serving the economic heartland of South Africa. As highlighted earlier, effluent flows form a recognised and substantial fraction of the annual water balance of many of the impoundments in this region of the country. Many more reservoirs exist on the verge of becoming eutrophic condition and the problem continues to increase. In the Crocodile-West Marico Water Management Area, 65% of the total bulk storage is classed as hyper-eutrophic (Van Ginkel, 2007), or so impaired as to require major and costly pre-treatment before the stored waters can be used for the majority of human purposes. Thus, substantial and increasing ecological, economic and social costs go hand-in-hand with these negative changes.

ADDITIONAL THREATS Eutrophication is the most common example of man’s impact on surface waters. In South Africa, two additional threats have become increasingly evident in recent years. These are acid mine drainage (AMD) (Bell et al., 2001: Winde, 2009) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) (See Chapter 6). Not to be forgotten is the increasingly-evident spectre of climate change and the likelihood that it will exacerbate all existing negative impacts. Combined, these mean that the water being stored is of a declining quality, no longer fit for purpose without significant costs involved in cleaning it up and potentially diminishing quantity. The longer these problems are allowed to fester, the more entrenched they will become and the more costly they will be to remedy. It should be clear from the foregoing that, if South Africa’s dams are to remain healthy, then they will require focused management – taking into account their non-natural origin and the pollution pressures that man places on them. With reference to Chapter 1, all of this must occur within the context of an arid, water-scarce country.

CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE Both the National Water Act and the Constitution guarantee South Africans access to clean water and conditions that do not pose a health risk. This legal promise is rapidly becoming non-viable given 32

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the deteriorating condition of our water resources. What is needed to meet this aspiration is a radical rethink of the way that we manage water. In reality water is in flux, moving in time and space, so if we manage it accordingly then we can continue to grow our economy even if we have reached peak water. A proactive management approach would see users of water becoming custodians of that resource, returning water to the national hydrological system in a quality that does not limit the usefulness of that resource to downstream users. This will imply costs to treat the effluent, but this will be the cost of sustainability in a water-constrained economy.

CONCLUSION A rough calculation suggests that if we adopt a recycling approach to the management of water as a flux, then we need to recycle our total national resource 1.7 times by 2035 if we wish to have full employment and some degree of economic prosperity. This target is do-able if we can mobilise the political will necessary to change our thinking. A simple policy statement that recognises our water constraints, committing us to a recycling future, will unlock the necessary financial and human resources needed to put that vision into practice. None of the above will be possible, however, without a professional and experienced management team that is able to apply practical and pragmatic solutions to water quality problems, especially in dams. This does not imply that more research is needed – the problems (and solutions) are clear and well understood. What is needed is a commitment from government to address the causes of the problems – through the application of appropriate institutions that implement the laws and policies for which government has been commended on the global stage, the employment of appropriate professionals that can provide a comprehensive look at and response to the problems, and the allocation of financial resources to manage the environmental resources that sustain our economy – a fundamental concept that has been ignored in South Africa as long as we have had dams! References Ashton, P.J., Hardwick, D. & Breen, C.M., 2008. Changes in water availability and demand within South Africa’s shared river basins as determinants of regional social-ecological resilience. In: Burns, M.J. & Weaver, A.v.B. (Eds.) Advancing Sustainability Science in South Africa. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University Press. Pp 279 – 310. Bell, F.G., Bullock, S.E.T., Hälbich, T.F.J. and Lindsay, P., 2001. Environmental impacts associated with an abandoned mine in the Witbank coalfield, South Africa. International Journal of Coal Geology. Vol. 45. p. 195−216. Middleton, B.J. & Bailey, A.K., 2008. Water Resources of South Africa, 2005 Study (WR 2005). Water Research Commission Report No. TT 381/08. Pretoria: Water Research Commission. RSA. (1970). Report of the Commission of Enquiry into Water Matters. Document No. R.P. 34/1970. Pretoria: Government Printer Winde, F., 2009. Uranium Pollution of Water Resources in Mined-out and Active Goldfields of South Africa: A Case Study in the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment on Extent and Sources of U-Contamination and Associated Health Risks. Paper presented at the International Mine Water Conference, 19 – 23 October 2009, Pretoria, South Africa. Available in the Proceedings: ISBN 978-0-9802623-5-3.

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PROFILE

Free Rain Conservation

Free Rain Conservation is a dynamic company that installs a range of water products that allows companies and individuals to reduce, re-use and recycle their water. Our main products are: • • • • •

Rain Water Harvesting Systems Water Treatment Solutions Grey Water Recycling Systems Irrigation Water Filtration

Rain Water Harvesting Systems

A report released in early October 2009 by the Water Research Commission of South Africa found that South Africa has 4% less water than 20 years ago. » Rand Water is predicting that demand for water in South Africa will outstrip supply by 2025. Rainwater harvesting works on collecting rain as it falls, then substituting it for municipal water in applications such as: • • • •

Washing machines Garden irrigation Car washing Toilet flushing

The harvesting process involves channelling the rainwater from the gutter downpipes to a storage tank, via a filter which removes debris that has fallen onto the roof. A first flush diverter then removes the first 1mm of rainfall which is filled with dust, droppings etc, and allows the remaining water to fill a water tank. Roughly, for every 1mm of rainfall that falls per 1 m2, 1 litre will be captured. A 100 m2, with an annual rainfall of 700mm will capture around 70 000L. We can install the simplest system that captures water from one gutter downpipe into a 750L tank, up to a commercial system that captures water from hundreds of m2 of roof, pipes the water underground to rainwater tanks placed elsewhere on the property and then pump the water to either a fully computerised irrigation system monitored by a weather station or, after additional filtration and treatment, to supplement municipal water for whole house use.


PROFILE

Water Purification and Treatment

We are proud solution partners with Safe Water Solutions and use a proprietary electro-flocculation method of water filtration. This technology, imported from Australia, cleans water to the highest standard and is capable of filtering from 2000L per day to a megalitre of water per day. SWS Afriwater Purification and Treatment Systems are successfully deployed for removing impurities from water in three primary applications: • Purifying water sourced from contaminated dams, rivers, boreholes and local authorities to produce safe drinking water • Treatment of bath/shower and laundry waste water for reuse in garden, laundry and toilet flush (Grey Water Recycling) • Treating contaminated industrial water for reuse or safe disposal

Scope of Pollutant and Toxin Removal

The SWS Afriwater System is extremely effective in removing bacteria, spores, cysts, viruses, parasites and suspended solids down to near nanometre size. The SWS Afriwater System will also remove, vegetable matter, dyes and other sources of colour in water, as well as heavy metal ions such as lead, tin mercury, iron, aluminium, nickel, barium, cobalt, boron, cadmium, uranium and similar and specific molecules such as phosphates, arsenates, cyanates , algae and similar organisms. The SWS Afriwater System also liberates emulsified fats, oils and greases, glues, monomers and other materials from industrial waste water recycling that rapidly clog filter based processes. BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) removal rates vary dependent on the nature of the material but are typically greater than 95%.

Operating Costs

To remove contaminants from polluted river and dam water the electricity requirement is approximately 1kw/hr per 1000 litres.

Advantages of the Afriwater System

• Cost effectively eliminates bacteria, spores, cysts, viruses, parasites, suspended solids, heavy metals and algae producing safe drinking water • Treats a wider range of contaminants than any other currently available system • Cost effectively treats industrial waste water containing fats, oils and greases (FOG) that clog expensive conventional filter membrane based systems • Does not use toxic chemicals • No expensive consumable filters and chemicals • Minimal water wastage. Normally between 1% and 5% is lost via the concentrated “slurry” • In many instances the concentrated “flocculated slurry” from industrial water treatment can be recycled for fertiliser or other use. Where the contaminant is toxic it means a lot less has to be captured and stored • The system is fully automated and there is minimal manual intervention or maintenance involved Free Rain Conservation T: (+27) 011 024 3815; Mobile: 074 101 7300; F: (+27) 086 584 5297 enquiries@freerain.co.za; www.freerain.co.za


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CHAPTER 03: EUTROPHICATION THREATS TO SURFACE WATER QUALITY IN SOUTH AFRICA

EUTROPHICATION THREATS TO SURFACE WATER QUALITY IN SOUTH AFRICA Dr. William (Bill) Harding

INTRODUCTION Reservoirs (dams, impoundments, man-made lakes) are vitally important for providing drinking water for people, irrigation water for agriculture, process water for industry and mining and water for recreation. They also need water for themselves as ecosystems. Their artificiality, combined with pressures arising from socio-economic development in their catchments, requires that dams be managed with special care (see Chapters 1 and 2). Eutrophication is a scientific term for the process whereby a body of water, for example a dam, becomes so enriched with nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), such that the waterbody experiences elevated algal and/or higher plant growth. In the same vein, trophic status reflects the degree to which this enrichment has occurred, ranging from oligotrophic (low to negligible enrichment) to hypertrophic (gross enrichment). In South Africa the most common cause of eutrophication is the release of inadequately-treated wastewater effluent into streams, rivers and dams. Additional nutrients are added via urban run-off and return flows from agriculture. It is important to note that neither phosphorus nor nitrogen is a pollutant unless and until the concentrations of these nutrients reach the point where excessive growths of aquatic plants occur. Eutrophication is but one of the threats to surface waters, others being hazardous micropollutants from industrial, agro-chemical, medical and household sources, as well as acidification (due to acidic precipitation or discharge of mining effluents), salinisation, introduction of pest species and the unbalanced development of certain species in relation to others. Eutrophication is, however, the oldest and best-known of the range of impairments likely to affect the use of lake waters. The fundamental drivers of eutrophication were described almost a century ago (Bernhardt, 1992). All of the problems listed above are common and globally-occurring. An additional commonality, with the potential to bring about further instability and worsening of conditions, is climate change. Climate change also is not new. At the Rio Conference on the Environment and Development of 1992, the findings of some 10 years of investigation informed the compilation of Agenda 21, of which Chapter 18 focused on freshwater as a major resource within which ecology and economics were THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Figure 3.1: Algal blooms degrade healthy ecosystems

linked. Without adequate supplies of water of appropriate quality, human activities were deemed to be unlikely to be sustainable. Going hand-in-hand with this threat to socio-economic stability has been the common trend of not taking meaningful action to offset eutrophication – that action that has been taken has been limited by economics of the management process without equivalent regards for the ecosystem response, which in many cases shifts required investments downstream. This is extremely worrying in South Africa, an arid, water-scarce country with enormous reliance on water stored in dams for our socio-economic future.

DAM MANAGEMENT – cornerstone of water management Environmentally-sound and sustainable management of South Africa’s dams as ecologically-viable components of the river systems which they punctuate should be a fundamental cornerstone of water resource management. Although this approach is enshrined in the Water Act, as is the integrated ecosystem management of river systems (the source to sea concept), attention to South African dams has been sorely neglected (see Chapter 1). Rivers cannot be evaluated as entities distinct from the dams that have been built on them, neither can wetlands. All functions and uses (natural and anthropogenic) of every component of an integrated ecosystem need to be simultaneously considered – as dictated by the catchment basin approach. Anything else contradicts the intentions of our much-lauded environmental protection legislation – but this reality does not appear to have been noticed. Man-made lakes (dams) have much less resilience to pollution and/or other impacts than do natural lakes. The reasons for this should be obvious. Dams are often created in topography where lakes would 38

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not occur, dams experience massive fluctuations in water levels and become occupied by riverine as opposed to lake organisms and they (dams) slow the flow of water so that microorganisms injurious to human health proliferate. Being at the downstream ends of their drainage areas also means that dams are subjected to higher levels of nutrient and contaminant loading than many of their natural counterparts. Accordingly, the threshold for the physico-chemical and ecological stability of dams is likely to be very low and occur relatively early in the ageing process following construction – if not recognised and appropriately managed from an early stage. The latter consideration has never been the norm in South Africa and even in the case of recently-constructed dams (Berg River, De Hoop, Steelpoort) no attention was given to their ecological future. They were seen simply as tanks of water – although, ironically, much is made of ensuring variable draw-off levels to maintain biota-determined temperature regimes in the downstream (river) environment! The availability of uncontaminated water is considered to be the single most important factor limiting quality of life and socio-economic development worldwide (Kira and Sazanami, 1991). In South Africa, there has existed a pervasive attention to the quantity of water available – without commensurate attention to quality. Degraded water quality may be equated with not having the water at all. The old argument of “don’t worry about the quality, we can just treat it better” does not hold as technological limitations and associated costs have skyrocketed or, strategically, are not an option in cash-strapped developing countries.

Figure 3.2: A healthy and balanced aquatic environment

Figure 3.3: Unhealthy water systems cannot support much life

‘UNDERSTANDING’ NOT TRANSLATED INTO REMEDIATION South Africa developed a comprehensive understanding of eutrophication during the 1970s and 1980s, achieving global recognition as a centre of expertise in eutrophication management and control. Regrettably, the investment made was never translated into remediation. A large percentage of the water stored in our dams is and remains eutrophic, as well as – in many cases – being compromised by pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other hazardous pollutants. An even larger percentage is on THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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its way to suffering the same fate (see Chapter 1). Recognition of and doing something about the problem is constrained by a general lack of understanding of what eutrophication is all about, both amongst the responsible officialdom and the general public. The benefits of a well-organised and informed public sector have been shown to be vital to effectively and comprehensively addressing the problems of eutrophication (eg, Jackson and Eder, 1991). Eutrophication as a process is both slow and insidious. The symptoms can take a long time to become apparent and the nature of the symptoms is often lake-specific. By the time the symptoms are recognised, it is often already too late to implement rehabilitation measures. Remediation to an alternative condition – with increasingly onerous requirements for human intervention – may be all that is possible. Because wastewater is the cause of many of our eutrophication problems, and because wastewater contains a lot more than simply nutrients, nutrient enrichment serves as a crude proxy for the alteration of foodwebs by a range of chemicals and for the biomagnification of these chemicals in various organisms. As mentioned earlier, perhaps the most common symptom of eutrophication is algal blooms – which are not only unsightly and malodorous, but also potentially toxic to organisms in the lake, humans and animals ingesting or coming into contact with the water (see Chapter 7). Sustained eutrophication imparts a marked resistance to restoration, with visible effects often only apparent after many, many years. The thresholds at which the negative effects of nutrient enrichment become apparent, based on phosphorus (P), are very very low in dams (~ 55 g P ℓ-1, Harding, 2008), and even lower in rivers (~ 20 g P l-1, King, 2009). These limits are exceeded at very low loads of wastewater, with many wastewaters containing 5 000 to 10 000 ug ℓ-1 P. In most of the cases where South African dams have been diagnosed as eutrophic, the annual loads of phosphorus being discharged into the dams exceed the desired limit by massive margins (Harding, 2008). This is because South Africa has no policy demanding that phosphorus removal from wastewaters be in accordance with the assimible loads dictated by the dams into which they discharge. The fact that so many of South Africa’s wastewater works are dysfunctional makes this problem so much worse!

RISK TO SHORELINE DWELLERS The quality of water in dams, and in rivers downstream of polluted dams, presents a direct threat to the health and livelihood of poor, as shoreline dwellers are likely to drink water straight from the dam. It is a characteristic of dams in Africa that many local communities Figure 3.4 Many animals die from blooms like this in farm dams

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are not provided with potable water treatment


PROFILE

WATERMASTER MULTIPURPOSE DREDGER FOR WATER MAINTENANCE Watermaster is a multipurpose water construction machine with excellent mobility.

APPLICATIONS

Where • Shallow waters, rivers, canals, marinas, wetlands… • Industrial ponds, drinking water reservoirs… • Confined places, under bridges, narrow passages… • Where no other machine can operate What • Maintenance and deepening of rivers, canals, channels and marinas • Removing vegetation • Maintenance of industrial pools • Flood control • Reconstructions of shorelines, buildings quays MOBILITY Moving Watermaster is easy. The machine is transportable as complete unit on public roads. It can load and unload by itself and “walk” in and out of water without crane assistance. When it is in water it cruises to the site using its own propulsion system. Anchoring and moving at the working site is also independent, so no wire-cables, separate anchors or assisting vessels are needed. Watermaster is designed for shallow waterways, small rivers, lakes, ponds, basins and sea shores. The maximum working depth is about 5 meters. Watermaster reduces investment, operational and maintenance costs, since one machine can do the work of many separate machines. Watermaster technology is sturdy and reliable. Production is ISO quality certified and nearly 200 machines have already been manufactured. Watermaster Southern Africa P.O.Box 6321, Rustenburg North West Province Tel: 014 5331994 Cell: 083 6356694


CHAPTER 03: EUTROPHICATION THREATS TO SURFACE WATER QUALITY IN SOUTH AFRICA

facilities – exposing those who live in such communities to all the hazards present in the water (eg, Mulashi, 1991). I was recently amazed to learn that the mega Massingir Dam in Mozambique does not provide treated water to the many communities on the shores – despite the presence of bilharzia and toxic algae, as well as industrial waste from South Africa! In recent years dams have been painted in a very negative light based on the many ecological, social and economic impacts that their construction may have brought about. However, South African development is intimately linked to being able to store water in dams as there are no equivalent alternatives. In time, the debate on the evils of dams will defer to whether or not water should be diverted from crop production and food security in order to sustain a measure of ecological functioning in rivers. Sober reflection suggests that certain rivers may have to be sacrificed in order to meet these needs but also that existing stocks of water may be stretched a lot further if they are not allowed to become polluted. In China, for example, where 70% of the lakes are eutrophic, 25% have been proclaimed to be unusable even for crude industrial purposes! It is also ironic that while so much debate centres on alternative energy sources, so little attention has focused on the finite nature of water resources and the simple fact that there are no alternatives for water! So, what can be done to remedy eutrophication? If excessive algal (or aquatic plant) growth is to be limited, then the supply of nutrients must be reduced accordingly. It makes no sense to attempt this in the lake (through in-lake treatment) but rather to attenuate nutrient loading at source – ie, at the wastewater treatment works or ‘upstream’ of them. Options for reducing loads to the actual works may accrue via greywater reuse (see Chapter 4) and especially through replacing phosphoruscontaining detergents with phosphorus-free variants (see Chapter 5). Within the works, adoption of emerging technologies may present options for nutrient recovery. There are many successful examples of reducing phosphorus in wastewater effluents to very low levels (eg, USEPA, 2007). This practice has been in place in countries such as Finland for decades. Although South African effluent standards dictate precise concentrations for nitrogen and phosphorus, these standards, where they have been established, are set at, in environmental terms, ridiculously-high levels. Where the so-called special standards for phosphorus have been set, these have been based on the technology available and not on the assimilable capacity of the waterbody to which the waste is being directed. Bold reductions in loading, commensurate with meeting the pre-determined assimilable threshold at which significant reductions in plant biomass can be achieved, need to be made. It is important to note that recovery from eutrophication is not the inverse of the eutrophication process itself (Margalef, 1994). Anything less than the aforementioned substantial load reduction will not bring about the 42

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desired change. Load reduction barriers may be encountered, beyond which in-lake management practices may have validity. Rendering such load reductions possible will require a change in thinking (wastewater treatment culture) as well as upgrading of works and the possible offsetting of costs through reuse of nutrients recovered through the wastewater treatment process. In South Africa, eutrophication is currently a regional crisis (Gauteng), with sub-regional crises elsewhere. This allows for eutrophication management to be implemented on a prioritised basis – targeting large scale repair in the worst-hit areas and preventative (proactive) management in other areas. Adjuncts to attenuating eutrophication, such as phosphorus-free detergents, would also be best implemented on a regional basis rather than nationwide. This is not likely to achievable as manufacturers are loathe to operating two separate product lines.

CONCLUSION South Africa urgently needs to re-invest in lake management and re-build lost lake management skills. South African limnological science needs to invest in actual lake science investigations – as opposed to generating more and more renditions of water quality data – which do nothing more than to confirm how long a problem has been in place. Given the centrally-important role that dams play in our socio-economic milieu, South Africa should have a directorate, appropriately-staffed by professionals, who can direct the management of our dams in the best possible informed manner. There is an equally-urgent and parallel need to equip civil society with an understanding of the causes and consequences of eutrophication – so that they can fully understand the implications of both the water quality and quantity aspects of this phenomenon for their continuing economic development and societal well-being. There is no time to lose! References Harding, W.R, 2008. The Determination of Annual Phosphorus Loading Limits for South African Dams. Water Research Commission Report 1687/1/08. Jackson, J and T Eder (1991) The publics role in lake management: the experience in the Great Lakes. In: Guidelines of Lake Management Volume 2. International Lake Environment Committee, United Nations Environment Programme. 1-5. King, R.S., 2009. Linking Observational and Experimental Approaches for the Development of Regional Nutrient Criteria for Wadeable Streams Section 104(b)(3) Water Quality Cooperative Agreement #CP-966137-01. Final Report. USEPA Region6. Kira T and Sazanami H., 1991. Utilization of Water Resources and Problems of Lake Management. In: Guidelines of Lake Management Volume 2. International Lake Environment Committee, United Nations Environment Programme. 31-46. Margalef, R.,1994. The Place of epicontinental waters in global ecology. In: Limnology Now: A Paradigm of Planetary Problems. (R. Margalef ed). Elsevier. Mulashi, A.S., 2001. Local, Social and Environmental Impacts of Water Resource Developments. In: Guidelines of Lake Management Volume 2. International Lake Environment Committee, United Nations Environment Programme. 142-155. USEPA (2007) Advanced Wastewater Treatment to Achieve Low Concentration of Phosphorus. EPA 910-R-07-002.

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PROFESSIONAL PROJECT PROFILE

EKURHULENI MAINTAINS BLUE DROP STATUS According to the Constitution, the Municipal Structures Act and the Water Services Act, responsibility for the provision of water and sanitation services lies with the municipalities. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) is, therefore, responsible for providing its citizens with clean and healthy water in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner. In order to ensure that municipalities achieve this goal, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has introduced Blue Drop certification. This prestigious certification is only awarded to municipalities that achieve a score above 95% of the Blue Drop certification programme criteria. In 2009 EMM was one of the first municipalities to obtain the prestigious Blue Drop Certification, issued by the Department of Water Affairs, managing to obtain the certificate for a second consecutive year in 2010. The Blue Drop status achieved by EMM is indicative of EMM’s efficiency with regards to overall management of drinking water quality. Ekurhuleni’s Blue Drop score increased from 96% to 96.8%. These scores fall within the 95% - <100% scoring category and means Ekurhuleni is ‘managing drinking water quality with excellence’. “Compliance with this scoring category implies that the specific water supply system qualifies for Blue Drop certification. This would imply that the DWA has confidence that the water services institution (municipality) is capable of sustaining safe quality of water supply and will act responsibly when deviation in tap water quality is detected (which might pose a health risk) through continuous efficient operational and compliance monitoring.” (Page 13, Blue and Green Drop 2010, Published by 3S Media for Department of Water Affairs).

EKURHULENI INDIGENT WATER LEAK REPAIR PROGRAMME South Africa is a semi-arid country with finite water resources. Gauteng is in a situation whereby if water demand continues to increase at the current rate, we might be faced with inadequate water supply in the near future. The Department of Water Affairs has, therefore, set a target of reducing the total water


PROFESSIONAL PROJECT PROFILE demand for Gauteng by 15% over the next five years (2010 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2015). In order for Gauteng to reach its target Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (the second largest municipal consumer in the Rand Water supply area) needs to reduce its water demand by 20% of the Gauteng target. The Metro has, therefore, committed itself to an integrated and sustainable water conservation and demand management strategy. Approximately 80% of water wastage is due to plumbing leaks within households. Since the consumer is fully responsible for any leaks that occur within the household or after the water meter it is their responsibility to pay for these wasted resources. Through analysis of the water consumption data of indigent households it became evident that we had a very large number of indigent households consuming above 60kl per month. Due to the fact that these consumers are indigents, they cannot afford to pay for these services. This represents a double dilemma in the sense that EMM is losing water and is not able to recover revenue. It has, therefore, decided to embark on an Indigent Leak Repair Programme. This is a once-off opportunity and the owner of the property still bears the responsibility to repair and maintain the plumbing on their premises. Aim of the Programme The aim of the programme is to minimise water loss, ensure that households only consume the amount of water they need and afford to pay for and that the benefits of free basic water are realised. How is it implemented? The first step involves the analysis of the financial data to determine the water consumption of the indigent households. The water consumption data is then sorted from the highest consuming to the lowest consuming indigent households. Based on the 80 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 20 principle the highest consuming indigent households are targeted first as this would result in the highest impact in terms of our water conservation and water demand management goals. The next step involves an audit of the prioritised indigent households to establish the pipes and fixtures that need repair/replacement and obtain the household meter readings. These high level plumbing audits evaluate the extent of the plumbing problem(s), if any, within the indigent households. The next step includes the repair/replacement of leaking pipes and fixtures identified during the audit. Once the repair/replacement has been carried out, the extent of the repairs done is assessed and meter readings obtained. Consumer education is also included in the programme. Contractors appoint Community Liaison Officers from the affected communities to carry out the consumer education, thereby creating jobs. The indigent households are educated on how to save water, how to determine if they have a leak and about their responsibility to maintain their plumbing. The final step is the impact assessment phase. The initial consumption of the indigent households as obtained from the financial system prior to auditing the households is used as a benchmark for post-impact assessment. Once the repairs are carried out the initial water usage will then be compared with the post impact consumption. This will determine if the repairs done in the indigent households has impacted positively on the water consumption.


PROFESSIONAL PROJECT PROFILE

Figure 1: Illustration of the water consumption data from an indigent household between November 2004 and November 2008. The areas in blue ((A) & (C)) highlight periods when there were no leaks and the area in red (B) highlights a period when the indigent household was experiencing water leaks.

