The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook Vol 5 - Alive2green

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The Sustainable Water Resource Handbook

ISBN 978-0-620-45067-6

9 780620 450676


R150.00 incl. VAT

South Africa Volume 5 The essential guide to resource efficiency in South Africa

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Water Resource Handbook

South Africa Volume 5

The Essential Guide CLIENT LIASON MANAGER Eunice Visagie

EDITOR Garth Barnes CONTRIBUTORS Aiden Choles, Brett Wallington, Dean Muruven, Dr Ernst Baard, Garth Barnes, Jeremy Taylor, Dr Jim Taylor, Koos de la Rey, Linda Downsborough, Martin Ginster, Thubendran Naidu, Samanta Stelli PEER REVIEWERS Dr Mike Shand, Dr Anthony Turton, Mr Nick Tandi, Prof Kevin Rogers , Dr Victor Munnik

ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES Charity Musiyanga, Munyaradzi Jani, Tendai Jani PROOF-READER Sarah Johnston CHIEF EXECUTIVE Gordon Brown



DIRECTORS Gordon Brown Andrew Fehrsen Lloyd Macfarlane EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES PUBLISHER


The Sustainability Series Of Handbooks PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Alive2green Cape Media House 28 Main Road Rondebosch Cape Town South Africa 7700 TEL: 021 447 4733 SALES: 021 987 7616/ 3722 FAX: 086 6947443 Company Registration Number: 2006/206388/23 Vat Number: 4130252432

Sustainability and Integrated REPORTING HANDBOOK South Africa 2014

ISBN No: 978 0 620 45240 3. Volume 5 first Published February 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any way or in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher or the Editor. All editorial contributions are accepted on the understanding that the contributor either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights and permissions. IMAGES AND DIAGRAMS: Space limitations and source format have a affected the size of certain published images and/or diagrams in this publication. For larger PDF versions of these images please contact the Publisher.




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ntegrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a concept that has struggled to gain traction in South Africa and further afield (Barnes, 2014). There are many reasons for this, one of which is that, like sustainable development, it has many definitions. Jonker (2002) quotes a definition of IWRM that seems to suggest that we can manage things that we cannot manage, like components of the hydrological cycle. This thought may be a catalyst in urging us to define IWRM in another way: describe what we can manage, like people’s activities. Thus, Jonker (2002, p. 719) purports that we could define IWRM as follows: “managing people’s activities in a manner that promotes sustainable development (improves livelihoods without disrupting the water cycle).” This concept of managing people’s activities causes the reader to consider people’s practice from a grass-roots perspective within a broader, more strategic framework of IWRM. The concept also elicits a question about whether practice should be exercised responsibly. In a country that is water scarce, shouldn’t practice be synonymous with responsibility; and not only responsibility but also accountability and the duty of care? These valueladen words are best summed up in one: stewardship. In the following pages, leading organisations and other individuals present examples of practice that are responsible, accountable and care-filled. These are stewardship practices that are attempting to create an enabling environment for more effective water management.


Garth Barnes Editor

Barnes, G. (2014). An exploration of the way in which values and valuing processes might strengthen social learning in water stewardship practices in South Africa. Unpublished Masters thesis, Grahamstown, Rhodes University, Department of Education.

Garth Barnes Editor

Jonker, L. (2002). Integrated water resources management: theory, practice, cases. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 27, 719–720



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wnership of access to water continues to perpetuate inequality in our country. Working together with all South Africans in this financial year will open up a protected space to ensure that water as a natural resource is available and shared by all. This includes those who live in villages and townships—including beneficiaries of land reform residing nearer to the mines. New industries will also benefit. The 2014/15 Annual Performance Plan of then Department of Water Affairs will primarily focus on water related matters, since all functions related to sanitation are expected to have been transferred by end September 2014. We have resolved that we will apply a seamless integrated water approach. This will ensure that we provide a sustainable and holistic value chain of water supply – from source to tap, and from tap back to source. As we strive to consolidate our successes and celebrate the good story in the water sector we shall, with immediate effect, use this budget to deal with 10% of existing services that are dysfunctional and a further 26% where the provision of water is not reliable. Department’s total budget for the 2014/15 financial year is R12,480 billion. During this financial year, our spending focus will be on providing regional bulk water infrastructure and wastewater treatment works which link water sources to local government infrastructure. In addition, the Department will transfer R2.6 billion in 2014/15, R3.7 billion in 2015/16 and R4 billion in 2016/17 to the Water Trading Entity through Water Infrastructure Management programmes. As such, a number of support interventions in specifically targeted municipalities have been identified and will be implemented as a matter of extreme urgency. We have noticed that each province and/or municipality has its own specific challenges; there have invariably been a number of problems which could be classified as cross-cutting. For example, the issue of ageing infrastructure (and maintenance thereof ) remains a huge challenge across the board. There is also a lack of technical capacity to ensure that water is protected, conserved, managed and controlled sustainably and equitably as well as the capacity to perform operations and maintenance activities. We are developing very specific Provincial Action Plans together with the Premiers to deal with interventions. In order to ensure the delivery of water and sanitation services to all South Africans, we are charged with the responsibility of integrating our work through infrastructure development for the eradication of backlogs and to ensure sustained delivery of quality services to the people of South Africa. Capital investment in new water and sanitation infrastructure for the entire value chain, including the refurbishment of existing infrastructure over the next ten years, is projected to require an estimated R670 billion. On the basis of current projected budget allocations, about 45% of this is currently funded. These investments will have to be funded from on budget and off budget sources through partnership with the private sector.



CONTRIBUTORS GARTH BARNES Coupled with 18 years’ experience in the advertising, marketing and environmental sector, Garth also holds a graduate diploma in marketing management, an undergraduate degree in environmental management, and has just recently completed his Master’s degree, which explored the relationship between water stewardship, values and social learning. He has recently resigned as National Conservation Director of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and is currently exploring future opportunities within the private sector.

AIDEN CHOLES Aiden Choles is a co-founder and the managing director of The Narrative Lab, a niche organisational development and research consultancy based in Johannesburg. With degrees in psychology and theology, Choles has traversed industries and established careers in Secondary Education, Human Resource Management, Public Speaking, Facilitation, Change Management, Research and Consulting.

BRETT WALLINGTON Brett completed a Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Environment and Conservation (Honours) at Wits University, publishing in the Journal of Wildlife Research. After three years of guiding at Londolozi Game Reserve he expanded his skill-set and qualified as a Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner. Brett joined Wilderness Safaris in May 2011 and is currently the group’s Sustainability Manager.

DEAN MURUVEN Dean Muruven is the Water Source Areas Programme Manager with WWF. He began his career at Goldfields Driefontein operation and has since held senior consultancy positions at the MSA Group and Royal Bafokeng Holdings. He has published papers on water research in the Air, Soil and Water Research Journal and continues further research on acid mine drainage and bioreactors.



CONTRIBUTORS DR ERNST BAARD Dr Ernst Baard, Executive Director: Biodiversity Support, has been with CapeNature for more than 30 years. He and his team supply strategic and operational decision support to conservation managers relating to the protection and maintenance of threatened biodiversity and healthy ecological infrastructure in the Western Cape.

JEREMY WESTGARTH-TAYLOR Jeremy started Water Rhapsody in 1994. Since then, he has installed many thousands of water-saving devices for clients that have saved hundreds of millions of litres of water. All the systems installed today by the Water Rhapsody Franchisees are products of his innovations, ideas and developments.

DR JIM TAYLOR Jim has worked for WESSA for more than 30 years in the broad field of environmental education, social change processes and monitoring and evaluation. He has been directly involved in the establishment of a number of national and international initiatives including Eco-Schools in South Africa and the SADC Regional Environmental Education Programme. He is also the recipient of a Human Rights award.

KOOS DE LA REY Koos de la Rey is a Charted Managerial Accountant and a Director of Oasis Water. He is the CEO of Specialised Smart Brands, a company that provides water supply solutions to mines in and around Witbank, Secunda and Rustenburg. He is a part-time cattle farmer and water conservationist. He lectured in Strategic and Financial Management at the University of Pretoria before he became an entrepreneur.




Watercare Mining has been active in the care of water in mining and heavy industry for over 35 years. We have a skilled team of engineers and water treatment specialists that can assist with any water and process related issue at hand. Watercare Mining contributes to the profitability of its customer base in the following fields and prides itself in getting to know their customer’s water systems better than they do: • Chemical Services – Supply of process - , cooling - and boiler water conditioning chemicals and services • Anti-scalants • Biocides • Corrosion inhibitors • Boiler chemicals • Coagulants • Flocculants • Process chemicals and additives • Neutralisers • Service Water Disinfection • Effluent Treatment and Water re-use: • Filtration • Ion Exchange • Membrane Technology (Reverse Osmosis, Nano- and Ultrafiltration) • Precipitation Technology • Novel fluidised bed crystallization precipitation – Crystalactor® • Conventional Precipitation • Reagent Recovery and Recycle

• Outsourced Operations and Maintenance • Total outsourcing of operations such as underground settler systems and water treatment plants. • Build-own-and-operate water treatment plants and dewatering systems. Water treatment plant and equipment • Plant and equipment to support the Watercare process development capabilities. • CoolQuench point-of-use potable supply. Solid Liquid Separation We offer equipment that serve to improve the overall reticulation of underground and surface water and slurries, such as: • High efficiency belt filters. • Robust de-gritting systems. • Compact high performance settlers. • Lime make-up systems. • Flocculant make-up systems. • Depressant make-up systems. • Cyclone Filters. Contact us at: Head Office: (010) 591 2502 or Technical Office (011) 412 2200

CONTRIBUTORS LINDA DOWNSBOROUGH Miss Linda Downsborough holds a Masters of Education from Rhodes University and currently works as researcher for the Water Research Node at Monash South Africa. She is fascinated by learning and the ways in which people learn. Social learning, learning across disciplines and communities of practice are of particular interest to her. She is also passionate about conservation and natural resource management.

MARTIN GINSTER Martin Ginster holds the position of Head: Water, Waste, Land and Biodiversity at Sasol’s corporate Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Function. In this role he enables environmental management processes for water, waste, land and biodiversity and further provides expert professional support on strategic and operational environmental issues.

THUBENDRAN NAIDU Thubendran Naidu is the Hydrology Manager at the Anglo American’s Coal division, based at the eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant. He joined Anglo American in 2007 as Assistant Water Plant Manager towards the tail end of the construction of the Phase 1 of the water reclamation plant and has overseen the operation since commissioning. He currently heads the operation and is implementing the phase 2 expansion of the scheme.

SAMANTA STELLI Samanta Stelli is an ecologist with an MSc in Environment, Ecology and Conservation from the University of the Witwatersrand. She currently holds an environmental research position within the Environmental Management Services department at Rand Water. Samanta’s role involves researching and developing new strategies for water and environmental conservation and includes managing and conducting both in-house and outsourced/collaborative research.




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All our water treatment chemicals are manufactured in accordance to ISO 9002 and Responsible Care listings. Our manufacturing facility is currently undergoing ISO 14002 certification. Chemicals included are: • Scale & corrosion control • Biocides • Coagulants • Flocculants • Dispersants • Inhibitors • Water system cleaning chemicals

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Prosep Chemicals also focuses on the design, manufacture, supply and commissioning of: • Chemical dosing systems for: • Cooling towers • Boilers • Effluent plants • Drinking water plants • Water softening plants • De-mineralisation plants • Micro filtration • Effluent treatment plants • Package Sewage treatment plants • Filtration systems: • Bag housings & filters • Cartridge housings & filters • Carbon and sand filters • DCW-Chlorine/Hypochlorous acid disinfection systems

Prosep Chemicals has the sole rights for the manufacturing and distribution of the Alken-Murray Corporation (AMC) range of water treatment chemicals in Africa. AMC, founded in 1934, is a global world-class technology leader operating in 110 countries. • Baleen Filter - Self Cleaning Filters The filter is capable of filtering a slurry that contains visible • Environmentally Friendly Water Treatment Chemicals particulate, fats, oil, grease, silt, lint and hair from 10mm down to 25 • Cooling water chemicals • Drinking water chemicals • Effluent water micron without chemical assistance and 3 micron with chemical assistance. It will produce a solid discharge of spade-able treatment chemicals • Sewage water treatment chemicals consistency. • DCW-Hypochlorous acid disinfection chemicals

• Chlorine Dioxide/DCW - Disinfection

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Unit 4, N12 Industrial Park, Cnr Dr Vosloo & Likkewaan Streets, Bartlett, Boksburg, Gauteng PO Box 6032, Dunswart, 1508, South Africa Int’l Tel: +27 (0)11 918-7751 Int’l Fax: +27 (0)11 918-8123 Tel (SA only): 086 114-0860 Fax (SA only): 086 114-0861 Email: Websites: / Branches: Represented Country Wide Enquiries: Steve Evans - Cell: 083 308-5939


CONTENTS Managing water responsibly and sustainably Thubendran Naidu


Conserving the water factories of the Western Cape Dr Ernst Baard


Promoting freshwater conservation through meaningful learning interactions Linda Downsborough


Fostering water stewardship in Catchment Management Forums through the practice of stakeholder mapping Aiden Choles/Garth Barnes


Water efficiency in agriculture Koos de la Rey


Restoring our connection with water Samanta Stelli


In 1994 only 59 per cent of South Africans had access to clean and safe drinking water, the country has since progressed to a national average of 95.2 per cent. • Households with flush toilets connected to the sewerage system stood at 57 per cent in 2011. • The Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP) 18 is a 10-year plan that will address the estimated backlog of adequate water to 1,4 million households and that of basic sanitation to 2,1 million households. • The project is estimated to cost R670 billion over the 10 years.The Department of Water and Sanitation has earmarked R30 billion per year to fund the project and the shortfall will be made up through partnerships with the private sector. • The Department of Water and Sanitation is currently overseeing the implementation of 151 water resource development projects. Of these, seven major water projects will be completed by the end of 2014. • The implementation of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is planned to deliver water to Gauteng by 2020.



Government is accelerating provision of basic sanitation services to the citizenry as a way of improving the populace’s wellbeing, restoring their dignity and improving their health.

Sasol’s water stewardship response— working within and beyond the factory fence-line Martin Ginster


Working together to achieve sustainable water for all Dr Jim Taylor


Water demand management in ecotourism Brett Wallington


Water demand management in South Africa from a technological and sociological perspective Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor


South Africa’s Water Source Areas Christine Colvin, Dean Muruven, Sindiswa Nobula


Wastewater treatment in South Africa Dr Herman Wiechers


A partnership between the Departments of Water and Sanitation, Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Science and Technology, has been Programme of Action is anchored on three phases: • Eradication of approximately 88 127 bucket toilets in formalised areas of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Free State provinces. Work in this regard commenced in the last financial year. • Eradication of approximately 184 868 bucket toilets in informal settlements at a cost of R3 billion. R650 million has been mobilised and a further R1,9 billion has been allocated by National Treasury. • Addressing sanitation backlog estimated at 2,2 million households including the nonfunctional wastewater treatments works in the country over the five year period.

A mine can make a good neighbour. To us, that means sharing common resources. In eMalahleni, our Coal business partnered with the municipality to build a state-of-the-art water reclamation plant in 2007. We can now purify 30 million litres of water every day from fi ve coal mines, which can supply 80 000 people in the community. In addition, we also pump up to 4 million litres of clean water into a much stressed river system that ultimately serves the Kruger National Park and its surrounding areas. It is another partnership definitely worth drinking to. THEMBILE XINWA Miner and eMalahleni Community Member


WATER MANAGEMENT CRUCIAL TO SECURING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Water security and effective water management have been identified as two of the key issues currently facing the mining industry. Undoubtedly, water is the world’s most critical resource, sustaining life and enabling economic and social development. The importance of water to human development is highlighted in the fact that vast quantities of fresh water are used on a daily basis in agricultural practices, and in order to manufacture consumables, generate power, process and extract minerals, and process food and beverages. However, despite the fact that water is integral to the lives of people, it continues to be an undervalued resource. In fact, it is estimated that by 2030, the earth’s projected 8 billion people will require 25% more fresh water. Further, from a local perspective, South Africa predicted to have a gap of 17% in water supply and demand, estimated to a water shortage of 2.7 billion cubic meters in 2030. Considering its importance and value, companies must be aware of the serious business implications or risks that can emanate from low confidence levels in the assurance of water supply. For the mining sector, the risks associated with insufficient or low quality water supply is even more apparent, and includes uncertain availability in water-stressed regions, higher costs, and regulatory caps on usage. Other potential risks may involve increased pretreatment and wastewater treatment costs, and increased demand to implement community water infrastructure and watershed restoration projects.

As such, it is essential that local mining companies pay particular attention to water issues, and institute measures which will result in more effective water management. Anglo American already has comprehensive water policies and strategies in place, owing to its complete commitment to making a real difference in terms of environmental sustainability. Implementation of this strategy is being realised through our initiatives in three focus areas: improving operational excellence, investing in technology, and engaging and partnering with our stakeholders. Further, Anglo American has some major water projects in progress, such as a desalination plant at Mantoverde mine, in Chile’s Atacama Desert. This plant delivers desalinated water to the mine, eliminating the need to compete for water resources in one of the world’s driest deserts. Start-up is scheduled for 2013 and, in addition to achieving sustainability, the 20 month planned construction project will provide an estimated 150 jobs. In conclusion, it is essential that comprehensive and intelligent water management is implemented on a wide scale by mining companies, in order to achieve sustainable mining and create a significant economic offset. Committing wholeheartedly to these principles will ensure that these objectives are swiftly achieved, and a real difference is inculcated in the establishment of water security for the mining industry.

MANAGING WATER RESPONSIBLY AND SUSTAINABLY Extracting and processing minerals is fundamental to the global economy, yet it can disturb land and consume significant resources, including water. Anglo American has long had a reputation as a leader in sustainability and aims to work in a way that improves things for everyone involved.

Environmental specialists Emily Lodewijks and Joseph Melchior take water samples at Zibulo colliery.



ining cannot take place without water. This, coupled with the fact that 70% of the group’s global operations are situated in water-stressed regions, makes it one of the company’s biggest risks. “Water supply is fundamental to our operations and the growth of our business, and rising public concern over its scarcity constitutes a real threat to our social licence to mine. As a result, we need to ensure that our mines use water wisely and sustainably and do not negatively impact on local water sources,” says Thubendran Naidu, hydrology manager for the group’s coal business, Coal South Africa. With nine of its 10 mines situated in the Mpumalanga coalfields, the division provides thermal coal for both the domestic and export markets and is a recognised leader in the stewardship of this natural resource. At Anglo American, water is seen as a business asset, with economic, social and environmental value. “Increasing demand for water is compounded by the potential impacts of climate change, which may lead to further supply shortages, cost escalations and growing legislative complexities. As a result, there is a compelling business, social and environmental case for us to minimise the amount we use, to re-use as much as possible and to discharge as little as we can,” he says. Coal South Africa’s water strategy is underpinned by its commitment to continued investment in treatment and technology innovation, the use of infrastructure to benefit communities, ensuring that quality and supply are not compromised, driving efficiency and partnering with stakeholders to find mutually beneficial solutions to shared water challenges.

A flagship water project

The company has earned international recognition for its flagship eMalahleni Water


Reclamation Plant—a one of a kind facility that is regarded as an exemplary model for development. Situated on the outskirts of eMalahleni, it has amassed an impressive collection of local and international accolades, including two Mail & Guardian Greening the Future awards, two Nedbank Sustainable Business awards and an Asia Mining Global Sustainability award. In 2013, Anglo American won the World Coal Association Award for Excellence in Environmental Practice, which recognises outstanding contributions in reducing the environmental footprint of coal at any stage of the value chain. The plant was also the only mining initiative to be endorsed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Momentum for Change programme in 2011. This initiative aims to promote a workable framework to combat climate change by raising the profile of successful adaptation and mitigation projects and effective public-private partnerships in developing countries.

A decade of research and development

Ten years of research and development preceded the 2007 commissioning of the plant, which effectively addressed the problems resulting from rising underground mine water using reverse osmosis. These range from safety and productivity impacts to serious environmental concerns, including the potential for acid mine drainage, a challenge inherent in the coal mining industry. Naidu explains that mines were previously able to effectively and reliably manage and contain excess water by reducing, reusing and separating clean and dirty water streams. However, with increasing coal mining activity at existing operations, mine life extension and greenfield projects on the





horizon—and the fact that water treatment technology had become a commercially viable option—the company decided to take things to the next level.

An interesting challenge

The Mpumalanga highveld is confronted with an interesting challenge. While the local municipality is faced with a critical shortage of water that is vital to supporting residential, commercial and industrial growth, under the ground is an almost unlimited reservoir, one which requires careful management. Studies reveal that more water is stored in the region’s mines than in the province’s Middelburg, Witbank and Loskop dams combined. Around 100 billion litres have accumulated in the underground workings of four collieries alone, compared with 104 billion litres in the Witbank dam, the area’s main water source. The plant, which operates at a 99% water recovery rate, resulted from a partnership between Anglo American and BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa (BECSA) and purifies a portion of this water to pristine quality for use by mining sites and the local community. By doing so, it prevents water loaded with salts and metals from decanting into the environment and sensitive river systems, while at the same time alleviating operational and safety challenges in both underground and opencast mining sites.

Increasing treatment capacity and replication by others

Anglo American’s Landau, Greenside and Kleinkopje collieries, as well as BECSA’s defunct South Witbank mine, are currently able to pipe a daily 30 million litres of water to the plant. Phase II of the facility is presently under construction and will increase its treatment capacity to 50 million



litres a day. This development includes the construction of a 23-kilometre pipeline and will provide for the company’s 4.5 million tonne per annum Kromdraai mine and its post-closure environmental obligations. This development represents a R732 million investment, and brings Anglo American’s expenditure on mine water purification technology, in eMalahleni alone, up to R1.4 billion. The plant currently meets around 12% of the water-stressed eMalahleni Local Municipality’s requirements through the provision of 16 million litres per day. Since commissioning it has treated in excess of 50 billion litres, 35 billion of which have been sent to the municipality. The project has made several surrounding operations self-sufficient in terms of their water needs, further reducing pressure on the severely strained municipal system. Greenside, Kleinkopje and Landau collieries as well as various nearby service departments in the eMalahleni-based South African Coal Estates Complex are able to use water from the plant for both domestic and mining activities, including dust suppression on haul roads and coal plant processing. The facility also supplies a daily one million litres of potable water to Zibulo colliery, an Anglo American Inyosi Coal operation, BECSA’s Klipspruit mine and the 16 million tonne per annum Phola coal washing plant, a joint venture between the two mining houses. The rest of the water is safely discharged into the Nauwpoortspruit, diluting the pollutants that are already in the river system. The municipality currently requires 140 million litres per day to cater for the region’s demands, and projections show that this figure will rise by a further 60 million litres by 2030. “eMalahleni has been identified as a growth node for the region and we are strategically positioned to provide the area


with access to a clean and reliable source of water. Water is directly related to growth and development and without it neither industry nor communities can grow,” says Naidu. It is important to note that the plant has been designed to take into account the remaining 20 to 25-year lives of contributing mines and will continue to purify water from feeder sites beyond the end of their operational lives. The water treatment model has already been applied by several mining houses in the region. On the back of the eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant’s success, a similar project was implemented by BECSA for its Optimum mine, now owned by Glencore Xstrata, to treat 15 million litres per day. The Optimum Water Reclamation Plant is the sole supplier of potable water for the town of Hendrina. In addition, BECSA and Glencore Xstrata are now building a water reclamation plant near Middelburg to treat 20 million litres a day.

Different mines, different approaches

One of coal mining’s most significant liabilities is the cost associated with the treatment of water during the operational, closure and post-closure phases of mines. “We endeavour to go beyond mere legal compliance in the conservation of natural resources and minimising our footprint – from the moment we identify a possible exploration site all the way to a mine’s eventual closure,” says Naidu, adding that managing mine-impacted water is both a short and a long-term challenge. “For us there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to water management. Each of our mines has its own unique geography, geology, water resource requirements and users, and because of this they develop their own water management strategies in line with the broader Anglo American,


regulatory and community framework,” Naidu says.

Mobile water treatment plants

New Vaal, the company’s only mine that is situated outside Mpumalanga, is located just 100 metres from the Vaal river in the Free State province. The mine produces coal for the Lethabo Power Station and commissioned two of the largest mobile water treatment facilities in the country. It introduced these when extreme rainfall in 2009 and 2010 caused the river’s water level to rise by three metres and that of its water storage facility by five metres. “This increase became not only a threat to the health and safety of employees through the possible flooding of pits, but an environmental risk in the event of uncontrolled discharge into the river,” says mine environmental coordinator Nicola Torley. The entire volume of treated water is taken up by the power station for use in the generation of electricity, replacing what the utility previously extracted from the river system for use in its processes. The mine has recently taken another bold step forward with the commissioning a novel freeze crystallisation facility that treats the brine generated from these plants.

Manmade wetlands

The company’s Kriel mine, the sole supplier of coal to Eskom’s Kriel Power Station, is testing a first for the South African mining industry—manmade wetlands to purify water bodies on rehabilitated opencast mine land. Surface and ingress water coming into contact with ore results in contamination, in this instance, high levels of sulphates that must be removed to ensure that the local river system is not negatively impacted. Floating wetlands have the same basic functions as natural wetlands, which have




an important role to play in removing pollutants from water and providing a rich habitat for a diverse range of fauna and flora. The trial is being undertaken by mine rehabilitation manager Wilhelm van Zyl and wetland expert Paul Fairall, who has 40 years’ experience in the conservation and rehabilitation of these biologically diverse eco-systems. In 2012, he won the stewardship category in the Mondi National Wetland Awards for his work in this field. Fairall is also responsible for the widely publicised Hartebeespoort Dam integrated biological remediation programme. The project involves the creation of 2m X 2m grids made of alien Spanish reed. These are laced together to form rafts on which indigenous aquatic vegetation is planted. “What we are trying to do is create a biomass that starts a food web on which an abundance of microbes can live. This process breaks down harmful sulphates into removable sulphides, before frogs, snakes, birds and small mammals come into play,” he says. To date, the operation has already created three hectares of wetland, a number that will grow to between eight and 10 hectares as the project unfolds. Water quality and biodiversity baselines have already been established, with laboratory results having detected a substantial amelioration of sulphates. Apart from its role in water purification, the project has an important biodiversity component, with wetlands being the most threatened of all South African eco-systems, totalling 48% of threatened biodiversity. They make up just 2.4% of the country’s landmass, with half of them being critically endangered.