Findings During the pre-assessment it was found that more than 75% of the problems that required fixing were leaking taps and toilets. Achievements On the next page is an illustration of the water consumption of one of the indigent households that benefited from this programme (Figure 1). The benefits for the municipality were quite tangible as well. Considering that the EMM spent an average of R898 on each house and saved an average of R107 per month in supply costs per household, the intervention would pay for itself in only 8.4 months.

Conclusion

Through this programme Ekurhuleni managed to minimise water loss, ensure that households only consume the amount of water they need and afford to pay for and that the benefits of free basic water are realised. The programme has also shown that water conservation and water demand management can pay for itself. Water Services Department

Tel: 011 999 3823 Fax: 011 394 9949 E-mail: Jeffrey.Senoelo@Ekurhuleni.gov.za Web: www.ekurhuleni.gov.za


17: SANITATION IN THE BUILT IN ENVIRONMENT CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER SOUTH AFRICA

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA Dr Nicola Rodda

INTRODUCTION Greywater comprises all household wastewater – except that from the toilet (blackwater) – and originates from the bath, shower, hand basins and from laundry (Morel and Diener, 2006). Wastewater from the kitchen sink is included in the definition of greywater by some authors, but is excluded by others because it carries the higher pollutant loads in terms of particulate matter; oil, fat and grease; and bacteria (Alcock, 2002; Roesner et al, 2006). In urban South Africa, almost all greywater is disposed of to the sewer system – but this is not the case in informal or rural settlements. Greywater that is not managed by appropriate means may form pools of stagnant dirty water between houses or on pathways, or may run-off into surface waters. This can provide a medium for transmission of diseases, for breeding of disease vectors (eg, mosquitoes, flies), and for transport of nutrients and other chemical contaminants (eg, salts, detergents, particulates) into surface waters such as dams or the streams and rivers that feed them. This simply adds to the eutrophication fuelled by wastewater (see Chapter 3). Provided that it is properly processed and treated, greywater can be reused at the household level for irrigation of the garden, or for food gardens. In this manner, uncontrolled discharge to the environment, as well as reducing pressure on wastewater treatment works, can be achieved. Depending on the diligence with which greywater is handled, such irrigation may have negative or positive outcomes. In the case of sewered areas, negative impacts could result if greywater use reaches a scale at which so much water is removed from the general wastewater stream as to increase the concentration of organics, nutrients and micro-organisms significantly. Such concentration increases arise from the diversion of greywater for other purposes, thus removing a potentially significant volume of liquid from the waste stream. This could overload the wastewater treatment plants and decrease the quality of the effluent which is discharged from them. However, it is unlikely that greywater use would occur on such a scale. Irrigation use of greywater can have a positive impact, particularly for people with onsite sanitation, such as pit latrines or urine diversion toilets. These sanitation measures do not provide for the disposal of greywater.

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WATER COST-SAVING The obvious benefit associated with the use of greywater for irrigation is a water saving – and hence a cost saving – to the householder. Where income is marginal and additional water for irrigation would require the householder to exceed the free basic water supply, use of treated water for irrigation may be a financial burden. For rural or low income householders, other sources of water may be difficult to obtain, particularly if the supply of household water is not on-site. Greywater can, therefore, provide a source of irrigation water at no extra cost and little extra portage, depending on the siting of the greywater-irrigated garden. If used in concert with remediation measures, such as floating wetlands (see Chapter 9), dual-benefits can be obtained. Greywater can be gathered in ponds fitted with treatment devices that also serve as substrates on which to grow vegetables or flowers (food and economic security). Greywater contains nutrients: carbon and nitrogen from organic matter, particularly kitchen waste, and from hygiene and cleaning products, as well as phosphorus from detergents where phosphorusfree detergents have not yet been introduced (Morel and Diener, 2006; Roesner et al, 2006) (see Chapter 5). These constitute sources of plant nutrients, particularly to low income food gardeners who are unlikely to be able to afford chemical fertilisers, and for whom greywater thus provides a low grade fertiliser. Crops irrigated with mixed greywater have been shown to contain higher levels of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, than crops irrigated with tap water (Rodda et al, 2010). In low income settlements, production of crops using greywater can contribute to family food security. Where crops in excess of the family requirements are produced, these can be traded locally for goods or services, or can be sold. In this way, greywater irrigation can contribute to both food security and the informal economy. In more affluent environments, the use of greywater for garden irrigation can help householders avoid punitive water tariffs and can provide a supplementary source of irrigation water in times of drought. However, appropriate use of greywater requires education.

GREYWATER RISKS The risks associated with greywater use for irrigation are threefold: • Health risks to humans; • Risks to plant growth and crop production; and • Risks to the continued ability of irrigated soil to support future plant growth.

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

Pollution of water sources is not considered here because it is assumed that greywater used for irrigation is retained within the boundaries of the property on which it is used. Furthermore, controlled use of greywater for irrigation would be expected to result in comparatively less water pollution than would uncontrolled run-off of the same volume of greywater, especially in the case of properties not provided with means of greywater disposal (eg, rural and/or informal settlements), as the nutrient content of the greywater would be used by plants in their production cycle. Additionally, the ability of clay soils, for example, to adsorb elements such as phosphorus would reduce the next loss of nutrients to an aquatic system. Irrigators using greywater are exposed to all the micro-organisms present in the greywater, including those which are potentially pathogenic, and thus face the risk of disease transmission. Bacteria and viruses are most likely to be present in greywater, with parasites less likely to occur (Ottosson, 2003; Jackson et al, 2010); hence, the need to separate black water wastes from greywater reuse systems. Risks are greatest for those handling and applying greywater, but also affect consumers of greywaterirrigated produce (WHO, 2006; Jackson et al, 2010). Risks to plant growth and crop production include elements that are likely to reduce plant growth, crop production or crop quality. Foremost among these is the elevated concentration of sodium salts in greywater (DWAF, 1996; Morel and Diener, 2006). Sodium has been shown to accumulate in crops irrigated with greywater (Rodda et al, 2010) and to cause reduced yields (DWAF, 1996). Risks to soil include all of the factors which reduce the long-term ability of soil to support plant growth. As with plants, the greatest risk to soils irrigated with greywater is the accumulation of sodium salts, which increase the salinity and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sodicityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of soil. Salinisation of soil reduces the ability of plants to absorb water while sodic soil conditions result in the breakdown of soil structure (DWAF, 1996; Morel and Diener, 2006). Recent studies on the effect of greywater on soil also indicate that detergents cause an increase hydrophobicity and water repellant properties of soil (Travis et al, 2010). Particular risks are associated with greywater in dense, informal settlements. As has been described in some detail by Carden et al (2007) and Winter et al (in Press), greywater in such settlements, typically characterised by dysfunctional water and waste services, is often severely degraded as a result of multiple uses and contamination with other waste streams. Use of greywater for irrigation under these conditions must be avoided unless suitable safeguards and behavioural changes can be instituted, and can only succeed within the context of a broader improvement in services. Experience has indicated that these are all difficult to achieve in the social and political climate of informal settlements (Winter et al, press), although at least one pilot project in eThekwini Municipality presently shows promise (Gounden, pers. comm.). Greywater irrigation should definitely not be misinterpreted as a catchall THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

way of managing greywater disposal in all environments. It is a tool for specific use under specific and controlled conditions, applied by informed users.

LEGISLATION AND GREYWATER The National Water Act (NWA) of 1998 is the major piece of legislation addressing the use and disposal of water and wastewater in South Africa. The Act makes no specific reference to greywater, but refers to “disposal of waste or water containing waste”. In terms of the NWA, use of water containing waste for irrigation is considered a “controlled activity”. Discharge or use of water containing waste requires that the use is listed in a General Authorisation (GA) of the Act or alternately requires issue of a licence. Obviously the scale at which the water is to be used plays a role here. General Authorisations provided under the NWA were revised in 2004 to allow limited use of “biodegradable industrial wastewater” for irrigation (DWAF, 2004). Although greywater is not mentioned among the types of wastewater considered, this is probably the closest that existing legislation comes to providing guidance for quality of greywater intended for irrigation use. Three categories of wastewater quality are mentioned, linked to the volume irrigated per day. Although irrigation use of wastewater under this revision does not require a licence, users are required to register such use with a responsible authority. More informally, the Department of Water Affairs has indicated that it supports single household use of greywater for irrigation as a water-saving measure, provided this poses no health or pollution hazards. For larger scale use, either the requirements under the General Authorisations apply, or a licence would have to be obtained (Gravele’t-Blondin, pers. comm., 2010). Thus, existing legislation does not specifically exclude use of greywater for irrigation, but there are inconsistencies which arise from the absence of a clear definition of greywater as a subset of domestic wastewater. These need to be resolved to clarify the legal position of use of greywater for irrigation. The major contaminants of greywater are solids and particulates, nutrients, pH, salts, hypochlorite and heavy metals. Food particles, raw animal fluids from kitchen sinks, turbidity, soil particles, hairs, and fibres from laundry wastewater are among the solids which could clog soil and piping (Weston, 1998; Eriksson et al, 2002). Alkalinity, pH and hardness in greywater are largely determined by the quality of drinking water and by chemicals added during the use of water. Detergents also affect pH. High levels of pH, hardness and alkalinity indicate risk of soil clogging, which could have negative effects on plant growth and soil quality. Phosphorus and nitrogen are essential nutrients for plant growth but are also responsible for excessive plant growth, eutrophication of surface waters and nitrate contamination of groundwater (see Chapter 3). Excessive salts cause soil permeability problems and damage plants. 52

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Specific ions, including chloride, sodium and boron, are toxic to some plants at concentrations greater than those beneficial to plants (Weston, 1998; Morel and Diener, 2006; Roesner et al, 2006; Murphy, 2007). Excessive amounts of free chlorine cause damage to plants and also pose potential concerns related to ground water contamination. Other constituents of possible concern in the reuse of greywater include heavy metals, hypochlorite, xenobiotic organic compounds, endocrinedisrupting chemicals and pharmaceutically active compounds (Eriksson et al, 2002). Illustrative values for greywater originating from an informal settlement in South Africa are shown in Table 4.1. Constituent

Units

Mean value

mg/L CaCO3

330

pH Alkalinity

8.1-9.8

Electrical conductivity

mS/m

267

Sodium

mg/L

188

Chemical oxygen demand

mg/L

295

Calcium

mg/L

7.5-9.0

Chloride

mg/L

220

Chrome

mg/L

0.14

Copper

mg/L

0.1

Lead

mg/L

0.5

Magnesium

mg/L

7.5

Nickel

mg/L

<0.10

Nitrate + Nitrite

mg/L

88

Total nitrogen

mg/L

206

Ortho-phosphate

mg/L

40

Selenium

mg/L

0.08

Potassium

mg/L

31

Sulphate

mg/L

576

Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen

mg/L

206

Total phosphate

mg/L

69

Zinc

mg/L

0.24

Boron

mg/L

3.4

CFU/100 mL

4.2Ă&#x2014;09

Average sodium adsorption ratio Total coliforms

5.9

E. coli

CFU/100 mL

4.0Ă&#x2014;109

Coliphage

pfu/100mL

Not detected Ascaris ova

Ascaris ova

Ova/L

Not detected

Table 4.1: Mean chemical and microbiological analyses of greywater from an informal settlement (Cato Manor, eThekwini Municipality) (n=4, sampled over a period of approximately 1 year) (from Rodda et al., 2010; Jackson et al., 2010). THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Two approaches can be taken to managing the quality of greywater for irrigation; namely: Mitigative practices which primarily aim to minimise the potential adverse effects of physicochemical greywater components â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as salinity, sodium, boron â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as part of the process of plant/ crop cultivation. (Mitigation also applies to the management of microbial health risks.); and Treatment systems, which primarily aim to remove suspended solids, oil and grease, oxygen demanding substances (ie, COD) and health-related micro-organisms from greywater. The most suitable irrigation method, from the perspective of minimising problems associated with both microbial contaminants and salinity, is one which applies the water as close as possible to the root zone of the plant, preferably below the surface of the soil. This avoids contact of the leaves or fruit with health-related micro-organisms, and with greywater constituents which can be absorbed through the leaves. EThekwini Municipality has developed a low-cost form of drip irrigation for food gardens in rural areas, using punctured cooldrink bottles to deliver greywater directly to plant roots (Figure 4.1). Sprinkler application of greywater must be avoided since the associated aerosols disperse micro-organisms and droplets on leaves result in foliar uptake of sodium. Mitigation is of central importance in the management of health risks associated with greywater. Essential minimum measures include disposing safely of all water which may have been faecally contaminated (eg, water used to wash soiled infants, soiled clothing or soiled bedlinen); avoiding sprinkler irrigation; wearing gloves and boots when handling greywater; and paying scrupulous attention to personal hygiene, particularly washing of hands and face with clean water and soap after working with greywater. Consumers of greywater-irrigated crops can also take simple but effective

A

B

Figure 4.1: Sub-surface irrigation of crops using a plastic 500 mL bottle punctured at the base (A) and buried two-thirds to half its length alongside plants (B) (from Jackson et al., 2010).

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

precautions to minimise risks resulting from viable micro-organisms remaining on the surfaces of crops. All crops should be washed with clean water and preferably soap, and should be left to dry in direct sunlight. They should also be peeled if possible and preferably cooked prior to consumption. In the case of leaf vegetables that may be eaten raw, soaking in a dilute bleach solution is generally recommended; chlorine in the form of a hypochlorite solution with 50 to 200 ppm of active chlorine is popularly used for washing vegetables and fruits. Implementation of such measures can reduce microbial health risk to well within acceptable proportions (WHO, 2006; Jackson et al, 2010). Boron toxicity to trees, causing increased leaf drop, can be mitigated by applying extra nitrogen to soil to promote vegetative growth. Elevated sodium levels can be counteracted by the addition of soluble salts of calcium or magnesium to either the irrigation water or the soil (DWAF, 1996). The ratio of sodium to calcium and magnesium in the soil is evaluated using the Sodium Absorption Ration (SAR), with value greater than 12 to 15 units being considered as a threshold above which serious soil and plant problems can occur. Applying irrigation water in excess of plant requirements leaches boron and salts out of the root zone of the soil, although relatively more water is required to leach boron (DWAF, 1996). The potential disadvantage of this practice is its contribution to salinisation of groundwater, but it is improbable that greywater irrigation will be practised on a sufficiently large scale for this to be a significant impact. Planting of tolerant plant species can minimise the effect of boron, salt and sodium in soil. An alternative is to accept a reduced crop yield. This is a common mitigation practice where levels of, eg, boron or salt, are not excessive (DWAF, 1996). The greywater treatment processes described here are confined to generic processes known to have been tested in pilot studies in South Africa for use at household level. They aim to lower levels of total suspended solids, oil and grease, COD and health-related micro-organisms. Some removal of nutrients may also occur, although this is of lesser concern where the treated greywater is used for irrigation.

FILTRATION OF GREYWATER Simple filtration Simple filtration is a first step to improving the quality of greywater. Used on its own, it will not much improve the quality of greywater other than reducing the suspended solids content and is therefore not recommended for use in isolation. However, it can be used effectively to prevent blockages of irrigation equipment and clogging of soil, or as a pre-screening method to minimise blockages in treatment processes which follow it.

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Mulch filter/ tower A mulch filter is a filter which incorporates inert inorganic and organic media through which greywater is passed, while a mulch tower is such a filter implemented in an above-ground structure. Either is a primary treatment process, aimed at removal of suspended solids and oil and grease, and some biological degradation of COD. Typically, the top layer of a mulch tower comprises an organic substrate (eg, coconut fibres, wood chips), followed by layers of different sizes of gravel and, possibly, coarse sand (Ridderstolpe, 2007). The support material acts as a sieve for suspended particles, while macro- and micro-organisms in the organic layer and in the biofilm which forms on the inert layer break down organic matter (Figure 4.2). The mulch layer requires replacing periodically, the interval tower can be used for irrigation. Two studies testing the performance of mulch towers have shown

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY CMY

that they significantly improve greywater quality (Naicker et al, 2009; Zuma et al, 2009).

K

between replacements depend on how heavily the mulch filter is loaded. Water draining from the

A

B

Figure 4.2: Mulch tower situated at outlet of kitchen sink (A), and view of mulch tower from above (B), showing organic filtering material (mulch) (from Whittington-Jones, 2007, used with permission).

Mulch tower and resorption bed Page 1

A mulch tower followed by a sub-surface resorption bed represents a combination of primary and secondary treatment. The mulch tower provides primary treatment, while secondary treatment is iliso2.FH11 Tue Jul 20 10:00:53 2010

performed by the resorption bed. Effluent from the mulch tower drains into the resorption bed. In a design implemented in the Hull Street Project (Sol Plaatjies Municipality) and in the Scenery Park housing project (Buffalo City Municipality), the resorption bed included an embedded infiltration zone (Ridderstolpe, 2007; Whittington-Jones, 2007).

The resorption bed and infiltration zone consist of stone chips, and are enclosed within geotextile (Figures 4.3, 4.4). Biofilm development on the stone chips serves as a site for removal of oxygen 56

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2


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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

demanding substances (measured as chemical oxygen demand [COD] and/or biological oxygen demand [BOD]), and facilitates even distribution of the influent on the resorption bed. The base of the resorption bed also allows for biofilm development, which is expected to remove the bulk of COD and to contribute to removal of nutrients and waste-derived micro-organisms (Ridderstolpe, 2007). Water travelling through the resorption bed permeates through the geotextile and enters the soil. Planting alongside the resorption bed allows use of the treated water for irrigation. Testing of a model system built to the specifications

of

Whittington-Jones

(2007)

indicated that the bulk of the treatment occurred in the mulch tower, with a smaller proportion performed by the resorption bed and infiltration zone (Naicker et al, 2009). However, this may have been the result of time limitations in experimental design. Observational studies in the Hull Street implementation showed that Figure 4.3: Longitudinal section of sub-surface resorption bed with infiltration zone (Infiltra in figure), not drawn to scale (adapted from Ridderstolpe, 2007).

the combined system successfully treated household greywater over a number of months (Ridderstolpe, 2007).

Tower gardens and ‘Agritubes’ Tower gardens as a means of using greywater for irrigating vegetables have been applied on a smallscale in various places throughout the developing world. An implementation tested in South Africa was developed by communal water use consultant Chris Stimie based on observations in Kenya. The ‘tower’ comprises a column of soil contained within supporting material and surrounding a central core of stones. Holes are made in the supporting material and vegetables planted in these (Figure 4.5). Greywater is poured onto the stone core, which serves as a biofilter and as a means of distributing the greywater (Crosby, 2005). The tower garden is simultaneously a means of treating greywater (as it moves over the stones which become coated in biofilm, and as it moves through the soil) and of delivering greywater to the roots of the plants.

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Figure 4.4: Combination of mulch tower and sub-surface resorption bed with embedded infiltration zone. Note access points for sampling (from Naicker et al., 2009).


CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

A

B

Figure 4.5: Tower gardens, (A) shortly after construction and planting, (B) obscured by spinach growing on the outer wall of the tower garden and tomato plants growing on the upper surface of the tower garden (from Crosby, 2005, used with permission).

Growing tubes, or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Agritubesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, are a similar concept, designed by Khanyisa Projects and presently being introduced in informal settlements in eThekwini Municipality (Alcock, pers. comm.; Gounden, pers. comm.). As with the tower gardens, Agritubes are supported cylinders filled with soil in which holes can be cut to plant vegetables (Figure 4.6). In this case, the central core of stones is absent, greywater being distributed instead via a slotted pipe inserted into the centre of the column. Both tower gardens and Agritubes can be preceded by mulch towers for pretreatment of kitchen greywater to avoid clogging by grease, fat and particulates, which could otherwise reduce the lifespan of these systems. The reuse of greywater is clearly not simple or straightforward, but requires a considerable amount of care and thought. The ponding of greywater, and the use of floating wetland devices on which to grow crops or flowers, provides a means of installing a barrier between the water and the user (see Chapter 9).

CONCLUSION Run-off of greywater, such as from households not connected to a sewerage system, is a potential source of pollution in catchments. Use of greywater for irrigation is one possible means of minimising the adverse impacts of greywater, while bringing other benefits in terms of food security and improvement of the immediate environment of the household. Mitigative 60

THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

A

B

Figure 4.6: Growing tubes (Agritubes), as tested by eThekwini Municipality for growing plants with greywater (courtesy of Nick Alcock, Khanyisa Projects, used with permission).


PROFILE

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CHAPTER 04: MANAGING GREYWATER IN SOUTH AFRICA

practices or simple biological treatment can be used to minimise the impacts of greywater use on human health, plant growth and productivity, and the ability of soil to support plant growth. It is a tool more suited to the rural, rather than the serviced urban, environment but requires informed implementation and management. References Alcock, P., 2002. The Possible Use of Greywater at Low-Income Households for Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Purposes: A South African Overview. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Alcock, pers. comm. (2010). Personal conversations with N. Alcock, Khanyisa Projects, Durban, South Africa. Carden, K., Armitage, N.,Winter, K., Sichone, O., and Rivett U., 2007. Understanding the Use and Disposal of Greywater in the Non-sewered Areas in South Africa. WRC Report No. 1524/1/07, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa. Crosby C., 2005. Food from used water, making the previously impossible happen. The Water Wheel, January/February 2005, 10-13. DWAF (1996). South African Water Quality Guidelines (SAWQG), 2nd edition, Volume 4: Agricultural Water Use: Irrigation. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria, South Africa. DWAF (2004). Revision of General Authorisations in Terms of Section 39 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998). Government Gazette No. 26187, Government Notice No. 339, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. http://faolex.fao.org/dos/pdf/saf74188.pdf. Last accessed March 2010. Eriksson, E., Auffarth, K., Henze, M. and Ledin, A., 2002. Characteristics of greywater. Urban Water 4, 85-104. Gounden, pers. comm. (2009). Personal consultations with T. Gounden, eThekwini Water and Sanitation, eThekwini Municipality, Durban South Africa. Gravele’t-Blondin, pers. comm. (2010). Personal consultations with L.R. Gravele’t-Blondin, Water Lily Consulting, Durban, South Africa. (L.R. Gravele’t-Blondin previously of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) Jackson S.A.F., Muir, D. and Rodda, N., 2010. Use of domestic greywater for small-scale irrigation of food crops: health risks. Paper presented at the 11th WaterNet/ WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium on IWRM for National and Regional Integration. 27-29 October, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Morel, A. and Diener, S., 2006. Greywater Management in Low and Middle-Income Countries, Review of Different Treatment Systems for Households or Neighbourhoods. Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), Dübendorf, Switzerland. Murphy, K., 2006. A Scoping Study to Evaluate the Fitness-for-Use of Greywater in Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture. WRC Report No. 1479/1/06, Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa. Naicker, P., Smith, M.T., Rodda, N., Jönsson, H., Ridderstolpe, P., 2009. An evaluation of an onsite ecological greywater treatment system. Paper presented at the Pan African Chemistry Network Conference on Sustainable Water, 25-28 August, Nairobi, Kenya. National Water Act (NWA) of 1998. http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Legislature/nw_act/NWA.pdf, last accessed March 2010. Ottosson, J. and Stenström, T.A., 2003. Faecal contamination of greywater and associated microbial risks. Water Research 37, 645-655. Ridderstolpe, P., 2007. Mulch Filter and Resorption Trench for Onsite Greywater Management: A Report for a Demo Facility Built in Kimberley, South Africa. Report to Water Revival Systems (WRS) and EcoSanRes. Rodda, N., Salukazana, L., Smith, M.T. and Jackson, S.A.F., 2010. Use of domestic greywater for small-scale irrigation of food crops: effects on plants and soil. Paper presented at the 11th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium on IWRM for National and Regional Integration. 27-29 October, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Roesner L., Qian Y., Criswell M., Stromberger M. and Klein S., 2006. Long-term Effects of Landscape Irrigation using Household Greywater: A Literature Review and Synthesis. Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), Washington DC, USA. Travis, N.J., Wiel-Shaffran, A., Weisbrod, N., Adar, E. and Gross, A., 2010. Greywater reuse for irrigation: effect on soil properties. Science of the Total Environment 408(12), 2501-2508. Weston, R.F., 1998. Environmental Fate and Effects of Cleaning Product Ingredients. Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), Washington DC, USA. Whittington-Jones, K., 2007. Construction of Grey Water Treatment Systems for the Scenery Park (Buffalo City Municipality) Pilot Project, Phase 2 Report. Report prepared for EcoSanRes and the Stockholm Environment Institute by Scarab Resource Innovations. South Africa. WHO (2006). WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater, Volume IV, Excreta and Greywater Use in Agriculture. WHO Press, World Health Organisation, Geneva. Winter, K., Spiegel, A., Armitage, N. and Carden, K. (in Press). Sustainable Options for Community Level Management of Greywater in Settlements Without On-Site Waterborne Sanitation. Final report on Water Research Commission Project K5/1654. Zuma, B.M., Tandlich, R., Whittington-Jones, K.J., Burgess, J.E., 2009. Mulch tower treatment system Part I: Overall performance in greywater treatment. Desalination 242, 38-56.