Collaborative research and development

Coaltech, a coal industry initiative, was established in 1999 as the Coaltech 2020


Research Programme to develop technology and apply research findings to enable the South African coal industry to remain competitive, sustainable and safe well into the 21st century. Water is a significant focus area and a steering committee was established to address mine-related water issues. Its Olifants River Project is assessing the extent of deterioration in the catchment area and is identifying the impact of poor water quality on users and ecosystems. Its wetland project seeks to provide consistent guidance to mining houses and regulatory authorities to reduce mining’s impacts on wetlands. This includes various water management strategies, ranging from irrigation to active as well as passive treatment technologies.

Dealing with brine

One of the most significant challenges associated with desalination unit processes utilising membrane technology is the generation of a highly concentrated salt stream known as brine. Brine requires long-term handling and storage in brine ponds, which impacts considerably on mine lifecycle costs while remaining an environmental liability with a footprint that is not sustainable into the future. A number of brine treatment or minimisation technologies such as eutectic freeze crystallisation, hybridICE and ion exchange have been developed and tested on a pilot scale under the auspices of Coaltech, but have as yet not been validated on a demonstration scale, or commercialised. Coaltech has embarked on a project to demonstrate two different brine minimisation technologies to evaluate recent developments in brine treatment and identify an appropriate brine management solution for ultimate implementation, with the aim of eventually achieving





zero-liquid-discharge (ZLD) and generating by-products generated from the brine.

Passive treatment approach

Vryheid Coronation Colliery (VCC) ceased operations in 1990 and has no existing infrastructure. To mitigate the potential for acid mine drainage some form of treatment to improve discharge water quality is required. Since this is a defunct operation, desalination using reverse osmosis was deemed inappropriate and other passive solutions were sought. Passive treatment using biological reactors to remediate sulphate-rich water was considered suitable; particularly since there has been a substantial drive in the development of passive systems for the treatment of persistent low flow mine impacted water, now seen as longterm sustainable solutions that can be implemented. They mitigate the requirement for major infrastructure and sophisticated levels of operational maintenance with a minimisation of waste generation and also reducing the carbon footprint of the process. Passive treatment offers a number of advantages over conventional active systems as chemical addition and energy consumption are virtually eliminated and there is the potential for community involvement, thereby providing assurance that the water issue is managed effectively into the future. A passive bio-neutralisation process is currently under development based on the principles demonstrated in a Coaltech project at Middelburg mine.

Public recognition after Blue Scorpions audit

New Denmark colliery, situated outside Standerton, was applauded for its innovative solution to the management and



control of contaminated mine water in the underground workings. A daily 15 million litres of rising water are pumped to the mine’s single customer, Eskom’s Tutuka Power Station, for treatment in a reverse osmosis plant. The bulk is used in the facility’s cooling towers and to suppress dust on ash dumps, while two million litres are re-circulated back into the mine’s system for coal production. The residue, a daily one million litres of brine, was securely stored in a deep underground compartment. “While extensive studies by independent experts concluded that there was no likelihood of this liquid rising to the surface, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) issued a directive that we find an alternative solution to preclude any possibility of contamination whatsoever, post-closure,” says environmental coordinator Kgadi Moremi. This has been done with the recent construction of two brine evaporation ponds, built at a cost of R244 million. Liquid will evaporate over time leaving a residue of salts, while Eskom will shortly commission a new and more efficient desalination plant that will effectively reduce the output of waste by around 70%. The mine was publicly recognised both for the implementation of this project and its day-to-day water management practices, including its continuous efforts to comply with environmental legislation following an audit by the Blue Scorpions. The DWS unit is responsible for enforcing the National Water Act and, among other things, clamps down on water-related crimes, including industrial pollution, the dumping of solid waste and illegal water use. The Blue Scorpions conducted a rigorous examination of the operation’s water management practices, including the management of pollution control dams, stream diversions, sampling points



and water quality results, recorded by a third party.

Driving efficiency with WETT

Kriel colliery is testing manmade wetlands in the treatment of water at source through naturally occurring biochemical processes .

Phase II of the landmark eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant is currently under construction.

Dave Strydom and Henk van der Westhuizen at one of New Vaal colliery’s mobile water purification units.

Although mining accounts for a comparatively low 3% of the country’s water withdrawals, it has a significant role to play in driving efficiencies in this area. Coal South Africa has committed to achieving an overall saving of 11.2% by 2020, through tough, but nonetheless realistic, target setting. The company has implemented Anglo American’s Water Efficiency Target Tool (WETT) to help its mines forecast future water demands and identify, prioritise and register savings projects across working areas and the production cycle. These range from the installation of water-saving aerators on taps in offices and workshops, water-efficient showerheads in change houses and the lining of water storage dams, to the large-scale adaptation of coal processing plants. One initiative involves the recent commissioning of a R118 million tailings filtration facility at the company’s Greenside mine, with the same innovation currently being instated at its Goedehoop colliery at a cost of R193 million. Both projects add impetus to the industry’s move towards more environmentally responsible dry disposal techniques. This will see the dewatering of low quality slimes residue emanating from the plant prior to disposal, a move that presents important advances in the environmental management of mineral waste. Significant quantities of water reclaimed in the filtration process will be reused in the plants, substantially minimising the amount required from external sources. In addition, the volume of waste slimes sent to disposal will be significantly reduced due



Fresh water will be the sustainability and survival problem No.1 of the future. To sustain agriculture, our food source, alone needs more than 70% of our fresh water resources. Industry needs another large portion - there is not much left over for the humans and animals. It is life threatening! Only 0.6% of all water on our planet is available as potable water. WHAT COUNTER MEASURES ARE AVAILABLE • WFS reduces the water needs for irrigation by at least 70 mostly 80%. A one-time investment for the next 20 or more years. The effective and economic use of the little water that is left to mankind has been the main idea for the water future system – through the development of our porous pipe for the subsurface irrigation which is now found in most countries around the globe. • AQUAKAT In most of South Africa water contains a lot of lime and thus blocks sieves, filters, filter nets, pipes and heating elements—it is very costly to clean or even replace these. Borehole water often contains iron. The AquaKat avoids or where existing eliminates these problems. No plumbing, electricity or maintenance. Life Span at least 15 years. Available in many sizes from single taps, houses, industry, farms, large apartment blocks, camping sites,lodges and parks etc. the AquaKat also re-energizes the water to a quality of fresh spring water • PENERGETIC W cleans and energizes dam water and also breaks down the sediments on the ground of the dams which contain nutrients and thus encourage increased Algae problems. As more Algae as lesser oxygen in the water and easy conversion to eutrophic water. Water must be healthy and energetic for animals, plants and us humans. Disributors welcome, also companies or investors for Water Future System plant for South Africa or anywhere else in Africa.

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to dry deposition. Other benefits include a reduction in air space and the resultant ability to store greater volumes in a single facility as well as limiting the risk of potential environmental liabilities, including seepage. The project is a precursor to the possible briquetting of in situ slimes to convert waste into a usable product. Goedehoop is also in the process of investigating the feasibility of a baleen filter, following the success achieved by a similar unit at New Vaal colliery, where the operation’s dense medium separation facility separates rock from coal. The Australian design is based on the filter feeding mechanism of the baleen whale and was installed at the operation at a cost of R945 000. With savings of an estimated 2 000m3 of water a month, New Vaal expects to yield a payback in eight years. In addition, Goedehoop has installed a R1.8 million filter plant that will generate considerable water savings at the coalface. Continuous miner cutter heads are equipped with fine water sprays which act as a cooling agent to reduce the potential of frictional ignition while at the same time minimising worker exposure to dust. Instead of using a potable source, as was previously the case, the plant cleans underground mine water which is continually reclaimed and recycled. It is anticipated that this will bring about savings of 190 million litres every year.

Water partnerships

“At Anglo American, we are moving beyond seeking solutions purely for our own mines, and aim to assist in finding holistic ways of dealing with the water problems of the entire region,” says Naidu. In 2008, the company led the way in establishing a joint initiative agreement with national power utility Eskom and competing


highveld coal miners BECSA, Exxaro and Glencore Xstrata who continue to put their resources to work by collaborating on highveld water issues. These partners jointly undertake waterrelated investigations and projects, pooling their resources of capital and expertise and benefiting from the accompanying economies of scale. Their work is aligned with the DWS and the Department of Mineral Resources’ mine closure and rehabilitation strategy, which sees an integrated approach to closure and rehabilitation as the way forward. Co-funded by the five parties, the initiative saw the updating of the existing Highveld Coalfields Water Study for the development of a water resources and management database for the coalfields region. This has been fed into the DWS’s national water strategy, while the coalfieldswide water situation was quantified by evaluating water balance information at individual mine level. Anglo American is also a pioneer participant in the Strategic Water Partnership Network (SWPN) launched by the DWS at the World Economic Forum in Africa. Recognising the critical role that water plays as a catalyst for both economic growth and social development, the DWS forged a partnership with the Water Resources Group, an influential public-private global network on water supported by the World Economic Forum and the International Finance Corporation. This will oversee the activities of the SWPN, which seeks to address critical water issues in South Africa, including water conservation, demand management and developing the more sustainable management of groundwater resources. The overall aim is to enhance the coordination of efforts to close the country’s water gap by 2030.





Throughout the history of our company, KROHNE development and application engineers have been continuously pushing the limits of feasibility in developing and testing new instruments. The results are innovations that go far beyond the statutory requirements, thereby setting new standards for the market. We continue this tradition with the WATERFLUX – an electromagnetic flow meter for Applications in the field of water and wastewater. As a result, WATERFLUX is designed for custody transfer according to European Directive MI-001. The measuring accuracy reflects the most recent specifications of the ISO/EN, MI-001 and OIML standards. It lies within legal requirements with a ratio of 400 between Q1 and Q3. The high operating frequency of 1 Hz to 1/20 Hz guarantees reliable measurement results with rapid inflow and outflow rates. However, WATERFLUX also means “KROHNE proved”: This covers specific trials, measurements and tests that go beyond the legal specifications – and on which our customers can rely 100% .

Typical applications for the WATERFLUX: • • • • •

Drinking water billing Billing of ground water consumption for irrigation systems Distribution network monitoring Pipeline leakage detection systems Water measurement in wells and transfer chambers

Unobstructed pipe cross section The true quality of a water meter lies in its measuring section, which determines whether the instrument can deliver precise, repeatable measurement results even in problematic applications such as suspended particles and solids in the water. The WATERFLUX measuring tube has a smooth, conical shape. This unique design, consisting of a rectangular cross section, optimized stainless steel electrodes and a homogeneous magnetic


field, forms the basis for a flow-optimizing pipe cross section, and thereby provides reliable measurements that are largely independent of the flow profile. This has an obvious advantage: WATERFLUX can measure the flow bidirectional. Another advantage is that you can customize the measuring frequency specifically to your application, thus ensuring that the measurement results are always accurate, even when the flows are changing quickly. The lining of the measuring tube is made of RilsanŽ and is resistant to corrosion, aging and abrasion. As a result, WATERFLUX is a food-grade flow meter which complies with KTW, DVGW, WRc and NSF as well as ACS and thus also approved for potable water. The surface and shape of the measuring tube also minimize mineral deposits, resulting in exemplary measurement quality – even over a long term.

Major cost savings in installation and maintenance Pricing is always an important criterion in the selection of a meter. Increasingly companies focus on the total cost of ownership including the purchase price, the costs of inaccuracy, under registration, and installation and maintenance costs. Typical mechanical meters have internal moving parts and are subject to wear and their performance deteriorates over time. Electromagnetic water meters maintain their accuracy over time and due to their robust construction the time spent on routine maintenance and service activities can be reduced to a minimum. Wear of mechanical meters results in under registrations and thus lower revenues for the company providing water. In the worst case there is not registration at all. Being obstruction free also offers another important benefit as electromagnetic flow meters only cause negligible pressure loss in the distribution network. A major drawback of mechanical water meters is that they have difficulties with accurate measurements of low flows and with large variations in flow rates. If the chosen size of a water meter is too high, flow rate will be relatively too low leading to significant under registrations. If a meter is undersized it will frequently operate at high flow rates and will degrade much faster. WATERFLUX 3070 has overcome these problems because it measures very accurately at low and at high flow rates. Its high turndown ratio allows for accurate metering during day and night. In the water industry, we have over 85 years of experience in metrology to draw on, and we have continuously set new standards in this technology. KROHNE is a full-service provider for process measuring technology for the measurement of flow, mass flow, level, pressure and temperature as well as analytical tasks. Founded in 1921 and headquartered in Duisburg, Germany, the company employs over 3,000 people all over the world and is present on all continents. KROHNE stands for innovation and maximum product quality and is one of the market leaders in industrial process measuring technology.


John Alexander John Alexander 011 314 1391


Experience with crystallisation as sustainable, zero-waste technology for treatment of various effluents. Stefan Fourie, Watercare Mining Precipitation is a frequently applied treatment process for removal of metals and anions such as calcium, magnesium, sulphate, fluoride and phosphates from process and wastewater. Precipitation is also widely used within the mining and metallurgical industry for metal recovery, AMD-treatment and water softening. In general, the sludge produced in such precipitation units is of poor quality, therefore disabling reuse of the sludge. As a consequence, the waste sludge, that after dewatering often still comprises 30-60% water, has to be disposed of at high costs and remains an environmental liability. An advanced alternative for conventional precipitation is crystallisation in fluidisedbed type crystallisers. This technology was developed originally by RHDHV and the Water Works of Amsterdam in the 1970s as a cost-effective technology for the central softening of drinking water. The same, socalled Crystalactor® technology, was in the 1980s and 1990s further introduced into the international water treatment market for the recovery of heavy metals, phosphates and fluorides. More recently, this zero-waste technology has also been recognised by the mining and metallurgical sector as a costeffective and sustainable proven technology for use in treatment schemes such as extraction, mine service water treatment, acid mine drainage (AMD), ground water (fissure water) and wastewater. The technology has been piloted and proven in South Africa by Watercare Mining to be a valid alternative to conventional processes.

Technology description The chemistry of the process is comparable to conventional precipitation. By dosing a

suitable reagent to the water, the solubility of the target component is exceeded and subsequently it is transformed from the aqueous solution into solid crystal material. The primary difference with conventional precipitation is that in the crystallisation process the transformation is controlled accurately and that pellets with a typical size of approximately 1mm are produced instead of fine dispersed, microscopic sludge particles. The Crystalactor® is a cylindrical reactor, partially filled with a suitable seed material like sand or minerals. The water is pumped in an upward direction, maintaining the pellet bed in a fluidised state. In order to crystallise the target component on the pellet bed, a driving force is created by a reagent dosage and sometimes also pHadjustment. By selecting the appropriate process conditions, co-crystallisation of impurities is minimised and high-purity crystals are obtained.

Advantages of the Crystalactor® process

No residual waste A major advantage of the process is its ability to produce highly pure, nearly dry pellets. Due to their excellent composition, the pellets are normally recycled or reused in other plants, resulting in no residual waste for disposal. In the rare event that pellets have to be disposed of by other means, the advantage of low-volume secondary waste production still remains: water-free pellets, not bulky sludge. Compact The four process steps found in conventional precipitation processes – coagulation, flocculation, sludge/water separation and

CASE STUDY dewatering – are combined into one by the fluidised bed crystallisation. Furthermore, high surface loadings are applied and subsequently the crystallisation unit is compact. Efficient reaction kinetics Due to the very efficient reaction kinetics that governs the principles of the Crystalactor®, the reagent consumption operates at near-stoichiometric values. This is contrary to the excess lime consumption necessary for conventional cold lime softening and therefore boasts greater economic feasibility. The efficiency of the kinetics in the Crystalactor® also eliminates side reactions and therefore effectively removes the target component without producing unwanted by-products such as MgOH in the case of conventional softening. Re-use of pellets Dependent on the composition of the feed stock, the pellets can be re-used for various applications. For example, by calcining the CaCO3 pebbles produced during softening, a high purity burnt lime is produced. Various other uses include applications in the mining, pulp and paper, agriculture and petrochemical industries. Combination with other technologies Combination with other desalination processes such as ion exchange and membrane technologies allows for the possible development of true zero liquid discharge processes. A disadvantage of this technology is that the Crystalactor® is a technology best applicable to selective precipitation and not for bulk precipitation. Furthermore, complex effluents generally require piloting before a guaranteed solution can be implemented.

Crystalactor ® Pilot plant at a South African Gold Mine in Westonarea

Spherical CaCO3 pellets produced by the Crystalactor®

Conclusion Crystallisation in the Crystalactor® pellet reactor is a versatile and proven alternative to conventional processes for softening, metal recovery and fluoride/phosphate/sulphate removal. It offers mines and the metallurgical industry many opportunities to combine water treatment and/or raw product recovery with significant economic and environmental benefits. In addition, it offers an alternative to sodium cycle softening processes for domestic and industrial use. The zerowaste and cost-effectiveness characteristics of this technology make it a truly sustainable solution. Contact us: (011) 412 2200 or

Large-scale Softening Crystalactor® plant in Amsterdam


Dr Ernst Baard

The Western Cape is critical to any conservation effort in South Africa. It is not only one of the most ecologically complex and biodiverse areas in the world (due to the fact that it is home to more than 70% of one of the world’s six Floristic Kingdoms), but it is one of the primary water catchment areas for South Africa.




apeNature, a public entity of the Western Cape Government and mandated with the conservation of biodiversity in the region, manages most of the mountain catchments and reserves that supply ecosystem services to its citizens, and the work that happens here has a direct bearing on the quality of life of millions of people in the province. Healthy and functioning ecological infrastructure, that is, our rivers, streams, wetlands and seeps, in water catchment areas, and acting like “water-holding” and “water-producing” devices, provides clean, safe water to rivers, dams and ultimately to the end consumer. This paper demonstrates how the integrated management of three ecological processes, namely alien and invasive species, fire and freshwater, can be applied very successfully to conserve and, in many cases, restore these “water factories”. The Western Cape holds 57% of the strategic water resources in the country, and 90% of the water catchment areas in the Western Cape are managed by CapeNature. These are typically the mountain catchments contained in a number of CapeNature nature reserves across the Western Cape, such as the Cederberg, the Boland and the Outeniqua Mountains. Before delving into the actual management and restoration of these “water factories”, it’s important to highlight a number of threats to this important natural resource and ecological infrastructure, as well as some case studies of how CapeNature aims to protect and restore these natural water factories in the Western Cape. It goes without saying that without water, the Western Cape and its people, and indeed the whole world, would be a much poorer place. To begin, start by looking at a typical mountain catchment in the Western Cape; primarily covered in our famous fynbos





which as a rule, does not really contain any trees. Normal run-off and water yield from a typical fynbos mountain catchment is maximised by the fact that a natural and healthy run-off process is maintained. When trees are added, the situation changes quite dramatically, starting with the fact that on average, a mature tree, say a pine tree, consumes approximately 40-50 litres of water per tree per day. In 1995, Dye, Olbrich and Everson established that the greatest impact on water yield from a healthy mountain catchment area occurs when seasonally dormant vegetation, such as fynbos, is replaced by evergreen plants, such as invasive pine trees. Thus, where grasslands or shrublands (like fynbos) are invaded by alien trees, the overall water use by the vegetation increases, leaving less water for the streams, and consequently for the enduser. Furthermore, in 1987, Van Wyk showed that infestation by invasive trees can result in a 55% reduction in streamflow (from 600 to 270 mm) in fynbos catchments, after 23 years of infestation with pines. This technically means that the water yield or run-off process has been significantly affected.

Alien and invasive species

The first ecological process in our mountain catchment areas is alien and invasive species. The current estimate is that invasive aliens cover approximately 10 million hectares in South Africa, and use approximately 3.3 billion cubic metres of water in excess of that used by native vegetation every year (that is almost 7% of the runoff of the country). These estimates indicate that the reduction in water yield is already significant and definitely large enough to warrant intervention. The logical conclusion is that these water losses will increase as alien plants invade the remaining, uninvaded areas. It is therefore in the interests of healthy catchments and the people of a region that immediate and decisive action is taken to protect the sustainability of water yield from South African catchments.


The second important ecological process in our catchments is fire. Because fynbos in the Western Cape region is a fire-driven ecosystem, fire remains a very important and necessary process. Fynbos requires fire to survive and to rejuvenate itself and without fire, fynbos dies. Therefore, any given

Figure 1: The strategic water resources in the Western Cape.





Figure 2: Where grasslands or shrublands such as fynbos are invaded by alien trees, the overall water use by the vegetation increases.

Figure 3: The current estimate is that invasive aliens cover approximately 10 million hectares in South Africa, and use approximately 3.3 billion cubic metres of water in excess of that used by native vegetation every year.

fynbos fire is not necessarily bad news; it can be very good news. However, every year unwanted and uncontrolled veld and forest fires devastate our landscapes, affecting natural ecosystem functions, endangering life and ruining property. With the Western Cape being one of the worst affected areas in South Africa, it is necessary to pay special attention to fire management within the mountain catchments of the Western Cape. CapeNature has been mapping fires in the fynbos for many years and over the past 14 years the region experienced 1 139 veldfires, on an estimated 1.2 million hectares of fynbos. Even though fynbos requires fire, the optimum frequency of

fire needed is in intervals of approximately 10–15 years. Add to that the increased fuel load from invasive alien plants, and the result is that fires in the region are burning too hot and too frequently and are impacting on the production process of fynbos, hampering the ecology of the catchment areas for optimum water production. In an attempt to quantify ecological damage to fynbos by too-frequent fires, an ecological study was done by CapeNature’s scientists in the Boland area in 2009, following the Western Cape fires of December 2005. Using specific kinds of Protea species (re-seeders) as indicators, the aim was to establish the impact of the fire on biodiversity.




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2 Using the established rule and threshold that 50% of the individual Protea plants in a population should have flowered at least three times before the next fire, the key finding in 2009 was that there did indeed seem to be a negative impact on biodiversity in the affected area of six-year-old veld. This was due to the fact that the Protea indicator species had insufficient time to flower and produce seeds. At least 80% of the Protea indicator species had not produced flowers at the time of the 2009 fire, which means that the plants could not form seed to produce the next generation. Some of these species need at least 12-19 years before 50% of the plants have flowered at least once. In the big January 2013 fires (merely four years later), a large portion of the same study area was burnt, which meant that plants of the indicator species which had remained, definitely did not have enough time to flower, and that biodiversity was more than likely negatively affected. From a conservation point of view, this is extremely worrying.

Freshwater ecosystems

The third ecological process is freshwater ecosystems. Due to the semi-arid nature of the South African and Western Cape


Province landscape, conservation of freshwater ecosystems has become more and more important. The Western Cape is fortunate to still have some near-pristine mountain streams and upper foothill rivers, many of them found in CapeNature Nature Reserves and mountain catchments. The wetlands found in these mountain catchments are generally also found to be in good condition. However, too many of the lower lying ecosystems such as rivers and wetlands in the rural and mostly agricultural landscape have been altered to a completely degraded state, often resulting in impoverished water quantity and quality. When freshwater ecosystems reach this degraded state, they also lose their ability to act as so-called “ecosystem services”, that is to, for example, supply fresh water during dry periods or to mitigate against serious ecological damage during severe flooding events. Looking at the state of our Western Cape freshwater ecosystems, and according to the CapeNature State of Biodiversity Report of 2012, 45% of the province’s rivers and 71% of our wetlands in the Western Cape are threatened (either Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable), compared to 51% and 65%, respectively, at the national

Figure 4: With the Western Cape being one of the worst affected areas in South Africa, it is necessary to pay special attention to fire management within the mountain catchments of the Western Cape area.



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level. Lowland river ecosystem types and floodplain wetlands are the most threatened river and wetland ecosystem types. This is particularly worrying, as they are also the least protected of the river and wetland ecosystem types. In order to assist planning for freshwater conservation, Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas were identified, and it was established that all the indigenous fish could for example be protected if we were able to protect a mere 17% of rivers in the Western Cape. CapeNature takes the management and restoration of our mountain catchment areas and freshwater ecosystems very seriously and the following case studies of the ways we go about it will hopefully illustrate that we aim to make a difference.

Case Study 1: Duivenhoks

Since 2009/10 the Duivenhoks (near Heidelberg) and Goukou (near Riversdal) Wetland Rehabilitation Projects in the Hessequa Municipality of the Western Cape have been rated as the best among various wetland rehabilitation projects across the country. These two wetland ecosystems, both Palmiet-dominated, peatland systems, are rehabilitated as they are considered of


high value for both biodiversity and water supply to nearby towns and farms. These two systems have been impacted on mainly by ill-advised agricultural practices in the past. Many farmers have, for example, dug irrigation trenches in the wetlands or drained them for cultivation. In many cases, crops were cultivated too close to wetlands or even within their boundaries. The project started in the Goukou wetland system where a gabion structure was constructed in the middle of a very sensitive and inaccessible wetland, and which has been restored to the point where it has withstood some serious flood events (500mm in two days) proving that the design and workmanship were up to task. With the completion of this structure, a new structure was started on the Duivenhoks system, too. This is a much bigger structure also made of gabions and with difficult access. Both these projects are deemed successes and the wetlands are functioning and relatively healthy again. 

Case study 2: Berg River Improvement Plan

The Berg River is a vital source of water in the Western Cape, not only for farmers, but also for industrial development, human

Figure 5: Due to the semi-arid nature of the South African and Western Cape Province landscape, conservation of freshwater ecosystems has become increasingly important.





Image 1: The Duivenhoks Wetland Rehabilitation Project consumption and recreation. In January 2013, the Western Cape Government approved a plan to spend R16 million, over the following three years, on improving the quality of water in the Berg River. The project is a joint effort between the Western Cape Government, the Department of Water Affairs, CapeNature and the various municipalities in the area. This is a multi-faceted project, which is aimed at: • Monitoring water quality: Water is being monitored for the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, pesticide residues, nutrients, as well as E. coli, at 20 sites identified as critical in the river and estuary areas. • Upgrading wastewater treatment works: Both the Franschhoek and Wemmershoek wastewater works are being upgraded, in partnership with the relevant municipalities. • Upgrading the informal settlements alongside the Berg River: looking at how a community can maintain a healthy state, regulate its own waste and heal its own water. • Introducing sustainable practices and the efficient use of water in agriculture: We are working with farmers and golf



Image 2: Berg River Improvement Plan

estates in the riparian zone, on the best and most efficient use of water. • Rehabilitation and bioremediation: CapeNature and Working for Water have undertaken alien vegetation clearing in Hermon, Drakenstein, and near Voëlvlei Dam, with corresponding planting and bioremediation in these areas. Also, economies of water: Looking at how much water is used by the region’s economy, where and how it is used, analysing consumption in terms of economic productivity, and designing and implementing interventions to alleviate constraints. This is certainly not a short-term plan. The Berg River Improvement Plan is a joint effort from a number of different agencies who are working together towards a common goal—that the Berg River will continue to be a valuable and protected source of water into the future.

Case study 3: Job creation through conservation

Unemployment is a key issue in South Africa; and CapeNature and other conservation authorities realised that conservation provides opportunities for employment, particularly in poorer communities.


Programmes like the Expanded Public Works Programme, including Working for Water and Working for Wetlands, have provided jobs that play an important part in conserving our natural resources. The people employed in these programmes have been of enormous value in clearing alien vegetation, building firebreaks and infrastructure, as well as assisting during disaster situations, for example oil spills and floods. Figure 8 depicts results obtained by CapeNature over the last few financial years including the number of jobs and full-time equivalents created. CapeNature managed to make great strides in the past five years with the help of the Working for Water programme in terms of the management of invasive alien plants within protected areas. This is perfectly aligned with the Government’s attempt to create jobs and alleviate poverty, and has made a difference in many people’s lives. Figure 9 illustrates how the different “Working for…” projects are deployed across the Western Cape region. The backdrop to these projects is the so-called “poverty layer” based on the Western Cape demographic statistics and, more


specifically, the unemployment per ward. With this approach, it is at least possible to make sure that some of the effort and money allocated towards job creation and poverty alleviation is spent in areas where it is most needed. Looking at the amounts spent in the landscape, these efforts are making a significant difference in people’s lives.

Case study 4: Integrated fire management

Integrated fire management is the development and implementation of mitigation measures, standards and prescriptions based on comprehensive risk assessment, and aimed at reducing the negative impacts of veld and forest fires on social, economic and environmental assets. It is an adaptive process of continual improvement, involving record-keeping, monitoring, measurement and modification. Integrated fire management also implies cooperation and coordination between all role players in the fire prone environment. Partnerships between Provincial Disaster Management Fire Brigade Services, District Municipalities, fire contractors, Volunteer Fire Services and a number of

Figure 8: CapeNature’s contribution to job creation





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Figure 9: Response to Western Cape unemployment and poverty – deployment of resources

Fire Protection Agencies, create a distinct effort for cooperation, rapid response and suppression. Integrated awareness initiatives and monitoring have proven to be successful during the last fire season (2013/14) with less hectares burnt; in fact, only one tenth of the area burnt during the previous season, even though there were the same number of fires. The Winelands District Municipality is leading the way with a joint Integrated Fire Management Plan along with CapeNature to ensure better veldfire management within the Boland Area. This is an area which has been identified as a high risk area for ecological damage due to too frequent fires.

Case study 5: The Rondegat Rehabilitation Project

The Rondegat rehabilitation project demonstrates yet another way and angle of ecological restoration of ecosystems that have been affected by alien and invasive species. A 4.5km stretch of the Rondegat river in the Cederberg Nature Reserve managed by CapeNature has been cleaned of invasive small-mouth bass in order that this part of the river can be re-colonised by indigenous fish such as rock catlets, redfin

minnows and Clanwilliam yellowfish. This project is deemed a big success and the latest monitoring results by independent scientific consultants have shown a return of this part of the river to a near-pristine stage, and colonised with all three species of indigenous fish expected to come back. A healthy ecological system is healthy and free from “distress syndrome” if it is stable and sustainable – that is, if it is active and maintains its organisation and autonomy over time and is resilient to stress. These case studies confirm CapeNature and the Western Cape Government’s dedication to the integrated management and restoration, where required, of the province’s mountain catchments and other ecological infrastructure in order that the people of the Western Cape can benefit from: • more, cleaner and safer water to the end user, • improved and sustainable farming practices, • reduced erosion of ecosystems and reduced risk of disasters, • better adaptation to climate change, and • the conservation and sustainability of the biodiversity of the region.



To HVAC/R, Water & Waste Water


Background: Ragging causes a decrease in pumps’ hydraulic efficiency, increasing power consumption and causing pump blockages – and this is often addressed by over sizing pumps by more than 20%.

Variable speed drives (VSDs) can play a substantial role in energy reduction by bringing the pump in line with the consented flow and reducing friction (energy) losses in the system, whilst also reducing component wear and tear. However there is a greater incidence of blockages at wastewater pumping stations using conventional VSDs. Because of this, blockage avoidance through the use of blockage resistant pumps has generally been considered to be more important than energy savings. A number of new approaches to the problem of pump blockage detection and control have been tested and evaluated at Scottish Water, including costly PLC-based solutions, to great success.





Scottish Water recently identified that its Levenhall Sewage Pumping Station, near Edinburgh, had significant issues with pump blockages and was considered the worst site for blockages in its southeast operating area. It was therefore an ideal site to try out the low cost innovative Intelligent Pump Control (IPC) software pre-installed into a Control Techniques Unidrive SP AC drive.


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Scottish Water was impressed by demonstrations of the Control Techniques IPC system preloaded in an applications

Unidrive SP AC drives with IPC were installed

module within a standard Unidrive SP – and chose to test it at their most problematic site, Levenhall Sewage Pumping

on the remaining two pumps. All pump



The IPC system is unique in that it monitors active current to determine variations in torque, which then triggers a reversing cycle to break up rags as they begin to form on the impeller. The active current monitoring allows very small changes in operating torque to be monitored. The test site: Levenhall SPS is a low-lift station, part of the East Lothian coastal chain of pumping stations. The pumping station has a consented pump forward flow of 675l/s and an average static head of circa 7.2m. The pumping station has four foul pumps rated at 43kW with currents of 35amps/ phase at the theoretical pump duty point. Blockages and partial blockages were happening two

immediately, the rag balling issues in the wet well declining over the first week of operation with running currents on all drives reducing. Pumping efficiency has been seen to improve by up to 15% - giving energy savings of £4,200 pa with additional Opex savings associated with blockages reducing by over £15,000 per annum.

or three times each week, resulting in pump trips and operational call-outs. Levenhall has an annual power bill of around £28,000

The Levenhall trial proves that pump blockage detection and control is achievable using the Control Techniques IPC system. Regular pump blockages at the station should

and requires about £15,000 per annum of operational interventions, to deal with ragging, blockages and pump trips, but there are additional hidden costs, such as the knock-on effects due to resources being diverted to deal with its problems. The pilot project initially saw the installation in June 2010 of a single Unidrive SP with IPC on one of the existing pumps (Pump No 1), to investigate if the energy usage

now become a thing of the past and the pumps should operate more efficiently as a result.


and the occurrence of blockages on that pump could be significantly reduced. The trial From the outset blockages were eliminated and the average running current and peak operating currents for Pump No 1 were been seen to be significantly reduced by around 15%, this was then repeated on a second pump. However, ragging on the two other pumps continued to be a problem, with rag balls as big as 600-mm diameter being seen.

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onash South Africa’s Water Research Node is committed to building water leaders of the future through blended approaches to teaching and learning and contextually relevant water research. In a water scarce country on a water scarce continent the need to manage and conserve fresh water in an integrated way is paramount. Strong educational messages such as these can be conveyed to learners and the general public in a number of ways. Awareness-raising is one of the most established forms of delivering strong environmental and educational messages to the general public. This approach often involves the communication of information about a particular topic or environmental concern through various media such as newspapers, radio and television adverts, and most recently, on social media sites. Awareness-raising certainly has its strengths, particularly when people have absolutely no knowledge about a particular issue or concern. Here, providing learners and the general public with factually relevant information about freshwater conservation, for example, can be very important. The assumption, however, behind several awareness-raising campaigns is that once people have been informed about freshwater conservation, they will change


their behaviour in order to better the situation or act in a more environmentally friendly manner. Unfortunately the majority of research on awareness-raising campaigns shows that behaviour change is very rarely achieved through this approach, either because the message has not been fully understood and the public is unable to identify fully with it, or in some cases, because the message is so extreme or worrying that it causes a counter reaction of non-engagement. According to O’Donoghue (1993), when the learning process is broken down into its most fundamental components, three elements exist, known as the “touch, talk, think approach”. This model highlights that learning can start in any direction, with any experience, in other words it is not a straightforward linear process in which a student touches or encounters a particular phenomenon and then talks about it, and then thinks about it. The beauty of this model is that learning can commence anywhere and move in any direction. In past approaches to education and learning it was believed that learning was a result of an internal process that resulted from external stimuli within the environment. More recent approaches to explaining and situating learning are within

Touch/ Encounter

Talk/ Dialogue

Freshwater Conservation

Think/ Reflect Figure 1: O’Donoghue, 1993. Active Learning Processes





social approaches. According to theorists such as Bandura (1977), “learning is rooted in direct everyday experiences and every experience is potentially an opportunity for learning to take place because learning related to what has gone before”. The most important facet, then, of this model is the idea or concept of reflection. Reflection, according to several authors, plays a critical role in extracting meaning from an experience (encounter) to enhance learning. In other words the linking of new experiences with those of the past, through a re-evaluation process, provides new meaning (Boud et al., 1993; Wenger, 1998). The Department of Water and Sanitation invited Monash South Africa to co-host the 2014 Summit and participate in a Career Expo and Exhibition stand promoting careers and research in freshwater conservation and integrated water management. It was assumed by the Monash postgraduate students that the majority of learners attending the Youth Water Summit may not have had the experience of a freshwater ecosystem or even heard of freshwater conservation approaches or integrated water management. With the O’Donoghue approaching to learning firmly ingrained in the minds of postgraduate students at Monash South Africa, they were able to take

an interpretive and interactive approach to their participation at the National Youth Water Summit, based on the fact that the majority of the audience attending the Summit would be learners of the schoolgoing age. In order to set up their exhibition stand, the Monash team needed to create part of the learning triangle by providing an experience to the learners that represented an encounter, or the touch element of the model (Figure 1). Two glass fish tanks (Image 1) were used to represent a healthy freshwater ecosystem and a degraded freshwater ecosystem. The healthy ecosystem displayed living fresh water plants, algae, nutrients and organisms that would be represented in a freshwater ecosystem. A freshwater pump and light were also used to simulate oxygen and energy cycling. Learners were able to see and touch the various elements of the ecosystem. The second fish tank portrayed a degraded ecosystem with invasive alien vegetation and fish species, visible pollution and surface rubbish. The visual appeal of the fish tanks automatically drew learners in and encouraged them to engage with the team. This presented a learning opportunity for both learners and the team. According to

Image 1: Two fish tanks used to represent a Degraded Aquatic Ecosystem and a Healthy Aquatic Ecosystem




Figure 1, this learning experience could follow one of two directions; the learners, having had the visual experience of seeing/ touching the fish tanks would immediately ask a question (talk/dialogue), or they would internalise what they had seen and experienced and reflect upon a similar experience which they might have had (Image 2). The postgraduate students encountered both interactions happening. Some learners, upon seeing the fish tanks, were able to make the automatic connection between what the fish tanks were showing and the natural ecosystem, while others needed to ask for an interpretation of what the fish tanks were representing (Image 3). The Monash students also found that some learners immediately wanted to tell them stories that they had associated with healthy or degraded freshwater ecosystems. In terms of Figure 1, these learners encountered the fish tanks, which caused them to reflect and share their experiences and stories, and then engage in dialogue with the postgraduate students. It is also possible within the model that, should learners not be able to reflect, then the students would be able to assist with some reflection by leaving the learners with some important departing messages about freshwater conservation and the importance of maintaining healthy freshwater ecosystems (Image 4). While Monash postgraduate students were able to have that conversation with learners about freshwater conservation, it is not known and cannot be assumed that now ,because learners have had the experience, it will lead to an action, and a positive action. It can be true to say that in today’s world a lot is already known about many environmental problems and concerns and action and change are now needed. Monash South Africa recognises that


Image 2: Master of Philosophy student, Machaya Chomba, engaging with learners about freshwater conservation issues at the National Youth Water Summit

Image 3: MPhil students leaving learners with important freshwater conservation messages

Image 4: Learning interactions around the fish tanks



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teaching and learning cannot take place the coursework units. “It is the encounters through the delivery of information between people which provides possibilities alone and, as such, has adopted blended or opportunities for meaningful learning.” approaches to teaching and learning. This (Rosenberg et al). Each and every learner is also because the process of learning itself in the programme has their own unique takes place in a number of ways, with some experiences of the world and the water learners preferring to learn by themselves, and environmental sector, and it is critical reading and researching, some learning in that their knowledge and experiences are groups, some learning by participating and captured and shared with the other learners exploring, and some learning by interacting in the group. Social learning is a way of Geothermal Systems – heating and cooling from the earth. with more knowledgeable individuals. For organising individuals and communities of advanced learners interested in integrated learners in ways which mobilise a variety of water management, particularly from a viewpoints, identify conflicts and differences human andyour social carbon perspective, footprint Monash andand facilitate a processbills of learning Reduce utility at towards South Africa offers a Master of Philosophy a new shared perspective and way forward the same time. Geothermal systems use the free, in Integrated Water Management. Four (Wals, 2007). The Master of Philosophy in found own back yard!takes the renewable energyunits fundamental coursework providein a your Integrated Water Management solid foundation for cutting-edge individual learning triangle of O’Donoghue (1993) into a research projects. Social and participatory new model which includes “Action Taking” as learning approaches underpin each of it seeks to create water leaders for the future.

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Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. New Jersey: Practice Hall Mobile: 082 Using 576 0278 Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Walker, D. (1993). experience for learning. United Kingdom: Open University Court. Office: 011 791 3490 O’Donoghue, R.B. (1993). Clarifying environmental education: a search for clear action in Southern Africa.Email: Southern African Journal of Environmental Education, 1, 28-38. Rosenberg, E., O’Donoghue, R.B., & Olvitt, L. (2008) Methods and Processes to Support Change Orientated Learning. Rhodes University, Grahamstown, distributed through Sharenet: Howick. Wals, A. (2007). Social Learning Towards a Sustainable World. The Netherlands: Wageningen University Press. Wenger, E. (2008). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




Implementing the ecological Reserve by SJL Mallory The ecological Reserve, which is a requirement of South Africa’s National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998), entails retaining a portion of the river flow that would occur naturally in a river to maintain an agreed level of ecological functioning and ecosystem services. The actual implementation of the ecological Reserve is crucial to ensure the sustainable use of South Africa’s water resources. The ecological Reserve, as defined within South Africa, has two main components: a low flow component and a flood or freshet component. Methods to implement the low flow component are well established although not widely applied in practice. However, methods to implement the flood or freshet component are very sparse with only one known application in South Africa, namely the new Berg River Dam. A basic principle of the ecological Reserve is that the requirement mimics the pattern and timing of the natural flow, therefore this is not a constant flow but varies as the natural river flow varies. The objective of the low flow ecological Reserve is to maintain the seasonality of the river flow while freshets play an important role in maintaining the geomorphology of the river by triggering events within the life cycle of biota, for example, fish spawning, recruitment of riparian flora on river banks, etc. It is also important in some river systems that the high flows in the main channel coincide with high flows in the tributaries so as to maintain connectivity of important habitats. While the implementation of freshet releases from existing dams is problematic since the outlet works were not designed for this, the design of new dams is undertaken with this in mind. Recent and current examples being the Berg River Dam, the Spring Grove Dam and the raising of the Clanwilliam Dam. However, a concern that has been raised is the high level of flow monitoring required as well the advanced dam operator skills required to implement freshet releases in practice.

PROFILE CASE STUDY To address these concerns, a simple freshet release rule has been developed. This rule entails simply releasing a percentage of the inflow into the dam during a flood event. The challenge, however, is to determine what is an appropriate percentage to release and what constitutes a flood event. This has been done with a daily time step simulation model which simulates inflow to and outflow from a dam over an extended time period. The percentage release and the inflow rate to trigger a freshet release are considered as variables in this model. A range of possible release percentages and trigger inflow rates were modelled and evaluated on the following criteria: • Flood frequency • Reduction in yield of the dam • Number of years with no freshet releases The graph below is an example of the ecological Reserve low flow and freshet release from a newly constructed dam based on the percentage release method.

The percentage release method has the advantage of being very easy to apply and does not require highly skilled dam operators. However, there is no guarantee that the freshet releases will comply exactly with the flooding requirements specified by the ecologist due to unknowns such as inflow from downstream tributaries and attenuation of the freshet releases as they propagate downstream. Monitoring the river response to this operating procedure is therefore highly recommended. The rule can then be adapted if necessary. This type of adaptive management feedback loop will ensure sustainable use of South Africa’s rivers.


Aiden Choles and Garth Barnes




here is emerging evidence that the scale of anthropogenic impacts is affecting environmental change on a global scale (Rockström et al., 2009). This trajectory is leading us into a period of time termed the Anthropocene, where human activity constitutes the dominant driver of change to the Earth system, rivalling global geophysical processes (Rockström et al., 2009; Steffen et al., 2011). It is important for humanity to note what Rockström et al. (2009, p. 3) call the “nonnegotiable planetary preconditions” that humanity must learn to live within if we are to avoid catastrophic global environmental change. What does it mean to learn to live within what are said to be “non-negotiable planetary preconditions”? Chapin et al. (2011, p. 45) suggest that we need “a dramatic change in society’s relationship with the environment to avoid irreparable damage to Earth’s life-support systems”. This change is suggested to take different forms, from more technicist interventions that try to manipulate parts of geophysical processes, to “becoming active stewards of our life-support system” (Steffen et al., 2011, p. 739). Like Rockström et al. (2009), Chapin et al. (2011) bring stewardship down to the level of individuals in a social context. This article is located at the local level of stewardship embedded within a broader community and social context of catchment management forums (CMFs). It is within this multi-stakeholder crucible that the values, practices and social learning with regards to water stewardship struggles to play out (Barnes, 2014). The article also endeavours to answer the following questions: • Why does water stewardship struggle to play out in CMFs? • Can the strategic use of a planning tool such as stakeholder mapping enable more effective water stewardship?



An institutional perspective on CMFs CMFs play a critical role in the initiation of a public participation process for the formulation of catchment management agencies, and provide an “institutional mechanism to facilitate on-going participation of stakeholders with diverse interests.” (Water Management Institutions Overview, undated, p. 23) These CMFs are defined by the Department of Water Affair’s Final Report – phase one (2001), as follows: [They] are voluntary, non-statutory associations of various stakeholders with an interest in a particular water resource-related concern or a particular sub-catchment area. They: • provide an important mechanism for stakeholder communication, participation and consultation with DWAF and/or catchment management agencies • are critical during the process of establishment of catchment management agencies • provide an important mechanism for stakeholder involvement after the catchment management agency has been established. (p. 25) In theory, the institutional arrangements seem aligned, but in reality there is misalignment and complication (e.g. the Department of Water Affairs’ decision to reduce Water Management Areas from 19 to 9), which doesn’t serve water resources management in terms of equitable access, effective development, regulation and stakeholder accountability (DWAF, 2012). Regardless of the misalignment, CMFs have the potential to bring water resource management close to the people and so enable local knowledge to be mobilised around care of the catchment.


An ontology of CMFs The role that CMFs could play in water management is crucial, however the effectiveness of these stakeholder associations is a major concern. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are very few effective CMFs that fulfil the role envisioned for them. The majority of forums struggle to establish themselves adequately, let alone operate in a manner that harnesses the potential of such multi-stakeholder entities. Two common struggles revolve around the inability of CMFs to move beyond the constitution of the forum toward tangible action and engagement in local contexts and problematic dynamics that occur within the forum e.g. the dominance of personal, political and economic agendas and the difficulty forum members have in understanding each other in meaningful ways. But what is a forum? Is the way in which a forum is established and managed congruent with its nature? How does the nature of a forum affect its outcomes? These are questions that have guided the authors in thinking about the ontology of forums and how one particular ontological viewpoint may unlock new avenues of establishment and effectiveness in CMFs. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) contributed an ontology that we believe is useful in understanding how CMFs may be a mechanism for fostering water stewardship, amongst other outcomes, and how stakeholder mapping may contribute to increased stewardship. Heidegger distinguished four fundamentally different types of entities: physical objects, nonhuman organisms, humans and works (Heil, 2011). Heidegger argued that human activity and thinking happens within a certain interpretation of the given situation,


what he termed as a ‘world’. World is the significant whole or referential totality within which things, animals and humans make sense to us. Heidegger believed that world is an existential feature of what it is to be human, that by our very nature we are world-acquiring. World is not however singular. As humans, we participate within and create multiple worlds. This also means that when we interact, the worlds we are a part of, and the worlds that give us our meaning, influence how we will interact (Heil, 2011). Entities, such as CMFs, will also be significant, meaningful and intelligible to each stakeholder in different ways. Works, according to Heidegger, set up a world and thus are a source of intelligibility. Works, therefore, carry with them an interpretation of what it means for entities to be. Works also give people their outlook on themselves. They create an a priori understanding of what it means to be human (Heil, 2011). Our understanding of CMFs thus extends beyond the DWAF view of them as ‘associations of stakeholders’— they are in fact a work, an ontological entity that sets up a world. Heidegger has argued that humans need works in order to become communities, more than just groupings of people. Humans who do not encounter each other within a world set up by works do not encounter each other as human beings. Humans only meet each other as fellow humans in a world. Works create community, a sense of belonging together, shared meaning and a shared understanding of what it is to be a human being. The work creates the possibility for a common history. Humans who do not encounter each other within a shared world are merely occurrent and cannot be with each other as humans. They can only become fellow human beings when they meet each other in a shared



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What we do Amanzi Ichweba provides all the products needed for water infrastructure projects and water management systems. After more than 20 years in the industry, keeping abreast of all latest developments, we are often called upon by our client to offer advice throughout the Concepts, Design and Implementation stages. Our expert Product Knowledge, combined with our Contractor Support Programme has - in particular - saved our clients from present and future risks. In a recent project, we proposed that the client make use of PVC pipes which have the improved sealing system (Hultec Rieber). These pipes have the all important seals fixed into position during the extrusion phase of the pipe manufacturing process. Thereby reducing the risk of several potential human error paths in the construction phase. The client was pleased with this product. It was through Amanzi Ichweba’s support, via Specification and Safe Handling, Training during the implementation phase that the contractors persevered and incorporated the better product into the plan. The result? All stakeholders pulling in the same direction, incident-free project execution, and a leak-free system for many years to come. AMANZI ICHWEBA(Pty) LTD PO Box 558, RICHARDS BAY, 3900 34 Geleiergang, Alton, RICHARDS BAY, 3900 TEL: 035 7973312 • FAX: 035 7973311 •


world. Only then can humans understand each other (Heil, 2011). These arguments highlight the need for attention to be paid to the way in which works are established and developed over time. To not do so runs the risk of creating works that set up impoverished worlds, an outcome that could possibly help us understand the extent to which CMFs have been developed as world-enabling works. It then follows that for humans to encounter each other they need to share a world. The way in which our individual worlds connect and interact is of particular interest in water management, given that effective water management (and water stewardship) requires that individuals meet each other in common contexts so that these different worlds and their views can work together to find another world(view). When this sharing of worlds fails, we say about two people or communities of humans that they are ‘worlds apart’. Such an experience is characteristic of many narratives encountered by the authors as we have investigated stakeholder dynamics in forums. A CMF is a work, and as a work it sets up a world that defines how people (stakeholders) will be present and work together. Also, individuals come with individual and collective identities that are representative of the worlds they come from and the worlds they represent. It is in this space that a clashing of worlds, so to speak, happens which, among other factors, results in the ineffectiveness of forums (where stewardship is inhibited) because people do not adequately understand each other’s worlds (including beliefs, values, hopes, aspirations etc.). This is why stakeholder mapping is important—it is a process of ‘attending’ to the work that is the CMF, i.e. working on the work, and it creates a ‘blending of worlds’ where stakeholders


can ‘see’ each other better in terms of values. This is what we’re suggesting will set the platform for increased stewardship.

Stakeholder mapping as a tool to stimulate water stewardship in CMFs

Every work needs to be created, but also to be attended to, thus stakeholder mapping is a way of ‘attending’ to the forum. When humans create and attend to a work, they move beyond just being a part of the world and also participate in generating a world. Stakeholder mapping is of strategic importance for CMFs in that it is a collaborative process that makes visible the different worlds that come together to operate together in a forum, the meeting of worlds, so to speak. Perhaps this is why forums are not effective? They get sucked into the dysfunction of worlds that clash i.e. different values, purposes, intents and understandings of why the forum exists. Also, it seems that some—if not most— forums constitute along compliance lines (Barnes, 2014). This is maybe because ‘business folk’ port their meeting culture into forums and impose onto the way the forum operates i.e. the way it ‘works’ which may establish a way of working that is familiar to some but foreign and marginalising to others. Another reason, as purported by Barnes (2014, p. 155) is that “it may be the strong policy environment that produces a developmentally focused structure that is responsible for the compliance-orientated practices in the public sphere.” Stakeholder mapping thus makes the ‘worlds’ visible, known and open to negotiation and ‘blending’ i.e. a meeting of worlds where values are shared and indeed co-created. Our argument is also that stakeholder mapping should be included in the setup of the Forum (and perhaps revisited





periodically) in order to establish who is represented at the Forum, and who is not, and to facilitate the process of understanding ‘where people come from’ in their approach to the forums, their contribution, desires and hopes.