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PROFILE

The WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership – thinking ahead, for a blue planet

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

The wise management of our water resources and aquatic ecosystems is one of the most decisive factors that will affect the socio-economic development of South Africa and the wellbeing of the poorest sectors of our society over the next twenty years. South Africa’s new democracy in 1994 allowed for the development of one of the most progressive and innovative examples of freshwater legislation in the world. However, the implementation of this legislation has proved challenging and simply cannot be successfully implemented by Government working alone. Only a cohesive and concerted effort from Government, the private sector and civil society will ensure success. South Africa is located in a predominantly semi-arid part of the world, with an annual rainfall of ca. 450mm; almost half the global average of 860mm.To meet the country’s growing water requirements, water resources are highly stressed in large parts of the country. Most river systems have been significantly altered as a result of dams and weirs, the removal of water and return flows to rivers, as well as the impacts of irresponsible land use. In many instances this has resulted in a severe degradation of the quality of water, the integrity of aquatic life in rivers, and the wellbeing of dependent rural communities. Anticipated further industrialisation and urbanisation will result in even greater stress on water resources and increased conflict between different water-use sectors, basic human needs and the needs of a healthy environment. In response to this WWF and Sanlam have developed the WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership, which seeks to catalyze concerted action from Government, the private sector and civil society around the sound management of our freshwater resources. The vision of the Living Waters Partnership is that : Government, civil society and the private sector work together to build a future in which healthy aquatic ecosystems underpin the sustainable development of South Africa and enhance the quality of life of all its people. The Partnership continuously challenges itself, its partners, Government and ultimately the country to achieve this vision.


PROFILE Socio-economic relevance of the Partnershipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conservation work Healthy ecosystems underpin the livelihood and wellbeing of all humans. Globally, numerous cases have been documented where WWF projects, aimed at improving the health of our ecosystems, have resulted in improved human wellbeing and longterm livelihood opportunities. This argument cannot be more clearly illustrated than in the arena of freshwater conservation where healthy freshwater ecosystems literally result in improved water quality and quantity, providing direct life-giving socio-economic benefits, especially to the poorest rural communities. The WWF Sanlam Living Waters Partnership also seeks to, through its conservation projects, explicitly address the global socio-economic goals of reducing poverty, creating employment, reducing racial and gender biases, increasing education and developing life skills. Preference is therefore given to projects that have high conservation value and also create added social benefits such as job creation or skills development. In addition to seeking to achieve the conservation targets listed above, the WWF Living Waters Partnership is also implementing a novel capacity building programme that seeks to develop local community champions within our aquatic conservation projects. The Leaders for Living Waters programme identifies local community champions from within our projects and makes resources available for these individuals to develop and hone their skills to become knowledgeable leaders within their communities. We also work closely with our many conservation partners to actively career-path these individuals into the formal employment sector. Contact us: IKE NDLOVU HEAD: GROUP SUSTAINABILITY Sanlam Group Limited Sanlam Office Park, No. 3A Summit Road, Dunkeld West, Hyde Park Private Bag X137, Halfway House, 1685 Tel +27 11 778 6312 Fax +27 11 778 6743 Mobile +27 82 655 8050 e-mail Ike.Ndlovu@sanlam.co.za Web www.sanlam.co.za


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PHOSPHATE-FREE DETERGENTS Dr. Chris Dickens

Mr. Leo Quayle

INTRODUCTION Many South Africans may have heard about ‘phosphate-free detergents’ but may not have grasped the importance of phosphorus as a determinant of our water-quality driven socio-economic future. A careful reading of the preceding chapters in this book should have clarified this. The detergent phosphorus contribution to eutrophication is not new. Some countries, specifically in the Nordic region, mandated P-free detergents many years ago. The United States and Australia are moving rapidly to introduce similar legislation by 2012/3. Here in arid, water-scarce South Africa, we are still somewhat behind the curve in doing something to address this major component of phosphorus loading to our rivers and dams. The phosphorus (P) in laundry detergents is contained in pentasodium tri-polyphosphate (STPP, Na5P3O10). STPP is an effective water softener that readily reacts with minerals that make water ‘hard’, such as Ca2+ and Fe2+. Hardness hinders the cleaning ability of the detergent. In addition, by binding up iron and aluminium ions, STPP helps to prevent rust and corrosion of washing machines. In South African dry powdered detergents, STPP makes up an average of 23% (by mass). The phosphorus in this compound makes up 5.3% of the detergent mass. STPP is highly soluble in water and hydrolyses readily, producing orthophosphate (PO4), also referred to as Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP). This substance is the biologically-available form of phosphorus and is an essential nutrient for organic growth. It is regarded as being a limiting nutrient in freshwater systems and thus, when orthophosphate is released into the aquatic environment, it contributes to organic growth of all kinds, but specifically to algal growth (see Chapter 3). The release of excessive amounts of orthophosphate into water bodies thus leads to excessive algal growth or eutrophication with all of the resulting water resource management problems that stem from that (increased cost of treatment, loss of aesthetic quality of the water, odour and toxin production, loss of ecosystem health including biodiversity etc) (see Chapters 2 and 7). In many countries around the world, the use of phosphates in laundry detergents has been limited, banned or is being banned, in response to nutrient enrichment problems. Certainly the majority of THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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countries in Western Europe have put in place either legislated or voluntary restrictions, while 14 states in the USA had by the mid-1990s instituted limits or banned their use outright. Wider restrictions will be in place by 2012-2013 in most western countries. In areas where limitations have been imposed, a variety of substances have been used as substitutes for STPP. The most commonly used is a combination of Zeolite A, together with various â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;co-buildersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; such as NTA (Nitrilotriacetic acid), polycarboxylates, carbonates and citrates. Possibly the most favoured substitute is the three-builder system of Zeolite A, sodium carbonate and polycarboxylate.

PHOSPHORUS AT WWTWS Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTWs) are the most significant point source of phosphorus and orthophosphate entering natural water resources all around the world. This is especially the case in the landlocked areas of South Africa. There are several sources of the orthophosphate arriving at these waste-processing facilities, including industrial chemicals such as phosphoric acid. Domestic sewage, however, including human waste (urine and faeces) and laundry detergents, constitutes the bulk source. This fact establishes a link between detergents and the deleterious effects of excessive nutrient loading on freshwater resources. In an attempt to quantify the role played by detergent phosphates in eutrophication of South African water resources, the Water Research Commission (WRC) recently funded a project to examine the positive and negative effects of introducing zero phosphate detergents into the South African market (Quayle et al, 2010). This study aimed to further understand the impact of detergent phosphate on the phosphate loading at WWTWs and to establish the merits of eliminating phosphate from detergents through national or regional restrictions on its use. Using the Darvill WWTW (uMngeni River catchment in KwaZulu-Natal) as a case study, the contribution of detergent phosphates to the loading of WWTWs was estimated based on the number of households in the catchment and the average quantity of detergent used per household (information supplied by Unilever). The Darvill WWTW had a loading contribution coming from detergents of approximately 22% (total phosphorus) or 40.3% (SRP), as estimated on the basis of the mass balance shown in Table 5.1. Several WWTWs in Gauteng were assessed using the same methodology and the results reflected the nature of the influent arriving at each facility (see Table 5.2). The facilities servicing industrial areas in the south of Johannesburg (Goudkoppies and Driefontein) had lower percentage P contributions (due to higher industrial wastewater contributions), than those servicing more residential areas (Ennerdale, Oliphants and Northern works). 70

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No of households

57500

Avg people per household

3.6

Detergent (det) consumption

17.3

kg/hshld.annum-1

% P composition of detergents (from builder only)

5.3

%

Household Pdet consumption

0.917

kg/hshld.annum-1

Darvill Pdet total

52.72

T/annum

Darvill TP total

239.4

T/annum

Darvill SRP Total

130.6

T/annum

% TP composition

22.0%

% SRP composition

40.3%

Table 5.1: Contribution of detergents phosphate to the total phosphorus loading at darvill WWTW

Unfortunately only SRP results were available for some of these facilities and so comparisons must be drawn using this parameter only. WWTW

Pdet (SRP) % contribution

Study dams downstream

Bushkoppies

17.75

Bloemhof

Goudkoppies

15.40

Bloemhof

Driefontein

15.10

Hartebeestpoort / Roodekopje

Ennerdale

58.82

Bloemhof

Oliphantsvlei

28.12

Bloemhof

Northern

28.53

Hartebeestpoort / Roodekopje

Table 5.2: Comparison of PDET contributions to SRP totals at various Gauteng WWTWS

It was furthermore determined that if wastewater from any large urban centre was limited to purely domestic sewerage, the detergent contribution would be approximately 33% (TP). This finding was in line with a study in Australia of a WWTW treating purely domestic wastewater where between 14% and 38% of total phosphorus was determined to have originated from detergents.

IMPACTS ON DAMS In addition to estimating the impact of detergent phosphates on phosphorus loading at WWTWs, the WRC study also estimated their impact on selected important dams around the country. The importance of excess phosphorus as a driver of eutrophication has been highlighted in Chapter 3. These estimates were based on phosphate export coefficients assigned to different uses of land in each catchment. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Urban Residentialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; land-cover was assigned a conservative 5kg PO4-P/Ha/annum. This value was based on calculated results from the reasonably efficient Darvill WWTW, where THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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biological nutrient removal, as well as alum dosing (chemical removal), is used to remove phosphates. Many WWTWs (particularly the smaller ones) will be markedly less efficient. The example of Howick WWTW shows their export coefficient to be approximately 8.5Kg/Ha/annum, more than 50% higher than that of the Darvill treatment works. In order to include the impact of rural in-stream laundering, rural residential areas were assigned a coefficient of 0.1 Kg/Ha/annum based on compiled field study results (Enongene and Rossouw, 2007) and case study calculations. The results documented in Table 5.2 show the ten worst affected dams from the study based on the proportion of detergent phosphorus in total dam phosphorus loading. Catchment

Total P

kg Pdet

Proportion (%)

Albert Falls

9302.83

1627.4

17.49

Bloemhof

1156796.4

175825.8

15.20

Hartbeestpoort

321421.69

90020.8

28.01

Hazelmere

3498.7

772.1

22.07

Inanda

62011.30

17362.2

28.00

Klipfontein

8353.4

1560.5

18.68

Klipvoor

208420.4

55957.6

26.85

Laing

42859.3

12125.4

28.29

Roodeplaat

64378.5

18883.4

29.33

Shongweni

21944.1

4608.7

21.00

Table 5.3: Calculation of the contribution of detergent phoshorus to dam phosphorus loading

Figure 5.1: Graphical Representation of predicted declines in TP and chlorophyll â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; concentrations in key dams following the removal of detergent phosphates at source

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REDUCTION OF IN-LAKE & CHLOROPHYLL ‘A’ LEVELS The average detergent phosphorus contribution to the loading of these 10 dams is 23.5%; ie, a significant proportion of the total. This implies that should phosphates be removed from detergents, significant amounts of phosphate currently reaching these dams can be removed and thus augment the ability of the WWTWs to treat phosphorus originating from other sources and further lower the impact of eutrophication! When factored into the phosphorus modeling for selected dams, this average reduction results in a predicted average decline in lake phosphorus and algal response, measured as chlorophyll-a, of 23% and 20% respectively (see Table 5.3 and Figure 5.1). This is a significant reduction via the management of a single source of phosphorus. Dam

Total Phosphorus

Chlorophyll ‘A’

Albert Falls

11%

9%

Bloemhof

14%

12%

Hartbeestpoort

26%

22%

Hazelmere

21%

18%

Inanda

35%

30%

Klipfontein

17%

15%

Klipvoor

25%

21%

Laing

26%

23%

Roodeplaat

27%

23%

Shongweni

26%

22%

Average

23%

20%

Table 5.4: Predicted declines in-dam total phosphrus and chlorophyll ‘A’ following removal of detergent phosphorus at source

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF PHOSPHATE DETERGENTS The current approach to the control of phosphate pollution, adopted by the Department of Water Affairs, is that of removing phosphate at WWTWs before effluent enters the environment. This is in line with the findings of two previous studies on this subject (Pillay 1994, Heynike and Wiechers, 1986). The earlier studies indicated that, although there was a link between detergent phosphorus and enhanced nutrient levels, the overall costs of removing phosphate builders from detergents outweighed the cost of removing phosphates from wastewater at WWTWs. Both of these studies thus recommended that efficient phosphate removal at WWTWs was the solution to phosphate pollution. The 1mg/ℓ standard was put in place in the late 1980s in response to the 1986 study in an attempt to limit excessive phosphate pollution – typical phosphorus concentrations in sewage effluent entering a WWTW were on the order of 5 to 10 mg/ℓ – but has not achieved the desired reductions. The standard has no ecological validity and, being based on a concentration, has no volumetric component. Quite simply, the product of volume times concentration (load) is important, not simply concentration. Load-based THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Figure 5.2: Map of the Inanda composite catchment showing intense detergent phosphate use in urban centres

management allows for population growth, whereas concentration-based management simply leads to the situation becoming progressively worse! The 1mg/ℓ standard is an example of ‘bounded reality’ (see Chapter 8). More recently a body of literature has built up which, predictably, demonstrates that this approach is failing and that excessive amounts of phosphate are entering the natural aquatic environment (Moolman, 2004, Snyman et al, 2006, Hols et al, 1998, Harding, 2008). The inability of WWTWs to successfully remove sufficient phosphate to protect water resources suggests that an alternative approach, which includes the removal of phosphates at source, (specifically detergent phosphates) should be considered as part of a wider phosphorus attenuation strategy. As part of the recent WRC study, a qualitative cost benefit analysis was undertaken to assess the impact of zero-phosphate detergents on the environment, WWTWs, the manufacturers and consumers. Several issues scored negatively, such as the inability to recycle zeolite and hence the increased volume of sludge waste that may be produced, the cost of upgrading manufacturing plants and the possibility of residue being left on clothes. But, what would we rather have: A small heap of secondhand zeolite or, the quality of water in all of our dams unfit for use? To-date the bounded reality decision-makers have tended to go with the latter option! 74

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These negative costs were however outweighed by positive benefits such as the decrease in overall environmental phosphate loading and algal growth, the avoidance of the rising cost of phosphate and its resultant increase in cost of detergents, the improvement in the aesthetic and recreational quality of aquatic resources and possible cost savings at WWTWs and WTWs. This resulted in an overall conclusion that the introduction of zero-phosphate detergents is, in fact, beneficial to the future development of South Africa. We should not pat ourselves on the back regarding this discovery, it was obvious 20 years ago! This finding is significant in that it reverses the findings of previous cost-benefit studies that had shown that the introduction of zero phosphate detergents would in fact have a net cost to society (the cost of eutrophic dams would be astronomically greater). The shift to that of a net benefit is largely due to the change in understanding that zero-phosphate detergents may in fact not result in damage to washing machines and fabrics (as previously assumed), and due to the rising cost of phosphate. Furthermore, the finding is entirely in accordance with P-reduction strategies already being implemented elsewhere the world. While the economic costs of phosphorus-free detergents may be competitive, analysis of the social impacts of phosphorus removal from detergents in Zimbabwe, in response to their 1979 Water Act, suggest that there was a very negative response to the lower-foaming phosphorus-free detergents by especially the rural population. Within that sector of the population, it was found that foaming action was equated with cleaning action, and that the lower foaming associated with the replacement of phosphorus with other agents led to the perception that the products were less effective than â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;traditionalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; detergents. It was found that in order to restore the perceived lack of cleaning capacity, people were turning to other chemicals, including carbon tetrachloride, that were more environmentally damaging than phosphorus. Hence, it was necessary to supplement the introduction of phosphorus-free detergents with an extensive public information campaign, and to continue to make phosphorus detergents available in rural areas during this period of transition. Unfortunately, this increased production costs for manufacturers, who had to maintain two production lines at least during the transition period. Urban areas also were not immune from this concern related to lack of foaming. It was found that detergent use increased as people added more detergent than the recommended amount in an attempt to generate the same level of perceived cleaning power.

LIMITING PHOSPHATES IN DETERGENTS Limiting the use of phosphates in detergents is a popular method of combating rising levels of nutrients in water resources globally. A review of local and international literature has shown that countries or regions where the eutrophication of water resources is a problem, legislated or voluntary limitation of phosphates in detergents has, in many cases, partially remediated the problem. This THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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approach to reducing phosphorus in effluents has gained popularity in both Europe and the USA and has set a strong precedent which countries and regions with limited water resources are likely to follow. Because zero-phosphate detergents have been in use internationally for a long time, the WRC study was able to gain insight into the costs and benefits associated with them that were not available to prior studies. Significantly, it has been shown that, if correctly-formulated and correctly-used, zerophosphate detergents can perform just as well as phosphate containing detergents and are no more likely to cause damage to washing machines or fabrics than their phosphate-rich counterparts. This fact negates the cost-based conclusions of the earlier studies – studies which failed to project future growth and environmental conditions. There can be little argument concerning the impact phosphates exert on the water resources in South Africa. Given that a large proportion of WWTWs are struggling to meet even the ineffective 1mg/ℓ effluent phosphate concentration limit, a 15% - 50% (depending on the make-up of waste water) reduction in SRP loading at WWTWs is considered highly significant. Reducing the influent phosphate loading is especially important for small WWTWs where phosphate removal is generally inefficient. This reduction would not only go a long way to assist WWTWs in achieving effluent concentration targets, but it would also help alleviate the problems created by the overflow of WWTWs during heavy rains or because of equipment failure, and phosphate loading in rural settings where detergent phosphates are introduced directly into water courses. In addition to the impacts on WWTWs, the indications are that as much as 35% of the loading of phosphorus to our dams could be eliminated through the removal of detergent phosphorus, resulting in an estimated reduction in algal growth of up to 30%. In dams where algal growth is resulting in significant costs (such as reductions in biodiversity, reduction of dam-side property values, increased water treatment costs and loss of recreational amenity value) a reduction of this nature must be regarded as strategically-important (see Chapters 1-3). Implementation of a programme to remove the phosphate from detergents could be considered either on a regional or country-wide basis. However, it is unlikely that it will be cost effective for large manufacturers to run two manufacturing processes in parallel (phosphate and non-phosphate) in order to make this possible. It is more likely that manufacturers will switch their entire existing processes to alternative builder production. Certainly Unilever (South Africa’s largest manufacturer) have only one detergent production facility and have indicated that should they implement zero phosphate detergents, all their products would make the change (H. Bhoola, 2009). A regional ban would thus not make sense and action would need to take place at a National level. 76

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It should also be noted that the predictive results of the WRC study are considered conservative estimates, based on the fact that Darvill WWTW was used as a case study and represents a reasonably efficient phosphate removal facility. The effluent of many other WWTWs would show considerably higher phosphate loading values.

MANUFACTURERS’ ROLE According to South African manufacturers, some products on the market are already phosphate-free (C. de Lange, 2009.). This has introduced the concept of zero-phosphate detergents to the South African market place. Based on international trends, Unilever (South Africa’s largest manufacturer) has already prepared itself for a change to zero-phosphate detergents, and feel that if the decision were taken to move to phosphate free detergents, it would take them as little as three to five years to adapt their process (H. Boolah, 2009; R. Plumbley, 2009). These facts, when seen against the backdrop of the exponential increase in the cost of phosphate, can be seen as an indication of the willingness of manufacturers to move away from phosphate-rich detergents.

CONCLUSION In conclusion, it is important to note that the environmental benefits of eliminating phosphate from detergents will only be fully-realised if the resulting reduction in WWTWs’ influent phosphate loading is translated into a reduction in their effluent loading. This will not necessarily occur at efficient facilities if they merely enjoy the reduction in treatment costs that would accompany a reduced phosphate loading and continue to target the 1mg/ℓ effluent concentration standard. Accordingly, the phosphorus discharge limits for WWTWs must be set based on loads that will not cause eutrophication downstream. Based on the findings of the WRC study which have been summarised in this chapter, the following recommendations can be made: • The elimination of phosphorus from detergents is both beneficial and desirable, and it is thus recommended that the replacement of phosphate containing detergents with zero-phosphate alternatives should be carried out as soon as is feasible. • It is also the recommendation of this study that negotiations be entered into between the DWA and detergent manufacturers to establish a mutually agreeable process for this transition to be achieved. Such a transition must also include an extensive public informational programme and outreach effort so that people understand what to expect from the transition. Given the urban-rural cross section of people, use of multiple media – ie, radio, television, print, posters – is recommended. • Although it is recommended that this process be approached in a co-operative manner that allows manufacturers to take a leading role (and thus achieve a maximum benefit from the THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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process through marketing and public relations exercises), it is important that the change to zerophosphate detergents be consolidated through legislation. This would mean that, should a change in world markets result in phosphate rich detergents once again providing a competitive advantage, that the possibility of manufacturers returning to them is negated. It is also recommended that the efficacy of the 1mg/ℓ phosphate effluent standard be urgently reviewed – as has been called for over many years. This is specifically important given the predicted reductions in influent phosphate loading at WWTWs that will result from the elimination of detergent phosphate, and the importance of transferring that benefit to downstream aquatic environments. References Boolah, H., 2009. Personal communication – Unilever, Durban De Lange, C., 2009. Personal communication – Protea Chemicals Enongene G.N, Rossouw J.N., 2007. Collation and Development of Nutrient Export Coefficients for South Africa. DWAF, Water Resources Planning Systems Directorate, Report no P14/12/16/2 Hohls, B.C., Quibell, G., Du Plessis, B.J., and Belcher, T., 1998. Assessment of the Implementation of the Phosphate Standard at the Baviaanspoort and the Zeekoegat Water Care Works. Report No. N/A230/01/DEQ0797. Institute for Water Quality Studies, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria, South Africa. Pillay M., 1994. Detergent Phosphorus in South Africa: Impact of Eutrophication with Specific Reference to the Umgeni Catchment. Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering, December 1994, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa Plumbley, R., 2009. Personnal communication – Unilever , Durban Quayle. LM, Dickens. CWS, Graham. M, Simpson. D, Goliger. A, Dickens JK, Freese. S, Blignaut. J., 2010. Investigation of the positive and negative consequences associated with the introduction of zero-phosphate detergents into South Africa. WRC Report No: 1768/1/09 Snyman, H.G, van Niekerk, A.M and Rajasakran,N., 2006b. Sustainable wastewater treatment – What has gone wrong and how do we get back on track. In: Proceedings of WISA 2006.

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PROFILE

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Rural Schools


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Nalco Company (NYSE: NLC), with global corporate and research headquarters in Naperville, Illinois (USA), provides essential expertise for water, energy and air â&#x20AC;&#x201D; delivering significant environmental, social and economic performance benefits to our customers. Nalco helps customers reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, enhance air quality, minimize environmental releases and improve productivity and end products while boosting their bottom line. Together our comprehensive solutions contribute to the sustainable development of customer operations. Nalco is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and is one of the world leaders in water treatment and process improvement applications providing services, chemicals and equipment solutions. In 2009, Nalco sales reached $3.7 billion of which $1,662 million from Water Services, $666 million for Paper Services and $1,418 million from Energy Services. More than 11,500 Nalco employees work at more than 50,000 customer locations, in more than 150 countries supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centres to serve a broad range of end markets.

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Our Mission Our mission is to lead the industry in creating value for customers and Nalco through differentiated services and technologies that save water and energy, enhance production and improve air quality while reducing total costs of operation.


PROFILE Sustainability Nalco Africa is committed to sustainable development. We believe in “Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN Brunt land Report 1987). Our Air Protection Technologies combines Nalco-Mobotec’s (a Nalco Company subsidiary) patented combustion improvement technology with innovative Nalco chemistry and application expertise to reduce many critical pollutants, including greenhouse gases, nitrogen and sulphur dioxides (NOx/ SOx), mercury, hydrogen chloride and particulates. Nalco continuously looks for ways to extend its innovative solutions to more industries, geographies and systems. The ability of 3D TRASAR® technology to measure key system parameters, detect upsets and take appropriate action in cooling water systems has saved more than 757 million cubic meters of water worldwide since its introduction.

Our Greatest Asset is Our People Our highly trained sales engineers, who specialize in water-related and process chemical solutions, work on-site to optimize customer operations and their bottom line. As Nalco Africa we invest heavily in recruiting and training our personnel, with more than half of the first year spent in formal training with accelerated universities set for rapid-growth industries – Nalco University and Nalco Downstream University. Nalco Africa’s district managers averages 15 years experience, the collective knowledge of the company exceeds 50-years of experience in water and process related industries.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) At Nalco Africa, our commitment to broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) is focused on the spirit, beyond the letter, of transformation. Our aim is to play an active role in the transformation process in a manner that is sustainable, credible and of benefit to the Nalco Africa, our stakeholders and the country as a whole. We are determined to broaden the base of the South African economy and promote participation in the economy by all citizens. We follow measurements and scorecard targets as set out in the Department of Trade and Industry’s Codes of Good Practice for Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment. As a start-up joint venture company Nalco Africa was granted a Level 4 Contributor. Nalco Africa (PTY) Ltd Building 14 Ground Floor Greenstone Hill Office Park Emerald Boulevard Greenstone 1609

Phone +27 10 590 9120 Fax + 27 10 590 9130 Email nalcoafricareception@nalco.com


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CHAPTER 06: EMERGING POLLUTANTS

EMERGING POLLUTANTS Dr Irene Barnhoorn

Ms. Bettina Genthe

INTRODUCTION The acronym ‘EDC’ is globally used by researchers and scientists when describing chemicals that may influence the endocrine system in humans and animals. It stands for endocrine disrupting chemical/s and consists of a variety of different pollutants that target the body’s endocrine system. EDCs may alter normal hormone function in humans and animals in four different ways, as described by the Environmental Protection Agency (1997): • Imitate the sex steroid hormones (estrogens and androgens) by binding to hormone receptors; • Obstruct, prevent and modify hormonal binding to hormone receptors; • Alter the synthesis and metabolism of natural hormones; and, • Change the formation and function of hormone receptors. EDCs, working in the same way as natural hormones, cause unnatural sexual development, reproductive disorders, behavioural disorders, immunological disorders, and neurological defects (Toppari et al, 1996). The endocrine system regulates processes as diverse as blood pressure, smooth muscle contraction, fluid balance and bone-resorption (International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), 2002). Many of these systems are programmed during foetal development and an abnormal environment during this critical stage can result in permanent mis-programming (IPCS, 2002) – ie, resulting in birth defects. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that endocrine disrupting chemicals cause transgenerational effects in animals (Zala and Penn, 2004). Developmental toxicity can result either from exposure of parent prior to conception or from exposure of the embryo in utero (World Health Organization (WHO), 2003). EDCs consist of a wide range of chemicals including: • Pesticides, including DDT and metabolites, endosulfan, dieldrin, methoxychlor, kepone, dicofol, toxaphene, chlordane; • Herbicides, such as atrazine, alachlor and nitrofen; • Fungicides such as benomyl, mancozeb and tributyl tin; THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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• Nematocides, such as aldicarb and dibromochloropropane; • Plasticisers, such as bisphenol A and phthalates; • Cleaning products, metabolites of detergents and related surfactants, such as nonylphenol and octylphenol; • Pharmaceuticals, such as drug estrogens - birth control pills, DES, cimetidine, diazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, metoprolol, gemfibrozil, diclofenac, naproxen, ibuprofen, carbamazepin (SWITCH); • Industrial chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin and benzo(a)pyrene; and • Heavy metals, such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and cadmium (Cd).