What is stakeholder mapping and how can it affect the sharing of worlds?

A stakeholder map is a point-in-time document that represents a perspective of either all-possible or limited stakeholders within a specified boundary. As such it represents the people or groups that would be affected or that are involved with a natural resource management issue (Choles, Govender and Vlok, 2014). Typically a stakeholder map does not define the roles, rights and responsibilities of the stakeholders, however the various different opinions, agendas, interests and needs can be taken into consideration if required (Reed et al. 2009). An important reason to have a well-researched and inclusive stakeholder map is to ensure that marginalised groups are included in order to give them a voice and to ensure that they have influence equal to that of other more powerful and prominent stakeholders (Reed et al. 2009). The complexity of the fair distribution of a common pool resource ‘demands’ a mapping tool that can be utilised and developed across issues to ensure that nobody is marginalised or that an opportunity of participation is not missed due to the lack of knowledge of the landscape or the lack of time in doing a proper search for stakeholders that might be affected (Choles et al., 2014). The advantages of a stakeholder map are various. It identifies the various stakeholders



that might be impacted or influenced by any action in a Socio-Ecological System (Reed et al. 2009). It can be used as a tool to identify any stakeholders that might need special or extra attention to enable their participation, for example transport to a meeting. It can be used to identify stakeholders that can assist with the achievement of goals through engagement. The stakeholder map can also be used for the identification of possible conflicting or complementary interests or needs (Reed et al. 2009). A stakeholder map enables proper stakeholder analysis, which can assist with the identification of relationships that still need to be established, it can identify the key blockers or high potential opportunities and it can relate power and interest. The other impact of presenting a comprehensive stakeholder map to citizens is that it codifies the relationships different stakeholders have and how they are linked to each other through the shared resource. (Choles et al., 2014) Compiling a stakeholder map is not an objective exercise, and depending on who is doing the mapping and the boundaries they select, the map may reflect different information and therefore have different uses. Through the analysis of a stakeholder map strategies can be discussed and the common goals and visions can be advanced (Reed et al. 2009). The day-to-day interactions and activities of local, individual citizens in a geographic location seem to expose them to a relatively small number of stakeholders (Choles et al., 2014). Individual citizens and groups thus have limited perspectives of who occupies the stakeholder landscape, or in the terminology of our ontology, stakeholders have limited exposure to the array of worlds that link to a common pool resource such as water. As such, stakeholders typically hold


an impoverished view of the extent of the ‘worlds’ being experienced in a location. From a complex adaptive systems perspective, this is indeed true as the theory of complex social systems holds that no one agent in a system can have ultimate visibility of the entire system. Agents can only have visibility of their localities, at best (Choles et al., 2014). In the context of our argument regarding CMFs and the value of water stewardship, stakeholders thus have an impoverished knowledge and experience of the ‘worlds’ (as lived out by various stakeholders) at play in their location. This is why stakeholder mapping and the subsequent presentation of the maps to stakeholders is useful in social-ecological spaces—it caters for the inherent complexity of social systems and it provides a mechanism for citizens to be lifted out of their locality and see a bird’s eye view of the social system, its structure and interrelatedness, i.e. to be exposed to the worlds that are at play around them and to co-create a new way of working together in order to achieve the objectives of the CMF. The conceptual broadening that Choles et al (2014) speaks of is, through the lens of this article, a ‘world-expanding’ experience that encompasses a new line of reflection which has the possibility of stakeholders “re-calibrating their answers to questions of who I am as a citizen and where I am placed in this community.” (Choles et al., 2014).

Bringing it back to stewardship

In attempting to answer the two questions posed above, this article presents that CMFs tend to exhibit two common struggles, which may inhibit water stewardship practice: a) the inability of CMFs to move beyond the constitution of the forum towards


tangible action, and b) engagement in local contexts and problematic dynamics that occur within the forum, e.g. the dominance of personal agendas and the struggle of forum members to understand each other in meaningful ways. It is exactly the strong individualism with which forum participants arrive at a forum that makes the issue of personal agendas problematic, thus obscuring the real group interests. If real group interests are structured through the political economy, then we have to be aware of how ‘strong individualism’ makes the ‘blending’ of worlds more political and mired in power relationships, and ultimately more difficult. However, as referential wholes, a world that is set up by a work that creates a structure (a CMF) where people can reveal themselves (be, interact and do) in certain ways that make sense, or are congruent within that world, may provide a space to learn from one another. This learning may encourage people to move from a nonstewardship perspective (and practice) to one of stewardship; or from a complianceorientated stewardship to an expanded sense of stewardship that may influence private-sphere practice. The way in which a CMF is attended to (established, worked at, developed and managed), through, for example, the process of stakeholder mapping, has the possibility of making the CMF a ‘world’ and a ‘work’ where stewardship may be a critical value that influences our practice in the world within which we live. Stakeholder mapping does this through its ability to identify possible conflicting or complementary interests or needs and its ability to identify the key blockers or high potential opportunities for better, different or rejuvenated practice.





References •

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Barnes, G. (2014). An exploration of the way in which values and valuing processes might strengthen social learning in water stewardship practices in South Africa. Unpublished Masters thesis, Grahamstown, Rhodes University, Department of Education. Chapin, F.S., III., Pickett, S.T.A., Power, M.E., Jackson, R.B., Carter, D.M., & Duke, C. (2011). Earth stewardship: A strategy for social–ecological transformation to reverse planetary degradation. Environmental Study Science, 1, 44–53 Choles, A. G., Govender, N., & Vlok, A. (2014). Investigating stakeholder engagement cycles and identities within Water Resource Management, using narrative techniques. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. (2001). Guidelines on the establishment and management of catchment forums: In support of integrated water resource management. Integrated Water Resources Management Series, Sub-Series No. MS 6.2. Pretoria: Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. (2001). Final report – phase one: Roles, functions and inter-relationships of institutions involved in the management of water resources. Pretoria: Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. (2006). Water Management Institutions Overview. Pretoria: Department of Water Affairs and Forestry DWAF. (2012). Gazetting of the Amendments of Water Management Areas of South Africa for Comment Heil, D. (2011). Ontological fundamentals for ethical management: Heidegger and the corporate world (Vol. 35). Springer. Reed, M. S., Graves, A., Dandy, N., Posthumus, H., Hubacek, K., Morris, J., Prell, C., Quinn, C. H. & Stringer, L. C. 2009. Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Management, 90: 1933–1949 Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, A., Chapin, F.S., III, Lambin, E., Lenton, T.M., Scheffer, M., Folke, C., Schellnhuber, H., Nykvist, B., De Wit, C.A., Hughes, T., van der Leeuw, S., Rodhe, H., Sörlin,S., Snyder, P.K., Costanza, R., Svedin, U., Falkenmark, M., Karlberg, L., Corell, R.W., Fabry, V.J., Hansen, J., Walker, B., Liverman, D., Richardson, K., Crutzen, P., & Foley, J. (2009). Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society, 14(2), 32 Republic of South Africa. (1998). National Water Act No. 36 of 1998.Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria: Government printers Steffen, W., Persson, A., Deutsch, L., Zalasiewicz, J., Williams, M., Richardson, K., Crumley, C., Crutzen, P., Folke, C., Gordon, L., Molina, M., Ramanathan, V., Rockström, J., Scheffer, M., Schellnhuber, H.J., & Svedin, U. (2011). The Anthropocene: From global change to planetary stewardship. AMBIO, 40, 739−761





Beaufort West is the economic, political and administrative heart of the Central Karoo. Located about 460km north east of Cape Town, the town was founded on the farm Hooyvlakte in 1818. It is the Northern Gateway to the Western Cape AND your gateway to peace and tranquillity! It is a Land of Magic, Mystery and Enchantment. A place where fresh water still flows from deep within Dolomite Rock: where fresh, unpolluted air burn your lungs! Beaufort West Municipality was the first in the Country in 1837. The very first SA Premier, Sir John Molteno, came from B-West. A collection of silverware, used by Napoleon Bonaparte, can be seen in the local museum. Our Wagon Wheel Motel was the FIRST motel to be erected in SA in 1952. Joseph Renene (a son of B-West) was the FIRST Black Judge in SA. Fossils of animal and plant life (view at Karoo National Park) prove that we were once part of a big swamp. The 185 feet wall of the Gamka Dam (our Reservoir) when built in 1955, was

the highest in the country at that time (built of crushed granite). Our Merino Co-op was the largest consumer’s co-op in SA in 1960. The Courier, our local newspaper, is still doing business since 1869. The oldest shop in town (1899) - Ellis Cycle Shop is also still doing business. The Heart Pioneer, Christiaan Barnard was a son of B-West. The Water Reclamation Plant is the first in South Africa. The town has all the features of a modern town: shopping centres, a magistrate’s court, Internet Cafes, hotels, medical facilities, and restaurants and all the other amenities and services usually found in modern towns around the world. In Beaufort West there are 5 sporting stadiums. Afrikaans is the dominant language & culture followed by Xhosa and English. There are a relatively small number of craft entrepreneurs in Beaufort West. The biggest challenge, which craft entrepreneurs in Beaufort West face, is access to markets and dependency on the seasonal tourism. 023 414 8100


BEAUFORT WEST MUNCIPALITY WATER RECLAMATION PLANT The plant is a first for the South Africa and it is quite unique as treated effluent from the wastewater treatment works is further treated and pumped directly back into the town’s potable water supply system. Water supply is heavily reliant on rainfall and drought is inevitable. The Municipality has two main sources of water, surface water and underground water that is quite saline in some areas. The idea to construct such a plant was born straight from Water Demand Management. Water is such a scarce commodity that the idea to re-use the water was a challenging option. Therefore the Municipality embarked on implementing the water reclamation plant to supplement the surface water and groundwater. It means that every drop from the Water Reclamation Plant saves a drop from the other sources.

DESIGN The design applies the “Multiple Barriers” principle to ensure the removal of Macro elements, physical and aesthetic determinants, chemical determinants (macro and micro), organic determinants and micro pollutants. Currently the project is operational and is delivering reclaimed water of exceptional quality as tabled below: Physical and aesthetic determinants

SANS 2411:2011

Final Water


≤ 15



≤ 170


Total Dissolved Solids (Measured)

≤ 1200


pH value

≥5 to ≤ 9,7

Turbidity (Operational)


Chemical Requirements macro determinant

SANS 2411:2011

Final Water

Ammonia as N

≤ 1.5

< 0.1

Chloride as Cl-

≤ 300


Fluoride as F-

≤ 1.5

< 0.1

≤ 11.9



Nitrate plus Nitrite as N


Sodium as Na

≤ 200


Sulfate as SO4

≤ 250


Zinc as ZN


< 0.01

≤ 10


Microbiological Determinants

SANS 2411:2011

Final Water

Faecal Coliforms

≤ 1.5

Not Detected

Chemical Requirements organic determinant

E. Coli

≤ 300

Not Detected

Dissolved Organic Carbon

PROFILE The multiple barrier treatment consists of pre-treatment with multiple removals of determents and consists of the further: Phosphate removal Ferric-Chloride is dosed into the existing activated sludge plant to remove Ortho-Phosphates from the final effluent. Settling The settling tank removes the remaining suspended solids, acts as a buffer between the existing works and the new water reclamation plant. Pre disinfection After settling of the suspended solids the feed water is disinfected with chlorine. Filtration The sand filters remove all macro organic matter and any remaining suspended solids. It also protects the down stream membranes from fouling. Ultra filtration Ultra filtration membranes remove among other things Giardia, Cryptosporidium, bacteria and most viruses. Reverse osmosis The high pressure reverse osmosis membranes remove most remaining organics in the water, including pesticides, hormones, other micro pollutants, aqueous salts and metal ions. Advanced oxidation his process entails the dosing of peroxide followed by UV lights. The UV light catalyses chemical oxidation of organic contaminants in water by its combined effect upon the organic substances and reaction with hydrogen peroxide. Post stabilization and disinfection Chlorine is added for further disinfection. Blending of water The reclaimed water is mixed at the ratio of 1:4 with the portable water to enhance the quality and make it acceptable to the community. EDUCATION Despite the comprehensive planning and EIA process the initial public perception was negative. A comprehensive awareness campaign was launched with various groups and scholars visiting the plant. Continuous education campaigns takes place. Today the people of Beaufort West are very proud of their plant and a very few objections are recieved. The water reclamation plant is operated and maintained under a 20 year service level agreement. CONCLUSION The Beaufort West Water Reclamation Plant is fully operational and is delivering water that is complying with the SANS 241-1: 2011 (Edition 1) standard. It is a ground breaking project and unlocks a significant water source that has historically either been over looked or under utilised. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Mr Pierre Marais and Mr F.von D端rckheim from Water & Wastewater Engineering Mr Louw Smit and Mr Christopher Wright from Beaufort West Municipality for the vision and continues contribution to the success of the project. Mr Graham Metcalf and Mr Peter Thompson from Umgeni Water for assistance with providing technical information.


Below are some of the current projects that ILISO Consulting Environmental Management are involved in: Mzimvubu Water Project, Eastern Cape The Mzimvubu River catchment in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is within one of the poorest and least developed regions of the country. Development of the area to accelerate the social and economic upliftment of the people was therefore identified as one of the priority initiatives of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government. Harnessing the water resources of the Mzimvubu River, the only major river in the country which is still largely unutilised, is considered by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government, as offering one of the best opportunities in the Province to achieve such development. As a result of this, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) commissioned the Mzimvubu Water Project, which consists of two multi-purpose dams on the Tsitsa River, a major tributary to the Mzimvubu River. Socio-economic upliftment is expected to be achieved through bulk potable water supply schemes for domestic and industrial water supply, bulk raw water supply schemes for irrigated agriculture, hydropower generation and the creation of temporary and permanent jobs ILISO Consulting (Pty) Ltd has been appointed by the DWS to undertake the environmental assessments necessary to obtain the environmental authorisations required for project implementation. The environmental impact assessment process includes ecological, social, heritage, visual, economic and water quality specialist studies, a Reserve determination to inform the Water Use Licence Application and an extensive public participation process.


Chobe/Zambezi Water Transfer ILISO Consulting Environmental Management in partnership with Water Resource Consultants (Botswana) has been an integral part of the Chobe/Zambezi Water Transfer Scheme since 2009, successfully completing an environmental impact assessment, as well as pre-feasibility and feasibility studies and the preliminary design on the R12 billion project. The Water Transfer Scheme will be used to meet agricultural, industrial and urban demands for water in Pandamatenga and Francistown, as well as the Selebi-Phikwe Mines in Botswana. Client: Ministry of Water Affairs – Botswana

Eskom Minimum Emission Standards ILISO Consulting Environmental Management was appointed as the lead consultant, with Umoya-Nilu and SES Solutions as sub-consultants, to support the compilation of an application for an extension of the Minimum Emission Standards compliance time-frames for Eskom Power Stations. This was applied for in terms of relevant sections of the Air Quality Act. The project included the Atmospheric Impact Reports, a Public Participation Process, a Water Resources Assessment and Cost Assessment. Client: Eskom Holdings – South Africa


Koos de la Rey



griculture makes up a key part of South Africa’s economy, contributing 3.7% of the country’s GDP and employing more than 1.6 million people, or 13.5% of the labour force. (McKinsey, 2010). South Africa relies on rain-fed land for 80% of its agricultural needs. Yields are high, and more than 50% of the irrigated area (10% of arable land) is served through relatively efficient sprinklers and drip irrigation. However, against fixed withdrawals set by the Department of Water Affairs, demand for food and feed is still expected to increase significantly. The productivity of water use in agriculture needs to increase in order both to avoid exacerbating the water crisis and to prevent considerable food shortages. South Africa will face difficult economic and social choices between the demands of agriculture, key industrial activities such as mining and power generation, and large and growing urban centres if it is not going to secure sufficient water resources for the growing country. The question is how agriculture can contribute to the solution of this water shortage that is looming. The answer is two-fold: 1. By increasing its own supply of water 2. By increasing its efficient use of the available water resources

1. Supply of water

Although agriculture is a main consumer of water, it is also a very important guardian of water catchment areas. If this is managed responsibly, agriculture can contribute to the total availability of water as well as improving the quality of available water and thereby lessen its net impact on the country’s water resources. Through waterwise farming practices, both small-scale farms and factory farms can achieve a positive water footprint (Hoekstra, 2003) (wise blue water usage and grey water reduction). For simplicity, possible actions



that the agricultural industry can take to lessen its impact on national water supply (attain a positive water footprint), can be divided into two components: • Ensuring soil vitality • Improving water and nutrient retention

Ensuring soil vitality

Soil vitality, also referred to as soil quality, is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans (USDA, 2014). Old-school farmers didn’t understand the negative effect of non-organic fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides on soil biology. Healthy soil biology and soil structure not only delivers better crops, it has good water retention, minimises surface run-off, reduces


The nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. -Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

fertilizer requirements, maximises fertilizer utilisation, lowers surface temperature, reduces evaporation, and the list goes on. It does not only make environmental sense to protect it; it can save the farmer a considerable amount of financial investment in exchange for relatively small effort. Responsible land use practices can drastically alter the proportion and quality of water that reaches streams or penetrates to groundwater. Some measures to consider: No-till or conservation tilling farming This method aims for minimal mechanical cultivation, which in seed crops translates into preparing only a narrow trench of appropriate depth instead of ploughing over an entire field. The remaining crop residues are very useful in, amongst others, increasing water retention resulting in:



Figure 1: Operations involved in Conventional vs. Conservation tillage (Van Herwaarden, 2003) • less irrigation needed as moisture levels in no-till soil are higher • less soil compacting • lower surface temperature (less evaporation) • decreased fertilizer pollution potential because of increased water retention, giving the crops more time to utilize fertilizer • lower quantities of fertilizer needed because of better absorption • reduced surface water run-off which curbs soil erosion • improved quality of water that do end up in streams and aquifers These are only some of the environmental benefits involving water supply, but the financial gains to the farmer are also plentiful. These advantages are numerous, but it must be said that they do not come without its trade-offs. (Mother Earth News, 1984). These trade-offs however can be managed and minimised by practices such as pasture cropping (Seis, 2014) and cover crops and are dwarfed by the benefits of notilling. Research has shown that it is best to

transition gradually from conventional tilling to no-tilling. Years of mechanical tilling and chemical fertilizers has a negative impact on the soil’s ecosystem; changing over to organic fertilizers and relying once more on soil bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms will take time and change management. The soil quality did not decline in one year, neither will it recover and manifest the benefits of conservation tillage in one year. It should be noted that countries that showed the greatest growth in no-till farming are those where the government incentivised this practice through, for example, tax credits or training. (UNEP, The Emissions Gap Report, 2013) Good pasture management: Preventing overgrazing Overgrazing is herbivory (animal consumption of plants) that extracts an unsustainable yield of floral biomass from an ecosystem. It is most commonly used to describe such human-tended domestic grazers as cattle, sheep and goats. Manifestations of overgrazing in landscapes




If you are a modern agriculturalist, you are in the business of saving money and conserving nature, as is SENTER 360, a modern day irrigation company. SENTER 360 centre pivots have many features doing exactly that, utilizing only the best equipment available to not only be reliable and last many years, but to also save water and power. To achieve this, the more expensive I-Wob sprinkler packages are installed on every SENTER 360 centre pivot and are standard equipment. SENTER 360 centre pivots have been proven by independent water scheduling professionals to get more water in the ground than most other centre pivot sprinklers available today. This is due to perfectly even water distribution and “engineered” droplet sizes, lowering the effect of wind and evaporation. It is saving the user money by avoiding unnecessary loss of expensively pumped water into the atmosphere. The I-Wob sprinklers operate at their best at only 1 bar pressure, thereby saving energy. SENTER 360 designed a world-first patent that is fitted as standard to every SENTER 360 centre pivot, constantly keeping the SENTER 360’s last sprinklers clean. As a result the producers no longer lose the outside hectares of their expensively planted and fertilised crop, as is commonly “accepted” worldwide by centre pivot manufacturers and irrigation farmers alike due to blockages during the irrigation cycle. The extremely durable (strongest in the business) and balanced pipe structure will last longer through unexpected gale forces and trying conditions that so often occur in nature. Their standard, accurate and intelligent direct millimetre adjustable speed control unit ensures that the user applies the exact millimetres required every time, not guessing and herefore over or under-irrigating. Also available from SENTER 360 is the accurate, multi-level soil moisture measuring devices. They empower the producer to determine and irrigate the exact amount needed for the crop, proven not only to save water and preserve applied fertiliser, but also to ensure higher crop yields. Independent tests show less water used and higher yields achieved every time.

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include soil compaction, desertification, loss of native topsoil, and increases in surface runoff. In fact, overgrazing can be considered the major cause of desertification in arid dry lands, tropical grasslands and savannas worldwide (Manzano, 2003). Overgrazing is responsible for increased surface temperatures which leads to increased evaporation, and augmented erosion. Limiting erosion is key because significant topsoil loss has a regeneration time scale of tens of millennia and must be avoided at all costs.

Improve water and nutrient retention

Besides the direct agricultural methods of no-tilling and responsible pasture management, there are a lot of measures the farmer can employ on his land that are not directly related to the produce cultivated, but which will improve the overall availability and quality of water. These will benefit not only the farm itself, but the other users downstream. Eradicating Alien Vegetation “If you look at the full range of externalities, there are very few things with this kind of return on investment” -Guy Preston, Working for Water Executive Committee and Programme Leader in South Africa. Alien plants consume much more water than indigenous plants. They prevent rainwater from reaching rivers and deprive people and ecosystems of much needed water. Many springs and streams have already dried up because of invading alien trees. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff in South Africa in 2008 as a result of current alien vegetation invasions were about 3 000 million m³ (about 7% of the national total). However, the CSIR’s recent work suggests that the potential reductions would be


more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. The most severe invasion in grassland and savanna areas are along rivers, causing serious concern about reduced streamflow. Invasive species also cause a reduction in indigenous ground cover growth leading to increased topsoil losses and erosion. The increased fuel loads and higher growth pattern of alien species cause fires to burn more intensely, killing off more vegetation which in turn causes more erosion. The effective management of plant invasions will integrate various control options, including mechanical, chemical and biological control, and ecosystem rehabilitation. The rewards in increased water availability and agricultural land are astonishing: for every 1.6 dense hectares cleared along a water course, enough water is released to irrigate 40 hectares of agricultural land. (UNEP, UNEP Training Programme , 2006) Limiting wild fires Fire, as part of natural process, has a positive role in the vegetation structure and composition, and helps recycle nutrients contained in old and dead trees. But concern is growing about the frequency, extent and pattern of burning that are increasing due to human activities to the point where the damages from these fires far outweigh the benefits. Vegetation is not adapted to yearly wildfires and it causes reduced land cover, exposing the land to accelerated soil erosion and increased surface run off. By simply following the requirements of the law (including, for example, fireguards and fire-fighting equipment), farmers can go a long way to protecting the long-term sustainability of their pasture as well as their crops.





Harvesting rainwater and diverting runoff There can’t be many farms which haven’t suffered the depressing sight of muddy torrents of water running off fields and down farm tracks. These torrents take with them valuable sediment and nutrients, as well as silting up nearby watercourses and eventually dams. However, wet weather also makes it easier to identify where the water is running from and where it is heading to, around the farm. Utilising cross humps to direct runoff water from roads into low erosive grassland or culverts prepared to slow down the flow of water and encourage water re-drainage into underground aquifers can greatly support underground water levels and reduce water losses due to evaporation and runoff. Channels strategically dug across watershed runoff areas and filled with rocks and gravel are very efficient in reducing erosion and supplementing the underground water table, as well as preventing pollution of watercourses downstream with fertilizer and other pollutants. The percolation effect of the gravel and soil ensures that the water returned to the water table is of a higher quality than what would have been the case had it run off directly into streams and rivers. Planting vegetative filter strips Planting an area of vegetation (preferably indigenous), intentionally to remove sediment and other pollutants from runoff water can not only protect downstream watercourses, but also reduce erosion rates. These strips, typically planted on a slope, protect surface water bodies and wetlands by trapping as much as 75%-100% of the water’s sediment and capturing nutrients in runoff. Pollutants are degraded and transformed into less toxic forms and more than 60% of certain pathogens are removed. (Mark E. Grismer, 2006)



Protecting wetlands Through storage and slow release of water, wetlands can recharge groundwater, reduce peak flows during floods, and help maintain flow in rivers during dry periods. Wetlands absorb and store contaminants, such as heavy metals and sulphur from acid rain that enter them via precipitation, surface water flow, and groundwater seepage. Wetlands can also serve an important remediation function because many contaminants such as nitrate are permanently broken down within wetlands. (Garth van der Kamp, 2013) Protection of wetlands can involve removal of alien vegetation as seen in the case study noted under point I in this document, planting of vegetative filter crops to protect wetlands from excessive flooding with water, sediment and contaminants, or even fencing it in to protect it from damage by livestock. These are some broad suggestions for those involved in agriculture to investigate to make a positive impact on the country’s water resources. Individual variables will determine the best course(s) of action for every scenario.

Personal case study of agricultural water supply

Figure 2: A hole dug for sand turned into a spring a year later We practised water supply side basics on our farm in Rayton Gauteng. We never

5 overgrazed our fields, we implemented invasive plant removal, we practiced rainwater harvesting, reduced the frequency of veld fires by making fire brakes and ensured that the ground has good ground cover. As a result our water table level continues to rise. A year ago in August 2013 we dug a hole to collect some sand for a sandpit. We were surprised to see that the hole turned into a fountain a year later. Figure 3 below is a wetland on the same farm. It has been an arid savannah area for the last twenty years that we have been living on the farm. It now sustains a rich diversity of fauna and flora and feeds into a stream that joins up with the Elands River and runs into the Rust de Winter dam.


there are bad stewards to, but over the long run good stewardship is positively correlated to profitable farming. By and large, the long-term successful farmers are the good stewards that care about nature. If you live of the land you have to care for the land.