GLOBAL EDC STUDIES Research on humans and wildlife, conducted during the past 20 years, has focused on reproductive effects and endpoints of EDCs in the environment, with a few studies focusing on the effects on the immune system and thyroid function (Genthe and Steyn, 2010). EDCs and pharmaceuticals are not removed adequately by current wastewater treatment practices. They pose a major threat to the ecosystem health of dams and user-health. The symptoms of eutrophication, already evident in South African waters, thus serve as a proxy for a host of other evils deposited into our dams via the disposal of wastewater effluents into our streams and rivers. Globally, the most common known effect of EDCs in wildlife is intersex, via either masculinisation or feminisation of various species. Alkylphenols and pesticides have been identified as the main EDCs leading to intersex in fish from the UK (Jobling et al 1998), Europe (Vigano et al, 2001; Gercken and Sordyl, 2002), and America (Harshbarger et al, 2000). In Florida, male alligators with abnormally small penises, abnormalities of the testes, and altered levels of sex hormones have been found after a spill of DDT and dicofol in Lake Apopka (Guillette et al, 1994). Furthermore, a study done by Facemire et al. (1995) was indicative of reproductive impairment in the Florida black panther, as a result of exposure to EDCs. The reproductive success of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Great Lakes (North America) were compromised by p,p’-DDE which led to thinning of the egg shells (Bowerman et al, 1998). Fry (1995) found that p,p’-DDE induced eggshell thinning resulted in crushed eggs and breeding failure of piscivorous birds. p,p’-DDE is a metabolite of the pesticide DDT and acts both as an androgen receptor antagonist and as inhibitor of testosterone (Kelce et al, 1995).

SOUTH AFRICAN RESEARCH In South Africa, research on the effects of EDCs, other than DDT and its cogeners, began in 1998 and focussed mainly on the identification and effects of EDCs in water. Barnhoorn et al (2004) reported that EDCs are present in South African waters (Barnhoorn et al, 2003; Fatoki and Awofolu, 2003), with some sources showing estrogenic activity (Aneck-Hahn, 2002 and 2005; De Jager et al, 2002; Timmerman, 2003), this being an indicator of significant environmental pollution. 84

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Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting was formed by Mr. Moudy Mudzielwana in 2005 with a vision to Share Cutting edge Environmental, Waste and Communication Solutions. Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting focuses on youth development and is committed to providing youth with job training opportunities in order to reduce challenges and to help them gain the experience of qualified and experienced personnel in the industry. The Director Moudy has completed a Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Venda for Science and Technology in 2000. Moudy has certificates in Integrated Waste Management Planning, Environmental Impact Assessment, Occupation Health and Safety, Project Management, Effective Speaking and Presentation Skills, Communication Science, Journalism and Waste Management. Moudy has participated in the development of the General Waste Facility Minimum Requirements Standard for the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Moudy has worked for Butterfield Bakery, Caxton Limited as a reporter, Environmental Impact Management Services, BKS, Zitholele Consulting, PDNA, Enviro-Fill and EnviroServ. Moudy is a Director of Eco-Eye Waste Management: www.ecoeye.co.za Company Services Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consulting offers the following prices: • Environmental Project Management • Environmental Impact Assessment • Mining Environmental Management Programmes • Occupational Health and Safety • MHI Risk Assessment • Supply of Environmental and SHERQ officers on construction sites • Supply of PPP Equipments • Integrated Waste Management and Environmental Management Plans • Training on Environmental and Waste Management • Landfill Operation and Supervision • Water and Roads Civil Engineering Where to find us:

Gauteng Office Contact Person: Moudy Ngwedzeni Mudzielwana 37 Villa Valencia Office Park, Anemoon Street, Glen Marais, 1619 Contact: Cell: 076 431 1016 Tel: 011 396 1236 Fax:086 600 1016 Polokwane Office 91 Hans Rensburg Street, Eurasia Office Complex, Polokwane, 0699, Contacts: Cell: 076 431 1016: Tel: 015-297-6060: Our Website: www.tshikovha.co.za

We are the cutting edge In Sharing Environmental, Waste and Communication Sound Solutions


CHAPTER 06: EMERGING POLLUTANTS

Research by Bornman et al (2007, 2009, 2010) showed EDC-induced effects on the reproductive organs of South African wildlife, including freshwater fish species and mammals from an urban nature reserve and in a DDT sprayed area (Rietvlei, Pretoria). Furthermore Barnhoorn et al (2004; 2010) reported intersex in two indigenous freshwater fish species as result of exposure to EDCs. Numerous works have been published on the possible effects of EDCs on human reproduction, especially urogenital disorders in men (Toppari et al, 1996) that include cryptorchidism, hypospadias, testicular cancer and poor semen quality (SkakkebĂŚk et al, 2001; Weber et al, 2002). In South Africa, Aneck-Hahn et al (2007) found that healthy men living in a DDT-sprayed area had impaired semen quality. Recently, Bornman et al (2009) found shocking results from the same area; viz, that male offspring from mothers living in a DDT-sprayed area had one or more urogenital birth defects. Sharpe and Skakkebaek (1993) suggested that most of these effects might be caused by EDCs acting as synthetic hormones in the environment and mimicking the female sex hormone, estrogen. Conversely, some synthetic hormones might act as the male hormone androgen, showing antiestrogenicity. Amid EDCs found in water are the steroidal estrogens, such as 17-estradiol, estrone, estriol and the xenoestrogen 17a-ethynylestradiol, all of which have been found in sewage effluents in low concentrations. For some endocrine disrupting chemicals, extremely low doses cause in vivo changes or have damaging effects. With the advent of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), such as antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones, seizure medication, pain killers, tranquilizers and cholesterol-lowering compounds (all found in varied water resources), the need to understand which chemicals to test for, and which processes remove these chemicals in drinking water and wastewater treatment processes, has become critically important. Many pharmaceutical products are not significantly adsorbed in subsoil as a result of their polar structures and are therefore soluble and mobile in aquatic environments. Previous research at an artificial groundwater recharge site in South Africa identified the following pharmaceuticals in the different water samples along the treatment chain: Sulfamethoxazole, Carbamazepine, Dihydrodihydroxy- Carbamazepine, Iopromid, Iohexol, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and traces of psychoactive Drugs < 50 ng/l (Temazepam, Codeine, Oxazepam, Diazepam). The largest concern was that some of the chemicals were found in trace quantities in the final drinking water. This has highlighted the need to understand what happens to these emerging contaminants and what processes remove them.

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Various South African waters (both treated and raw waters) have recently been found to have oestrogenic activity present in varying concentrations. Various naturally-occurring, as well as synthetic, chemicals have been identified that elicit endocrine activity. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have classified 48 chemicals as endocrine disruptors (Choi et al, 2004), whereas the Japanese have listed 67 chemicals as suspected endocrine disruptors (Tohyama et al, 2000). Chemicals considered to be endocrine disruptors have been found in South African waters and wastewaters in several previous studies (Bornman et al, 2005; Aneck-Hahn et al, 2002; Dalvie et al, 2003). The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has formulated a priority list of suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals for South Africa. Thirty-three substances were listed as potential endocrine disrupting chemicals that are frequently used in South Africa and occur in different water bodies around the country.

CONCLUSION From this evidence it can be assumed that exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is likely in humans, and that preventative action needs to be taken. It is clear that the use of these chemicals needs to be managed and exposure prevented or limited. However, for economic reasons, scientific evidence of adverse effects is needed before a chemical compound can be defined as an endocrine disruptor, and therefore be controlled. Many synthetic chemicals suspected of causing adverse effects are persistent in the environment, tend to accumulate in fat tissue of humans and wildlife, and are released during times of stress, malnutrition, and pregnancy (American Chemical Society, 1998). People are seldom (if ever) exposed to a single hazardous substance. From the literature it is evident that mixtures of chemicals cause effects quite different and often more extreme than those from single chemicals. This is a major limitation for water quality guidelines as most toxicological studies examine the effects of only a single chemical at a time. However, endocrine disrupting chemicals can act additively and even synergistically (Silva et al, 2002 cited in MRC/IEH, 2004). Most of the research undertaken to-date has focused on the reproductive effects and endpoints of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment, with a few investigations on effects on the immune system and thyroid function. South African waters (both treated and raw waters) have recently been found to have oestrogenic activity present in varying concentrations. At this stage we are not certain at which levels endocrine disruptors adversely affect health, although we do have an indication that adverse effects occur. We therefore recommend using an overall screening of biological activity, such as oestrogenic and thyroid activity, rather than analysing for specific chemicals. 88

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Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Arch Water Products South Africa’ s ICM division delivers on-site, innovative, water sanitizing solutions. The industries we serve include: Industrial, Commercial, Municipal and Food & Farming. We utilise the following unique products and equipment: HTH® Scientific Frexus® CH Pulsar® Dosers Chip Dosers In-Line Feeders Controlling and Monitoring Units Arch Water Products SA is a subsidiary of Arch Chemicals, Inc., a world leader in water sanitization through its HTH® Water Products business. From municipal drinking water, waste water treatment, food processing industries, to commercial swimming pools, our products are keeping our water clean and suitable for human consumption. Our popular brands – HTH® and Pace®- are recognized around the globe. The 21st century provides more opportunity for our HTH® Scientific products and services and we’re moving to capture the advantage that our research and experience provide. Already a leader in treating water, Arch Chemicals is on track to achieve world class results through our patented Pulsar® and Industrial Controller and Feeder systems. Designed to work optimally with our range of products, there is a large base of installed feeders in various applications across Southern Africa and the rest of the world. We believe that our simple and reliable feeders and proven chlorinating chemicals also provide the keys to unlocking a growth market – drinking water sanitation and sewage effluent in municipalities and in developing nations. Application of our water treatment expertise to potable water could significantly reduce the 10,000 deaths a day the World Health Organization attributes to waterborne illnesses. As we continue to innovate, one thing will never change – our focus on our customers, service and superior products. Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd www.hthscientific.co.za. Tel: (011) 393 9000 Fax: (011) 393 9020


CHAPTER 06: EMERGING POLLUTANTS

References American Chemical Society. (1998). Endocrine Disruptors. Science in Focus Aneck-Hahn NH, De Jager C, Bornman MS and Du Toit D., 2005. Oestrogenic activity using a recombinant yeast screen assay (RCBA) in South African laboratory water sources. Water SA. 31(2):253-256. Aneck-Hahn NH, Schulenburg GW, Bornman MS, Farias P, de Jager C., 2007. Impaired semen quality associated with environmental DDT exposure in young men living in a malaria area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. J Androl 28: 423–34 Aneck-Hahn, N.H., 2002. Screening for anti-oxidant pollutants and estrogenic activity in drinking water in poverty stricken areas of South Africa. Ph.D.Thesis. Doctor Technologiae in Biomedical Sciences, Technikon Pretoria,Pretoria, South Africa. Barnhoorn IEJ, Bornman MS, Pieterse GM and Van Vuren JHJ., 2004. Histological evidence of intersex in feral sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) from an estrogens-polluted water source in Gauteng, South Africa. Environ. Toxicol. 19:603-608. Barnhoorn IEJ, Pieterse GM, Bornman MS, van Vuren JHJ, van Dyk C., 2003. Intersex in feral sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Poster presented at the 38th South African Society of Aquatic Scientists (SASAqS) annual congress held in conjunction with ZSSA (Zoological Society of South Africa), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. Barnhoorn IEJ, Van Dyk JC, Pieterse GM and Bornman MS., 2010. Intersex in feral indigenous freshwater Oreochromis mossambicus, from various parts in the Luvuvhu River, Limpopo Province, South Africa, Ecotoxicol Environ Saf, 73: 1537–1542. Barnhoorn, IEJ., Bornman, MS., Pieterse, GM. And van Vuren, JHJ., 2004. Histological evidence of Intersex in feral sharptooth catfish (Clarias garipinus) from an estrogen-polluted water source in Gauteng, South Africa. Environmental Toxicology. Volume 19. Issue 6. pp 603-608. Bornman MS, Barnhoorn IEJ, Aneck-Hahn NH., 2009. A pilot study on the occurrence endocrine disruptive chemicals in a DDT-sprayed area. Water Research Commission. WRC Report No KV 220/09, Pretoria, South Africa. Bornman, M.S., Barnhoorn, I.E.J., de Jager, C., Veeramachaneni, D.N.R., 2010. Testicular microlithiasis and neoplastic lesions in wild eland (Tragelaphus oryx): Possible effects of exposure to environmental pollutants? Environ Res 110: 327–333 Bornman MS, Delport R, Becker P, Risenga S and De Jager C., 2005. Urogenital birth defects in neonates from a high-risk malaria area in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Epidemiology. 16:S126. Bornman, R., de Jager, C., Worku, Z., Farias, P., Reif., 2009. DDT and urogenital malformations in newbornboys in a malarial area. B J U International. Bornman MS, Van Vuren JHJ, Bouwman H, De Jager C, Genthe B and Barnhoorn IEJ., 2007. Endocrine disruptive activity and the potential health risk in an urban nature reserve. WRC report No. 1505/1/07. Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa Bowerman, W.W., Best, D.A., Grubb, T.G., Zimmerman, G.M., Giesy, J.P., 1998. Trends of contaminants and effects in bald eagles of the Great Lakes basin. Environ Monit Assess 53:197–212. Choi, S.M, Yoo, S.D, Lee, B.M., 2004. “Toxicological characteristics of endocrine-disrupting chemicals: developmental toxicity, carcinogenicity, and mutagenicity.”, J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev, vol. 7, No.1, pp 1-24 De Jager, C., Myburgh, J., van der Burg, B., Lemmen, J.G., Bornman, M.S., 2002. Estrogenic contamination of South African river waters: a pilot study. American Waterworks Water Association, April 18–20, Cincinnati, OH. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/630/R-96/012. Special report on environmental endocrine disruption: An effects assessment and analysis. 1997. Facemire, C.F., Gross, T.S., Guillette Jr, L.J., 1995. Reproductive impairment in the Florida Panther: nature or nurture? Environ Health Perpect. 103 (4), 79–86. Fatoki, O.S., Awofolu, R.O., 2003. Methods for selective determination of persistent organochlorine pesticide residues in water and sediments by capillary gas chromatography and electron-capture detection. J Chrom A 983(1–2):225–236. Fry, D.M., 1995. Reproductive effects in birds exposed to pesticides and industrial chemicals. Environ. Health Perspect. 103 (Suppl 7), 165–171. Genthe,B., Steyn, M., Aneck-Hahn, N.H., Van Zijl, C., De Jager, C., 2010. The feasibility of a health risk assessment framework to derive guidelines for oestrogen activity in treated drinking water. WRC Report, in press Gercken, J., Sordyl, H., 2002. Intersex in feral marine and freshwater fish from Northeastern Germany. Mar Environ Res 54:651– 655. Guillette, L.J. (Jr), Gross, T.S., Masson, G.R., Matter, J.M., Franklin Percival, H., Woodward, A.R., 1994. Developmental abnormalities of the gonad and abnormal sex hormone concentrations in juvenile alligators from contaminated and control lakes in Florida. Environ. Health Perspect. 102:680-688. Harshbarger, J.C., Coffey, M.J., Young, M.Y., 2000. Intersexes in Mississippi River shovelnose sturgeon sampled below Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Mar Environ Res 50:247–250. IPCS- The International Programme on Chemical Safety. (2002). Global Assessment if the State-of –the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors. WHO/PCS/EDC/002.2 Jobling, S., Nolan, M., Tyler, C.R., Brighty, G., Sumpter, J.P., 1998. Widespread sexual disruption in wild fish. Environ. Sci. Technol. 32, 2498–2506. Kelce, W., Stone, C., Laws, S., et al, 1995. Persistent DDT metabolite p,p’-DDE is a potent androgen receptor antagonist. Nature 375, 581–585. MRC /IEH. Medical Research Council (MRC) / Institute for Environment and Health (IEH). (2004). Current Scope and Future Direction of Research into Endocrine Disruption. Report of the Fourth IEH Table Meeting on Endocrine Disrupters, 10 – 11 March 2004. Sharpe, R., Skakkebaek, N., 1993. Are oestrogens involved in falling sperm counts and disorders if the male reproductive tract? Lancet. 341:1392-5. Skakkebæk, N.E., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Main, K.M., 2001. Testicular dysgenesis syndrome: an increasingly common developmental disorder with environmental aspects. Hum Reprod 16(5): 972-978. Timmerman, V., 2003. In vitro bioassays for estrogenic activity in food, water, and household products. M.Sc Thesis, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Tohyama, C., Ohsako, S., Ishimura, R.,2000. “Health risk assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals”, Nippon Rinsho, 58(12): 2393-2400. Toppari, J., Larsen, J.C., Christiansen, P., Giwercman, A., Grandjean, P., Guillette Jr, L.J., Jegou, B., Jensen, T.K., Jouannet, P., Keiding, N., Leffers, H., McLachlan, J.A., Meyer, O., Muller, J., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Scheike, T., Sharpe, R., Sumpter, J., Skakkebaek, N.E., 1996. Male reproductive health and environmental xenoestrogens. Environ. Health Perspect. 104 (Suppl. 4),741–803. Vigano, L., Arillo, A., Bottero, S., Massari, A., Mandich, A., 2001. First observation of intersex cyprinids in the Po River (Italy). Sci Tot Environ 269:189 –194. Weber, R.F.A., Pierik, F.H., Dohle, G.R., Burdorf, A., 2002. Environmental influences on male reproduction. BJU International 89:143-148. World Health Organization (WHO). (2003). Environmental Health Criteria 225. Principles for Evaluating Health Risks to Reproduction Associated with Exposure to Chemicals. World Health Organisation, Geneva. Zala, S.M., and Penn, D.J., 2004. Abnormal behaviours induced by chemical pollution: a review of evidence and new challenges. Animal Behaviour. 68: 649 – 664.

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TURNKEY GROUNDWATER CONTRACTORS AND CONSULTANTS Aqua Earth Consulting offers professional, practical solutions to our clients’ geohydrological and engineering geological environments. These services include an integrated and effective approach to the management, utilisation and monitoring of water resources, as well as legal and environmental aspects related to these environments. Our firm consists of a team of specialists in hydrogeology (groundwater), engineering geology and geology with expert knowledge in all aspects of groundwater related projects, including amongst others siting, drilling, testing, characterization, aquifer classification, groundwater modelling, monitoring, maintenance and management of groundwater related infrastructure. These environments include mines, industry and rural water supply throughout Africa. Our equipment includes state of the art percussion drill rigs, pump test units and down the hole logging equipment and a borehole camera. All projects have full logistical support with backup vehicles, site personnel and professional planning. Our crews are trained in all aspects of safe and efficient operations, and adhere to the best practice health, safety and environmental standards. All our crews adhere to highest standards of health and safety regulations with health and safety Risk Assessments and best practice guidelines in place on all our professional and contractual operations. The clients we serve include local and internationally based mines, national and international government departments, local authorities, municipalities, private clients and our network of Consultants. In conjunction with: GOEREM INTERNATIONAL – Environmental Contractors G E S – Geothermal Installation Contractors Contact us at: 260 Kent Road, Ferndale, Randburg, 2194, South Africa +27(0) 11 787 5994 +27(0) 11 507 6612 aquaearth@aquaearth.co.za

www.aquaearth.co.za

www.georem.co.za

www.africanecosystems.co.za


PROFILE

Capricorn is on course to clear off water backlogs

Capricorn District Municipality is firing on all cylinders to clear off the remaining backlog of 13%. The municipality inherited a backlog of 42.4% in the year 2000 and to date the backlog has been reduced to 13% - thus increasing access to water to 87% of the District population. During the District Water Indaba in 2009, the municipality noted that 80% of the district population still depends on ground water sources for supply; further that the growing patterns of communities put pressure on our groundwater source, thus increasing the demand of water to the reticulation network, which our boreholes cannot carry. These ultimately cause water shortages in some areas. To that end, the municipality moves with speed to maintain water schemesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; infrastructure in order to circumvent the risk of creating â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;new backlogsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. As the district municipality serves communities in five local municipalities, Blouberg has got higher number of households with access to water with a backlog of only 5% compared to other relatively rural municipalities such as Aganang (11 backlog), Lepelle-Nkumpi (8% backlog), Molemole (21% backlog). In these local municipalities, over 427 652 families depend on indigent packages and free basic services such as water, sanitation and energy. These programmes help to ensure that poor households are not excluded from accessing clean water because of their socio-economic status. R4-m has been set aside free basic water for the 2010/11 financial year. The aim of the municipality is to increase the number of beneficiaries by 10% annually. As a Water Service Authority (WSA), CDM continues to support all local municipalities in carrying out their water services provider functions of responding to water supply interruptions and other operations and maintenance challenges. And to this end, R6 million has been allocated for transfer to local municipalities. In areas where there are water supply shortages, the municipalities dispatches 12 water tanker trucks that are working efficiently to address daily water shortages throughout the district.


PROFILE

Although CDM has got inadequate capital resources for bulk water services, the municipality is working on prospects of sourcing water from from Nandoni and Glen Alpine dams - mega projects that will augment water supply to Molemole, Blouberg and Aganang respectively. The municipality is also conducting regular water quality tests to ensure that all the households receive clean drinkable water. In this financial year, plans are already underway to establish our districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water quality laboratory with a view to ensure purification of our drinking water to meet the South African National Standards (SANS 241) and drinking water quality Blue Drop standard. For this financial year, CDM has allocated a total of R120.4 million for water supply to communities and a further total of R96 million for Operations and Maintenance. This will cover the establishment of the water quality laboratory, electrification of boreholes, refurbishment of water schemes and the implementation of water demand management plan.

Decent sanitation to restore peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dignity

The municipality has strengthened effort to restore the dignity of people through provision of decent sanitation facilities. This will relieve people of many related health hazards like cholera. However, we require well over R100 million to clear off the 50% backlog - a resource sadly not available in the coffers at this point. For the 2010/11 financial year, CDM has made an allocation of R36 million to further reduce the sanitation backlog. Part of this budget, will be used to upgrade the Lebowakgomo WWTW, sewer reticulation in Mogwadi as well as health and hygiene promotion. Hopefully, this will help to enhance the status of our waste water treatment and comply with the Green Drop standards. CONTACT DETAILS

41 Biccard Street PO Box 4100 POLOKWANE 0700 Limpopo, RSA Tel: (+27) 15 294 1000 Fax: (+27) 15 291 4297 Email: info@cdm.org.za Website: www.cdm.gov.za


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CHAPTER 07: CYANOBACTERIA

CYANOBACTERIA Dr. Tim Downing

INTRODUCTION Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic bacteria that have an evolutionary history probably spanning in excess of three billion years (Schopf, 1993; Holland, 1997; Boal and Ng, 2010). For example, cyanobacteria are the organisms responsible for the massive production of oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic era, 3.5 billion years ago (Kopp et al, 2005; Schopf, 1996). Cyanobacteria are true bacteria with the only similarity to algae being their photosynthetic apparatus. In addition to chlorophyll, they also contain accessory photosynthetic pigments, the most common of which is phycocyanin, which imparts the blue-green or ‘cyan’ colour, from which the term ‘blue-green algae’ was derived. This ancient group has diversified both morphologically, into unicellular and filamentous forms, and ecologically to the extent that it is found both in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Cyanobacteria are widely distributed in marine, brackish and freshwater environments, as well as in terrestrial habitats. ranging from the Antarctic to dry deserts (Dor and Danin, 1996). Their ecological diversity makes them ubiquitous and cyanobacterial species occur at temperatures ranging from below 0°C (Paerl and Priscu, 1998; Fritsen et al, 1998), and even as low as -20°C (Psenner and Sattler, 1998), to temperatures in excess of 70°C (hot springs). The taxonomy of cyanobacteria is based on a polyphasic approach (combining both phenetic and genetic characteristics), but is also currently founded in the taxonomic system described by Anagnostidis

Figure 7.1 shows cyanobacteria that are growing in geothermally-heated water in Yellowstone National Park (USA), as a surface mat in desert conditions (Nevada, USA) and in an artificial water body in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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and Komรกrek (1985). Current classification is therefore based largely on morphological and ultrastructural criteria, including the presence and position of specialised cells such as akinetes and heterocysts (Castenholz and Waterbury, 1989). Cyanobacteria

are

either

unicellular

or

filamentous, with filamentous forms being either uniseriate (one row of cells) or multiseriate (two or more rows of cells) and the latter being either branched or unbranched. Certain classes of filamentous types contain specialised cells. Cyanobacteria in water may be benthic (bottom-

Figure 7.2 shows examples of cyanobacteria isolated from various freshwater impounds in South Africa: Oscillatoria sp. (a), Anabaena sp. (b), Pseudoanabaena sp. (c), Calothrix sp. (d), Synechocystis sp. (e), Limnothrix sp. (f ), and Anabaena sp. (g).

dwelling) or planktonic (free-floating). Some planktonic forms may have the ability to regulate their buoyancy depending on their ability to form gas vesicles. Many form colonies or are members of complex biofilms or aggregations. Colonies of either unicellular cyanobacteria, such as Microcystis aeruginosa, or laterally-arranged bundles of filamentous bacteria, as in the case of Aphanizomenon sp., may be visible to the naked eye as suspended or floating particulate matter. Cyanobacteria may, if given adequate nutrients, form dense populations in water bodies, leading to so-called cyanobacterial blooms and scums. These are not only visually unappealing, but may also produce geosmin and/or methyl isoborneol, which are compounds giving rise to unpleasant tastes and odours. Added to the negative visual impact is the potential for many cyanobacteria to produce toxins. Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria pose a risk to recreational water users and consumers of untreated water, as well as an additional monitoring and treatment burden to bulk water suppliers. The potential threat posed by dense benthic (bottom-dwelling) accumulations of cyanobacteria should not be ignored as several toxigenic species such as Oscillatoria sp. can produce large amounts of benthic biomass in otherwise clear water. Bloom formation is not limited to freshwater environments but also occurs in brackish, marine and hypersaline waters.