By increasing its efficient use of the available water resources

Agricultural water demand Agriculture is the biggest user of water in South Africa and irrigation accounts for 60.6% of water usage in South Africa. (Figure 5). Small efficiency gains on the 60.6% portion of national water usage can have a huge impact on the overall water availability in South Africa. Is the agricultural sector wasting water or are they using it efficiently in food production?

Figure 4 Water consumption according to sector (NEPAD, 2014) Figure 3: A previously dry savanna area returned to a wetland after using water supply farming practices Figure 2 and Figure 3 are a truly remarkable case in point for changing the old prejudice of seeing farmers as purely consumers of water; they are suppliers too. Farmers are stewards over the biggest surface (catchment) area of our beloved land. Yes

Water scarcity isn’t the only driver of change in the agricultural space. Other key drivers are population growth, land availability, global warming and its impact on precipitation, water supply and energy cost (diesel and electricity in particular). Mankind can do little in the short term to alter the shaping effect of the above-mentioned drivers of change. They are all driving




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Resource name

Can supply be increased?


Agricultural land

No, not without huge social impacts

Supply is decreasing due to urban encroachment. The increase in the cost of the remaining land requires bigger investments. Higher investment cost is driving the return on investment down. Economies of scale are needed to reach acceptable return on investments.


No, precipitation is highly unpredictable and unpredictability increases with global warming

Observable global warming trends are that wet areas become wetter and dry areas become dryer. Irrigation of crops mitigates precipitation risks.

Water supply

Yes, but limited opportunities remain

New large scale water storage options and inter basin transfers are becoming more expensive and energy intensive

Food crops


Through more technologically advanced and intensive farming practices on ever decreasing hectares



Through urbanisation, fewer people provide their own food and more and more people rely on “factory farming� to supply them with food. Since 1996 the population of South Africa grew from to 40.58 million (National Census , 1996) to 52.98 million (Mid year population estimate, 2013), representing a growth rate of 3.88% per annum.


Yes, preferably from renewable resources

Energy was a cheap resource but short supply is driving prices up, forcing change in agricultural methods. The current growth of no tillage farming in SA is positively related to the increase in diesel costs.

Table 1 Future trends in supply of key food security drivers





agriculture towards more technologically advanced, effective, efficient and intensive farming. Intensive farming requires efficient irrigation methods, but how can irrigation efficiency be defined? Defining efficient use of irrigation water: The water balance framework The water balance framework (Perry, 2007) is a holistic water usage efficiency measurement tool that has multiple measurement points along the whole length of the water supply chain. The measurement of the water supply chain starts at the water source (dam, aquifer or river off-take point); it measures the flow and losses in the transportation infrastructure of the scheme (canals, pipes) measurement then continues on the farm storage and transportation structures as the water flows onto the fields and ends up in the crop. The water balance framework introduced the following concepts: • Storage Change (SC). Storage change is the usage of water to fill up the water source, the distribution system and the irrigation system. There is no significant change in water quality of water used for storage change. • Distinction between water consumed for beneficial consumption (BC) and non-beneficial consumption (NBC)

• Beneficial Consumption (BC). Water reaching its intended purpose eg. Crop production. The water reached the roots of the crop and was taken up by the plant or was evaporated by the plant in the photosynthesis process. • Non-Beneficial Consumption (NBC). Water that was lost without any crop benefit derived. Examples of these losses include non-crop-plant related evaporation (storage evaporation or evaporation through weeds); leaks; unauthorised usage (theft of water) and unavoidable operational losses. • Recoverable Fraction (RF). Nonconsumed water that can be recaptured and reused by the farmer. • Non-Recoverable Fraction (NRF). Non-consumed water that cannot be recovered and is lost for direct future use in that scheme. E.g. Run-off water that reached a river and flows out of the farm fence. The water balance approach was applied to the Gamtoos irrigation scheme and it was found that of the total losses, there were greater losses on the irrigation scheme side, 53% than on the farm irrigation side 47% (Reinders F. , 2010). Therefore the government and farmers should work together to improve water usage efficiency

Water Balance Framework Water abstracted for irrigational usage Storage Change (SC)

Consumed Factor Beneficial Consumption (BC)


Non-Beneficial consumption (NBC)


Non-Consumed Factor Recoverable Fraction (RF)

NonRecoverable Fraction (NRF) Table 2 The Water Balance Framework



Table 3: Irrigation scheme efficiency measured under water balance approach and contrasted with main-line efficiency measurements of irrigation schemes as farmers can only effect improvements to 47% of the losses. The water balance approach was used to measure irrigation efficiency of various irrigation methods used in South Africa and the new efficiency values were compared to old efficiency norms (Reinders F. , 2010). The most noticeable discovery was that flood irrigation supplied through lined channel systems was more efficient than initially thought: 93% efficient as compared to 60% efficiency measurements before (Table 3). This difference can be explained by the fact that recoverable return flows was not taken in consideration in other efficiency measurement methods. A big quantity of water that was previously thought to be lost actually ended up in water table replenishment. FB Reinders and his team found that the three most efficient irrigation systems are (Table 3): • Centre pivot irrigation using LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application) 98% efficiency

• Flood systems with piped supply 98% efficiency • Drip irrigation (surface and subsurface) 95% efficiency These three methods will be discussed further in the remainder of this document. A word of warning is in order at this point. No irrigation method or technology in itself guarantees the attainment of high efficiency. How the system is operated is all important. With poor management, even the most sophisticated system can result in water loss and inefficiency. Only knowledgeable, experienced and caring management can ensure that appropriate irrigation systems achieve their full potential benefits (Hillel, 1997). Drip irrigation Drip irrigation is a system of crop irrigation involving the controlled delivery of water directly to individual plants through a network of tubes or pipes. Drip irrigation can be gravity fed or can be pressurised pump




IWR Water Resources (Pty) Ltd consists of a small team of experienced and highly qualified hydrologists, water resources planners and hydraulic engineers. The main focus of the company lies in water resources planning and management, which includes water resources modelling and model development. The Company has extensive experience in the water resources models used within Southern Africa, including WRSM2000 and the Water Resources Yield Model, but have also developed their own water resources modelling tools so as to enable them to remain at the forefront of technology and respond rapidly to specific requirements from clients. Several new techniques have been developed to address specialised aspects in response to the needs of clients.

The core expertise of the company is as follows: • Yield analysis of dams and large integrated systems • Water resources modeling in support of the determination of ecological water requirements of both rivers and estuaries • Ecological Reserve implementation

These new techniques include:

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Agricultural water use and management

• Development of operating rules for reservoirs including releases for ecological water requirements • Streamflow reduction due to forestry and invasive alien plants.

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fed. There is a vast difference between surface drip irrigation and subsurface drip irrigation. Subsurface drip irrigation is a highly specialised form of irrigation and has a high establishment cost, it is extremely efficient in highly arid areas with high evaporation rates. It also has the advantage that polluted water can be applied below the surface and away from human contact as is the practice in Israel. Bad water quality does however increase the operating costs as filtering costs increase. Surface drip irrigation and subsurface drip irrigation has very low evaporation losses. It supplies water in a targeted manner to the intended plants thereby reducing the potential for weed growth. The most common sited disadvantages of drip irrigation is rodent damage, short life span (6-10 years) of dripper pipes, blocking of drippers increasing maintenance cost and high capital costs of subsurface drip irrigation. High frequency sound or ultrasound is a new technology for cleaning drip lines (Niekerk, 2012). Centre Pivot During the period 1970-1982 the efficiency of centre pivots was estimated at 80%. Research on modern centre pivots found that the average losses rarely exceed 10% of the pumped water if the emitter package is properly designed and the wind speed is less than 6 m/s. Droplet size has an important effect on spray losses, emitters must be chosen with care to ensure high water use efficiency (Reinders F. , 2011). Low Energy Precision Application or LEPA further increased centre pivot efficiency. LEPA was developed in the early 1980 it was developed in the highly arid western high plains of the United States were aquifer levels are declining. Instead of having sprayers high up on the centre pivot line the sprayers were lowered to just above the ground


level. The low application is less affected by winds thereby reducing evaporation. The water application was adjusted to a flow of water or water drops rather than a spray. Because water application is close to the soil it requires very low pressure – (0.41 to 0.69 bar). This saves energy in pumping costs. Apart from being low on energy usage and highly water use efficient other advantages include: • Low labour intensiveness • High distribution uniformity • Long durability (20-30 years) • Used centre pivots can be sold and some capital recovered at the end of use LEPA irrigation works best on farms with a flat terrain and relatively sandy or loamy soil where runoff is not as likely as in heavier, tighter soils or sloping terrains. Flood irrigation systems Flood irrigation systems are as old as human civilization. Flood irrigation methods have been passed on through the generations and today it is still the most widely used irrigation method under subsistence farmers. Modern flood irrigation design and methods increased the water efficiency of the system allowing it to compete with other more capital intensive commercial irrigation alternatives. The following improvements are worth mentioning: • Laser technology contributed greatly to the uniform levelling of flood areas thereby increasing uniformity of irrigation. • Better understanding of soil types. In sandy soils water infiltrates rapidly. Furrows should be short so that water will reach the downstream end without excessive percolation losses on the front end. In clay soils, the infiltration rate is much lower than in sandy soils. Furrows




can be much longer on clay than on sandy soils. • Using pipes as distribution medium instead of earthen channels decreased seepage losses thereby raising water use efficiency. • Distribution uniformity (DU) improvements were obtained by practicing surge irrigation in flood irrigation systems. This concept will be explained further below. Traditional flood irrigation has low distribution uniformity (DU); plants close to the water source nearly drown in all the water while plants at the end of the furrow receive only a fraction of the water received by upstream plants. Surge irrigation improves DU. Surge irrigation is intermittent application of water to an irrigation furrow. Initial infiltration rates in a dry furrow are high. As the water continues to run, the infiltration rate reduces to a constant rate. If water is shut off and allowed to infiltrate, surface soil particles consolidate and form a partial seal in the furrow, which substantially reduces the infiltration rate. When the water inflow into the furrow is re-introduced, more water moves down the furrow in the previously


wetted area and less infiltration into the soil takes place. This process is repeated several times. As the previously wetted part of the furrow has a lower infiltration rate and the advance in this part is higher, the final result is a more uniform infiltration pattern (Figure 6) (Hillel, 1997, p. Chapter 5). Commercial farmers and irrigation efficiency For commercial farmers the main driver in irrigational efficiency improvements is economics. Commercial farmers pay for their water irrigational usage; they have a profit motive and therefore continually improve on farming efficiencies as inefficient farmers won’t be competitive and will not survive.

Conclusion and recommendations

Farmers are not purely consumers of water; they are suppliers too. Farmers are stewards over the biggest surface (catchment) area of our beloved land. They should not only be seen in the bad light as the biggest users of water in South Africa but they should also been seen as part of the solution to our water scarcity problem. Furthermore commercial farmer provide food security.

Figure 5 Surge Flood Irrigation DU versus Flood Irrigation DU





Traditional farming methods won’t be able to supply the ever-growing urbanised global population with food and won’t be able to provide sufficient financial returns on the ever-increasing cost of land. The universal trend in agriculture is towards hyperefficient, super-scientific factory farming. This has advantages and disadvantages for water usage in the agricultural sector

but is an unavoidable trend. Farmers must realise that South Africa is a water scarce land and that there are many other users of water. They must therefore embrace new technology and methods to ensure that they increase their water use efficiency. They should also strive to return used water of high quality back into our streams and rivers, as water sustains us all.

References • •

• • • • • •

94 (2000). Fair, J. (2014 йил 14-February). Overgrazed and understocked. Retrieved 2014 йил 27-July from Farmer’s Weekly: aspx?id=54619&h=Overgrazed-and-understocked Garth van der Kamp, P. M. (2013 йил 07). Threats to water availability in Canada. Retrieved 2014 йил 07 from Environment Canada: asp?lang=En&n=0CD66675-1&offset=18&toc=show Hillel, D. (1997). Small scale irrigation for arid zones: Principles and options. New York: Food and Agricultural Organizations of the United Nations (FAO). Hoekstra, A. (2003). Virtual water trade: Proceedings of the International Expert Meeting on Virtual Water Trade, IHE Delft, the Netherlands. Delft: IHE Delft. Hogan, C. M. (2012 йил 5-April). Overgrazing. Retrieved 2014 йил July from The Encyclopedia of Earth: Manzano, M. (2003). Overgrazing and desertification in Northern Mexico. Annals of Arid Zone, 285-304. Mark E. Grismer, A. T. (2006). Agriculture and natural resources. Retrieved 2014 йил July from University of California: McKinsey. (2010 йил June). McKinsey Research. Retrieved 2014 йил 20-July from www.



• •

• • • • • • • •

• • • •


Meat and livestock, A. (n.d.). Pasture growth. Retrieved 2014 йил 27-July from Meat and livestock Australia: Grazing-and-pasture-management/Native-pasture/Pasture-growth Mid year population estimate. (2013, July). Retrieved from Stats SA: za/publications/P0302/P03022013.pdf Mother Earth News, E. (1984 йил May). Homesteading and livestock/ no-till farming. Retrieved 2014 йил 26-July from homesteading-and-livestock/no-till-farming-zmaz84zloeck.aspx#ixzz38agZcZbP National Census . (1996). Retrieved from Stats South Africa: census01/Census96/HTML/default.htm NEPAD. (2014). NEPAD Water Centres of Excellence. Retrieved from NEPAD Water Centres of Excellence: Niekerk, A. v. (2012). Evaluation report on a dripper line cleaning machine. Pretoria: Agricultutal Research Counsol. Perry, C. (2007). Efficient irrigation; inefficient communication; flawed recommendations. Irrigation and Drainage, 367 -378. Reinders, F. (2010). Standards and guidelines for improved effieciency of irrigation water use from dam wall release to root zone application. Pretoria: Water Research Comission. Reinders, F. (2011, August). Irrigation methods for effective water application. Pretoria: Water SA. Seis, C. (2014). Pasture cropping principles. Retrieved 2014 йил July from Pasture Cropping and No-kill cropping: UNEP. (2006 йил July). UNEP Training Programme . Retrieved 2014 йил July from United Nations Environment Programme: Instructor%20Version/Part_3/readings/WfW_case.pdf UNEP. (2013). The Emissions Gap Report. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme November 2013. USDA. (2014). Natural Resource Conservation Service. Retrieved from United States Department of Agriculture: Van Herwaarden, M. R. (2003). ON-FARM TRIALS FOR ADAPTING AND ADOPTING GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Van Wilgen, D. B. (2008). Alien plants and ecosystem services: estimating the costs. Pretoria: The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).




pH IS THE MOST MEASURED AND CONTROLLED ANALYTICAL PARAMETER. Mining minerals such as Gold, Platinum, Coal etc. is a key economic activity in South Africa employing many people. THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS: WHERE EVER THE GROUND AND ROCK IS DISTURBED AND COMES INTO CONTACT WITH WATER, THIS WATER BECOMES ACIDIC. This acidic water is extremely detrimental to the environment and totally unusable for anything until it has been neutralized and purified. By far, the most commonly used commercial process for treating acid mine drainage is lime precipitation in a high-density sludge (HDS) process. Where slurry of lime is dispersed into a tank containing acid mine drainage, to increase water pH to about 9. At this pH, most toxic metals become insoluble and precipitate allowing clean water to overflow for release. As one can see from the above, this process is very pH. dependant. However with the quantity of Lime that has to be added and the precipitated metals and sulphides this slurry is like cement, not the place for sensitive glass pH sensors. Prei Instrumentation has a differential pH sensor to measure ph in harsh applications, more accurately with less maintenance. The differential pH has a reference glass electrode in a pocket of chemically concentrated 7 pH solution behind a replaceable Salt Bridge. This chemically concentrated 7 pH solution will still be poisoned by the process solution but it will take longer for the reference solution to drift from 7 pH, and then it is replaceable. The Salt bridge can be replaced. The end result is unsurpassed measurement accuracy. These sensors provide greater reliability, resulting in less downtime and maintenance. • In this application these sensors have an expected lifespan of 1 -2 years. • Normal Applications, life expectance is 5 – 8 years. • Standard combination pH sensors have a maximum life expectancy of 7 days in this Aplication. • All 4 of the acid mine water plants built or being built on the Coalfields in the Emathleni area use Hach analysers supplied and supported by Prei Instrumentation.



Preamplifierr Preamplifie

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“The relationship ended too soon. All the signs were there, but he ignored them, hoping that the issues would sort themselves out. Then one day he woke up, and it was over. He was left behind with an emptiness that he knew nothing else would fill.”




ou could be forgiven for thinking this piece was pulled from a forsaken epic, a despairing tale of love lost, and the anguished one left behind. And, although the extract is fictional and does not speak to lost lovers, it may illustrate a very complex and misconstrued relationship that exists between the human species and Earth’s most interesting and imperative natural resource, water. We need to better understand our relationship with water, how to better conserve it, and the consequences we will face if we experience water losses or shortages. To do this, we need to start at the beginning and investigate water itself, how we use and waste it, and our perceptions of water.

The first signs of water on Earth

More than thirteen years ago, researchers from the University of California found

evidence indicating the possibility that water was present on Earth as many as 4.3 billion years ago (Harrison et al., 2001). Essentially, scientists hypothesise that water has been present on Earth for almost as long as the planet has been around. This has led to the popular idea that the amount of water present on Earth today is the same as that present at the beginning of time. Contemporary science tells us that Earth’s water is divided into ‘compartments’ according to its availability for human use (Fig 1). Freshwater, specifically that in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, icecaps and glaciers, accounts for only 2.5% of all the water on Earth (Gleick, 1993).

Was water the source of life on Earth?

If there is liquid water present, chances are there will be life. Recent work by astrobiological researchers from NASA

Fig 1. The distribution of water on1. Earth from Gleick 1993) Figure The(adapted distribution of water on Earth (adapted from Gleick, 1993)




outlines ancient Earth as a ‘water world’; a primordial sphere covered by roiling acidic water (Russell et al., 2014). Deep below the surface of these harsh oceans bubbled gentle alkaline springs known as hydrothermal vents, which created a state of disequilibrium, an unbalanced condition that scientists say would have been ideal for the inception of life. Although this is merely one scientific theory on the beginning of life on Earth, it is quite appealing to imagine that this life-sustaining substance is what gave us life on Earth in the first place.

Water and humans

Historically, humans have centred their societies around the presence of fresh water, whether in the form of rivers, or lakes. Interestingly, humans are one of the few species on Earth that require clean water for consumption, what is referred to as potable water. This has led to the development of extensive storage facilities, intricate transport and transfer systems, and bulk water treatment centres to cater for the water requirements of the more than 7 billion people currently on Earth. Human activity and behaviour has changed and adapted due to the variable state of the freshwater on Earth. Gleick (2000) points out how humans struggled in the past to contain, re-direct, clean and capture water to reduce our vulnerability to irregular river flows and unpredictable rainfall patterns. As cities grew, technology had to find ways to transport water from further away, and in doing so, started processes that would dramatically alter the natural water cycle, namely the major storage, construction and large-scale water transfers (Gleick, 2000). Modern humans (Homo sapiens) are first thought to have walked the Earth approximately 200 000 years ago. Archaeological evidence points to the use of permanent water wells as far back as the


later part of the Stone Age, more than 12 000 years ago. It is thought that our first efforts to control water were made in Egypt and Mesopotamia (an ancient area that spanned contemporary Syria, Kuwait, Turkey and Iraq) over 4 000 years ago. Once humans were able to ‘control’ water, irrigation systems grew to support large-scale agriculture, which allowed societies to settle in one area and flourish. The size and location of human settlements started to become dependent on the presence and abundance of nearby, available fresh water. Johannesburg and Birmingham in England are the only two major cities in the world not built along a river or harbour (Water, Water…Everywhere, n.d.) (Fig 2). Rand Water, which is South Africa’s largest potable bulk water utility, supplies most of the water it processes to municipalities in Gauteng, which is South Africa’s financial and industrial centre.

Fig 2. Johannesburg generates 17% of South Africa’s GDP but is not located along a major water course (image adapted from

Figure 2. Johannesburg generates 17% of South Africa’s GDP but is not located along a major water course (image adapted from

The value of water

This fascinating chemical compound, which is naturally tasteless and odourless in its pure state, is the only substance that occurs naturally in all three phases on Earth, namely solid, liquid and gas. Ball (n.d.) attributes



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6 water’s exceptional ability to support life to its unique three-dimensional network that allows it to facilitate biochemical processes. Further, he explains how water enables chemical reactions in cells by providing the lubrication needed for materials and molecules to be moved from one point to the next. Water is also cleansing, in the sense that it removes wastes and transports nutrients to where they are needed in the body. Water’s ability as a solvent to a variety of substances is what makes it a rarity, namely the ‘universal solvent’. In fact, water has the ability to dissolve more substances, and in greater quantity, than any other common liquid. While water is essential for our bodies to work, it is also one of the qualities that make Earth a habitable planet. Earth’s gravity allows an atmosphere to form, and this provides a temperature buffer that retains a steady surface temperature. Water, with carbon dioxide, forms this buffer, supporting an environment that is conducive to life. Water also enables the existence of the fuel that all animals and humans need to function – plants. All food on Earth comes directly or indirectly from plants, and plants


rely on water for photosynthesis and respiration. Water enables plants to create their own food (and ours), and in turn, plants give off the oxygen we require to breathe.

Our perception of our environment

Garret Hardin (1968), ecologist and author of ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, highlights the ‘individualistic’ approach to life, whereby the pursuit of individual self-interest leads to collective ruin. Kingsolver (2010), in her letter to National Geographic, examines the idea that water is ‘the Commons’ as referred to by Hardin (1968), a resource that not too long ago was seen as plentiful and common, boundless and infinite, but that is now being touted as the possible cause of regional and international conflicts or disputes. Perhaps our current disregard for water has crept upon us imperceptibly as our lives become faster, technological and further disengaged from nature. It is implausible that we could actively and consciously exploit the very natural resources that supports our existence. Louv (2005) recently developed a controversial hypothesis to describe our apparent disconnect with our environment;

Figure 3. The Hydro-illogical cycle as developed by the National Drought Mitigation Centre (1990). Fig 3. The Hydro-illogical cycle as developed by the National Drought Mitigation Centre (1990).





he calls it Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) and attributes this condition to restricted access to natural areas, the culture of fear of nature, and the increased use of electronics. Singer et. al (2009) describe how only 18% of South African parents reported that their children explored nature. The National Drought Mitigation Centre coined the term ‘Hydroillogical Cycle’ (Fig 3) to illustrate people’s reaction to water situations. In essence, a crisis such as a drought is a slow-moving situation that people address only when it can no longer be ignored. However, once the situation is averted by rain, people tend to ‘forget’ about the crisis and move on as normal. This behaviour has also been observed in the South African context, when a drought period between 19831985 caused a 35% decrease in water use by end-consumer; however, six years later, water consumption was back to the original level (Hoy, 2009).

The real South African water situation

In order to resolve an issue, it is crucial to understand where the knowledge gaps lie. With that in mind, Water Wise embarked on a mission to understand how South Africans view water, and more specifically water use and conservation. Water Wise is an environmental brand established by Rand Water in 1997, aimed at assisting municipalities, green industry and the public in reducing their water use. It is the goal of Water Wise to inform the end-user of water shortages, locally and internationally, and to assist with simple, everyday solutions to managing sustainable water use. Rand Water and Water Wise are based in Gauteng, South Africa, and subsequently focus campaigns and research within Rand Water’s area of supply. Currently, Rand Water supplies over 3.5 million litres of water a day to municipalities and end-users in five



provinces of South Africa. Water Wise needs to understand how people perceive water, as well as what informs their relationship with water, before attempting to assist them with changing water use habits and behaviour. The first step on this ambitious journey of awareness is to engage with the individual, as it is the individual that has the ability to initiate change. Over the years, Water Wise has employed the services of market research companies to conduct surveys on the public’s perception of water and its conservation. The results have stimulated a drive within Water Wise to broaden the understanding of how people see water. Prior to distributing information that may assist an individual to reduce their water use, it is necessary to identify firstly, where knowledge gaps lie, and secondly, key factors that influence behaviour. This prompted an investigation into the following: • Whether people perceive water to be scarce or not i.e. do people feel that there may be a potential water crisis in the future? • Whether people feel empowered, as individuals, to address the need to use less water. • Whether people are willing to reduce their water use i.e. what factors may encourage or discourage them from saving water? • Where the influence of responsibility lies i.e. do people feel it is their responsibility to use less water, or should water use be enforced? Surveys were conducted at various localities within Gauteng, including garden centres and nurseries, shopping malls, and gardening and home events. Face-to-face, personal intercept interviews were done, with a structured questionnaire developed


by Water Wise. Results reported on in this article incorporate data from 2011-2014, and indicate the percentage of the total 2 871 participants who agreed with the statements given. Overall, people assume that South Africa may experience a critical water situation in the future (79.6%), although visitors to garden and home events are more predisposed to this theory (92.3%) than those visiting malls and shopping centres (66.9%). While 59.4% of participants feel that it is our Government’s responsibility to enforce reductions in water use, it is encouraging to note that only 26.6% feel that there is nothing they can do as individuals to save water in South Africa. Additionally, 93% of participants feel that water use can be reduced by implementing various Water Wise strategies and practises, such as taking shorter showers, re-using grey water and using buckets of water to wash cars rather than hosepipes. Figure 4 indicates various factors that participants felt may encourage them to save water. On the other hand, participants are concerned that taps may run dry and feel this is the main reason to save water (66.1%). Participants also feel equally


that the cost of water (55.4%) and being environmentally conscious (55.5%) are both reasons to save water, followed by saving water because of water restrictions (35.1%). While the public are encouraged to save water by various factors, their reasons for saving water are slightly different. In other words, while participants feel that education may encourage them to conserve water, they see the chance that taps may run dry as the main reason to save water. A study conducted on price elasticity and water demand in South Africa (Veck and Bill, 2000) showed that if the price of metered water was increased by 10%, total water demand would decrease by 1.7%. This supports the research findings by Water Wise, which indicated that the cost of water is both a driver for water conservation, as well as a reason to save water, amongst the South African public. However, for those unable to pay for water, an increase in tariffs may not encourage water conservation. Rather it may cause dissension for those who already subsidise illegal and legal non-payers. Almost 60% of participants would be willing to ‘give up’ their swimming pools if water restrictions are imposed, followed by long showers and baths (53.1%), and green

Increase in cost of water Water restrictions/ cuts More education about water conservation Nothing

Fig 4. Factors acting as drivers or encouragements to water saving.