CYANOBATERIAL ECOLOGY Cyanobacteria require only light and inorganic nutrients for growth and reproduction. In addition to sunlight, cyanobacteria require nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus in relatively large quantities, as well as sulfur, potassium and trace elements to grow. Non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria (ie, species unable 98

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to fix diatomic nitrogen) require either ammonium or nitrate, whereas nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (diazotrophs) can obtain their nitrogen from the atmosphere. Growth is dependent on nutrient and light availability but is also controlled to a significant extent by temperature. Despite the fact that green algae (chlorophytes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; typically have a faster doubling time, cyanobacteria remain competitive (Schreurs, 1992) by virtue of their nutrient scavenging abilities, their ability to harvest light more effectively (Van Liere and Walsby, 1982; Van Liere and Mur, 1979), their favourable energy balance which allows maintenance of cell integrity with relatively low energy expenditure (Gons, 1977), and their ability to survive relatively long periods of unfavourable conditions. Cyanobacteria are able to utilise light over a very wide spectrum. This, coupled with a wide tolerance of light intensities and the ability to continue photosynthesis under relatively low light, afford cyanobacteria certain advantages in shaded, deep stratified, and turbid water. In shallow, eutrophic lakes, cyanobacteria rapidly increase the water turbidity, thereby ensuring dominance by creating a low light environment (Scheffer et al, 1997). Cyanobacteria possess a host of physiological advantages that support their dominance in otherwise harsh or unsuitable situations. For example, cyanobacteria are able to continue to fix carbon at very low dissolved CO2 levels by virtue of their CO2 concentrating mechanism. They are also able to respond to nitrogen deficiency by the expression of active transporters for the uptake of nitrite and nitrate. Several genera of cyanobacteria are also capable of nitrogen fixation. The active nitrogen uptake under nitrogen deficiency, the ability to store nitrogen (Obst and SteinbĂźchel, 2006), and the ability of many cyanobacteria to fix diatomic nitrogen supports a strong competitive advantage over other algal forms. Phosphorus is widely considered to be the predominant nutrient limiting algal development in fresh water. Many species of freshwater cyanobacteria respond to phosphorus limitation by switching on a high affinity phosphate uptake system (Moore et al, 2005). In addition to the enhanced uptake of phosphate under limitation, cyanobacteria produce and export alkaline phosphatases (Whitton et al, 1991) that make dissolved organic

phosphorus

available.

The

combined effect of nutrient scavenging and growth under low light afford cyanobacteria an advantage under certain conditions and

Figure 7.3 shows the absorbance spectra of chlorophyll a and cyanobacterial accessory pigments. Incident sunlight (yellow), chlorophyll a (green), phycocyanin (blue) and phycoerythrin (red) THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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explains the frequent dominance of cyanobacteria in blooms and scums. Certain cyanobacteria are also able to produce akinetes, cells that provide a resting stage that are able to survive relatively long periods of unfavourable conditions. With the return of favourable temperatures and conditions suitable for growth, akinetes germinate.

CYANOBACTERIAL TOXINS AND OTHER PROBLEM MOLECULES Several cyanobacterial genera are capable of producing metabolites that are toxic to higher organisms, or molecules that result in taste and odour problems in water and surrounding water bodies where blooms occur. Toxin producers may be benthic or planktonic. Toxins are generally categorised according to modes of action and include cytotoxins, hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. The hepatotoxins appear to be the most widely distributed toxins among freshwater cyanobacteria, with microcystin production by members of Microcystis sp., Anabaena sp., Halosiphon sp., Oscillatoria sp., Nostoc sp., Phormidium sp., Anabaenopsis sp., and Planktothrix sp., with the hepatotoxin

Figure 7.4 shows a Microcystis sp. bloom on Hartebeespoort dam in 2010. Common bloom forming cyanobacteria in freshwater systems include toxin producing genera such as Anabaena sp., Anabaenopsis sp., Aphanizomenon sp., Cylindrospermopsis sp., Microcystis sp., Nodularia sp., Phormidium sp. and Planktothrix sp.

nodularin produced by Nodularia sp.. Cylindrospermopsin, produced by Clylindrospermopsis sp. and Aphanizomenon sp.(PreuĂ&#x;el et al, 2006), is hepatotoxic but also effects many other organs and will be discussed separately. Over 80 variants of microcystin (see Figure 7.5) are now known to occur (Purdie et al, 2009. The most common variant is microcystin-LR, which contains L-leucine and L-arginine. Nodularins have a similar cyclic structure consisting of only five amino acids, including Adda. Unlike microcystins, only Nodularia spumigena is known to produce nodularins and does not form blooms in freshwater, preferring brackish or marine environments. 100

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Microcystins are potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases in mammals (MacKintosh et al, 1990). Intoxication results in liver enlargement and haemorrhage that leads to circulatory shock. Microcystins are also tumour promoters. Nodularin hepatotoxicity is similar but nodularins has also been shown to exhibit carcinogenic activity (Ohta, 1994). The alkaloid neurotoxins that are most widely recognised as common problems are the saxitoxins and anatoxins. Saxitoxins, also common from shellfish poisoning events, are produced by the common cyanobacterial genera Anabaena sp., Aphanizominon sp., Lyngbya sp. (Carmichael et al, 1997), and Planktothrix sp. (Sivonen and Jones, 1999). The molecule exerts its toxic effect by blocking sodium channels (Wiese et al, 2010) and in so doing results in paralysis and, in severe cases, death. Symptoms of intoxication include weakness, staggering, loss of muscle coordination, difficulty in swallowing and labored respiration. Humans often report tingling around the mouth and fingertips, as well as exhibiting slurred speech. These toxins are most commonly associated with marine ‘red tides’ where the symptoms they cause are known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). There are 59 variants within the saxitoxin group, such as neosaxitoxin, decarbomoyl saxitoxin and gonyautoxin, which differ in the side chains (Wiese et al, 2010) depicted in the generalised structure below. Anatoxins cause a neuromuscular blockade and those affected may exhibit staggering, gasping, muscle twitching, convulsions and paralysis. Death may result in extreme cases. Similar symptoms are seen with homoanatoxin-a, which differs from anatoxin-a by a single methyl group. Anatoxin-a(s) is structurally completely different and only known to be produced by Anabaena sp.. This naturally occurring organophosphate acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor leading to paralysis and potentially death. Symptoms are similar to those caused by anatoxin-a, but include hypersalivation, tremors, involuntary muscle twitching, diarrhea and cyanosis. The most recent addition to the list of neurotoxic compounds produced by cyanobacteria is β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). This non-proteinogenic amino acid is produced by most cyanobacteria (Cox et al, 2005; Esterhuizen and Downing, 2008) and has been implicated in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex (PDC) (Alzheimers Disease) (Cox et al, 2003). The role of BMAA in ALS-PDC appears to be via long-term accumulation, with symptoms occurring several years into, or after, exposure to the toxin. BMAA is, however, also acutely excitotoxic, acting as a glutamate agonist (Ross et al, 1987). BMAA also induces oxidative stress and appears to inhibit oxidative stress response enzymes (Esterhuizen and Downing, unpublished).

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Figure 7.5. Microcystin-LR (Left) and nodularin (right) Microcystins are potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases in mammals (MacKintosh et al, 1990). Intoxication results in liver enlargement and haemorrhage that leads to circulatory shock. Microcystins are also tumour promoters. Nodularin hepatotoxicity is similar but nodularins has also been shown to exhibit carcinogenic activity (Ohta, 1994).

Cylindrospermopsin, a sulfated-guanidinium alkaloid, is produced by Cylindrospermopsis sp., Aphanizomenon sp., Umezakia sp., Anabaena sp. and Raphidiopsis sp. and in addition to being hepatotoxic is toxic to the lungs and intestine (Ohtani et al, 1992). Its mode of action is via protein synthesis inhibition and genotoxicity. Symtoms of intoxication are as for other hepatotoxins although the onset of symptoms is delayed compared to those induced by microcystin (Shaw et al, 2000). In recent years there has been a global increase in the occurrence of Cylindrospermopsis, including in South Africa along the Orange River. In addition to the abovementioned toxins, all cyanobacteria, in common with all Gram negative bacteria, can produce lipopolysacharide (LPS) as a component of their cell envelope. This endotoxin is heat stable and toxic in mammals where symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and hypotension. Aplysiatoxins are produced by Lyngbya sp., Schizothrix sp., Planktothrix sp. and Oscillatoria sp. and are potent tumour promoters and protein kinase C activators (Mynderse et al, 1977; Fujiki et al, 1990) which result in severe dermatitis on exposure to filaments of the toxin producing cyanobacteria. The potential for toxin production by cyanobacteria, and the wide range of cyanobacteria that produce toxins coupled with the diversity of toxins produced is of particular concern where increased eutrophication results in cyanobacterial blooms.

MANAGEMENT OF CYANOBACTERIAL BLOOMS AND TOXINS Figure 7.8 shows a sign erected at Silolweni dam in the Kruger National Park giving information on the cyanobacterial bloom. This type of informative signage is also used to warn against human exposure to cyanobacteria where applicable. 102

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Global Experts The Hatch Water Group is a global team of experienced water engineers focused on providing creative and sustainable solutions to water supply, water and wastewater treatment, and water management challenges. We deliver the most comprehensive solutions by capitalising on our global, multi-disciplinary expertise to provide custom-designed plants that meet our clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; unique requirements. With over 8 000 people in more than 65 offices worldwide, Hatch is amongst the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest companies in their field, providing energy-efficient, high quality, and safe projects to the mining, infrastructure, and energy sectors. We provide solutions to environmental and social concerns that bring long-term value to the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business.

Consulting

EPCM Services

Technologies

Operations Support

Mining - Infrastructure - Energy Tel: +27 (0)11 239 5300 Website: www.hatch.co.za


CHAPTER 07: CYANOBACTERIA

Figure 7.6. Generalised structure of saxitoxin. Differences in the side chains give different toxins.

Figure 7.7. Anatoxin-a, anatoxin-a(s), homoanatoxin-a and BMAA Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a are produced by Anabaena sp., Aphanizomenon sp. (Wood et al, 2007) and Planktothirx sp. (Viaggiu et al, 2004).

The emergence of a cyanobacterially-dominated overgrowth in an aquatic environment is generally caused by eutrophication (see Chapter 3). Prevention of anthropogenic eutrophication remains the primary management strategy for reduction in frequency and severity of cyanobacterial blooms. Where blooms are common remedial approaches have included extensive mixing and de-stratification of water bodies, addition of chemicals including sodium chloride and hypochlorite, addition of barley straw bales and draining of dams. These approaches have met with mixed success in the short term, although none are suitable for large drinking water supply dams. In such cases, the use of dissolved air flotation filtration (DAFF) to remove the algae from the raw water prior to treatment, and use of activated carbon to remove toxins from treated water have proven effective. Nevertheless, in the

Figure 7.8. Cylindrospermopsin.

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PROFILE

Water Technology Plastic Industries (Pty) Ltd WTPI is one of the largest manufacturers of PVC Borehole Casings and Screens in the Southern Hemisphere. Founded in 1997 and situated in Randburg South Africa, WTPI supplies PVC Products in all forms, extensively covering all aspects of water supply and the movement of water. WTPI lends its expertise to Contractors and Engineers alike, problem solving and advising when the need arises. The Company involves itself in the putting together of complete “Drill Rig Packages” with competent staff to assist in the training of local personnel throughout the African Continent. We have an extensive client base within South Africa and are the leading suppliers to all Drilling Contractors, Consulting Engineers, Mines, Municipalities and other interested parties. WTPI’s parent company SOTICI is based in Cote d’ Ivoire, one of the largest PVC and Polyethylene manufacturers in West Africa accredited with ISO 9003. With over 20 years experience in the water supply field, it puts the organisation among the priviledged few who regularly supply the ongoing needs of companies who use PVC pipes. These range from Construction companies, Borehole drilling companies, Water supply companies and Corporations. Current production capacity exceeds 7 000 tons/year with a turnover exceeding 3 Billion French Francs in a wide variety of activities. Contact: Telephone No: Fax No: E-mail: Address:

+ 27 11 708-3691/2/3 + 27 11 708-3695 wtpi@icon.co.za Box 4793, Randburg


CHAPTER 07: CYANOBACTERIA

absence of alternative remedial strategies the only alternative is to manage nutrient input at source until such time as residual sediment nutrients are depleted and cyanobacterial bloom frequency and severity is reduced. Where blooms do occur, management strategies must include monitoring for toxic compounds, appropriate communication of potential dangers, and appropriate treatment option implementation for removal of toxic and taste and odour compounds from water.

Summary Cyanobacteria remain a serious problem in surface waters, particularly in eutrophic water bodies. The competitive advantage offered by their relatively low light requirements, nitrogen and phosphorus scavenging abilities, and the ability of many cyanobacteria to fix nitrogen, results in frequent bloom events. That many of these organisms also produce toxic compounds requires not only management of biomass but monitoring for toxic compounds and appropriate action when such compounds are present. Much of the current research on cyanobacteria and their toxins is focused on streamlining monitoring of both cyanobacteria and toxins and the use of molecular genetic tools for detection and identification of problem organisms, developing rapid and simple field tests for toxins, and attempting to develop predictive models for bloom development. Some research on bioaccumulation and secondary exposure continues. More knowledge on the neurotoxin BMAA is required as the potential for exposure and the associated risk appears great in the light of the recent but limited literature on the toxin. References Anagnostidis, K and Komárek, J, 1985. Modern approach to the classification system of cyanophytes. Algological Studies 38/39: 291-302 Badger M.R and Price G.D., 2002. CO2 concentrating mechanisms in cyanobacteria: molecular components, their diversity and evolution Journal of Experimental Botany 54:609-622 Boal D and Ng R., 2010. Shape analysis of filamentous Precambrian microfossils and modern cyanobacteria. Paleobiology 36:555-572 Botes, D.P., Tuinman, A.A., Wessels, P.L., Viljoen, C.C. and Kruger, H.,1984. The structure of cyanoginosin-LA, a cyclic heptapeptide toxin from the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Transactions, I:2311-2318. Carmichael, W.W., Evans, W.R., Yin, Q.Q., Bell, P. and Mocauklowski, E., 1997. Evidence for paralytic shellfish poisons in the freshwater cyanobacterium Lyngbya wollei (Farlow ex Gomont) comb. nov. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 63, 3104-3110. Castenholz, R.W. and Waterbury, J.B., 1989. In: J.T. Staley, M.P. Bryant, N. Pfennig and J.G. Holt [Eds] Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology. Vol. 3, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1710-1727. Cohen-Bazire, G. and Bryant, D.A., 1982. Phycobilisomes: composition and structure. In: N.G. Carr and B.A. Whitton [Eds] The Biology of Cyanobacteria. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. Cox, P.A., Banack, S.A. and S.J. Murch, 2003. Biomagnification of cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease among the Chamorro people of Guam. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 100: 13380–13383 Cox P.A, Banack S.A, Murch SJ, Rasmussen U, Tien G, Bidigare R.R, Metcalf J.S, Morrison L.F, Codd G.A, Bergman B., 2005. Diverse taxa of cyanobacteria produce β-methylamino-L- alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102: 5074–5078. Dor, I. and Danin, A., 1996. Cyanobacterial desert crusts in the Dead Sea Valley, Israel. Arch. Hydrobiol. Suppl. 117, Algological Studies, 83, 197-206 Esterhuizen M, Downing T.G., 2008. β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in novel South African cyanobacterial isolates. Ecotoxicol. and Environ. Safety. 71: 309– 313. Fay, P., 1965. Heterotrophy and nitrogen fixation in Chlorogloea fritschii. J. Gen. Microbiol. 39, 11-20. Fritsen, C.H. and Priscu J.C., 1998. Cyanobacterial assemblages in permanent ice covers on Antarctic lakes: distribution, growth rate, and temperature response of photosynthesis. Journal of Phycology 34:587-597 106

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Fujiki H, Suganuma M, Suguri H, Yoshizawa S, Takagi K, Nakayasu M, Ojika M, Yamada K, Yasumoto T, Moore R.E, Sugimura T., 1990. New tumor promoters from marine natural products. In: S. Hall and G. Strichartz [Eds] Marine Toxins, Origin,Structure and Molecular Pharmacology, 418:232-240. Haselkorn R, Buikema W J., 1992. Nitrogen fixation in cyanobacteria. In: Stacey G, Burris R H, Evans H J, editors. Biological nitrogen fixation. New York, N.Y: Chapman & Hall; pp. 166–190. Holland. H.D., 1997. Evidence for life on earth more than 3,850 million years ago. Science, 275:38-39. Kopp R.E, Kirschvink J.L, Hilburn I.A and Nasch C.Z., 2005. The Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth: A climate disaster triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. PNAS 102:11131-11136. MacKintosh C, Beattie K.A, Klumpp S, Cohen P, Codd G.A., 199XXXXXX Cyanobacterial microcystin-LR is a potent and specific inhibitor of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A from both mammals and higher plants Febs Letters 264:187-192. Moore L.R, Ostrowski M, Scanlan D.J, Feren K, Sweetsir, T., 2005. Ecotypic variation in phosphorus-acquisition mechanisms within marine picocyanobacteria. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 39:257-269. Mynderse, J.S, Moore R.E, Kashiwagi M, Norton T.R (1977) Antileukemia activity in the Oscillatoriaceae, isolation of debromoaplysiatoxin from Lyngbya. Science, 196:538-540. Obst M, Steinbüchel, A., 2006. Cyanophycin—an Ideal Bacterial Nitrogen Storage Material with Unique Chemical Properties. In: Shively, Jessup editor. Microbiology Monographs - Inclusions in Prokaryotes. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. pp 167-193. Ohta T, Sueoka E, Iida N, Komori A, Suganuma M, Nishiwaki R, Tatematsu M, Kim S-J, Carmichael W.W, Fujiki H., 1994. Nodularin, a Potent Inhibitor of Protein Phosphatases 1 and 2A, Is a New Environmental Carcinogen in Male F344 Rat Liver Ohtani I, Moore R.E, Runnegar M.T.C (1992). Cylindrospermopsin: A potent hepatotoxinfrom the blue-green algae Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 114:7941-7942. Paerl, H.W. and Priscu J.C., 1998. Microbial phototrophic, heterotrophic and diazotrophic activities associated with aggregates in the permanent ice cover of Lake Bonney, Antarctica. Microbial Ecology 36:221-230. Preußel K, Stu¨ken A, Wiedner C, Chorus I, Fastner J ., 2006. First report on cylindrospermopsin producing Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (Cyanobacteria) isolated from two German lakes Toxicon 47:156–162. Psenner R and Sattler B., 1998. MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES: Life at the Freezing Point Science 280:2073 – 2074 Purdie E.L, Young F.M, Menzel D, Codd G.A., 2009. A method for acetonitrile-free microcystin analysis and purification by high-performance liquid chromatography, using methanol as mobile phase. Toxicon 54:887–890. Reyes J C, Florencio F J., 1994. A new type of glutamine synthetase in cyanobacteria: the protein encoded by the glnN gene supports nitrogen assimilation in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. J Bacteriol. 176:1260–1267. Ross S.M, Seelig M, Spencer P.S.,1987. Specific antagonism of excitotoxic action of uncommon‘ amino acids assayed in organotypic mouse cortical cultures. Brain Research, 425:120-127. Scheffer M, Rinaldi S, Gragnani A, Mur LR, and Van Nes, E.H., 1997. On the dominance of filamentous cyanobacteria in shallow turbid lakes Ecology, 78: 272–282. Schopf J.W (1993) Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life Science 260:640 – 646 Schopf, J.W., 1996. Cyanobacteria. Pioneers of the early Earth. In: A.K.S.K, Prasad, J.A. Nienow and V.N.R Rao [Eds] Contributions in Phycology. Nova Hedwigia, Beiheft 112, J. Cramer, Berlin, 13-32. Schreurs, H.,1992. Cyanobacterial dominance, relation to eutrophication and lake morphology. Thesis, University of Amsterdam. Shaw G.R, Seawright A.A, Moore M.R, Lam P.K.S., 2000. Cylindrospermopsin, a cyanobacterial alkaloid: Evaluation of its toxicologic activity. Therap. Drug Monit 22:89-92 Sivonen K, Jones G., 1999. Cyanobacterial toxins. - In: Chorus & Bertram, J. (eds.) Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: a Guide to Public Health Significance, Monitoring and Management. Van Liere, L. and Mur, L.R., 1979. Chapter 9. Some experiments on the competition between a green alga and a cyanobacterium. In: L. Van Liere, Thesis, University of Amsterdam. Van Liere, L. and Walsby, A.E., 1982. Interactions of cyanobacteria with light. In: N.G. Carr and B.A. Whitton [Eds] The Biology of the Cyanobacteria. Blackwell Science Publications, Oxford, 9- 45. Vázquez-Bermúdez M.F, Paz-Yepes J, Herrero A , Flores E., 2002. The NtcA-activated amt1 gene encodes a permease required for uptake of low concentrations of ammonium in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 Microbiology. 148:861-869 Viaggiu E, Melchiorre S, Volpi F, Di Corcia A, Mancini R, Garibaldi L, Crichigno G, Bruno M (2004) Anatoxin-a toxin in the cyanobacterium Planktothrix rubescens from a fishing pond in northern Italy Environmental Toxicology, 19:191-197. Whitton B.A, Grainger S.L.J, Hawley G.R.W, Simon W.W., 1991. Cell-Bounf and Extracellular Phosphatase Activities in Cyanobacteria. Microb Ecol. 21:85-98 Whitton, B.A., 1992. Diversity, ecology and taxonomy of the cyanobacteria. In: N.H. Mann and N.G. Carr [Eds] Photosynthetic Prokaryotes. Plenum Press, New York, 1-51. Wiese M, D‘Agostino P.M, Mihali T.K, Moffitt M.C Neilan B.A., 2010 Neurotoxic Alkaloids: Saxitoxin and Its Analogs. Mar. Drugs. 8:2185-2211. Wood S.A, Rasmussen J.P, Holland P.T, Campbell R, Crowe A.L.M.,2007. First Report of the Cyanotoxin Anatoxin-a from Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi (cyanobacteria), J. Phycol, 43:356-365.

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Bateman Engineered Technologies to launch Mobile Sludge Dewatering Plant Bateman Engineered Technologies (BET) is to launch a Bellmer Winklepress Mobile Dewatering Plant for sewage and effluent sludge early in 2011. The press will be used in mining, municipal, paper and general industrial applications. BET Water and Effluent manager, Marius Botha says that a demonstration unit is being assembled with the full commercial roll-out towards the end of January 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bellmer Winklepress belt presses have been used successfully in Southern Africa for many years in municipal wastewater treatment plants and in the paper and fruit juice industries. With this mobile press, we hope to extend significantly the applications in which it will be used,â&#x20AC;? says Botha. He adds that BET will be demonstrating its performance and efficiency to clients with the aim of using that demonstration to build full-scale dewatering plants for those sites.

Operating Data/Capacity The capacity of the plant depends largely on the properties of the sludge. The technical data listed below gives an indication of the range in which the mobile plant can operate: Sludge feed pump: 7,5 to 30 m3/h Hydraulic loading max: 30m3/h Dry Solids Loading: depends entirely on type of sludge: Waste Activated Sludge max: 750 kg/h Digested Sludge max: 900 kg/h Sludge feed concentration min: 0,6 % Filter Cake Discharge Conveyors 8000 kg/h

The parameters that can be assessed in such a demonstration include: hydraulic loading capacity, dry solids loading capacity, polyelectrolyte consumption, achievable cake dry solids concentration, filtrate solids concentration, overall solids capture rate, ultimately therefore establishing the cost for dewatering the sludge.

Plant Description

The Mobile Dewatering Plant is fully automated complete with PLC and SCADA system all mounted on a 12.2m semi trailer. The peripheral equipment includes: Sludge feed pump, wash water feed pump; automatic polyelectrolyte make up and dosing system, screw conveyors for filter cake discharge; instruments and MCC. The operation of the plant is controlled according to variable set-points selected by the operator according to particular process requirements. All instrumentation supplied by Endress+Hauser and all positive displacement pumps supplied by Netzsch.