Figure 4. Factors acting as drivers or encouragements to water saving.





Green lush garden Long showers and full baths Swimming pool Nothing

Fig 5. ‘Luxuries’ that participants are willing to give up if water restrictions are imposed.

Figure 5. Luxuries that participants are willing to give up if water restrictions are imposed.

Fig 5. Target reconciliation scenario and system water balance in the Vaal River System with a removal of unlawful water use

and the neutralisation and discharge of desalinated mine water. Figure 6. Target reconciliation scenario and system water balance in the Vaal River System with a removal of unlawful water use and the neutralisation and discharge of desalinated mine water.

lush gardens (26.4%) (Fig 5). Only 2.9% of participants would not be willing to give up anything if water restrictions were imposed. Fig 5. ‘Luxuries’ that participants are willing to give up if water restrictions are imposed. A cursory internet search for water news in South Africa pulls up pages of news articles that lament South Africa’s

water situation, with alarming headings such as ‘water crisis in South Africa’, ‘water problems lead to riots, death’, clean water crisis looms’ and ‘SA to face water shortages’. Stakeholders are struggling to interpret the reality of our water situation; however, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has endeavoured to clarify misconceptions by





stating that while South Africa will not ‘run out of water’, there may be issues with water resource availability. Results from market research indicate that South Africans are aware of the need to save water, and do feel that simple behavioural changes can make a difference. Additionally, the majority feel that individuals can make a difference to water conservation, and look to education as an encouragement to this. This highlights the importance of awareness campaigns to close the knowledge gap and contribute towards saving water. Rand Water extracts raw water from the Vaal Dam, which is affected by activities in the Upper, Middle and Lower Vaal Water Management Areas (WMAs). DWA has developed a strategic approach to address issues in these WMAs such as unlawful water use, acid mine drainage, and high water use (see Project 15%) (DWA, 2009). This approach is referred to as the Vaal River System Reconciliation Scenario. Figure 5 indicates that if planned strategic interventions are implemented successfully, a positive water balance can be maintained until 2050. It is important that the end-user shares the responsibility with the Government of reducing water demand. We live in a country with highly variable rainfall patterns, and one that is already defined as water-scarce: • 60% of South Africa’s river ecosystems are threatened, and 23% are critically endangered; • 65% of our wetland types are threatened, and 48% are critically endangered; • 8% of South Africa produces 50% of its surface water; and • 98% of available reliable water has already been allocated (WWF, 2013).

Repairing our relationship with water

Gleick (2000) states that one of the most fundamental conditions of human



development is the universal access to basic water services. In turn, the South African Constitution declares that everyone has the right to sufficient water for basic human needs. The World Health Organization (WHO) stipulates that 50-100 litres of water per person per day are required to meet basic needs and prevent health concerns. Unfortunately, the reality is very different – the average per capita water use in European countries is 20-30 times that of developing countries such as Mozambique (UNDP, 2006). In 2001, Cabinet approved a policy in South Africa to provide 6 000 litres of potable water per household per month, free of charge, assuming a household average of eight people. This amounts to 25 litres per person per day, a figure that has since been challenged and may be increased to 50 litres per person per day. South Africa’s growth rate is increasing at 1.34% per year (StatsSA, 2013) and with more people, comes an increase in demand for potable water. Meanwhile, the world’s population grows at 82 million people per year. And while it is a basic human right to have access to safe water, it is not our right to abuse this water. Perhaps our seemingly reckless behaviour towards water speaks to the valueless quality we have afforded it; besides receiving some of our water for free, we also boast relatively low water tariffs that are calculated on a sliding scale according to use. In fact, a recent debate held by the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) and SAfm centred on a possible need for water tariffs to be increased so that South Africans are encouraged to consume more responsibly. Chief Executive of the Water Resource Commission (WRC) Dhesigen Naidoo, noted that similar water shortage issues in Singapore and Australia were effectively addressed by increasing water tariffs, which then lead to more responsible water usage. This is supported


by the investigation by Veck and Bill (2000) for the South African situation. Gleick (2000) emphasises the need for information that allows people to make their own judgement of their water ‘needs’ as opposed to their ‘wants’ and how to satisfy these needs. Perhaps we need to examine the difference between reducing water and saving water. The phrase ‘to reduce water use’ implies excessive use of the resource, possibly the need for enforcement to discourage overuse, even a forced action applied under duress, such as water re-allocation or restrictions and cuts. It may be necessary to change the way we view our relationship with water: instead of being forced to use less (reduce water consumption), we should want to save water. ‘Saving water’ suggests a choice, a positive desire to take care and enforce action under the decision to do the right thing. Postel (1996) warned over eighteen years ago, that if the current trend of water use continued, the integrity of Earth’s life support systems would be threatened; ecosystems would be damaged and food security would decrease dramatically. Water is a necessity of life, a recreational resource, a common resource, an economic commodity, a social fabric in our community and an essential component of culture (Gleick, 2000). While water may not belong to us, it is integral to our existence.

Treading lightly as we move forward

Whichever theory you subscribe to on the origin of life, there is no denying the reliance of all life on water. No living organism is exempt from the sustenance provided by a deceptively simple combination of atoms. Hardin (1968) suggested that we assume the world available to the terrestrial population is finite, and will only support a finite population. However, the world’s


population is increasing exponentially, subsequently decreasing the amount of water available for use per person, as well as for the sustaining of life-supporting ecosystem functioning. Harmful industrial and agriculture impacts, such as acid mine drainage, and unlawful water use, as well as numerous others, further lessen our supply of freshwater. While it may be our right to have access to clean drinking water, it is our responsibility to save water so that there is adequate provision for each one of us, as well as for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Fortunately, the research from Water Wise and Rand Water (2013) has shown that South Africans are willing to acknowledge our water situation and the importance of water saving (90.3% of participants interviewed agreed with this statement). The sample analysis also indicates the public’s desire for more education. Water Wise addresses these needs by offering awareness campaigns in the form of competitions, posters and advertorials, information through newsletters, pamphlets and website articles, and interaction with the public at exhibitions, events and talks. This addresses the public’s need for more information and education and addresses this as an encouragement to water saving.


“While he thought all had been lost, there was a glimmer of hope in the revitalising, precious twinkle of the water droplet that balanced precariously at the end of the barrel’s spout. He cradled the droplet gently in his hands, vowing to respect and look after the life giving substance that he thought he had lost, that unique and perplexing liquid that always had and always will support all life on Earth.” Just as you would repair a fragile human relationship, we now need to start repairing our bond with water. We have neglected, abused and broken





this connection by polluting, wasting and overusing this finite natural resource. We are now accountable for our mistakes as a population, as well as individuals, and ownership of our habits and behaviour is the next step. Be the one that heals that broken connection. We need to believe that

this is the twilight hour of our negligence of water and our Earth. We do not want to place ourselves in a situation where we no longer have the sustenance that gives us life—nothing can replace water. We need to be cognizant of the fact that we need our Earth and its priceless natural resources.

References • •

• • • • • • • • •


Ball, P. (n.d.). Water: the molecule of life. NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine. Retrieved from http:// Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (April 2007). Free Basic Water Implementation Strategy 2007. Version 4 (April 2007). Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Directorate: Policy and Strategy. Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (March 2009). Vaal River System: large bulk water supply reconciliation strategy : executive summary. Prepared by: DMM Development Consultants, Golder Associates Africa, SRK, WRP Consulting Engineers and Zitholele Consulting. DWAF Report Number: P RSA C000/00/4406/09. Gleick, P.H. (2000). The changing water paradigm: a look at twenty-first century water resources development. Water International, 25 (1): 127-138. Gleick, P.H. (Ed.) (1993). Water in Crisis: A guide to the World’s Fresh Water Resources. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN: 9780195076288. Hardin, G. (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons. Science, 162 (3859): 1243-1248. History of water supply and sanitation (n.d). Retrieved 28 July 2014 from http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/History_of_water_supply_and_sanitation. Hoy, L. (2009). A proactive water supply shortage response plan focusing on the Green Industry in the Rand Water supply area. Unpublished MSc Dissertation, UNISA. Human Development Report (2006). Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2006. Irrigation systems, ancient (n.d.) Retrieved 24 July 2014 from http://www.waterencyclopedia. com/Hy-La/Irrigation-Systems-Ancient.html. Johannesburg at a glance (n.d.) Retrieved 28 July 2014 from placesofinterest/16403/visitorinformation.html. Kingsolver, B. (April 2010). Water is life. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://ngm.



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Manhesa, G., Allègre, C.J., Dupréa, B. and Hamelin, B. (1980). Lead [isotope] study of basicultrabasic layered complexes: Speculations about the age of the earth and primitive mantle characteristics. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 47 (3): 370–382. Michael J. Russell, Laura M. Barge, Rohit Bhartia, Dylan Bocanegra, Paul J. Bracher, Elbert Branscomb, Richard Kidd, Shawn McGlynn, David H. Meier, Wolfgang Nitschke, Takazo Shibuya, Steve Vance, Lauren White, Isik Kanik. The Drive to Life on Wet and Icy Worlds. Astrobiology 14 (4): 308. Packer, R.K. (2002). How long can the average person survive without water? Retrieved from Postel, S. (1996). Press release: Human water use reaching upper physical limit, scientists warn. Standford News Service. Retrieved from html. Rand Water (2013). Rand Water Market Survey report: General public visiting garden centres and nurseries. Search Wise Solutions. Rand Water (2013). Rand Water Market Survey report: General public visiting shopping centres and malls. Search Wise Solutions. Singer, D., Singer, J., D’Agostino, H. and DeLong, R. (2009). Children’s pastimes and play in 16 nations: Is free-play declining? American Journal of Play, Winter, 284-312. South Africa will not run out of water: Molewa (n.d.) Retrieved on 30 July 2014 from http:// Statistics South Africa (May 2013). Mid-year population estimates. Statistics South Africa: Statistical Release P0302 2013. University Of California (2001). Liquid Water At Earth’s Surface 4.3 Billion Years Ago, Scientists Discover. Retrieved http// Veck, G.A. and Bill, M.R. (2000). Estimation of the residential price elasticity of demand for water by means of a contingent valuation approach. WRC Report No. 790/1/00. ISBN: 186845 681 1. Water (n.d). Retrieved 24 July 2014 from Water, water…everywhere (n.d.). Retrieved 28 July 2014 from index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1104&Itemid=268. World Wildlife Fund (2013). An introduction to South Africa’s water source areas [Report]. WWF-SA, South Africa.




Manufacturers of Water, Chemical, Transport, Septic Tanks & Silos

Roto Tank produces polyethylene water and chemical tanks to the highest standards. This ensures that each tank is the correct weight and dimensions for its specific purpose. These plastic tanks use screw on lids and high class fittings. Besides water tanks and chemical tanks, we also produce and sell the following: • Horizontal / Transport Tanks

• Silo’s / Hoppers / Conical Tanks

• Septic / Conservancy Tanks

• Open Top Bins With Lids

• Underground Storage Tanks

• Pools & Koi Ponds

• Recycling Bins

• Animal Drinking Trough

The highest grade virgin LLDPE is used and all polyethylene water and chemical tanks go through a strict quality control procedure and have a serial tracking number added to the tank. This backs up the 5 year (vertical) or 2 year (horizontal) guarantee. All our plastic tanks are virtually stress-free and moulds are fabricated with a short lead time and at an extremely affordable cost. Should clients request a textured, high gloss or coloured finish, we can easily cater to requirements. Roto Tank can also add decorative detail to the polyethylene tank. MISSION STATEMENT: We commit to supplying value to our customers, through consistently providing high quality plastic tank products, delivered on time, that meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.

086 000 TANK (8265)


VERTICAL TANKS AND RING TANK STANDS Due to cost of erecting tank stands Rototank has studied and developed a simply but unique way to elevate the Rototank Tank off the ground. The following tanks are popular sizes to utilize the Tank Ring Stand. 1 000ℓ , 2 500ℓ , 5 000ℓ & 10 000ℓ . Current households and developments are taking advantage the use of the Rototank Ring Tank Stand The method is particularly effective in rural tank installations due to:

• • • • • •

Cost Speed Easiness Effectiveness Collecting of water or use of ALL water in water collecting tank

“We pride ourself in being a responsive, innovative, dependable & successful supplier” UNDERGROUND AND SEPTIC TANK CAPACITY Nature conscience customers can utilize the Rototank range for Underground Water storage tanks since space and aesthetics are priority in the planning and development of Estates and when circumstance dictate the underground Storage of water as well as the installing of Septic tanks.

Rototank Septic tank range starts at 600ℓ for 2 people up to 12 500ℓ for 55 people. The 12 500ℓ is the biggest one Chamber underground Tank in Africa. The 2 chamber system has been negated by utilising a designed pipe system.


Martin Ginster



Water; the most critical of feedstock

Sasol’s coal-mining, upstream oil and gas activities, chemicals and fuels production and supply chain logistics all have the potential to impact on water resources and ecosystems. Water risks can be physical, regulatory and/or reputational in nature. At Sasol we fully recognise that water is a natural resource we can never own, yet is a precious commodity we need to care a lot about. While our water journey showcases many positive achievements we also recognise there is still much to do in the catchments we operate in. Water is a critical feedstock for our business. Several of our facilities are located in water-stressed areas which aggravates our water challenges. Sasol’s primary need for water is to generate steam and hydrogen as well as cool processes. Sasol’s proprietary Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology generates significant quantities of effluent (reaction water) in the process to convert synthesis gas to hydrocarbons. In fact about half of the product generated in Sasol’s proprietary Fischer Tropsch (FT) reaction is aqueous effluent which needs to be upgraded, usually in a biological wastewater treatment facility, and re-used elsewhere in the process. Upgrading and recycling FT reaction water is something Sasol has extensive expertise in and in which we continue to develop new and improved technologies. A company’s behaviour and performance around water can be referred to as its water stewardship response. A typical response to a water challenge facing a business entity is to: • map the physical, regulatory and reputational water risks at an appropriate scale. • support action to respond to the identified water risks like introducing pollution control measures, working in partnerships and engaging stakeholders to jointly find and implement solutions. • formally disclose and report on the company’s water related responses to drive transparency and accountability.





Focus area


Typical activity

direct operations “all businesses have a water footprint varying in size and significance”

Relates to a company’s direct water footprint and a commitment to undertake water-use assessments, set targets, implement new technologies, raise awareness within the corporation and include water considerations in decision-making

Investment in water management practices at our manufacturing facilities including pollution control measures and effluent treatment in order to ensure resource protection as well as maintaining robust and efficient processes

supply chain and watershed management “many water impacts occur beyond a company’s direct control”

Recognising that many water impacts occur beyond a company’s direct control and therefore commit to encouraging suppliers to reduce their water footprint; share best practices and support catchment management initiatives

Active participation in catchment forums, support necessary infrastructure investments to secure a reliable supply of water to operations; also pursue alternative demand side water conservation initiatives to advance water security for all users

collective action “multi-stakeholder collaboration is key”

Commit to building closer ties with local, national and international civil society organisations and governments to address water risks

Concluding water conservation partnerships with municipalities operating in the Vaal River catchment

public policy “responsible policy, regulation and voluntary efforts”

Contribute to the formation of government policy and regulations, exercise “business statesmanship” as advocates for water sustainability

Supporting the development of regulatory instruments; interventions to conclude water license application processes and related activities

community engagement “companies operate in a broader societal context”

Commit to supporting or actively engaging with communities to address water sustainability issues

Various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives like the Busa Metsi schools water saving project




transparency “transparency and disclosure are important to meet stakeholder expectations”

Commit to working on water issues in a transparent way, which includes complying with GRI reporting


Various disclosure and reporting initiatives, for example the annual Sustainable Development Report, communication on progress and CDP water disclosure questionnaire

Table 1. UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate – key focus areas, intent and typical actions and progress since endorsing the initiative in March 2008

The UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate provides Sasol the strategic framework within which to respond to water risks. Launched in 2007, the CEO Mandate is a public-private initiative assisting companies to develop, implement and disclose on water sustainability policies and practices. Sasol endorsed the initiative in March 2008. The mandate comprises of six key focus areas and associated aspirational pledges which provide focus on the strategic issues related to water. Activities that can be grouped under the focus areas of the CEO Water Mandate are given in Table 1.

Securing Sasol’s water requirements from the Vaal

The Vaal River system is not only vital to Sasol’s operations, but is also a significant source of water for social and economic development as well as ecological conservation. Our large South African operations are highly dependent on the Vaal which provides up to 80% of Sasol’s total water requirement. The Vaal River is located in the inland region of South Africa where rainfall is erratic. The assurance of water is further compounded by the low conversion of rainfall to usable runoff. Water users in this region have become highly dependent on the large storage and extensive inter-basin

water transfer schemes which have had to be built in order to ensure reliable supply. The Vaal system is backed up by the extensive Katse and Mohale dams in the Lesotho Highlands as well as the Sterkfontein Dam supplying water from the Tugela system in Kwazulu-Natal. Water users reliant on the Vaal include domestic, agricultural and industrial, including mining. To place Sasol’s water requirement from the Vaal into context we use about 3.5% of the total available yield. About 40% is allocated to agriculture and a further 40% to domestic use, Eskom being the other significant user. Total demand from the Vaal system continues to exceed the system’s sustainable supply capability. This continued imbalance in the Vaal system can largely be attributed to the growing demand from domestic users. Further, physical leakages from urban water supply infrastructure and unlawful water use in the catchment continue to place a further burden on this already stressed system. Currently Sasol’s water supply is secure with the long term water security risk having been masked by a long period of above average rainfall. While the Vaal River system is large, a period of below average rainfall would inevitably result in water restrictions being applied.



7 Actions required to bring the Vaal into balance are known and understood. Interventions include the curbing of unlawful irrigation practices, the aggressive implementation of water conservation by reducing leakages from municipal water supply infrastructure, the treatment and recovery of legacy acid mine drainage, and implementing the further phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project to augment water supply to the system. Sasol’s response is aligned to the interventions being spearheaded by the National Department of Water Affairs. Water security through investing in pipes and pumps While Sasol’s current water supply is secure, this has not always been the case. The consequences of the severe drought that occurred in the mid-1980s is to most a distant memory. The water supply shortfalls experienced have resulted in Sasol having to make infrastructure investments. Specific investments have been made to improve water security following a water supply shortfall identified in 2004 for Sasol’s Secunda operations. The R2.7billion Vaal River Eastern Subsystem (VRESAP) pipeline project, in which Sasol has a 40% share, was commissioned in 2010 and provides an additional reliable supply of water from the Vaal Dam to both the Sasol’s Secunda operations and for use by the electricity utility Eskom. Internal recycling to improve efficiency Internal reuse through upgrading and recycling of effluent is a priority focus. The Sasol Secunda petrochemical complex was designed with significant effluent recycling capacity, which has continued to be improved on over the years. A significant water conservation initiative was realised


when a capital investment was undertaken at the Sasol Secunda complex to install a series of water treatment processes to recover an effluent stream which at the time was being discharged under a permit. In this process, the effluent stream is treated by means of softening, ion exchange and membrane technologies which are then re-used as high-purity boiler feed in the factory. This water recovery project has resulted in a saving of approximately 18 mega litres per day or about 7% on the total raw water to the Secunda complex. This project was the overall winner of the 2009 Department of Water Affairs water conservation and demand management sector awards in the industry mining and power sector category. Driving water conservation opportunities beyond the factory fence line Recognising the strategic significance of the Vaal River System we have been working with other water users to identify the most cost effective opportunities to improve water usage. Although our total demand for water (3.5% of total yield) is high, it is small compared to domestic users and agriculture. After a detailed assessment of the response options and notwithstanding the significant investments made to improve water security described above, we have come to the conclusion that Sasol can make a more significant contribution to catchment security by working beyond the factory fence-line. Simply focusing on reducing the water demand from our 3.5% allocation from a facility which has inherent design constraints can only achieve so much. Sasol’s demand for water needs to be seen against the approximately 17% of the total water allocated from the Vaal to urban domestic use which is not accounted for,






Company Profile Aveng Manufacturing DFC has a valve manufacturing legacy of over 66 years, the Benoni based manufacturer is the largest valve manufacturer in the southern hemisphere, and has a wide range of valves. Aveng Manufacturing DFC supplies valves into the water, effluent, mining and process industries. The South African owned Aveng manufacturing DFC has an extensive local and international footprint. With representatives and distributors in all provinces of South Africa. The company has a team of product specialist on hand that are able to offer advice and recommendations to clients based on extensive experience gained in their various industries Aveng manufacturing DFC contributes to the sustainability of water through products and services One cannot be a valve manufacturer without understanding that the inherent function of the products are to conserve and promote sustainability of water, our most precious resource. Beyond their products which inherently do this several of the products and services are specifically designed in terms of prevention and management of water loss.

The Vent-O-Mat valve: As far back as the late 1980’s the company had its eyes on the ball, developing the first true “Anti-Shock” air release valve which was designed to prevent pipe breakages and aid in the control of surge and water hammer. Both the product and the air valve expertise, was implemented to offer a dependable valve and the correct application of the valve to avoid water losses.

The Cla-Val Control valve: Made under licence to Cla-Val international, offers many benefits in terms of not only prevention of water loss through surge control, but loss of water through valves specifically designed for demand/pressure management which controls the amount of loss by pipeline leakage in areas where leaks are difficult and costly to find.

VOM NCV: One of the latest products is the VOM nozzle check valve, this valve offers saving in terms of surge prevention and cost saving in terms of low head loss. Aveng Manufacturing DFC contributes to saving water through offering products specifically designed to prevent or minimise the loss of water as well as services and expertise in implementing them.


Cost Effective Insurance for Expensive Investments • Automatic surge and water-hammer protection • Effective air discharge • Low head sealing • Maintenance free • Effective vacuum protection • Guaranteed pressurised air discharge • Unparalleled after sales service and technical back up

32 Lincoln Road, Industrial Sites, Benoni South PO Box 5064, Benoni South, 1502, South Africa Tel: +27 11 748 0200 • Fax: +27 11 421 2749 E-mail: •


either lost through leaks or as non-revenue water. Typical water losses in municipalities supplied by the Vaal River System vary between 30 and 45%, mostly from ageing distribution systems and broken or leaking plumbing fixtures, such as taps and toilets. To support addressing these losses, Sasol entered into three water conservation partnerships with local municipalities. These partnerships with municipalities in the Vaal River catchment area seek to drive municipal water conservation initiatives, increase public awareness of water conservation, stimulate job creation and realise cost savings for the municipality. Project Boloka Metsi Our flagship partnership has been with Emfuleni municipality and the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Through this partnership, we committed R5 million, and leveraged an additional R5 million donor funding, for the Boloka Metsi project. The project seeks to achieve a 15% water saving in the Emfuleni municipality, one of the four larger municipalities in Gauteng. This project helps Emfuleni reduce its annual water expenses while a portion of the savings are re-invested in sustaining the project. The focus has been on fixing leaking taps and leaking toilets in residential areas in an innovative approach to enhance water security for all users reliant on the Vaal catchment. The project which by end June 2014 had come to the end of its second year focussed mainly on the repairing of leaking domestic plumbing in Sebokeng and Evaton. Over the two year period a total of 114 000 households and 94 schools have been visited, some more than once, to repair multiple leaks. Measured water savings in the project area over this period have amounted to approximately 4.76 million


m3 to the value of R26 million, as well as creating local employment opportunities. Some 240 000 tap and toilet washers were replaced. A total of 9 500 taps, numerous connections and floats were replaced along with the repairing of distribution system leaks. Seventy-nine local residents were trained in basic plumbing skills and were employed either as water conservation warriors or plumber assistants to the main contractors for the duration of the project. Another way of looking at the savings achieved to date is that it equates to the water use of 16 000 households over a year or 22% of Sasol Sasolburg’s annual raw water needs. The project was underpinned by an extensive water conservation educational and awareness campaign in the community to also help change behavioural aspects. Further, Phase 2 of the project was fully funded by the calculated savings achieved for the project area, which demonstrates the sustainability of the “ring-fenced savings” funding model for the project. A small start perhaps, and with several more low-hanging opportunities available for collective partnering, the role of the private sector is yet to be fully exploited in partnerships such as these. Advancing water offsetting In addition to achieving vital water savings in the Emfuleni Municipality, the initiative is saving public funds, and is stimulating skills development and job creation opportunities. At a municipal level, our aim is to build technical, project management and procurement skills. At a community level, local people are being trained in plumbing and other skills. We believe this project model can be replicated in other municipalities nationwide. To support the beyond-the-fence line partnership initiative Sasol initiated and funded an investigation





into the development of a South African national water-offsetting model, with the aim of incorporating the concept into the water law review process. This was done in collaboration with the National Department of Water Affairs and presented to the parliamentary portfolio committee on water. Water offsetting has subsequently been included as an emerging policy issue in the revised National Water Resource strategy. We believe through establishing a formal mechanism for such collective action partnerships the potential exists to realise significant benefits for water conservation and socioeconomic development.