Conclusion

The expected results from test-work that will be performed using the Mobile Dewatering Plant will show the efficiencies and cost savings of this top quality equipment. For more information please contact: Marius Botha on 011 201 2300 or marius.botha@bateman-bet.com

Bateman Engineered Technologies is to launch a Bellmer Winklepress Mobile Dewatering Plant for sewage and effluent.


focus

Sedibeng Water Delivering quality water through quality service, systems and processes.

Established in 1991 Our laboratory has grown from a small operational laboratory where a few routine analyses were performed by operational staff to a department staffed by professionally qualified personnel, able to provide a professional consultancy service on all water-related problems and equipped to analyse all chemical, hydrobiological and bacteriological determinands needed for research, process optimisation and quality control.

Sedibeng provides a professional consultancy service on all water-related problems. We believe in the continuous development of our employees through furthering of their studies and in-house training through practical experience and mentorship. Our staff complement is 12 professional members with expertise and experience in the delivery of accurate and reliable analytical services to all clients.

What we stand for Our goal is to provide an accurate, reliable, professional and economically viable service to internal and external clients.

Leading the industry in the Free State Province

Our capability

Our laboratory is an international state-ofthe-art SANAS ISO/IEC 17025-accredited On average we undertake over 3 000 chemical laboratory. It was accredited in 2002 and has analyses and almost 1 700 bacterial analyses maintained its accreditation since then. It is the a month. only accredited laboratory in the Free State The average total analyses per annum is that is part of a drinking-water supply system about 60 000. or wastewater treatment facility.

Our services

Our people

The key services offered by the department mainly centre around the performing of chemical and bacteriological analyses. These are associated with the production of potable water, wastewater treatment and

The departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most valuable asset is the recognised technical expertise in water-related services, accumulating to more than 100 years of experience in the water industry. free state business 2011

2


focus Wastewater laboratory

environmental management and research and development for the management of drinkingwater quality. Water-related consultancy services are also offered, including process control and the training of plant operators and process controllers.

• Oxygen absorbed • Chemical oxygen demand • Ammonia • Nitrate and nitrite • Suspended solids • Ortho-phosphate • Sludge analyses

Water purification

• Chemical and bacteriological analyses Research and development • Process problem solving and control • Process optimisation and upgrading • Plant audits • Training: laboratory staff, process controllers • Assessment and evaluation of various water and operators

treatment chemicals Plant optimisation Investigation into water-quality problems Development of new processes Presenting of research papers at national and international conferences • Training of water and wastewater treatment plant personnel – internal and external • Facilitation, assessment and moderation of SETA training

• • • •

Water-quality management in network

• Consultancy

Training services

• Training on unit processes and optimisation • In-service training and experiential training programmes, working as partners with academic institutions • Sampling

Our clients

Service units

Our internal clients are the different regions served by the organisation. We are responsible for monitoring of both bulk and reticulation. Our external clients include district and local municipalities over three provinces (Free State, North West and Northern Cape), government institutions and private companies.

Chemistry laboratory Determination of physical properties and stability indexes of water for potable use: • pH, turbidity, colour, conductivity, suspended solids, total hardness, total dissolved solids and alkalinity Instrumentation laboratory Instrumentation includes: ICP, ion chromatograph, gas chromatograph and DOC analyser.

contact details Key contact person: ND Basson Tel: +27 56 515 0334 Email: ceosec@sedibengwater.co.za Central Laboratory: Balkfontein Postal address: Private Bag X5, Bothaville 9660 Website: www.sedibengwater.co.za

Biological science Microbiology laboratory • Coliphages • Heterotrophic plate counts • Total coliform organisms • Faecal coliform organisms • E. coli Hydrobiology

• Chlorophyll-a

3

free state business 2011


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INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO EUTROPHICATION Dr Mark Dent

INTRODUCTION This chapter addresses two key institutional questions that relate to the crisis of water quality issues described in Chapters 1-7. These are: • How did we get here in terms of water resource management? and • How do we get to where we want to be? “Institutions behave the way they do because the people in them behave the way they do”. I cannot recall who wrote these words, but I believe that they are profound when considering the institutional aspects of our water management predicament in South Africa. We are all part of one or more institution, some formal, some informal, in government, business and civil society. How we think, individually and collectively, influences how we behave. The key to understanding our situation and also to changing it, therefore, lies in changing our thinking. There is evidence, notably from Keidel (1994), that re-thinking has far more influence on performance improvement in institutions than re-engineering processes or re-structuring. The latter has the least influence of the three. This chapter will focus primarily on our thinking in a number of key areas related to water. As a motivation for approaching my topic in this way, I ask you to consider the following extracts: ”Throughout human history the critical threats to survival came as dramatic external events: floods, earthquakes, attacks by wild animals or rival tribes, fire. Today, the most critical threats are slow, gradual processes to which we have contributed ourselves; environmental destruction, the global arms race, the decay of educational, family and community structures. These types of problems cannot be understood, given our conventional ways of thinking. There is no beast to slay, no villain to vanquish, no one to blame - just a need to think differently and to understand the underlying patterns of dependency. Individual change is vital, but not sufficient. If we are going to address these conditions in any significant way, it will have to be at the level of collective thinking and THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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understanding - at the level of organisations, communities and society.” (Senge, Roberts, Ross, Smith and Kleiner 1995). “Institutions matter. Today’s world is shaped not by individuals alone, but by the networks of businesses and governmental and non-governmental institutions that influence the products we make, the food we eat, the energy we use, and our responses to problems that arise from these systems. No single person could destroy a species or warm the planet, no matter how hard he or she tried. But that is exactly what we are doing collectively, as our individual actions are mediated through the web of institutions that interconnect the world. It is folly to think that these changes needed in the coming years will not involve fundamental shifts in the way institutions function, individually and collectively. Ironically, despite increasing interdependence, most institutions are more consumed than ever by short-term thinking, frenzy, and opportunism. The gap between the need to think and act interdependently and our abilities to do so sits at the heart of all the most difficult decisions we face today”. (Senge, Smith, Kruschwitz, Laur and Schley 2008)

BOUNDED RATIONALITY Could the present dire water situation in South Africa be the result of rational thinking and thus rational behaviour? To a large extent, the answer is YES! How can that be, you may ask? To understand this paradox we need to consider two key facts; firstly the phenomenon of bounded rationality (Simon, 1991) and, secondly, that every action in an interconnected system, such as water, has consequences, often negative, which manifest elsewhere in space or time. Because of one’s bounded rationality, it is only possible to act rationally within one’s own cognitive space. This means that although my actions may be viewed as rational, for me, they may be irrational in terms of the bigger picture. When we have millions of people acting ‘rationally’ for themselves, but irrationally in terms of the bigger picture, then it is no wonder we have a mess. No laws and policing by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) or the SA Police Service (SAPS) or anybody else will stop the mess from growing. We have to stop thinking and acting irrationally in terms of the whole. A pertinent example of where bounded rationality affects progress is the manner in which the proposed remediation of Hartbeespoort Dam has been interpreted and implemented by non-skilled individuals. Whereas scientists, in the main have a low level of bounded rationality, because they work in a peer-structured environment of checks and balances, science administrators are likely to constrain scientific development because of their limited, blinkered view of the greater picture. Limnological science, at the time of the Williams Report (see Chapter 1) was based on teams of specialists and had a very wide boundary of rationality. The fact that river ecologists have since ignored dams is an expression of their bounded rationality to their chosen discipline (rivers). 114

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As the loss of trained specialists and informed managers has increased over time, so has the bounded reality of the individuals appointed to replace these individuals. The narrowing of the rational space has occurred in inverse proportion to the loss of institutional knowledge post-1990.

INTEGRATION Recognising the danger of bounded rationality, policy makers in many countries acknowledge the need to widen, rapidly, the sphere of our collective thinking and learning. In short we need to implement integrated water resources management (IWRM). This is happening worldwide as the following extract indicates: “At the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico (2006) it was reported that out of 95 countries examined, 74 percent either had IWRM strategies in place or had initiated processes for the formulation of such strategies”. UNESCO (2009, pg 4). South Africa’s, world acclaimed 1997 National Water Policy (NWP) and 1998 National Water Act (NWA) both strongly mandate IWRM – but it is not implemented effectively – or not at all in some cases. A working explanation of IWRM is that it is a management phenomenon which requires a level of interaction between: • individuals, disciplines, institutions, such that we can • collectively, timeously, wisely and cost effectively, visit the consequences of our proposed, present and past actions. In SADC, 70% of the land area is comprised of shared river basins. We need to recognise that we are dealing with a common integrated resource and that whatever we do to it, there are consequences for others. IWRM is imperative both in South Africa and in the SADC region.

LEARNING TO SEE THE WHOLE To achieve integration we need to drastically lower the transaction costs of such interaction. Goleman (2009) gives us hope of this in his book entitled “Ecological Intelligence:- the coming age of radical transparency”in which he illustrates with many powerful examples how humankind is piecing together, in thought, the world that we have fragmented in thought and actions. Goleman’s radical thesis is that, as consumers, we are becoming empowered to make purchase decisions that are consistent with our values. Business to business transactions are adding substantial and positive momentum to THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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our rapidly growing consciousness of the whole social and environmental story behind the products we buy. Water is inextricably bound into this story. The transaction costs of getting this information are being lowered drastically through radical transparency and global information technology (IT) systems that are helping to connect large groups of the world’s best minds. Wheatley (2006) writes that information is the creative energy of the universe and she explains her view in this way: “In the universe that new science is exploring, information is a very different “thing”. It is not the limited, quantifiable, put-it-in-an-e-mail-and-send commodity that we pretend it to be. In the new theories of evolution and order, information is a dynamic, changing element, taking centre stage. Without information, life cannot give birth to anything new; information is absolutely essential for the emergence of new order”. Stakeholders – those individuals, corporations or communities with a common area of concern or interest – create and share information on water. To achieve sustainability it is crucial that society is not blindsided by something that we did not see coming. The biggest threat to sustainability is leaving a crucial part out of the whole picture. Ison, et al (2004) conveyed this message so eloquently when they record: “it is very useful to view sustainability as an emergent property of stakeholder interaction, and not a technical property of the ecosystem.” Their (Ison, et al) report on Social Learning for the Integrated Management and Sustainable Use of Water at Catchment Scale was a multi-country research project funded by the European Commission. Its main theme was the investigation of the socio-economic aspects of the sustainable use of water. Within this theme, its main focus of interest lies in understanding the application of social learning as a conceptual framework, an operational principle, a policy instrument and a process of systemic change. The above is a tiny example of the extensive research, in every conceivable area of human endeavour, that we can draw on to transform our individual and collective thinking and behaviours in relation to water.

MULTI-SECTOR STAKHOLDER INTERACTION What are the practical steps to putting it all together in South Africa so that one outcome can be a drastic improvement in the quality of our river water? The short answer is: implement our world class 116

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1997 NWP and 1998 NWA. Our policy, law and institutional arrangements provide the crucible for multi-sector stakeholder interaction. The rest of this chapter will be dedicated to explaining how this interaction can happen now, in an affordable manner and to a world class standard. Society is naturally-organised into ‘sector’ interest groups. These groups engage in a wide range of (often overlapping) socio-political and economic activities. The South African Government’s Cabinet and Government Departments are grouped according to sectors and so is much of business and civil society. For the past 20 years or more, there has been a steady migration of water and aquatic ecosystem scientific skills from public sectors to private and civil society sectors, or out of the system entirely (emigration or career change). This migration, first publically highlighted by DWAF/UNESCO/ WMO (1998), has been one of the key elements in the growing inability of the public sector to manage water resources and aquatic ecosystems on its own. All the relevant water policies, laws and institutional arrangements developed since 1994 recognise this and mandate integrated, co-operative, co-ordinated governance also involving business and civil society. The sector is the unit of representation and engagement in Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and this was decided after a five-year long process of public participation. The migration of skills to various sectors outside of Government, as well as DWA’s policy response to these developments, combined with the imperative to democratise the processes of management for water, find expression in Figure 8.1. The NWRS is the National Water Resources Strategy and the CMA is the Catchment Management Agency.

National Water Resources Strategy (NWRS)

What is particularly interesting and

Scientist employed by stakeholder sector. The well resourced have bought such expertise to greatly assist that sectors CMA Board members

DWA

encouraging about this diagram is that it shows that the scientific and other water related skills are all focused on

Sector

the ‘centre’. This holds great potential

?

Sector

for

institutional

memory

creation

and retention, economies of scale,

CMA Board

countering the negative effects of

DWAF Regional Tech & Admin

job hopping and creating a critical

?

mass of skills as we move into multisector stakeholder engagement. The

? Poorly resourced sectors

migration of scientific skills has created a

Figure 8.1: Sectors engaging each other under the oversight of DWA and with the scientific and other knowledge skills in close attendance in the intellectual space surrounding the sector representatives on the CMA Board.

context which is well placed to engage in Participatory Agent based Social Simulation as explained below:

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“Participatory Agent based social

Expert advisors will begin to form networks and to share. They will begin to develop trust; seek ways of reducing transaction costs & speeding up investigations. They will become acutely conscious that DWAF is going to be requiring their sector principals to start funding catchment management costs themselves. They will be tough but fair with each other. They will not collude because they need to serve different sectors.

simulation is a very promising approach Crocodile West Marico

to represent the complex dynamics of social systems and to develop integrated models for human-technologyenvironment systems”.

Nkomati

There are probably 12 major Sectors that cover the full spectrum of stakeholder groups in South Africa. If 4 top experts exist in each we are looking at a target leadership group of 48 sector advisors people. This dynamic de facto leadership group could make an enormous difference.

“Models and the whole process of model development therefore become part of

Participatory Agent for Sector D

Participatory Agent for Sector H

Participatory agent for Sector E

Expert Advisors Expert Advisors To Sector B To Sector A Expert Advisors To Sector F Expert Advisors To Sector C

Oilfants

Expert Advisors To Sector G

a process of social learning.” (Pahl-Wostl and Hare, 2004) Such a process is crucial for creating actionable knowledge also referred to as socially robust knowledge:

Figure 8.2. The emerging configuration of participatory agents for social simulation modeling and whole systems interaction among Stakeholder Sectors.

“socially robust knowledge is the product of intensive (and continuous) interaction between results and interpretation, people and environments, applications and implications” (Nowotny, Scott and Gibbons, 2001). The evidence of current developments in a range of sectors shows that the Sector Advisors, shown in Figure 8.1, would begin to self-organize as described in Figure 8.2. Herein lies the solution to the fragmentation, bounded rationality, non-integration, non-communication, and non-sharing of information, in the short grand folly, on the part of all, that has brought us to the current state of our freshwater systems in South Africa. The Strengths and Weaknesses analysis below, which embodies also the way forward, is premised on the belief that the highest-level aggregate unit of engagement for IWRM in South Africa is the sector. It is from this aggregate level that I believe the core transformational, knowledgeable and servant style leadership will come. In my experience people in grass roots organisations are desperate for such leadership at national level.

WEAKNESS AND STRENGTHS OF OUR INSTITUTIONAL SITUATION When considering the list below, it is encouraging to note how many of the weaknesses can be turned into strengths, simply by a change of thinking by the stakeholders in government, business and civil society. Thinking can change quickly and this is what gives me hope. Reflect on the changes 118

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in thinking in South Africa from 1989 to 1994. If we can do that, then we can certainly change our thinking enough to clean up our water resources and keep them clean forever. Weakness

Strength

Policy and Law have been only partially implemented with respect to integrated management of water resources.

Integrated management can be quickly implemented as attitudes change.

Actors are generally unaware of unintended consequences of seemingly rational behaviours.

The Policy and the Law has foreseen this and makes provision for structures, processes and laws to facilitate collective thinking and actions.

Dis-integrated, fragmented, duplicated and disconnected efforts drain finances and overstretch human capacity.

Many realms of human endeavour have examples of how these shortcomings can be turned around by wise integration. The IT, aerospace and telecommunications industries are prime examples.

Transaction costs of the communication required to integrate are currently high.

The IT industry, the transport industry (containerisation), airline industry and countless others have shown ways to drastically reduce the transaction costs of integration. All sectors can do the same as they interact in the realm of integrated water resources management. OpenMI has shown the way with respect to water. We just need to embrace it.

Institutional memory loss is currently high.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures that can facilitate enhanced institutional memory formation and retention in multi-stakeholder institutions, most notably CMAs.

Critical mass in human resources is currently low in most areas due to fragmentation and dis-integrated efforts.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures, that will, if implemented with the right attitude, enable multi-sector stakeholders to greatly increase critical mass in human resources terms.

Economies of scale in terms of using intellect are currently almost non- existent.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures, that will, if implemented with the right attitude, enable multi-sector stakeholders to greatly increase these economies of scale. As a strength it should be borne in mind that universities and technicons are already in place.

Collective awareness of issues and linkages is currently low and non-transparency is a severe problem.

Our Policy and the Law makes provision for systems and structures, that will, if implemented with the right attitude, enable multi-sector stakeholders to greatly increase their collective awareness.

Indulging in rights-based clashes instead of interest based bargaining is still the dominant conflict related paradigm.

With a change in attitude sector stakeholders can change to interest based bargaining, overnight.

Almost no engagement in participatory agent-basedsocial simulation modeling at present.

Participatory agent-based-social simulation modeling will naturally and quickly evolve if we make the attitude and thinking changes mentioned above and employ the dynamics illustrated in Figure 8.2.

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Viewing the scientific challenges in purely normal science paradigms as opposed to mixture of normal and post-normal science paradigms limits ‘vision’.

Post-Normal Science is the methodology that is appropriate when facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high and decisions are urgent. We can shift to this science paradigm rapidly if we change our attitudes.

Currently almost no inter-operability standards exist to bring down transaction costs in modeling and information systems.

We can immediately adopt OpenMI standards and make rapid progress toward integration, if we change our attitude. OpenMI is revolutionising the developments in water information and modeling systems. South Africa is being left behind.

There is poor understanding of the role of reasoning processes and the consideration of consequences in the continuous cycle of decision-making.

This can change fast once sector leaders gain insights into the value of reasoning and consequence consideration, in which the authority does not have to engage.

Given the current ways of organising intellect we have limited absorptive capacity for research results, especially innovations that require engaging complexity.

When our intellect is re-organised according to the right hand column of this analysis and Figure 8.2 above our collective absorptive capacity for research results and innovation will be drastically improved.

We are not engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogue on a continuous basis; groups are talking at Water Affairs officials on an individual basis.

Our Policy, Legal and Institutional frameworks have created a space for multi-sectoral, simultaneous and continuous engagement to generate options, with DWA in an oversight role. This is a great strength and it is primarily why our 1998 NWA is hailed worldwide. We can start doing this overnight.

The complexity of the socio-ecological systems within which we exist has not been accepted widely and certainly is not translated into our organisational behaviours with respect to knowledge management.

Increasingly the complexity of the socio-ecological water realm is being accepted, in concept if not yet in actions, in Government, Business and Civil Society. This acceptance can take place overnight and it will dramatically strengthen our collective approaches.

Self-organisation opportunities are not being taken up. We are still fixated on engaging only with the DWA and not directly with multiple stakeholders.

Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize for her work on selforganising to manage the commons has dramatically raised the profile of self-organising. Our strength is that our Water Policy and Legal framework already has made world class provision for self-organising (within CMAs, for example) in a responsible and controlled manner under DWA oversight.

DWA’s tendering system for knowledge based systems is still being framed in terms of building construction paradigms. This is expensive, slow and detrimental in many ways.

This paradigm can change overnight and will most likely do so when multi-sector endeavours to produce installed modeling systems as espoused in the DWAF Internal Strategic Perspectives (ISP) Reports (2004) are implemented.

Almost all previously sunk costs are lost each time a new tender is awarded for water-related modeling work

This can be changed overnight if Stakeholder Sectors agree on installed modeling and information generation systems, probably from the OpenMI world wide movement. Furthermore the multi-sector stakeholder body can insist on only value added actions and no continual repayment of sunk costs from the consulting sector.

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PROFILE

SOILLAB The accurate scientific testing of civil engineering materials forms an essential element of any project. Soillab has been providing high quality testing to the civil engineering industry for over 50 years and is currently ISO17025:2005 accredited for a range of tests. Laboratories: At present, Soillab has established commercial laboratories in Pretoria (Gauteng), Secunda (Mpumalanga) and in Kraaifontein (Western Cape). Soillab has also increased its range of services with the introduction of a Rock Mechanics Laboratory in Pretoria called Rocklab. Soillab also establishes many laboratories on sites when required to do so by the nature of the project and the need for rapid testing of materials during construction. Staff: The combined Soillab and Rocklab staff compliment includes some 300 people of which 1/3 are technically trained, skilled staff. Range of Tests: Soillab prides itself on being one of only a few laboratories in the world able to provide a full range of testing services using up-to-date equipment and qualified and experienced staff. In addition to the various categories of testing shown alongside, Soillab also carries out testing related to research and development and carries out a wide range of special tests on civil engineering projects. In conjunction with Rocklab it also carries out many tests for mining projects. Satisfied clients: Soillabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s list of clients include many public authorities, consulting engineers, contractors, project developers, mining houses as well as many smaller businesses such as nurseries and farms.

SOILLAB PRETORIA Wim Hofsink VKE Centre, 230 Albertus Street, Empowerment Initiatives: Soillab is a 30% blackowned company. When working on site projects, the La Montagne 0184, Pretoria PO Box 72928, company augments its core team with labour and temporary staff from the surrounding communities. Lynnwood Ridge 0040, South Africa Tel: +27 (0) 12 481 3801 This approach underpins its commitment to onFax: +27 (0) 12 481 3812 going community upliftment and skills transfer. e-mail: hofsinkw@soillab.co.za


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There is no installed modeling system to analyse water quality and quantity in an integrated fashion as advised by the 1998 NWA and DWAF’s 2004 ISPs.

The world wide developments in OpenMI can be deployed immediately to rectify this weakness and turn the installed modeling systems into a great strength.

We have not operationally embraced the practices of Strategic Adaptive Management. The practice requires the use of models to enable the stakeholders to visit the consequences of their proposed actions. We have not implemented simulation models for this purpose.

A key element in Strategic Adaptive Management is for the role players to make their implicit assumptions explicit in and through modeling systems. This weakness can be changed to a strength overnight if we adopt OpenMI and a change in attitude concerning participatory agent-based-social simulation modeling (Pahl-Wostl and Hare, 2004; Pahl-Wostl, 2007).

The DWA has only slightly let go and the large, wellresourced stakeholders have only slightly taken up their responsibilities to engage each other. This is a major weakness.

The letting go of certain matters by DWA and taking up responsibility by well resourced multi-sector stakeholders can happen very quickly and hence become a strength. DWA has all the legislation in place to perform its oversight of multi-sector interactive processes, in the CMA space, that generate options on which DWA has the authority for the final decision.

A collective identity as social learners in the same boat is almost non-existent amongst and between all stakeholders.

The transformation to accepting the need for a collective identity can happen fast as the Dinokeng Scenarios showed; we are all in the same boat. Nothing is gained by pointing to the hole in the other side of the boat. The recent National Business Initiative (NBI) Summit on Sustainable Development revealed a rapidly growing collective identity, at least in concept if not in actions, on sustainability matters.

Social learning on water-related matters is currently low.

The concept of social learning is taking root in a myriad of other areas of society and all sectors can learn from these endeavours. There is a fast growing recognition among key roleplayers in water that social learning offers much potential.

Our world class Financial Services Sector has not taken up the considerable opportunities to reduce water related risk and introduce innovative new paradigms into our collective behaviours In the form of, for example, Payment for Ecosystem Services; thinking in terms of potential (financial) benefits in place of purely water.

Our Financial Services Sector is world class. Given a change in insight they have shown the ability to act rapidly and responsibly. Attitudes and actions can change rapidly when this Sector looks sufficiently far downstream in its customer chain or at the matters of water related systemic risk. It is not rational for the Financial Services Sector to ignore the wider systemic issues in provision of a natural resource such as water which is vital to the wellbeing of every one of their clients. A strength is that this ‘bounded rationality’ is likely to end very soon.

CONCLUSIONS Return to the questions posed at the beginning of this chapter. Our thinking got us into our current situation and a change in thinking will have to get us to where we want to be. Changed attitudes towards the full implementation of the spirit of our world class 1998 National Water Act, on the part of 122

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THE Q DRUM: Water is essential to all forms of life and a clean and accessible supply is a need that many of us take for granted. In disadvantaged communities around the globe, millions of people live kilometers away from their nearest reliable source. The task of fetching water therefore proves to be a cumbersome and time consuming one, mostly affecting the women and young children of these communities and often resulting in debilitating neck injuries from carrying heavy loads on their heads. The Q Drum, a unique South African design, aims to ease the burden of transporting potable water. It is a rolling, durable container which when full holds 50 litres of water and other compatible edible liquids.

Our mission: Get the Q Drum to people who need it, but can’t afford it, with the help of people who can afford it but don’t need it.

The Problem

The Q Drum Solution


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government, business and civil society can bring about a turnaround in a very short time. Senge, et al (1995) wrote in the quote at the beginning of this chapter that, “there is no one to blame, just a need to think differently”. I stress the one, because we are all to blame. We all need to change our thinking. Pre- and post-1994 South Africa has shown that it has many transformational leaders at all levels in our society. All such leaders should now mandate and support their institutions to engage in the processes of IWRM. The hard work of creating the policy, legal and institutional frameworks has been achieved. What is now required is a change of heart on the part of all but especially of sector leaders. Attitudinal change is a fundamental imperative on the path to the goal of ‘Some, for all, forever’. Perhaps the most relevant attitudinal change needs to come from government and the DWA in order to provide a space for all of the Sectors to engage in a fruitful and positive manner. Quite simply, DWA needs to acknowledge the existence of the Water Crisis! References DWAF/UNESCO/WMO (1998) Mission on the Assessment of the Education and Training Needs of the Water Resources Management Services of the Republic of South Africa. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, RSA; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; World Meteorological Organization. ISBN 0-620-22756-7, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria. Goleman,D., 2009. Ecological Intelligence:- the coming age of radical transparency. pp 276. Penguin Books. London. Ison, R.L. Steyaert, P., Roggero, P.P., Hubert, B. and Jiggins, J., 2004. Social Learning for the Integrated Management and Sustainable Use of Water at Catchment Scale. EVK1-2000-00695SLIM. European Commission (DG RESEARCH – 5th Framework Programme for research and technological development, 1998–2002) Keidel, R.W., 1994. Rethinking organisational design. Academy of Management Executive. Vol 8, No 4 pp 12-28. Nowotny, H., Scott, P. and Gibbons, M., 2001. Re-thinking Science Knowledge and the Public in an age of uncertainty. Polity Press. Pahl-Wostl, C. and Hare, M., 2004.Processes of Social Learning in Integrated Resources Management. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 14: 193–206 Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). Pahl-Wostl, C., 2007. The implications of complexity for integrated resources management. Environmental modelling and software 22 : 561-569. Senge,P., Roberts,C., Ross,R.B., Smith,B.J. and Kleiner,A., 1995 The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook:- Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organisation. Nicholas Brealey, London. Senge , P., Smith, B., Kruschwitz, N. Laur,J. and Schley, S., 2008. The Necessary Revolution:- how individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. Nicholas Brealey, London. Simon, H., 1991. Bounded Rationality and Organizational Learning. Organization Science 2 (1): 125–134 UNESCO (2009) World Water Assessment Programme Dialogue Paper:- Integrated Water Resources Management in Action. UNEP Jointly prepared by DHIWater Policy and UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment. Wheatley, M.J., 2006. Leadership and the New Science:- Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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UASA Water Crusade While it may be strange for a trade union to become involved in such a huge socio-economic issue such as water, we have been mandated by our members to pursue the matter to make a positive difference to the situation. That is why we started the UASA water crusade. Through the involvement of experts, we discovered that rapid urbanisation caused long-term trends such as pollution problems with salinity from mining activities and bacteriological problems from sewage. • Mines closing down – uncontrolled rising of underground water levels resulting in acid mine drainage • Malfunctioning sewage works at Local Authorities This has a major impact on downstream users resulting in major effects on cost to treat, usability, relationships, corporate image, etc. Currently our water landscape is characterised by: • South Africa is a water scarce country, ranking 30th driest globally. • Water unaccounted for up to 52% in municipal systems due to: » Leaks and iIlegal connections » Poor operation and maintenance • Debt to water boards > R 700 million • Human capacity lacking • Threatening acid mine drainage Some frightening facts and what the experts are saying: • 3,6 million South Africans still with no access to safe water • 16 million have no access to hygienic sanitation • 35% of our dams Eutrophic • 80% of existing sewage treatment works overloaded • 40% of sewage treatment works in towns on the brink of collapse • Quality of river water reduced by 20% over the past 5 years • Estimated that South Africa will run out of water supplies by 2025 • A moratorium should be placed on new mining in the Vaal,Usutu and Komati catchments • One in five (19,41%) of all deaths of children in the age group 1–5 years could be attributed to a number of different water-related infections. The information gathered at three Water Security Seminars have been consolidated into a position paper which we submitted to Nedlac as part of our application in terms of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995.


PROFILE Agreement was reached with Government that we will be part of the review process of the National Water Strategy as well as a process of identifying places where water treatment works are not functioning at full capacity as well as issues that need to be addressed to restore water security in the country. UASA calls its crusade the H20 4 Life campaign and developed a website where the latest information regarding our crusade can be accessed. Visit www.h2o4life.co.za or www.uasa. org.za Chief Seattle (1852) The rivers are our brothers, they carry our canoes and feed our childrenâ&#x20AC;Ś.. So you must give to the river the same kindness you would give to your brother. Contact Us:

The Trade Union UASA 42 Goldman Street/PO Box 565 Florida South Africa 1710 Switchboard: +27 11 4723600 Fax: +27 11 674 4057 Corporate Communications AndrĂŠ Venter Andre.venter@uasa.org.za

Left to right: Koos Bezuidenhout, UASA CEO; Prof. Terence McCarthy, Scientist, Wits University; Francois van Wyk, Water Quality Specialist; Carin Visser, Water Activist, Sannieshof; Jaap Kelder, Chairman, National Taxpayers Union; Dr. Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist, Stellenbosch University; Louw du Toit, Facilitator; Costa Raftopoulos, President, UASA and Pavel Polasek, Water Quality Specialist


PROFILE

Zetachem: More than just Chemicals for the Water Treatment Market Zetachem over the past 24 years has become a major manufacturer and supplier of organic and inorganic coagulants to the South African water treatment industry. It was this strength that was identified by the Omnia Group and that led to the acquisition of Zetachem in January 2008. Joining a larger group has had numerous benefits for Zetachem. As part of the Omnia Group, Zetachem are able to tap into the network of suppliers within the organization such as Omnia’s operations in China and the Protea Chemicals Group. Through this association, Zetachem has access to the various commodity chemicals that can be offered to customers as part of a complete basket. On the technology front, the company can tap into the Omnia Research and Development facility in Sasolburg. This together, with Zetachem’s state of the art R& D facility in Mobeni, allows continual investigation of new products, new materials and new manufacturing techniques.

Monomer Plant

Service Focus

Zetachem is a company that focuses on quality, accompanied by a high level of customer service. Zetachem’s extensive manufacturing capability and large stock of key raw materials, enables it to respond rapidly to changes in market demands.

ISO and NSF Certification

The name Zetachem has always been associated with consistency, quality and innovation. In 1994 Zetachem was awarded ISO 9002 and currently holds ISO 9001:2008 Certification. Zetachem pioneered the introduction of NSF into South Africa in 2000, being the first South African drinking water additive manufacturer to be awarded NSF Certification for a range of drinking water additives. NSF approval guarantees that the products carrying NSF Certification are manufactured to a consistently high international drinking water standard.

Reducing The Carbon Footprint

Alongside Zetachem’s focus on quality, is its holistic approach to environmental issues. To this end production facility changes are always implemented with environmental improvements in mind. This enables the company to supply superior products at competitive pricing, while minimizing the carbon footprint. Zetachem is a water treatment chemical supplier that will continue to supply innovative chemical solutions into and beyond the 21st century. Contact details: Tel. 031 469 0165 Fax. 031 469 0408 International Code (+2731) E. Mail: enquiries@zetachem.co.za www.zetachem.co.za

Polymer Plant


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AN OVERVIEW OF FLOATING TREATMENT WETLANDS Bruce Kania

INTRODUCTION In the past half-century, there has been a rediscovery of the wetland as nature’s primary tool to clean water. Many variations of constructed wetland have been implemented successfully to clean all kinds of contaminated water, from wastewater and stormwater to drinking water. It used to be assumed that plants were the major contributor to this cleaning task. But recently, biofilm-generating microbes have been found to play a dominant role. According to Prof Otto Stein, of Montana State University: “The majority of wetland biogeochemical transformations are due to microbal activity.” This has given rise to a new form of constructed wetland, the floating wetland (known variously as floating islands, floating treatment wetlands or even floating emergent wetlands), which maximise the ability for microbes to thrive. In the past five years, several thousand floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) have been deployed at numerous locations around the globe by various public and private organisations. While initially most of these islands were marketed into private waterways as waterscape features, a credit to their aesthetic potential, research tracking their nutrient uptake efficacy indicates they have a unique place in water stewardship applications. These FTWs, which differ from more conventional floating hydroponic platforms, ‘biomimic’ floating peat bogs that occur around the world. They can sustain both wetland and terrestrial plant species. They are associated with clean water and record fish growth. Wetland scientists at New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) rated them first in a survey of all man-made floating wetlands (2007). The reason: they provide the most ‘concentrated wetland effect’. NIWA scientists Dr Chris Tanner and Dr Tom Headley, in a paper addressing the ICWSWPC, tested one commercially-available FTW (www.floatingislandinternational.com) and described it as “a hybrid wetland; they behave hydraulically similar to a stormwater detention pond, whilst imparting similar treatment processes to that of a wetland. The plant roots hang beneath the floating matrix, (a membrane type material composed of recycled plastics) and provide an additional large surface area for biofilm growth which forms an important part of the treatment reactor.”

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Figure 9.1: Planted floating islands

Figure 9.2: Anchoring a planted mat

FTWs are a flexible water stewardship tool that can be specifically designed to biomimic natural wetlands. Using rooted, emergent macrophytes (similar to those used in surface and subsurface flow wetlands) growing on a matrix mat, floating on the surface of the water rather than rooted in the sediments, they uptake nutrients and move them into and through the food chain. They provide a unique ability to measure nutrient pathways and, correspondingly, track water quality enhancement. In addition, many new design options unfold around the multiplicity of benefits provided by these systems, which can be constructed to any size and buoyancy. Their modular design also contributes to new stewardship options in that they can be installed in nearly any waterway and launched with a minimum of disturbance. When it comes to water treatment, stewarding towards nature’s process of microbial remediation represents an alternative to chemical solutions.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND FLOATING TREATMENT WETLAND TECHNOLOGY Biofilms are formed when communities of microbes adhere to a surface by means of the extracellular polymer (ECP) that they excrete. ECP is the sticky slime found on any submerged aquatic surface, and most certainly on the bottom substrate of a waterway. It is ubiquitous: biofilmproducing microbes are among the most persistent and adaptable of life forms. In an aquatic setting, biofilm and whatever bonds to it is known as periphyton, the base of the food web. Suspended and colloidal particles, phytoplankton in its various forms, and a wide range of other life forms – including protozoa, diatoms, and zooplankton – occur within it. It is noteworthy that the biofilm-forming bacteria 132

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Figure 9.3: Medium scale test ponds


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that generate the base of periphyton are found to be more effective in terms of nutrient uptake than any other life form, including suspended phytoplankton. However, as with all life forms, they are limited by certain primary variables, which include, in this case, surface area and circulation. Free-floating phytoplankton, for which human systems tend to inadvertently design, are not limited by surface area but by sunlight. As with most natural systems, blurred lines of differentiation are common. However, today we understand that biofilm generating microbes are the critical natural agent associated with the ‘wetland effect’, nature’s primary method by which nutrients and carbon are moved through aquatic environments. Biomimicry of this process can result in water that is both healthy and supportive of productive fisheries.

‘THE WETLAND EFFECT’ = SURFACE AREA + CIRCULATION Biofilm-producing microbes are the primary agent associated with nutrient uptake in a wetland; plants are a secondary agent. While plants account for some degree of phytoremediation, their root hairs – and even primary roots where they extend below the matrix of an island – make their biggest contribution by adding to the surface area available for microbial uptake. In the most productive of natural systems there will inevitably be found an abundance of surface area with correspondingly high levels of circulation and aeration. Biomimicry is the study of these ‘model’ systems as a basis for invention of human stewardship solutions. So, biomimetic FTWs represent a form of constructed wetland specifically designed to maximise the critical limiting variables associated with biofilm generation – surface area and circulation. Twenty centimeters is considered the minimum thickness to insure sufficient surface area to support the full spectrum of aerobic, anaerobic and anoxic microbial habitats. Without all three classes of microbes present in sufficient abundance, phosphate or nitrogen, in its various forms, or other micronutrients, such as fatty oils associated with petroleum distillate, may accumulate and ultimately

Figure 9.4: Root growth through Biohaven mat

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compromise the fecundity of a natural system. Using wastewater as an example, the ammonia removal and most of the organic carbon removal are achieved by aerobic bacteria in the presence of abundant oxygen; nitrate removal is achieved under anoxic conditions by facultative bacteria which use nitrate as a substitute for oxygen when oxygen is in short supply; and the remaining recalcitrant portion of organic carbon is finally broken down by anaerobic bacteria that can only thrive in the absence of oxygen. One of the major advantages of FTWs over other types of treatment is that all three types of microbes can exist and function simultaneously within a single FTW5. Circulation is similarly critical, in order to expose nutrients and carbon present in water to microbes. Without it, and especially in the presence of excess nutrients, de-oxygenation is a likely outcome. In the context of a waterwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s normal, seasonal stratification, appropriate water stewardship requires monitoring of dissolved oxygen levels and responding with sufficient circulation/aeration. To maximise the efficacy of FTWs, it is fundamental that circulation be prioritised together with surface area. Surface area without circulation is typically less than one fifth as effective; or to put it another way, circulation can increase the effectiveness by as much as 500%3. Designing a treatment system to take advantage of natural circulation provided by wind, current or gravity is ideal. Similarly, designing any new waterway to take advantage of natural surface area, such as that provided by gravel, cobble, sand and other structure, is also ideal, and will supplement the treatment provided by the concentrated surface of the floating island. Lack of dissolved oxygen is a frequent variable limiting a wetlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efficacy since most nutrients are taken out of the water and into and through the food web through aerobic processes. It follows that designing for maximum circulation and controlled aeration through the concentrated wetland effect offered by BioHaven islands is of strategic importance. As biomimetic FTWs develop and mature, most aerobic microbial activity will occur within only 12cm of their perimeter unless the island is designed for internal circulation. A standard 20cm thick island is designed to optimise this characteristic on a passive basis, ie, without Figure 9.6: Taking oxygen measurements under planted mats

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circulation. Despite this advantageous design feature, incorporating additional circulation/aeration will always further enhance for nutrient uptake efficacy. It is instructive to note that the productivity of healthy waterways is rarely associated with humanintroduced nutrient loading. On the other hand, distressed waterways are typically due to human activity, especially nutrient loading. The resulting hyper-eutrophication – and the de-oxygenation associated with it - often leads to freshwater dead zones. Given sufficient wetland effect, such waterways could become both healthy and, perhaps, hyper-productive. In an ideal model, such systems maintain a large degree of natural autonomy in which human stewardship is minimal.

FTW TREATMENT STRATEGIES AND OPTIONS The following paragraphs describe variations of FTWs and strategies to optimise their nutrient uptake potential. Passive and active FTW systems Water circulation through an FTW may be either passive (ie, by water currents present in the water body) or active (ie, by mechanical pumps, discharge pipes, or other man-induced flow sources). An FTW can have any footprint and thickness, above certain minimum criteria for stability and effectiveness. In general, the body of an effective FTW must be permeable, porous, resistant to degradation by UV light, and able to withstand mechanical stresses such as water current, waves, and boats. In addition, the FTW should have a very large internal surface area to support large populations of naturally occurring, beneficial microbes. Buoyancy variations can be incorporated into the design, usually from about 20kg to 120 kg of reserve buoyancy for every square meter of top surface of a standard FTW. In addition, FTWs can be customised to allow for much higher levels of reserve buoyancy. Multipurpose floating structures that serve as walkways, levees, bridges, and even roadways – while providing the concentrated wetland effect that results in healthy, clean water – are a means by which to integrate a clean water strategy with provision of recreational or simply functional amenities. Biomimetic FTWs are a perfect palette for a landscape architect’s imagination. Lay people inevitably assume that the lush growth of plants is driving the improvement to the water. The visual impact of a beautiful island lends an opportunity to educate the public about what’s really going on. This can be accomplished with placards telling the story of wetlands, positioned at appropriate viewing stations. Hosting tours is a popular strategy. A well-designed BioHaven installation can maximise this educational element by providing the general public with a close-up opportunity to experience a healthy, working wetland. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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Figure 9.7: Islands in nature reserve pond

Another way of looking at FTWs is that they represent modular wetlands. Their great versatility allows them to be incorporated into a wide range of waterways, including park and recreational ponds, storm water management ponds, waste water lagoons and impoundments, lakes, existing wetlands, and rivers and streams. FTWs can also be constructed to perform in marine settings, including harbors and marinas, where the effects of human nutrient loading can be significant. The modular nature has many benefits: they can be installed progressively, as finances, space and need dictate; and they can be clustered together to form archipelago configurations which allow for aerobic circulation around the riparian edges of the floating structures. As stated earlier, microbes are ubiquitous. Through biomimicry we can steward microbes and in the process circulate nutrients into and through the food web. The alternative is to let these nutrients stack up. The result, invariably, is relative monocultures of extreme life forms with toxic consequences. The efficacy of an FTW can be optimised by providing forced water circulation onto and through the interior portion of the structure via mechanical pumps. The pumped water can be made to flow into open channels where it is exposed to sunlight, periphyton, and macrophytes. After flowing through the open channels, the water can be made to flow through porous biofilm-rich media, where it can receive additional treatment from aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic microbes. The intakes and 136

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PROFILE

CORPORATE PROFILE OF BTC PRODUCTS & SERVICES We have been commercializing our OXICAT Chlorine Dioxide generators, technology, products and services into Southern Africa over the last 15 years and have built up a solid reputation as a reliable and safe ISO certified technology supplier. Our Company was appointed, in July 2010, as the Distributor for Du Pont Water Technologies (DWT), based on Du Pont’s Chlorine Dioxide Business Unit, for customers in the SADC countries. For over 50 years, DWT has been a knowledge-intensive business, focused on sodium chlorite solutions, Chlorine Dioxide generation technologies, and innovative solutions in the areas of disinfection, deodourization, sanitation, environmental applications and microbiological control in industrial water applications. Over the years DWT has developed the broadest range of chemicals, equipment and application knowledge in the Chlorine Dioxide industry and today their Chlorine Dioxide products, technology and services represent the leading edge currently available worldwide. DWT’s main business in the USA, Europe and Far East is the supply of their Chlorine Dioxide products, technology and services into the Municipal Market (Drinking Water and Wastewater); Industrial and Environmental applications and the disinfection of seawater. Hence, BTC Products’ focus is going to be to offer DWT’s expertise to the leading companies who can benefit from utilization of our joint expertise and knowledge in Drinking Water disinfection and purification of wastewater that is being experienced in the SADC countries. Contact Details:

PO Box 1611, Randburg 2125 Tel: +27 82 331 9720 Fax: 086 610 7205 www.btcproducts.co.za btc001@btcproducts.co.za


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discharges of the FTW can selectively be set to optimum depths for the particular site conditions and desired treatment. A key feature is that it does not cost appreciably more to move water from the lowest depth, where it is typically cooler and, in the case of hypertrophied waterways, frequently devoid of dissolved oxygen. Active-circulation FTWs can be designed to re-oxygenate such water prior to moving it through the island matrix membrane surface area. The strategic placement of active FTWs allows waterways currently experiencing high levels of organic accretion in their benthic zones to stop, possibly even reverse, such accumulation. The same organics are instead moved through island matrix where they are exposed to biofilm-generating bacteria, then to periphyton, the base of the fresh water food web. The availability of resulting biota leads to fishery enhancement. The alternative is a prematurely aged waterway, one in which dissolved oxygen may be low or absent, where the air-breathing life-forms so valued by humans are correspondingly absent. The biomimetic, active-circulation FTW concept represents the most effective method of achieving maximum water cleanup within a given footprint of floating structure FTWs with additional features FTWs can be designed and constructed with rigidified walkways or vehicle tracks for either commercial or consumer-scale access permanently attached to the top. Such systems bring the benefits of the concentrated wetland effect to the normal functions of a dock or pier. A typical commercial-scale dock FTW requires a reserve buoyancy of 142 kg per square meter of top surface, while a consumerscale system’s reserve buoyancy is typically one half this amount. Non-floating treatment structures for use in swales and channels Non-buoyant treatment structures (NBTS) may be deployed to clean up run-off water in urban and agricultural settings. These NBSTs can utilise the same permeable and porous materials as FTWs, but are designed to be positioned within or over swales or seasonal streambeds, or even live streams. They function as ‘leaky dams’, in that water will continuously flow through the matrix and the macrophyte root systems within it. However, surges of water are slowed down by the NBSTs. Accordingly the flushing effect connected with water events is mediated. NBSTs represent a strategy by which to induce sequestration of heavy metals associated with water exposed to mine tailings. Overhanging banks FTWs can be used to mediate wave energy4. They can achieve wave attenuation in sensitive areas such as low-lying swamps or other erosion-vulnerable sites. Research is currently being carried out 138

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profile

The Chemical and Allied Industries’ AssociationP R O F I L E The Chemical and Allied THE CHEMICAL ANDIndustries’ ALLIED INDUSTRIES’ Association (CAIA) was established ASSOCIATION in 1994 to promote a wide range of interests pertaining

to the chemical industry. These include fostering South Africa’s science base; seeking ways to promote the sector; promoting the industry’s commitment a high The Chemical growth and Allied in Industries’ Association (CAIA) was established in 1994 to promote a wide to range of standard of health, safety and environmental performance; consulting interests pertaining to the chemical industry. These include fostering South Africa’sand science base; seekingwith government and other role promoting players on wide variety of issues. ways to promote growth in the sector; the a industry’s commitment to a high standard of health, safety and environmental performance; and consulting with government and other role players on a wide Membership variety of issues. is open to chemical manufacturers and traders as well as to organisations which

provide a service to the chemical industry, such as hauliers and consultants.

Membership is open to chemical manufacturers and traders as well as to organisations which provide a service tothe the chemical industry, such as hauliers consultants. Responsible Care initiative, which has CAIA is South African custodian of theand international

been adopted by 53 countries worldwide.

CAIA is the South African custodian of the international Responsible Care initiative, which has been adopted by 53 countries worldwide.

This component of the work of the Association. obtains guidance the implementation of the Thisis aiskey a key component of the work of the CAIA Association. CAIA on obtains guidance on the initiative throughof its the principal, the International of Chemical Associations (ICCA). 142of members implementation initiative through itsCouncil principal, the International Council Chemical are now signatories to Responsible Care in are South Africa. Associations (ICCA). 167 members now signatories to Responsible Care in South Africa. Responsible CareCare is anisinitiative of the of global industry inindustry which companies, their national Responsible an initiative thechemical global chemical in whichthrough companies, through associations, commit to work together to continuously improve the safety and improve environmental their national associations, commit to work together tohealth, continuously the health, performance their products and processes, and contribute to the sustainable development of local to safety and of environmental performance of so their products and processes, and so contribute communities and ofdevelopment society as a whole. It encourages\ companies associations inform It theencourages public the sustainable of local communities andand of society as atowhole. about what they make and do, about their performance including reporting performance data, and about companies and associations to inform the public about what they make and do, about their their achievements and challenges.The chemical industry isdata, aware and that water is becoming an increasinglyand performance including reporting performance about their achievements scarce resource. As part of Responsible Care, members are encouraged to continuously strive to use water challenges. as efficiently as possible. This has resulted in a decrease of 20% of water usage per tonne of production when comparing 2009 with 2005 levels.

CAIA promotes a proactive relationship with government. Advocacy efforts are primarily channelled through Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) which represents business in the

CAIA promotes a proactive relationship with government. Advocacy efforts are primarily channelled through National Economic Development Labour Council (NEDLAC). Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) which and represents business in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). Contact details Dr M D Booth, Contact detailsDirector Information Resources, Tel: 011 482 1671; E-mail: caiainfo@iafrica.com Dr M D Booth, Director Information Resources, Tel: 011 482 1671; E-mail: caiainfo@iafrica.com


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in a number of settings in the US, including off the coast of Louisiana, USA. In these applications, FTWs may be either tethered to the shoreline or anchored a short distance from shore. FTWs in an overhanging bank application not only absorb wave energy before it reaches the shore but also provide security and habitat for fish, and can be installed along fish migration Figure 9.8: Fish sheltering beneath a mat

routes.

Operational implications Commercially available FTW systems are constructed from a variety of materials, including postconsumer polyester (from PET drinking bottles) and other non-toxic, non-degradable materials that are appropriate for long-term residence in water. FTWs should be installed in compliance with the manufacture’s instructions. Particular attention should be paid to anchoring and tethering requirements.

CONCLUSION Biomimetic FTWs are a sustainable way of moving nutrients into and through the food web on lakes, rivers and streams. They provide critical wetland habitat and can result in expanded biodiversity. They can also provide recreational and functional benefits to stakeholder communities. Modular configurations can be designed and constructed so as to be straight forward to launch, and in fact, launches tend to become community events. They require little maintenance and are based on natural systems – which people intuitively respond to as ‘the right thing to do’. References 1. Application of Floating Wetlands for Enhanced Stormwater Treatment: A Review Auckland Regional Council Publication no 324 (November, 2006) 2. 11th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control Floating Treatment Wetlands: an Innovative Option for Stormwater Quality Applications. T. R. Headley, C.C. Tanner (November, 2008) 3.Final Report: Biomimetic floating islands that maximise plant and microbial synergistic relationships to revitalise degraded fisheries, wildlife habitats, and human water resources. Principal Investigator: Frank M Stewart, PE (December, 2007) 4.Hydraulic model study of floating treatment wetlands modules’ ability to attenuate waves on a shoreline. Brian McMahon, Nick Lucia (Alden Research lab) (Sept, 2009) 5. J.L Faulwetter et al. (September, 2010). Floating Treatment Wetlands for Domestic Wastewater Treatment. 12th International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control. Other reading (can be accessed on www.floatingislandinternational.com): NZWWA - water & wastes in New Zealand, issue 155, July 2008. Article by Dr Chris C Tanner and Dr Tom Headley Floating treatment wetlands - an innovative solution to enhance removal of fine particulates, copper and zinc Land Contamination & Reclamation, 16 (1), 2008 - 2008 EPP Publications Ltd Floating islands as an alternative to constructed wetlands for treatment of excess nutrients from agricultural and municipal wastes - results of laboratory-scale tests Frank M. Stewart, Tim Mulholland, Alfred B. Cunningham, Bruce G. Kania and Mark T.Osterlund. 140

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THE WAY FORWARD Dr Steve Mitchell

INTRODUCTION Rivers are linear systems and need to be managed as such. With the increasing pressure on South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water resources, resulting from a combination of increasing population and an increase in purchasing power from the upliftment of the population, there has been a shift in the understanding of the way in which water resources need to be managed. This shift has moved from the study of classical limnology, as practised three and more decades ago, to a more holistic view of the resource as a complex social ecological system (SES). This view demands a systems approach to the inter-relationship between the socio-economic activities within a river basin and the water resource, a concept originally proposed by Thornton and Boddington (1989) for the management of eutrophication and used by Heeg and Breen (1994) on their work on the Phongolo floodplain through the 1980s. Limnology, the study of the biophysical aspects of lakes and ponds, was strongly supported up to and through the 1980s by organisations such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Research Foundation (NRF) and from the mid 1980s by the Water Research Commission (WRC). This research support built up a strong cadre of limnologists with considerable knowledge on the functioning and management of impoundments. The culmination of this was the Inland Waters Ecosystem Programme, spearheaded by the NRF and the CSIR. One important product of this programme was the report on the Limnology of Hartbeespoort Dam (Ashton et al, 1985). After this, funding was moved to support research in rivers, with the flagship programme being the Kruger National Park Rivers Research Programme, and research into the limnology of impoundments has since been poorly supported. At the same time, there has been a shift in the emphasis of research, from the study of the fundamental science, towards applied science and management. In part, this shift began during the 1980s when government funding was withdrawn from state-funded research organisations in the UK. This example was followed by other countries, including South Africa, although locally the escalating South Africa border war constrained expenditure on research (Roux et al, in prep).