Water technology development

Sasol has a portfolio of water research and technology development projects that support our South African operations in Sasolburg, Free State and Secunda, Mpumalanga as well as our new GTL ventures. Some details on the latest successes are provided below. Water Recovery Growth (WRG) project The R 1.3 Billion Water Recovery Growth (WRG) project is in the final construction stages at the Sasol Secunda operations. This in-house developed and piloted anaerobic biological waste water treatment plant will treat approximately 3.4 million m3 per annum of high organic waste water or about 7% of the total waste water recycled on the Secunda factory complex. It further provides a much needed way to reduce both the organic and hydraulic load on the existing biological wastewater treatment works and provides capacity to accommodate growth. The technology developed for this specific application of



packed bed down-flow anaerobic reactors comprises 47-million plastic rosettes of packing material to accommodate biofilm growth. Anaerobic biosludge is being added to the reactors and cultivated inside over a nine-month period. The anaerobic biomass will consume organic carbon and produce a methane-rich gas, which is being evaluated as a feedstock for power generation. Advancing water treatment for new FT ventures Sasol and General Electric’s (GE) Power & Water have jointly developed a new membrane biological water technology process that will clean process effluent streams unique to Sasol’s Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology. This new water treatment technology will also generate biogas as a by-product suitable for power generation. This new technology, known as Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Technology (AnMBR), is being further developed at a new demonstration plant at Sasol’s Research and Development (R&D) campus at the Sasolburg operations. Sasol currently uses aerobic microbes to treat process effluents at its ORYX GTL, Qatar and Synfuels, Secunda facilities. The technology uses anaerobic micro-organisms that are able to live in environments devoid of oxygen, such as sediment layers on floors of lakes, dams and the ocean. It is anticipated that the technology will by 2015 be ready for commercialisation. Sasol will have exclusive rights to apply this technology to FT facilities whilst GE will have the right to market the technology for any other industrial uses. Cooperation with the Water Research Commission In 2013, Sasol Technology and the South African Water Research Commission


(WRC) signed a collaboration agreement on finding new technologies and opportunities to conserve water in South Africa. Sasol Technology will offer the use of some of its Research and Development (R&D) Piloting facilities in Sasolburg and Secunda to researchers and academics from South African universities and research institutions—co-ordinated by the WRC. This partnership will also see the creation of a joint research commission (JRC) which will oversee and monitor the partnership and seek out new opportunities for collaboration on other water conservation matters.

Concluding remarks: Driving improved practices through corporate water stewardship

Many of the significant water security and water quality risks facing our South African operations are caused by factors external to our direct operations. Reducing Sasol’s water risks can also be effectively addressed by interventions “outside the factory fence”. We will continue to engage through various initiatives to advance catchment scale water management in a way which advances and protects Sasol’s water interests. Promoting water use efficiency in our operations globally continues to be a priority which is particularly the case for our South African operations. We are pleased to have advanced the beyond-the-fence line water conservation partnerships in order to demonstrate that water can be saved through fixing leaking taps and toilets. Through such partnerships we believe we can save water in a more meaningful way than could be achieved if we only addressed our own water footprint. We further recognise that simply looking for interventions beyond the fence line is not


sufficient. The new water technologies being implemented and the continued efforts to improve water and effluent management in our existing operations remains an equally important priority focus. There are certainly many facets to managing water. In support of a standard approach, we initiated in 2012 Sasol Water Sense, a group-wide initiative to align water stewardship practices throughout the Group. Sasol Water Sense has created a common identity for our water response strategy, coupled with a focused communication plan. Sasol Water Sense won the water management category in the 2013 Mail and Guardian Greening the Future awards. Disclosure is a critical pillar of any public or corporate water stewardship initiative since it brings credibility to actions responding to a shared water challenge. Corporate water users rely on water resource planners to disclose information on the situation of the catchment for decision making. In turn a corporate response on water (as a public good) needs to be underpinned by a commitment to transparent disclosure. Disclosure initiatives like Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Water assist companies to perform the right level of disclosure and bring credibility to corporate action responding to a shared water challenge. Sasol has supported responsible disclosure and has for the past five years participated in the annual CDP Water disclosure initiative. The activities of mapping water risks, supporting action to respond to the identified risks and formally disclosing and reporting on these responses remains the backbone of our water stewardship response. We will continue to pursue our water stewardship practices to advance sustainable water management in the catchments we operate in.



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Amongst the many things I learnt, as a president of our country, was the centrality of water in the social, political and economic affairs of the country, continent and indeed the world. I am, therefore, a totally committed water person

– Nelson Mandela

Dr Jim Taylor




ater is the life-blood of every nation. When the New York City fore-fathers established the city they ensured, early on in the planning process, that the Catskills Mountain range, New York’s very own water factory, was secured. This means that today New York probably has the cleanest water supply of any large city in the world! Not only is the water supply sufficient in quantity but the quality of the water means that little money is spent on cleaning the water for human use. South Africa’s largest water factory is the uKhahlamba (Drakensberg) Mountain Range which provides an ideal backbone, or watershed, for Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Seventy per cent of all South Africans get their water from the Orange-Senqu river basin which has its headwaters in this remarkably productive watershed. Inter-basin transfers, such as the Tugela-Vaal and the Orange-Senqu/ Johannesburg transfer scheme all rely on the clean water that is ‘manufactured’ in the Drakensberg and Maluti mountain range on the border between Lesotho and South Africa.

Image 1: Mpophomeni Enviro-Champions visit the Drakensberg mountain range. The goal of this study-visit was to learn about South Africa’s largest water factory. The EnviroChamps are a project of DUCT and WESSA that is supported by WWF, the Green Trust and the Umgungundlovu District Municipality.





Water governance in South Africa

South Africa is a water-stressed country, and such is the magnitude of water risks that the government has appointed a dedicated Ministry and Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) to address water and sanitation issues. It is also apparent that government cannot manage water quality and quantity issues alone. Partnerships with civil society organisations, therefore, form a key part of South Africa’s water management strategy. Massive water awareness campaigns such as 20/20 vision and Baswa le Meetse have also been conducted to create much needed understanding of how scarce and vulnerable our water supply really is. These campaigns include massive street processions where cities like Boksburg close the streets so that thousands of people can demonstrate their commitment to a cleaner, water-wise future. Such campaigns have done a great deal to raise awareness, but on their own cannot enable the much needed change practices that will bring about greater care of our water resources.

part in solving our water issues. To enable South African Society, as a whole, to manage water resources more wisely, well-informed management is crucial. To achieve this, more creative and engaging human capacity development programmes are vital. For substantial change in the way in which people use, and learn not to abuse water supplies, we need a framework, or scaffolding, that provides a coherent pathway from current, unsustainable practices to more sustainable and wise ways of managing and using our water resources. In essence, these are the goals that the WESSA human capacity development programmes for wise water management are seeking to achieve.

Image 3: The Deputy Minister and Jim Taylor lead the Water Awareness procession through Boksburg in July 2014.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) – working with WESSA to secure sustainable water practices

Image 2: Geographical distribution of targeted 50 Water Action Projects across South Africa It is thus becoming clear that awareness raising campaigns can only play a small



Through a creative partnership DWS is currently supporting WESSA to manage a country-wide project that involves schools and school communities across South Africa. This partnership, the DWS/WESSA Eco-Schools Water Project, is demonstrating how civil society partnerships can support DWS to achieve its mission and vision. In just


over four months of concerted activity, 50 water-wise projects have been established in schools and communities across South Africa (See Geographical Distribution Map below). Such projects are going beyond awareness-raising and many schools are already reporting how they are saving thousands of litres of water every month.


capacity building programme, points out how WESSA is supporting the uMsunduzi local municipality and the Umgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM) to meet their Integrated Development Plan (IDP) obligations and commitments: “Working closely with senior staff of uMsunduzi, such as Thami Vilakazi (Msunduzi Education and Training Development Practitioner), Nosipho Moyo (UMDM Control Environmental Officer) and Mandisa Khomo (UMDM Chief Planner) we are able to provide relevant, work-place-based training programmes that support people to understand and meet their water conservation targets.”

Image 4: Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete meets with the Fundisa for Change teachers and Eco-Schools Coordinators from all over South Africa at the Modderfontein miniSASS site in July 2014.

WESSA: Supporting adult based accredited training in specifically targeted priority areas

Supporting schools to undertake meaningful water projects is just one level of society engagement. Adult-based training and service delivery expertise is also imperative in achieving a nation that is able to manage its water resources well. In this regard WESSA, an accredited training service provider, is empowering local municipalities and even district municipalities in integrated water resource management. Of particular significance here is the range of courses on environmental practices which support municipalities, who are the legal guardians of our water resources, to fulfil their mandated obligations. Lemson Betha, the manager of the Umngeni catchment-based

Image 5: Municipal Managers on an Environmental Practices Training Course – this training course was supported by USAID. To change behaviour one needs to start with the very behavioural practices people are engaging in. Training courses do this by commencing with the practices that are problematic at a municipal level and work from there to reduce the impacts. One reason that awareness-raising has such limited potential is that it is essentially a ‘centre-to-periphery’ or ‘top-down’ process, from those who know to those they are seeking to inform. Such one-way transfers of information cannot provide adequate, active engagement in the water-use issues or water-use practices. It is here that WESSA’s environment practices courses really do





make a difference. Early on in the course participants document their water resource use challenges and, working with welltrained tutors, develop practical methods to change the way water is managed. Course participants then implement change projects at their workplaces. These change projects provide support for changing practices in the use and management of water. The change project then becomes the measure of how water is conserved and used more wisely. The change projects are also part of the methodology through which the course outcomes are evaluated. A ‘Portfolio of Evidence’ (POE) is developed and submitted to WESSA and the National Qualifications framework (NQF) to secure the qualification for the successful local government officials. In just six months, from January to June 2014, more than 800 local government officials, including supervisors, managers and workers, have successfully completed environment practices training through WESSA’s own accredited training department, SustainEd.

Image 6: Ncami Mpangase with Environment Practices Poster.



Going beyond awareness with citizen science practices “Today we all became important scientists, working with WESSA to explore our streams through the Stream Assessment Scoring System” (Pam Tshwete, Deputy Minister, DWAS, 1 July 2014) One of the most effective ways of going beyond awareness-raising is to use citizen science to mobilise people to find out about water issues and to take action to solve them. Pierre Spierer, Vice- Rector for Research of the University of Geneva, describes citizen science as ‘... a grass-roots movement which challenges the assumption that only professionals can do science. Given the right tools and incentives, and some online training, millions of enthusiastic volunteers can make a real difference, contributing to significant scientific discoveries’. On 1 July, 50 school teachers and over 100 pupils joined Pam Tshwete, her senior staff and other WESSA members to explore and document the water quality of the Modderfontein stream which flows through Johannesburg close to OR Tambo International Airport. Using a simple identification sheet, developed by GroundTruth and WESSA, participants were able to identify the insects that live in the stream. These insects have a story to tell and, because some of them are sensitive to pollution, the miniSASS research methodology helps participants to work out a river health index for the stream. Because the Modderfontein stream is part of the main drainage system of the eKurhuleni industrial area, the river health index only scored 4.25 which means the stream quality is very poor (this indicates that the natural stream has been transformed by human activities). Once the test had been


completed the results were loaded onto the miniSASS Google Earth platform at The score is represented on Google Earth as a ‘purple crab’ which now appears on the map and the Deputy Minister named the site the ‘Tshwete science’ biomonitoring site! This now means that anyone can see the stream quality, and eKurhuleni, who are responsible for water resources in this municipality, have made a commitment to improve the water quality. This is not an easy task in an industrial area such as this.

Image 7: Anisa Khan (WESSA), Vukani Mtya and Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete (both DWS), Vannessa Westcott (British High Commission) and Lydia Peters (DWS) view the macroinvertebrates found in the stream during the water quality test in July 2014. The miniSASS project won the Water Research Commission’s (WRC) community empowerment award for 2013! In a further development the British High Commission have invested in a project to build a network of skilled miniSASS trainers across South Africa and into the SADC region.

The WESSA Water Programme: Vision and Overview

The vision of the WESSA Water Programme is to work together in using South Africa’s


water resources wisely, thus securing safe, adequate and fair water supply to realise our current and future aspirations towards a common good and healthy life support systems. The Water Programme aims to improve the quality, availability and distribution of water resources in order to enhance the goods and services that they provide. With a focus on water issues in catchment areas, river and estuarine systems, human settlements and SADC transboundary areas, WESSA works with government departments, local and traditional authorities, urban and rural communities and representatives of SADC countries to strengthen water governance and management; improve stewardship; and make social, ecological and economic contributions.

Image 8: Enviro-Picture Building - building understanding together

Human Capacity Development in the Umngeni Catchment – An urgent national priority

The Umngeni River currently provides fresh water for over 5 million people who live and work in the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Although this area is South Africa’s second most important economic region, its water resources are being overexploited and polluted at an alarming rate.




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Although awareness about the predicament is high, little is being done to overturn the unsustainable utilisation or to prevent the pollution, which includes solid waste, nutrient loading and total coli-form, from entering the river. Since many organisations and institutions are responsible for water management in the Umngeni Catchment, WESSA, with the support of WWF, undertook a research process to establish just who the priority groups were that should undergo capacity building.


power-mapping process, clarified who the main influencing organisations in the catchment really are. The research then established which organisations had high influence, but low understanding of sustainable water-use practices, so that these groups could participate in a coherent and well organised learning programme. This research work has now been taken further and has been used to plan a capacity building programme within the Umngeni Catchment through which Councillors, Planners, Local and District Municipal staff and other members of the public are involved. All participants in this training process are learning about, and beginning to undertake, wise water management practices. Our hope is that these efforts will not be too little, too late.


Image 9: Citizen Science: Mpophomeni Street theatre actors Fresh Ngubo and Hlonipho Zuma and the clarity tube. The clarity tube is a good example of a citizen science tool that helps measure the amount of particulate matter (turbidity) in the water. This study, which included stakeholder consultation through a socio-ecological

Many people and organisations are contributing to human capacity development to ensure that the quality, quantity and equitable access to water becomes a reality in South Africa. In particular WESSA would like to acknowledge support from the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Water Research Commission, GroundTruth, WWF (Maas Maasen), The British High Commission, SANBI and USAID. This article has been reprinted with kind permission from Environment magazine.










BIBO - Visi 2013 23/8/13 15:19 Page 1 C








Brett Wallington




ater has been described as a fundamental resource for the sustainability of natural resources, scenery, ecosystems and the people in protected areas (Kirkpatrick & Kiernan, 2006). Water is, however, also an essential input in consumption and production and is often overlooked and taken for granted (Sterner, 2003). Ecotourism is described by Honey (2008) as “visits to areas under some form of environmental protection by government, conservation organisations or private owners”. Ecotourism operators such a Wilderness Safaris depend on such fundamental resources in order to provide the experience to the discerning travellers who visit their safari camps as guests. Operators need to understand natural drainage systems, comprising ground water, wetlands and rivers, and to base their strategies on the entire catchment rather than on individual parts of the system (Kirkpatrick & Kiernan, 2006). Tourism, while not utilising the quantities of water that other extractive industries extract or consume, still needs to manage the critical issues of discharge, flow regimes and water quality (Kirkpatrick & Kiernan, 2006). Through the promotion of strict water demand management at lodges and hotels, the tourism industry can set an example for both private home owners and particularly industry leaders who travel extensively. From a broader view of sustainability or sustainable tourism, for many years Wilderness Safaris has been a leader in ecotourism. In recent years Eco-awards have become more rigorous and reputable, such as Condé Nast Traveler’s “World Saver Awards” (Honey, 2008) which Wilderness Safaris has won in the past as well as many other awards. Wilderness Safaris’ sustainability practices are focused on three core areas, namely Energy, Water and Waste management. Ways to use energy and water



more efficiently and to manage waste more effectively are continuously reassessed, including searching for alternatives that make environmental and economic sense. This paper focuses on water and what Wilderness Safaris has achieved and would still like to achieve in the future.

The history of Wilderness Safaris

Thirty years ago the founders of Wilderness Safaris fell in love with the remote and wild places of Africa. They realised that many of these places were not getting the attention they deserved. Some had too many visitors, while others had hardly any. Some areas were being hunted excessively. The initial Wilderness Safaris dream was to conserve these places by enabling people to visit them and at the same time for their staff and business to earn returns from the process. This was not a grand or complex idea but it was an important one. Wilderness started off by offering “journeys and experiences to discerning globally caring travellers”; however, today Wilderness Safaris is in the business of “building sustainable conservation economies” through the employment of a responsible tourism model. Wilderness Safaris began operating in Botswana and then spread out into the rest of southern Africa (Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia) and the Seychelles. Over time, the business has evolved into a specialist luxury safari operation with 61 different safari camps and lodges, comprising a total of 1 016 beds, in eight SADC countries and hosting in excess of 30 000 guests per annum. Overview of the business Wilderness Safaris is the original operating brand under the holding company Wilderness Holdings, which is a Botswanabased company, listed on the Botswana


Stock Exchange with a secondary inward listing on the JSE Limited. The Holding Company acts as the investment holding vehicle for the business. The business is currently supported by international and local markets, and has a value proposition of “selling original experiences in pure wilderness”. Wilderness sell these experiences to the consumers, their guests, largely through the travel trade, their clients. The channels through which these sales are made are complex and multifaceted. The product sold to guests, through the travel trade, is vertically integrated and comprises packages incorporating some or all of the following elements: • Safari camps, lodges and mobile explorations form the basis of the business; • Guests and camp/lodge supplies are transported to and between the camps using air and ground transfers; and • These integrated itineraries are developed and booked through a tour operating and reservations business which sometimes incorporates third party products into the packages (for a margin). The tourism business comprises two main brands. Wilderness Safaris is the original trading brand of the Group and offers safaris based out of both fixed and mobile camps (the latter under Wilderness Explorations) in three tiers of camps: Premier, Classic and Adventures. These are supported by the travel trade and principally by travel agents specialising in the booking and arranging of African travel. These lodge and camp operations are supported by Wilderness Air, their flying business. The other trading brand is the Wilderness Collection. This is a stable of unique sustainable tourism operations in locations at a distance from the original areas of operation. These businesses are


managed and marketed but there is no capital investment.

Background of water demand management at Wilderness Safaris

In a Wilderness Safaris camp, water conservation is managed in three key areas: 1. On-site local water consumption: On-site water consumption varies depending on the level of accommodation, brand and also on the environmental conditions in the vicinity of the camp. Camps in water stressed areas such as Hwange National Park may consume as little as 65L per bednight while water rich areas such as camps in the Okavango Delta may use 132L or more per bednight (see figure one below). The use of water for guest and staff showers and toilets is the most obvious, however the laundry is the largest water use in a camp, and accounts for a high proportion of the grey water that is discharged as waste. In the safari industry, the cleaning of game drive vehicles is also a significant water consumer. Other general maintenance will consume water at differing levels. 2. Bottled water consumption: The consumption of bottled water by guests is not a direct consumption of water resources at the site of the lodge but the overall environmental impact is very significant on account of the footprints associated with transport and the consumption of water at the source, offsite of the camp/lodge. There are also significant waste reduction benefits associated with reduced bottled water consumption. 3. Waste water management: Waste water management is particularly important due to the fact that



Retail – Sales of all industrial and agricultural products; mining; and other supplies. Civil – Installation of all types of borehole pumps, electrical works and pump houses. Trenching and installation of pipelines and water reticulation. Water resourcing, testing of borehole yields, drilling for water. Pump layout design.

9 incorrect management of waste water in the safari industry can lead to the contamination of local fresh water supplies and the environment. For this reason careful planning and implementation of a sufficient sewerage treatment system is required.

Measurement is key

Measurement of all environmental aspects is vital for creating a more conscious operational mind-set. Without knowing how much water is actually being consumed, a lodge cannot understand their impact nor set goals. Measuring water consumption alone is not enough and needs to be part of a collective set of measurements that are key to sustainable lodge operations. This includes measuring fuel use, wood use, bottled water consumption and to an extent, waste production and the levels of recycling. Once management of a lodge has measurements of water usage, these can be used to motivate staff to reduce water use and manage water more carefully. Wilderness Safaris has had varied success in this regard but for the most part, due to improved water use measurement, their camps are improving water use efficiency, even in the water rich areas such as the Okavango Delta. The difficulty of measuring water in some areas is the severe lime-scale build-up from high levels of calcium in the water which blocks and ultimately renders the water meters useless. At camps in such areas, particularly vigilant monitoring of water consumption and potential leaks from the water reticulation system is necessary. Case study: Why does measurement need to be an integrated approach? In 2012, a good example of the interconnectedness of measurement was provided at Wilderness Safaris Xigera camp where there is no access to public sewerage lines. In order to minimise fuel usage the Xigera camp had been converted to 100%


solar power and therefore measurement of fuel use became even more intense to ensure that the expected overall fuel savings were in accordance with the CO2 emission reduction models. A number of months after installation of the very sophisticated fuel monitoring systems it was discovered that fuel use was strangely increasing. This was investigated and it was discovered that the pump, which delivers water from the source in the Okavango Delta to the storage tanks, had a leak in the pipe that had not been detected. Due to the more intensive and regular pumping, the battery bank of the solar plant was being depleted faster and hence the generator had to turn on more regularly to recharge the batteries as a backup to the solar array that was under pressure. After fixing the leak, the fuel savings returned to what was expected from the model and our water consumption also decreased to normal levels. This shows the importance of measuring all such environmental aspects that form part of crucial operational systems and that monitoring of one environmental system can assist in solving a problem in another. An integrated approach to environmental management and data capturing is key to any water resource management and should not be measured or seen in isolation. Proper environmental measurement systems should be the first solution put in place to best understand a lodge’s water demand and the benefits of water demand management and conservation.

What are we doing and what can be done

Camp water reticulation The key to making a positive impact and improving water demand management is to prioritise effort to where this is needed most. Wilderness Safaris do not believe that there is value in investing in water efficient systems in the Okavango Delta where water is abundant, but concentrates on water THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK



conservation and demand in water stressed areas, such as their camps in Namibia and in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe where improvements can provide the greatest benefits. Once the critical areas are well managed attention is directed to camps further down the priority list. In the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) for instance, which for all intents and purposes is a desert, Wilderness Safaris have storage for 150 000 litres of rain water. Each guest tent is fitted with a 10 000L holding tank, which together with underground storage tanks, can fill the 150 000L maximum capacity after 55mm of rain off the 990m2 roofing of the camp. While this does not provide us with enough water year round, the rain water harvesting does alleviate the pressure on underground water supplies. The remaining fresh water requirements of the camp are supplied from the saline aquifer that is run through a desalinating Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant. Across most Wilderness Safaris camps, water is reticulated using a gravity fed system from tanks positioned at least 10m above


the ground. As the water pressure is low, water saving shower heads do not work and therefore standard shower heads are used. Where pressure pumps or higher pressures are available, water saving shower heads are used and have proven to be very effective, using less than 10L per minute. The other benefit of water saving saving shower heads is that they do not deplete the geysers’ hot water as much as standard shower heads and therefore save on energy usage. In Namibia, guests are asked to place buckets under the shower while waiting for the hot water. This water, which would usually go down the drain, is later used by housekeepers to clean the tents or rooms. In most cases dual flush toilets are also used. In water stressed areas such as the camps in Namibia or Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Wilderness Safaris try to use water more efficiently than at camps in the water abundant Okavango Delta, for instance. Figure 1 is a graph showing the difference in water usage between water abundant areas (Botswana’s Okavango

Figure 1: Total water consumption and water consumption per bednight in two regions, comparing the differences in water use efficiency.




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Delta) and water stressed areas (Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park). Bottled water Across Wilderness Safaris’ range of camps the reduction of bottled water has been one of the best success stories. In 2009, a Group wide effort was put in place to reduce the consumption of bottled water through the installation of a reverse osmosis plant at each camp so as to produce purified drinking water for guests and reduce the need for purchasing and transporting enormous amounts of bottled water into some of the most remote areas of southern Africa. By 2012 these reverse osmosis bottling plants were in place at most camps and reduced Wilderness Safaris’ overall bottled water consumption by 51%. This has also significantly reduced waste production, having saved over 406 700 half litre plastic bottles since inception. Previously guests on a game drives often opened 500ml water bottles and discard these before the water is finished. With the reusable water bottles that are provided to guests on arrival, they


only drink to their thirst or fill their bottles to what they require and waste less water as a result. This also makes an impact on raising the awareness of water conservation and raises once again the consciousness of using water efficiently and as a result also highlights better waste management. Below are two graphs that indicate the significant reduction in bottled water consumption across seven of the countries in which Wilderness Safaris operates. Figure 2 shows the overall bottled water consumption across the seven countries while Figure 3 shows the reduction in bottled water per bednight, which illustrates water efficiency more effectively. Waste water management An important aspect of water demand management, especially when operating in the pristine wilderness areas that Wilderness Safaris operate in, is the management of waste water from the on-site sewerage treatment plants. The key aspect to consider is the potential for ground water or river water contamination from the camps

Figure 2: Bottled water consumption (l) in seven countries in which Wilderness Safaris operates, including the percentage reduction from 2012 to 2014. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK




waste water. Wilderness Safaris take this into serious consideration when designing the camps’ waste water management systems, as contaminating ground or surface water would go against the very fabric of Wilderness Safaris. As mentioned previously, Wilderness Safaris have a number of camps in areas where water is abundant, such as the Okavango Delta and along rivers such as the Linyanti and Zambezi Rivers. It is in these areas Wilderness Safaris have invested in sophisticated above ground sewerage treatment plants (STPs) in order to reduce any potential for fresh water contamination. As a result 40% of camps have installed STPs. STPs treat the water through a bacterial based system utilising both aerobic and anaerobic breakdown of the dissolved solids in the waste water. A final settling tank allows the cleaner water to separate from any remaining solids and is then sterilised using one of three processes (ozone, UV light or chlorine) before being safely disposed of into the environment.