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However, the need for capacity in aquatic sciences is now greater than ever. With South Africa’s water crisis (Chapter 1, this volume) getting worse and the demand for the benefits we get from aquatic ecosystems increasing, the need for effective management of our water resources, including impoundments, is becoming ever more critical. An area of integrated water resource management that would be of significant benefit to the country would be in skills transfer and training at all levels. There is a critical need for training at the local government level. The Green Drop Report (DWA, 2010), reporting on the performance of South Africa’s wastewater treatment works (WWTWs), awarded only 32 out of the country’s 852 WWTWs with the Green Drop Status for achieving the required standards in waste water treatment! But only 449 (53%) of the country’s works could be evaluated as the others did not have adequate records to enable them to be assessed. The Water Institute of Southern Africa has readily accessible training material for process controllers on water and wastewater treatment works (see http://www.ewisa.co.za/), but the municipal officials also need training on their responsibilities in the operation and maintenance of the works. The very few remaining professional limnologists have a wealth of skills and knowledge that will be lost should they not be provided with a scheme to mentor newcomers to this science. Involvement of the public in resource management has proved successful in a number of countries. Not only do the public recognise the value of the amenities offered by the environment, they also tend to be more outspoken about problems than the government agencies mandated with their management. With many more pairs of eyes watching, fewer problems are likely to go by unnoticed.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER Water is increasingly being recognised as the limiting resource world-wide but not all stakeholders have an understanding of this. A recently published global survey (BBC, 2010) indicated that 60% of the 147 firms responding to the survey have already set performance targets on the way they use water as they see future water shortages as a growing concern. The World Economic Forum (2009) has reviewed the main economic and geopolitical water issues likely to arise in the world during the next two decades and quote the Chairman of the Nestlé’s Board as saying that he is convinced that the world will run out of water before it runs out of fuel! This viewpoint may be more true than most will readily accept if the need to protect the quality of water resources is not heeded. The South African Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has launched a policy on water conservation and demand management. Elsewhere in the world where such policies have been fully implemented, water savings of up to 20% have been realised. The importance of caring for our scarce water resource is, in fact, clearly communicated to South African citizens through the Schools Water Action Project

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(SWAP) and the Adopt-a-River Programme, which are designed to help South Africans to understand the interlinkages of resource management.

THE NEED FOR COHERENT POLICIES There is a need to align the policies of the many economic sectors that use water in South Africa. The DWA is the lead department for water but water is used in every one of our activities – ie, water is a national or government responsibility. The government, through the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), is aiming at an economic growth rate of between 4.5% and 6% annually. Six ‘binding constraints’ are identified on the ASGISA website, but the possible shortage of water or the cost to the national economy of the deterioration of water quality are not among these, even though the management of water quality and quantity are given considerable importance in the Department of Water Affairs) policy document on Water for Growth and Development (DWAF, 2009). At present, the drive to develop and implement is such that officials from other departments or tiers of government do not take the time to check that the water required for the planned development is available. Another aspect that needs attention is the absence of coordination between the Integrated Development Plans (IDP) required from each municipality and the DWA, regarding the water required for planned developments that are included in the IDPs. Where developments have been planned in catchments that are already closed there is a real possibility that expectations regarding increased economic activity in the jurisdiction of the municipality will not be met.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Community involvement in the monitoring and management of water resources has been successful in a number of countries, including South Africa, where institutional space has been provided for the public to become involved in resource management. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance has well-developed CEPA (Communication, Education, Participation and Awareness) guidelines and training materials, some of it shared with the Convention for Biodiversity, which has advanced the sustainable management of wetlands in a number of countries. The Ramsar Convention regards the nomination of CEPA National Focal Points by every Contracting Party as the starting point for an effective review of CEPA needs within each country, leading ultimately to a CEPA Action Plan. Water Watch Australia has over 3 000 groups monitoring water quality and conducting biological and habitat assessments at over 7 000 sites across the country. In the nearly two decades that the programme has been in existence, groups have undertaken activities that have improved waterways THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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where monitoring indicated that their quality was declining. While Water Watch itself does not provide funding, funding may be available from other government agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency of the USA has manuals on water monitoring by volunteers and provide guidance to sources of funding that are available for the improvement of watersheds. Volunteers have proven their capability again and again in resource monitoring and protection. They are keen to make a real difference and will get satisfaction out of a job well done. In addition, unlike government-run monitoring programmes in which the results are not always readily available, volunteers will highlight the achievements of their work. The SWAP (Schools Water Action Programme) (Schreuder, 1997) started in South Africa in the 1990s and gave many school pupils experience in monitoring water quality and usage. As a tool, SWAP has helped students access the profoundly rich source of information offered by rivers and streams through a non-prescriptive process of curriculum innovation, and this has led to effective catchment action in a wide variety of communities. A South African model that aims to involve the general public nationally in water resource management and is currently being introduced is the Adopt-a-River Programme.

THE ADOPT-A-RIVER PROGRAMME Origins The idea for the Adopt-a-River Programme arose when a question was asked in Parliament whether South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rivers were healthy and fit for use. Parliament recognised the part that all South Africans could play in caring for the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scarce water resources and some members of Parliament volunteered to adopt a river and serve as patrons for those rivers as a sign of their own commitment to protecting the health of our rivers. The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry requested the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) officials to plan and implement such a programme as soon as was practicably possible and in a way that would encourage people to show their commitment to the protection and management these resources in an integrated manner. It has to be emphasised that the programme has no intention to replace existing initiatives, but to co-ordinate related activities in close geographic proximity. A phased approach is being followed to develop and implement the programme. Phase 1 was the initiation and development of a Strategic Framework. Phase 2 was the development of an Implementation Plan and Phase 3 is pilot implementation on selected rivers. It was recognised that there is no single institution in South Africa with the capacity to host and implement the entire programme. It was necessary, therefore, to form partnerships between authorities, agencies, concerned community organisations and the public in order to adequately fulfil the roles involved in the Adopt-a-River programme. 148

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Aims The Adopt-a-River programme is designed to create awareness among South Africans of the need to care for our scarce water resources and to actively participate in their protection and management. It will be based on community participation, training, partnerships, and focused action plans. Objectives The programme has several objectives. Firstly, it will provide a means for communities with a caring and trusting environment that encourages personal development and a breeding ground for talent through the promotion of the spirit of volunteerism in cleaning the riverine environment, so promoting greater public sector accountability. Secondly, it will provide rural riverside communities, particularly women, with work-based training in the monitoring of water quality and other life skills. It will alleviate poverty through the creation of temporary jobs, provide education on preserving the environment while at the same time contributing to the DWAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission for the sustainable provision of water resources. Activities The activities as planned may be divided broadly into two categories. Firstly, there will be a series of activities on the riverbank such as the clearing of solid waste from around the river, taking samples for monitoring and finding sources of pollution. Then there will be training aspects for people involved in the project which will include technical aspects of water quality monitoring, recognition of different types of pollution and the development of interventions to curb further pollution as well as personal aspects such as safety when working in and around water bodies. There will also be a more general programme of public education and awareness-raising in the surrounding communities. Stakeholders A number of stakeholders groupings have been identified, mostly from formal organisations, but it is the poor rural women living alongside water bodies at whom the early implementation is aimed. The organisations which have been identified are DWA, Municipalities, Water Boards, Sector Departments (Environmental Affairs, Nature Conservation, Agriculture), the Department of Education, the Department of Health, Water User Associations, community representatives (civil society organizations), institutions of higher learning and schools. First rivers The Adopt-a-River programme has been launched on the Umsunduzi River, KwaZuluNatal, the Mtata River, Eastern Cape and the Eerste River, Western Cape and, more recently, by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudhafasi, on the Luvuvhu River, Limpopo, the Isipingo River, KwaZuluNatal (SEE PHOTOS) and the Buffalo River, Eastern Cape. Once these projects have been THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK VOL 2

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established, the programme will be open for anyone anywhere in the country to apply for support to restore a river near them. The Isipingo Adopt-a-River project was launched into an already running initiative of about 100 women from neighbouring Umlazi who were so appalled by the deteriorated state of the river that they had begun to clean it up on their own (Durban women take charge, 2010). A part of their initiative was the development of vegetable gardens in the areas that they had cleaned up. Approach The Adopt-a-River approach encourages active participation of communities in the programme and projects to ensure sustainability. The programme is resourced by the DWA. The municipalities, sector partners, tertiary institutions, schools, private sector, agricultural communities, industries, community leaders and women in the vicinity of river projects will be the key role players of the programme. The spin offs here will be water saving, skills development for our youth, job creation, improvement of water quality and of the state of our rivers. The Department intends to swiftly broaden this initiative to other areas in the country, building capacity and sharing lessons learned through this initiative. Monitoring Resource Quality Services of the DWA runs a series of national programmes monitoring microbial water quality, aquatic ecosystem health (including the River Health Programme), eutrophication, toxicity and chemical pollutants. The Adopt-a-River Programme incorporates aspects of each of these, and is backed by the analytical capabilities of Resource Quality Services. The website (www.dwaf. gov.za/iwqs/rhp/naehmp.asp and follow the Adopt-a-River menu) currently houses the document repository, promoting awareness, but an information management system which allows users to both load river water quality related data and to view river water quality related data still needs to be developed. Accessibility of research findings to resource managers Scientific research is often presented in a way that is inaccessible to non-scientists. Researchers tend to write up their work, by and large, for other researchers to read. This presupposes that the receiving audience understands the language and terminology used as well as the context of the work, which is perfectly in order when the communication is aimed at others in the same field. However, where the work is being presented with the intention of contributing to a wider field, such as resource management or public understanding of science, the terminology used is often the same as is used in the technical publications. The assumption that the recipients of the communication will understand not only the terminology but also the importance of work for their position and responsibilities is seldom confirmed and may be false. Wilhelm-Rechmann and Cowling (in Press), 150

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PROFILE

Your Water. Our Passion. Selectech is passionate about helping you to preserve our environment by improving the quality of water. Selectech is a specialist supplier and supporter of water, beverage and laboratory testing equipment. Please contact us for: • Fast, Efficient and fuss-free service • Distribution of world renowned Lovibond® range in Africa • Distribution of other trusted brands to satisfy virtually every lab requirement • Staying up-to-date with new labour / time saving trends • Water testing – chemical / micro-biological analysis of water samples • Rugged, durable outdoor water testing kits • Efficient delivery throughout Africa • Repair and calibration of most brands Water Quality Testing products we supply include: • Comparators & discs, photometers & spectrophotometers • Rugged hand-held meters – pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, ions, salinity, etc • Benchtop lab equipment – COD, floc testers, pH, etc • On-line equipment – wide range of parameters available • Reagents – tablets, powder packs, tubes • Many more – phone us with your requirement and we will suggest a practical solution The first 100 people to request a catalogue will also receive a FREE Selectech Ruler-Calculator. Please contact us at 011 475 8565 / email us at sales@selectech.co.za and place Sustainable Water Resource Giveaway in the subject line. Include your name, the company’s name, telephone number and postal address.

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CHAPTER 10: THE WAY FORWARD

investigating the reasons behind maps for biodiversity conservation not being included in the landuse planning process of local government, found that local government decision-makers either did not understand the concepts in the same way as the conservation planners or, for various reasons, were negatively disposed to these concepts, indicating that this interface requires attention (see Chapter 8). Investigation may also show a similar breakdown between the science, engineering and technical water professionals and those who should benefit from the work. Results Management of South Africa’s limited water resources is not simply the job of DWA. As has been demonstrated throughout this book, officials, legislators, citizens, and corporations all have a role to play in ensuring the sustainability of our water supply, not only to ensure continuing economic productivity, but also human health and the survival of our natural ecosystems (and the tourism and recreational industries that they support). Citizen science, or the actions of individuals in acquiring scientific information, is increasingly becoming a foundation upon which environmental management decisions are made. Citizen science makes the practice of research accessible to more people within our communities. These communities have a much greater reach in terms of their geographic locations than can be achieved by the limited human resources generally associated with governmental agencies; hence, citizen science forms a critical element in the acquisition of knowledge and the application of responses to deteriorating (or improving) environmental conditions. Citizen scientists often become citizen advocates, communicating their insights and knowledge to others, including decision-makers and elected officials. Citizens, as has been pointed out, have the facility to ‘translate’ technical language into the more commonly used language of the people. While citizen scientists may rarely achieve the levels of expertise achieved by persons schooled in a science, they can serve as effective intermediaries between academic or research institutions and communities, as well as lines of communication to decision-makers. Incorporation of citizen science into schools programmes also is effective in making connections between science and communities. This occurs in two principle ways; namely, by the school children taking the message of clean water home to their parents, and, within the schools, of making environmental studies more tangible. Studying environmental science in the abstract frequently lacks the excitement or immediacy of a single excursion into the surrounding neighbourhood, where plants and animals can become ‘real’. Even if students do not undertake further studies in the natural sciences, they will mature into citizens with at least a basic understanding of the world and their place in it. By creating an understanding of the fundamental nature and necessity of water in our world, this next generation of businesspeople, politicians, homemakers, and scientists will approach environmental management in a new light. 152

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CONCLUSIONS Overall, South Africa has a rich knowledge of water and water management but this is not being fully implemented and is being allowed to disappear. There would seem to be space for innovation in the methods used in the communication of this knowledge to the resource managers so that they are able to access the knowledge that is available. This begs the question as to how well the current advisory groupings understand the situation within the bounds of their individual realities? Participation in resource management, particularly monitoring and restoration, by a trained and informed public, has proved successful in a number of countries including South Africa. The fact that a group of concerned women from Umlazi initiated their own restoration project on the Isipingo River, indicates that the country is ready for and will be able to benefit from a programme such as Adopta-River. Such a programme should go some way towards generating accountability amongst those responsible for managing our water resources, including operating treatment works, where these are not being operated effectively. References Ashton PJ, F.M. Chutter, K.L. Cochrane, F.C. de Moor, J.R. Hely-Hutchinson, A.C. Jarvis, R.D. Robarts, W.E. Scott, J.A. Thornton, , A.J. Twinch and T. Zohary, 1985. The Limnology of Hartbeespoort Dam. South African National Scientific Programmes Report No. 110. Published by the National Research Foundation. (now available at http://researchspace.csir.co.za/dspace/bitstream/10204/2425/1/SANSP%20110.pdf AsigSA. http://www.info.gov.za/asgisa/ BBC, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11744918 Durban women take charge, 13 Sep 2010. http://www.buanews.gov.za/news/10/10091311051001 . DWAF, 2009. Water for Growth and Development (version 7). http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Notices/WFGD_Framework_v7.pdf DWA, 2010. Green Drop Report 2009, Version 1: South African Waste Water Quality Management Performance. Department of Water Affairs, Pretoria. Heeg, J and CM Breen, 1994. Resolution of conflicting values on the Pongoloriver and floodplain (South Africa). In: Wetlands and Shallow Continental Water Bodies, volume 2, pp. 303 – 359. Edited by B. C. Patten et al., SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, The Netherlands. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-ramsar-movie/main/ramsar/1%5E24724_4000_0__ Roux, DJ, in prep. A chronology of aquatic science In South Africa: overview of research topics, key individuals, institutional change and operating culture since 1900. Water Research Commission Project No. 852. Water research Commission, Pretoria. Schreuder, DR, 1997. Issues of inequity, health and water: reflections on the schools water action programmes in post-apartheid South Africa. Health Education Research: Theory & Practice 12 (4) 461-468. http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/12/4/461.full.pdf Thornton, J. A. and G. Boddington, 1989. A “new” look at the “old” problem of eutrophication management in southern Africa. The Environmentalist, 9:121-129 Water Watch Australia. http://www.waterwatch.org.au/index.html World Economic Forum: http://www.weforum.org/en/initiatives/water/index.htm

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P&B


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Index of Advertisers Company Page Amanzabantu 63 Anglo American Plc 160, 161 Aquaearth Consulting 91 Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd 89 AVIS Inside front cover, 1 Brandformation - P & B Lime 155 Bateman Africa 109 BTC Products & Services CC 137 Capricorn District Municipality 92, 93 Centre for Environmental Management - University of the Free State 94, 95 Chemical & Allied Industries Association 139 Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 45, 46, 47 Enviro Options 79 Environmental Resource Management 61 Eurodrain Technology 66, 67 Free Rain Conservation 34, 35 Geberit Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd 153 Geo Space International 12 Hatch Africa 103 Iliso Consulting 57 Infropex 43 Industrial Development Bank / Carat 125 Keyplan 8 Krohne (Pty) Ltd 4 Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd 2, 80, 81 Nedbank 24, 25, Outside back cover Q Drum 123 Quality Laboratory Services (Pty) Ltd 59 Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd 64, 65 Sanoway 156, 157 Sedibeng Water 110, 111 Selectech 151 Soillab 121 Somerset Educational 107 Tshikovha Environmental 85 UASA 126, 127 UNISA - College of Agriculture & Environmental Science 141, 142, 143 University of Western Cape 87 Water & Sanitation Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd 6 Water Technology Plastics Industries (Pty) Ltd 105 Watermaster Southern Africa 41 Zetachem 128, 129

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SteVen maSheGo new Vaal colliery, South africa

the mine that became a well


water water is our most precious natural resource – especially in areas such as the mpumalanga province where it is already in short supply. So rather than letting a mine be a drain on local resources, we helped build a water reclamation plant in emalahleni, situated in the witbank coalfields of South africa’s mpumalanga province.

Share Value, from Shared ValueS approximately 130 million m3 of water is stored in anglo american thermal coal’s underground workings, a figure that is rising daily. following over a decade of research and development into various treatment solutions, we entered into a r300 million public-private partnership to tackle this challenge, and provide a sustainable solution that benefits the communities near our mining operations. commissioned in 2007, the plant desalinates rising underground water from our landau, Greenside and Kleinkopje collieries, as well as from becSa’s defunct South witbank mine. in doing so, it prevents polluted mine water from decanting into the environment and local river systems. using the latest in water purification technology, the emalahleni treatment plant currently desalinates about 20 million litres of water per day – enough to fill eight olympic-size swimming pools – and pipes it directly into the municipality’s reservoirs, meeting some 20% of its daily water requirements. additional water is also piped to the Greenside, Kleinkopje and landau collieries as well as various nearby mine service departments for domestic and mining uses, such as administration offices and dust suppression. these operations are now self-sufficient in terms of their water requirements.

a reSponSible water Steward by striving to transform the emalahleni treatment plant into a zero-waste disposal facility, our committed water stewards are also proving that water conservation is not just about using our water wisely, it is about making the most out of the water resource for everyone; this is our way of doing business. our commitment to water stewardship illustrates our work in benefiting the communities and economies around us. it is about sustainable development. and it makes for good mining, and really, really good water.

contact uS anglo american South africa, p.o. box 61587, marshalltown, Johannesburg 2107, South africa. tel: +27 (0) 11 638 9111.


NET#WORK BBDO 8010725

Over the past 20 years, together with our clients, we’ve helped save precious water.

Over 20 years Nedbank has donated over R100 million to The Green Trust on behalf of our Green Affinity clients. When you opt for a Nedbank Green Affinity bank or investment account or insurance policy, Nedbank donates money on your behalf to The Green Trust to fund environmental and climate change projects, all at no cost to you. For the past 20 years we have donated over R100 million to The Green Trust to fund environmental projects such as saving endangered species like the rhino, conserving water, helping establish community gardens and funding climate change initiatives. Because we know things don’t just happen, we’re committed to supporting the environment for many more years to come. To open your account and make a difference to the environment call us on 0860 DO GOOD (36 4663), visit www.nedbankgreen.co.za or go to any Nedbank branch.

Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06, 135 Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton, 2196, South Africa. We subscribe to the Code of Banking Practice of The Banking Association South Africa and, for unresolved disputes, support resolution through the Ombudsman for Banking Services. We are an authorised financial services provider. We are a registered credit provider in terms of the National Credit Act (NCR Reg No NCRCP16).


Index of Advertisers Company Page Amanzabantu 63 Anglo American Plc 160, 161 Aquaearth Consulting 91 Arch Chemicals (Pty) Ltd 89 AVIS Inside front cover, 1 Brandformation - P & B Lime 155 Bateman Africa 109 BTC Products & Services CC 137 Capricorn District Municipality 92, 93 Centre for Environmental Management - University of the Free State 94, 95 Chemical & Allied Industries Association 139 Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 45, 46, 47 Enviro Options 79 Environmental Resource Management 61 Eurodrain Technology 66, 67 Free Rain Conservation 34, 35 Geberit Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd 153 Geo Space International 12 Hatch Africa 103 Iliso Consulting 57 Infropex 43 Industrial Development Bank / Carat 125 Keyplan 8 Krohne (Pty) Ltd 4 Nalco Africa (Pty) Ltd 2, 80, 81 Nedbank 24, 25, Outside back cover Q Drum 123 Quality Laboratory Services (Pty) Ltd 59 Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd 64, 65 Sanoway 156, 157 Sedibeng Water 110, 111 Selectech 151 Soillab 121 Somerset Educational 107 Tshikovha Environmental 85 UASA 126, 127 UNISA - College of Agriculture & Environmental Science 141, 142, 143 University of Western Cape 87 Water & Sanitation Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd 6 Water Technology Plastics Industries (Pty) Ltd 105 Watermaster Southern Africa 41 Zetachem 128, 129

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159


SteVen maSheGo new Vaal colliery, South africa

the mine that became a well


water water is our most precious natural resource – especially in areas such as the mpumalanga province where it is already in short supply. So rather than letting a mine be a drain on local resources, we helped build a water reclamation plant in emalahleni, situated in the witbank coalfields of South africa’s mpumalanga province.

Share Value, from Shared ValueS approximately 130 million m3 of water is stored in anglo american thermal coal’s underground workings, a figure that is rising daily. following over a decade of research and development into various treatment solutions, we entered into a r300 million public-private partnership to tackle this challenge, and provide a sustainable solution that benefits the communities near our mining operations. commissioned in 2007, the plant desalinates rising underground water from our landau, Greenside and Kleinkopje collieries, as well as from becSa’s defunct South witbank mine. in doing so, it prevents polluted mine water from decanting into the environment and local river systems. using the latest in water purification technology, the emalahleni treatment plant currently desalinates about 20 million litres of water per day – enough to fill eight olympic-size swimming pools – and pipes it directly into the municipality’s reservoirs, meeting some 20% of its daily water requirements. additional water is also piped to the Greenside, Kleinkopje and landau collieries as well as various nearby mine service departments for domestic and mining uses, such as administration offices and dust suppression. these operations are now self-sufficient in terms of their water requirements.

a reSponSible water Steward by striving to transform the emalahleni treatment plant into a zero-waste disposal facility, our committed water stewards are also proving that water conservation is not just about using our water wisely, it is about making the most out of the water resource for everyone; this is our way of doing business. our commitment to water stewardship illustrates our work in benefiting the communities and economies around us. it is about sustainable development. and it makes for good mining, and really, really good water.

contact uS anglo american South africa, p.o. box 61587, marshalltown, Johannesburg 2107, South africa. tel: +27 (0) 11 638 9111.


NET#WORK BBDO 8010725

Over the past 20 years, together with our clients, we’ve helped save precious water.

Over 20 years Nedbank has donated over R100 million to The Green Trust on behalf of our Green Affinity clients. When you opt for a Nedbank Green Affinity bank or investment account or insurance policy, Nedbank donates money on your behalf to The Green Trust to fund environmental and climate change projects, all at no cost to you. For the past 20 years we have donated over R100 million to The Green Trust to fund environmental projects such as saving endangered species like the rhino, conserving water, helping establish community gardens and funding climate change initiatives. Because we know things don’t just happen, we’re committed to supporting the environment for many more years to come. To open your account and make a difference to the environment call us on 0860 DO GOOD (36 4663), visit www.nedbankgreen.co.za or go to any Nedbank branch.

Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06, 135 Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton, 2196, South Africa. We subscribe to the Code of Banking Practice of The Banking Association South Africa and, for unresolved disputes, support resolution through the Ombudsman for Banking Services. We are an authorised financial services provider. We are a registered credit provider in terms of the National Credit Act (NCR Reg No NCRCP16).

The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook Volume 2  

The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook Volume 2

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