Case study: Toka Leya, a water system that comes full circle Wilderness Safaris’ Toka Leya camp is situated on the Zambian bank of the Zambezi, 11km upstream from the Victoria Falls. This used to be the site of a village prior to the establishment of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Wilderness Safaris was the successful bidder for this site, which was put out to tender for the establishment of a light footprint tourism development. In 2008 construction commenced on what was a degraded environment as a result of human settlement, the only indigenous tree on most of the site being a baobab. As part of the conditions of winning the bid, Wilderness Safaris embarked on the restoration and rehabilitation of the site, an effort that continues today and beyond the Toka Leya camp site. In conjunction with the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), a Greenhouse and nursery project was set up at Toka Leya in 2008. Seeds and pods were collected from the National Park,

Figure 3: The bottled water consumption per bednight (l) in seven countries in which Wilderness Safaris operates, including the percentage reduction from 2012 to 2014.




and overseen by two key staff members, where they were coaxed into saplings in the nursery and planted on site as part of the rehabilitation process. In 2012 alone, 740 trees were planted at Toka Leya and surrounding areas inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. By the end of February 2012 there were a further 873 trees in the nursery that were ready for planting, 275 saplings in the greenhouse ready to go into the nursery, and a further 453 seedlings that had already germinated and were due to be moved into the greenhouse. The management of organic waste was also designed around this initiative. For the processing of waste water (both black and grey water), a stateof-the-art above-ground sewage treatment plant (STP) was installed. This system treats the waste water both aerobically and anaerobically, producing naturally treated waste water fit for discharge into the environment. The output of the water is used to irrigate the seedlings and saplings of the rehabilitation project, making effective use of this waste water.


Water demand management is not about reinventing the wheel and waiting for new technologies to save the day, but about improving the awareness of water use and also the quality of waste water for disposal to the environment. People in their private capacities and businesses need to understand their water use before they can start doing anything. Far too often, businesses partake in “green washing” so

• • •


that they can claim they are making an effort, but have no idea whether these are working or not, instead of first gathering a quantitative understanding of their water use and disposal. Sadly these one or two measures are put in place to hopefully sort out the problem, instead of putting in the time and effort to properly understand a lodge’s or other business’s water challenges. Water measurement is a vital step in heading towards a “conscious” water conservation approach, as opposed to ignorant water demand management where systems are installed and then never looked at again. Only once quantities are known can a lodge understand water usage and waste water disposal and therefore tailor-make their management approach for the local area. Wilderness Safaris has benefited from this approach of quantitative understanding of water demand management, which has led to a more conscious use and disposal of water at their camps. It has also allowed their management to set targets and for regions to compete and set the example for best practice, such as being the camp with best reduction in bottled water, for instance. Alternative technologies or management approaches can then be designed and implemented to make the best impact on efficient water use and safe disposal. In this process the lodge may in fact develop their own improvements that can assist the industry as a whole and hence improve the water demand management approach of the safari tourism industry.


Honey, M. (2008). Ecotourism and Sustainable Development. Washington DC: Island Press. Kirkpatrick, J. & Kiernan, K. (2006). Natural Heritage Management. In: Lockwood, M., Worboys, G.L., & Kothari, A., (Ed.). Managing Protected Areas: A Global Guide. London: Earthscan Ltd. Sterner, T. (2003). Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resource Management. Washington DC: RFF Press; The World Bank; Sida.




The name that really holds water ABECO Tanks is no stranger to the water storage tank industry and a name that has stood its ground for over 30 years. Established in 1983 by then founder and now CEO, Mannie Ramos identified a need for water supply to communities with limited resources and set about to satisfy this need without compromising hygiene, safety or quality. 30 years on and ABECO Tanks continues to deliver on this promise, having successfully installed over 20 00 tanks across 32 countries. They are also the only manufacturer of pressed steel tanks that is SABS approved and ISO registered. “We do not rest on our laurels and staying ahead of the pack has certainly not been easy” says Mannie.

Embracing modern technology, ongoing product evaluation and continued research and development has ensured that we have remained the leading innovators in our field.

ABECO Tanks has recently modernised its factory and invested in the latest equipment

Contact: For any enquiries or quotes 011 616 7999

allowing them to adapt to the demand in the industry. ”We also only source our steel locally and buy direct from the mills. The quality of our steel is still one of the best in the world” added Mannie. ABECO offers a full design manufacture and installation services for ground level, elevated and circular galvanised water tanks and have a division that focuses purely on special custom tanks. They have also paid particular attention to the design of all its types of tanks to ensure they are easy to install and transport especially to remote locations where resources are limited. All components are also lightweight and easy to handle.

New Product offering In keeping with its commitment to deliver uncompromised storage solutions, ABECO has been awarded the exclusive rights to represent Tank Connections and provide precision RTP (Rolled, tapered panel) tanks to the African market. For further information on these tanks please contact 011 616 7999

The name that really holds water


Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor




rofessor Kader Asmal commissioned a report in 1994 called the Western Cape Systems Analysis. This commission reported two lines which read: • Ways should be found to augment supply, and • Ways must be found to use less water. Twenty years later there is no more water to be found in South Africa that can possibly be called sustainable. Of all the river water flowing to the sea, 98% is dammed and extracted by humans for humans. Groundwater has been polluted in great swathes of areas in Gauteng and the Free State with nitrates and Acid Mine Drainage. This is the end of the chapter regarding inexpensive water in South Africa today. There are yet a few schemes to augment water supply, but all are costly and none are sustainable. For the Western Cape these include drawing from a finite source called the TM Aquifer, as well as desalinating sea water and treated sewerage effluent. For the Gauteng region there are two sources viz. from desalinated Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and pumping from the Tugela in KZN. All of the above are not sustainable for many reasons, but mainly because of the massive cost of energy required to desalinate water, and the huge pumping cost to lift the Tugela water from the KZN to the Gauteng area. Furthermore, the problem of how to deal with acid mine drainage is, as yet, unresolved. Announced in the press on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 was a headline relating to the removal of the free portion of water supplied to dwellings. The reason given for this is because Municipalities are suffering losses for municipal water supplied. This of course is as illogical as it is preposterous, as municipalities until now have had a monopoly of both the supply of water as



well as the tariffs for the supply. “Until now” is of importance because the technology is available to provide a safe supply from rainwater harvested from roofs, and is indeed delivered to households for all purposes. To rainwater harvesting other means to reduce demand may be added, a means to which all South Africans have to use little or no water whatsoever from any municipal source for the entire rainy season. Municipal water may be used but only when rains have gone away and all tanked water has been consumed, and during possible electricity outages which deprive a consumer of the ability to pump stored water.

Provision of one’s own supply

Before commencing with the “ways” to use less water, rainwater and how rainwater harvesting may be used in the whole household should be considered. Though rainwater harvesting may not necessarily mean that a householder uses less water, it does mean that demand from a municipal source is diminished. The consciousness of the stored precious resource makes a huge impact and often those harvesting and using rainwater are encouraged into investing in the other ways to use less water. These ways include re-using grey water, minimising toilet flushing water etc. Emphasis is placed on domestic harvesting for three reasons viz this is the sector with the largest number of square metres of roof area as compared with commercial and industry, secondly the use (consumption) of water pro rata is far higher and lastly the tariffs for this sector are the highest and most punitive to the abuser. The carrot and stick approach of the block tariffs are a huge incentive to use less water and indeed invest in water saving devices. Once we are able to establish how much rain falls on a roof parameters such

Once we have the rainfall parameters and enter the details 1–5, we can be very specific about the size of tank we need. Two things to avoid are the possibility of the regular waste of water to overflow, which means that there is not enough storage, and secondly there is too much storage capacity and the tanks never fill, meaning an over capitalisation for tank capacity. To avoid blockages in pipes from a gutter to a rainwater tank, rainwater must be sieved at source. The sieved water is diverted and fed through underground pipes to fill rainwater tanks. These should be placed unobtrusively. Providing that the gutter is higher than the head of the water tank, the water flows by gravity. In the case of a choice to use rainwater for all purposes including drinking, rainwater is pressurised by pumping to the household through a filter to remove particulate matter larger than five microns and then sterilised. Finally an override is provided for a water supply in the event of a power outage. It is

Parameter Unit Rainfall mean mm Rain Monthly Max mm Max in 24 Hr mm Max in 1 hr Raindays > 0.0mm days Raindays >1.0mm days Raindays > 10mm days

as the above are used as a start to determine how much water is able to be gleaned, and more importantly how much storage should be created. Next the following needs to be established: • How many people are there in the home to consume water? • How many square metres of roof area are there to harvest rain? • What sort of roof covering is used? Interesting to note the efficiency of the differing types of roof. Such that with a metal roof, for every 11mm of rain and every 100 square metres of roof area, 1 000 litres of water may be harvested. A cement tiled roof requires 16mm of rain to achieve the same volume of harvested water over the same area. • Is the home permanently occupied or is it a holiday home? • Have the householders installed the other systems as described below to use less of the precious water resource?


January February March April May June July August SeptemberOctober NovemberDecemberYear 11.6 18 22.1 55.5 76.7 98.3 96.9 73.7 41.7 32.7 13.7 13.9 554.8 58.9 53.2 72.5 179.1 173 229.4 168.6 214.8 91 106.9 64.3 70.5 229.4 41 41.6 93.7 65 58.1 61.2 55.5 35.7 53.2 29.5 20.5 93.7 8.6 18.8 14.6 39.1 27.9 22.1 24.9 20.1 28.8 20.3 14.9 13.5 39.1 6.8 6.4 6.7 9.4 13.7 14.4 15 12.5 11.1 7.9 7.6 125 3 2.5 3 5.2 8.3 9.2 8.4 9.2 6.8 5 2.9 3.3 66.8 0.2 0.4 0.5 1.2 2.7 3.3 2.4 2.7 0.9 1 0.4 0.3 16


Table 1: The rainfall parameters for Cape Town




also essential that the water is not sent in the wrong direction, for example pumping water to the mains should there be a water outage. Rainwater harvesting is a demand management strategy tool made necessary largely because of a growing number of water outages, falling pressure in municipal pipelines and future threats of outages by municipalities as a means to stem demand. Municipalities historically have used some sort of restriction such as a ban on irrigation, as well as high water tariffs, to reduce demand. In future, as water supply becomes more and more scarce, they will need to apply far more stringent restrictive policies not if, but when water will become stressed. Water restrictions and higher tariffs have been effective in reducing demand but high tariffs are politically unpopular. Water restrictions i.e. irrigation bans will not provide the sort of demand reduction predictable in the future. Municipalities during times of rain abundance do not encourage the “use less water” aspect to demand management, and the question has to be asked—why not? And why should they? To achieve lower water demand without a rise in tariffs means that they reduce the income they get from the sale of water. Less water sold also means less sewerage for which they are able to charge as the sewerage is measured on the volume of water sold to the consumer. It does not matter to the consumer of water whether the price paid for sewerage treatment means that the municipality has in fact done the job of sewerage treatment. All effluent, after all, returns to a river downstream from their municipality’s intake so has no effect on the quality of their own drinking water. It is important to note that there were only two cities ever in Southern Africa that had a recycling plant to reuse sewerage effluent for domestic


consumption, and those were the City of Johannesburg and Windhoek in the then South West Africa. Johannesburg no longer has this facility, but the plant in Windhoek still exists and has in fact been upgraded since it was built in 1969. Johannesburg allows all of their effluent to gravitate into rivers. A plant like the one in Windhoek will return only 35% of treated sewerage effluent water to be recycled via the recycling plant, and the balance of 65% has to be virgin water from a natural source like a river. They therefore waste 35% of the effluent into a river. Professor Kader Asmal made it conditional that he would not sign off the approval for the building of Skuifraam dam until a “demand management policy” had been implemented by the city of Cape Town. The response from Cape Town City Council to his condition resulted in the fact that he never did sign off the dam. The dam eventually got built and completed in late 2005, but it was not him that signed off the dam, it was a later Minister Ronnie Kasrils that finally approved the building work. Since 1998 the attitude of the City of Cape Town has been an aggressive one towards the principle of demand management of water. The demand management officer of the city is muzzled, and not allowed by contract to speak to the press unless specifically and only about council policy. The relevance of this is that water is owned and politicized at both municipal and government levels.

Demand reduction

Here we discuss how to use less water by implementing systems for a consumer to use less water without a change in lifestyle. We therefore need to look at the viability and practicality of domestic demand management and we make a start where water goes in a city like Cape Town:





Graph 1: Courtesy of the City Council of Cape Town Specifically one will notice that non-revenue (NRW or unaccounted for water) has been excluded. It must be noted that the figure of the amount of non-revenue water is very difficult to attain, but reliably in Cape Town is 23%, and spokespeople for Rand Water apply NRW as 30%. To be noted that they did not deny a claim by me this year at a conference of a loss of non-revenue water of 40%. In other words, the city of Johannesburg is not sure what the nonrevenue losses actually amount to. We next need to look at where water goes in the home, and the following too is courtesy of Cape Town city. From the last 20 years of working with the “ways to use less water” the ideas and developments that have been implemented to save water actual figures of savings have been recorded. These are detailed with the following five systems to use less water:

Graph 2: Where water goes in the home.



Water Rhapsody Multi Flush: these were installed at many more schools than recorded here but achieved the following annual savings of total municipal water demand over the previous year’s demand (i.e. before the Water Rhapsody Multi Flush was installed): St Georges Grammar School (92%); UCT-Upper, Middle, Lower and Medical School Campuses (90%); Pinelands Primary School (93%). These campuses use municipal water mainly for toilet flushing and for hand basins in the bathrooms. A few showers do exist but are seldom used. It is fair to say that the Water Rhapsody MultiFlush achieved an overall reduction of water consumed in these places in excess of 90%. It is also safe to say that the effluent to the sewers was reduced by 90%.

Systems to re-use grey water

Garden Rhapsody Grey water is defined as water from baths, showers, hand basins, and laundry. As can be seen in the pie above of “Where water goes in the home” all demand for irrigation purposes may be provided by the volume of water normally thrown away in the form of grey water. There should be no confusion that grey water flows in the same pipeline to the sewerage treatment works as water from toilets, kitchen sinks and bidets which is called black water. Once grey and black water are mixed, there is no way of separating it again and the combined water needs to be treated by a municipal sewerage treatment works as black water which is a waste of energy and resources. We can surmise that, so far, by minimising toilet flushing and eliminating the need for potable water required for irrigation by replacing this with grey water, we would halve the demand for water. Water savings so far amount to 50% against using


conventional flushing and irrigating with municipal water. Water Rhapsody Second Movement This is a system to re-use grey water for toilet flushing. This involves the collection of grey water, and temporarily stored and pumped directly into a pan without any need for a toilet cistern. The pump is activated by pressing on a 12 volt bell push which via a relay, activates a submersible pump that delivers grey water directly into the pan. The system will stop flushing when the bell push is released, giving the user the ability to use the least possible (grey) water to flush. Water Rhapsody Poolside Tank Swimming pool backwash water should be policed. It is not. It is rather like insisting on sending treated effluent to a point higher in a river than the takeoff point to avoid policing. By far and away the most people that have pools, illegally send this water to a street where it flows into a river. Water Rhapsody has adequately provided the equipment to thousands of users to re-use swimming pool backwash water by returning this water safely to the pool from whence this water came. The process involves normal backwashing a sand filter, and the addition


of a little flocculent. The process of 24 hours to sediment and precipitate any suspended solids, after which the water may safely be delivered, back to the pool. This process saves around 2 000 litres per month. Water Rhapsody Poseidon Advantage This is a system to recycle grey water from car wash or laundry facility.

Sewerage pipeline blockages

Almost every municipality tries to avoid water saving devices to get people to use less water. One of the major excuses over the past 20 years has been a problem as stated “any less water in the sewers will result in there being more blockages in pipelines”. When Water Rhapsody first installed the first Garden Rhapsody in Cape Town in 1994, an application was made and permission granted to do just that. There was hidden action as the city asked a consulting engineer for research relating to blockages in sewers after the removal of grey water. To provide this comprehensive research, the consulting engineers wrote to the engineers in Durban Municipality whether during the drought of 1998 they had experienced any more blockages than

•The Red line indicates the price you will be paying for sanitation (sewage). This is automatically calculated at 70% of your fresh water consumption. •The Blue line shows the price of water in kilolitres (Kl). This you can read off your water meter. •The Green line indicates the cost that you are actually paying for every litre of water that comes into your home. This is the sum of both your fresh water and your sewage charge. You literally pay twice for the water you use – once as it enters your

Graph 3: Water tariff.

property and again when it leaves.



t Giving life to water Providing integrated solutions to the water industry, including wastewater and water treatment plants Supporting industry with pumps, blowers, pneumatic automation, process solutions and water testing.


Instrumentation and process solutions

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normal. It must be noted that Durban had restricted water to 400 litres per household per day, necessitating water consumers to use their used bath water for toilet flushing. A big thanks to Cape Town and Durban municipalities for paving the ultimate way to the re-use of grey water. Municipal tariffs Domestic Tariff (single residential) Tariffs differ all around South Africa for both the supply of water and sewerage disposal. Sewerage disposal is mostly based on the volume of water used. For Cape Town, tariffs refer to Table 2. No meter exists to read the volume of sewerage effluent. The reading for the amount of sewerage discharged from any property is based on the volume of water running through the water meter. The municipality calculates erroneously for domestic users that the volume of water discharged to the sewerage system is 90% of the water used through the water meter. This is a blunt calculation. If grey water is re-used, this volume registers on the water meter but does not enter the sewers. By re-using grey water, a saving of 33% for water is achieved, but a sewerage reduction far higher (over 60%). Unfortunately no recognition of this is considered by any municipality in South Africa.

Cost of sewerage treatment

An algal bloom of Cyanobacteria killed all animals living in a vlei between Kommetjie and Noordhoek In 1998. Bryan Davies and Anja Gassner were commissioned by the Western Cape Government to write a report which found that the problems of the bloom related to the phosphates from the sewerage treatment works flowing into the lake causing eutrophication. The report was titled ‘The ecological status of the wetlands of the Noordhoek valley.’ Included below is an


Water Tariff From



Incl. VAT

> 0.0


R 0.00

R 0.00

> 6.0


R 7.60

R 8.66

> 10.5


R 11.61

R 13.24

> 20.0


R 17.20

R 19.61

> 35.0


R 21.24

R 24.22

R 28.02

R 31.95

> 50.0

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



Incl VAT

> 0.0


R 0.00

R 0.00

> 4.20


R 7.20

R 8.21

> 7.35


R 13.56

R 15.46

> 14.00


R 14.82

R 16.90

> 24.50


R 15.56

R 17.74

Table 2: Municipal tariff



THE CHEMICAL AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES’ ASSOCIATION The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA), which was established in 1994 and is affiliated to the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), seeks to fulfil its primary mission of;

• • •

promoting the sound management of chemicals throughout their lifecycles, promoting the sustainable development of the chemical industry through investment, and promoting education and training to enhance the development of skills in the sector.

CAIA’s mission cannot be achieved without the involvement of its member companies. Members sign a commitment to strive for the continual improvement of their safety, health and environmental performance with respect to products and processes – a commitment known around the world as the Responsible Care Pledge. Practiced in 57 countries, with 148 members in South Africa, the Responsible Care initiative is gaining momentum as a proactive approach to managing industry hazards.

Industry is a major user of water. A lot can be done at company and plant level to ensure that water is used more efficiently. Companies that are signatories to the CAIA Responsible Care initiative have water conservation measures in place as part of their commitment to improving the environmental performance of the chemical sector. Over the last four years, water usage per tonne of production has shown a steady decrease. CAIA strives to represent the chemical and allied industries in South Africa by;

• • • • • • •

ensuring a balanced perception of its contribution to the South African economy, investigating and pursuing opportunities for growth and trade, fostering cooperation between companies, including small and developing businesses, publicising CAIA and member activities as widely as possible to create public awareness in terms of how the chemical industry is continually improving and committed to do so, proactively consulting and advising government on the content and potential unintended consequences of proposed legislation through various channels (Business Unity South Africa, the National Economic Development and Labour Council, and Parliamentary representation) where possible and appropriate, promoting and representing the broad interests of the chemical and allied industries when engaging with government and stakeholders, and engaging in relevant national and international forums and activities. Membership 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.

Please contact Glen Malherbe for more information. (011) 482 – 1671


extract from the report. (CMC stands for the Cape Metropolitan Council)

Recommendation: We are convinced that it is an imperative that residents of the Noordhoek Valley—indeed, the entire area under the control of the CMC—be forced, using appropriate By-Laws and incentives, to use grey water (water from baths, showers, hand basins and washing machines) for irrigation purposes. The tools for this purpose are already available and have a proven track record. The strategy will have a dual benefit: 1. The reduction of the phosphate loads reaching the sewerage treatment works by as much as 50%; and, 2. Reduction of water demand throughout the area under the control of the CMC, thereby avoiding the need for further costly water augmentation schemes.

To rectify this disaster, millions of Rands were spent but the cost was incurred without the money coming from any sewerage budget. Of the cost of running a sewerage treatment works, involving the dual digestion of sewerage sludge using air and oxygen, the electrical fee is around one-third of the total cost. And of the electrical cost, 90% of that is the cost of pumping water around the plant. If through the re-use of grey water, the effluent reaching the treatment could be reduced as discussed earlier, proportionate savings could be made. Further savings could be made such as the flocculent to create sediment could be reduced. Water Demand management is therefore a tool to provide capacity for sewerage treatment works. The Green Drop Report points to the fact that a vast number of sewerage treatment works in South Africa are not


coping with the volume of water entering the systems. Benefits of effluent reduction to downstream users simply cannot be overlooked. It is a criminal act to pollute a river, but this act is ignored or overlooked. Environmental savings are incalculable. Not only would there be more virgin water in rivers to flush away any pollutants, but more importantly each and every sewerage treatment works would have spare capacity ensuring that the downstream water users get good clean water, devoid of e-coli and phosphates. All treated sewerage effluent should be sent back to rivers at a point upstream of the intake in a river from where a municipality draws water supply. If this were the case, there would be—for obvious reasons—no need for policing municipality’s sewerage effluent. The cost to the municipality, and hence a ratepayer of treating sewerage alone is far higher than the cost of on-site re-use. The cost of pumping grey water on one’s own site is less than 5% of the total of wasting grey water to the sewer. To this end it must be noted that Rand Water supplies water to municipalities outside of the city and province boundaries. The reason for this is that the City of Johannesburg has poisoned (from mine dumps AMD and untreated sewerage) the water in rivers that previously supplied those municipalities to the degree that it is difficult, too costly or impossible to make that water potable. Rand Water currently supplies water to 188 000 square kilometres. This includes Rustenburg in North West Province and Evander in Mpumalanga to the east. All commercial buildings have a flat combined water and sewerage tariff applied just in excess of R21.00, without the benefit of any free six kilolitres per month.






The water crisis is here. Every city in South Africa is at war over municipal service deliveries. Water is central to this war. Perhaps war is an exaggeration but these municipalities are somewhere between an insurrection (war, rebellion, revolution, mutiny, uprising, conflict, battle) and war, but they are not at peace. If people are dying from drinking so called potable water but polluted with e-coli, water as supplied by municipalities, or dying by police shooting, it matters not, there is a civil war over water. The residents of any municipality care not a jot how the sewerage gets treated, but this same sewerage is the very reason how e-coli got into the water supply in the first place. The war over water has to include the demand for flushing toilets and water borne sanitation. If only one municipality today will listen to the voice of reason and introduce a water demand management policy. One that will permanently reduce water demand and sewerage effluent as I have advocated in this paper, then perhaps we can start to make a difference to the dire circumstances relating to water today. Without which we will have to pay for very expensive water by desalination, or be deprived of water and also we will be poisoned by a sea of raw untreated sewerage that cannot be processed.

Future consequences of not saving water

Lindiwe Sisulu is on record as having promised 1.5 million houses by the year 2019. Nowhere did she mention where the water was supposed to come from or how sewerage was to be treated for the additional houses in South Africa. I estimate that there will be a minimum of four



persons per house and that each person will take up their free allocation of water and use at least six kilolitres per household per month. This totals 9 million kilolitres of water that will need to be found every month and additional sewerage treatment facilities of around 70% of that amount. Add 6.3 million kilolitres of raw sewerage to plants that today do not cope with the sewerage at their gates. 80% of the sewerage treatment works in Gauteng do not cope with the day to day volume of sewerage effluent arriving to be treated at the plants. None of them can cope with all the effluent on an annual basis. The cost of this water will not be paid by any municipality without going bankrupt. The Department of Water Affairs cannot be expected to pay for this as they have their hands full dealing with other problems including treating Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). If 1.5 million people are to take up their allocation of free water, this allocation will need to be paid for by already cash strapped water consumers elsewhere who consume more than 6 kilolitres per month.

Encouraging news

Nomvula Mokonyane (Minister of Water and Sanitation) told delegates at the 2014 Water and Sanitation Summit, in Boksburg, on Friday 1 August 2014, that a water crisis situation in South Africa could be avoided if all parties worked together to achieve effective implementation of water conservation and water demand management measures, while also focusing on large-scale effluent reuse. In terms of water use efficiency, the Director General Mr Balzer noted that a study of 905 South African towns had found that 83% did not have water use efficiency plans in place.


This would be an important challenge for municipalities in future. This attitude needs to be supported and implemented by all municipalities.

Inextricable link between energy and water

Water and energy have for a long time been inextricably linked. Eskom is the biggest single user of water country wide, and vice versa; water will become the biggest user of energy. Water no longer available in rivers will need to be found for a burgeoning population whose future demand for water should double the present in thirty years from now. This water to replicate existing supplies will partly come from desalination of sea water. No doubt that the efficiency of desalination of sea, AMD and sewerage water will fall but possibly only marginally. The cost however of energy will rise to meet that fall. The cost to the consumer of duplicating the existing yield from rivers for municipal purposes all around South Africa, totalling at present more than 18 000 000 000 (eighteen x ten to the power of nine) cubic metres of water, will amount to an annual budget at 2014 energy rates approaching 300 billion Rand.

Water sustainability: An allusion or reality?

Of all the challenges facing us in South Africa today, water should take top priority. Unfortunately it does not and corruption and incompetence lead to inability to repair the position in which we now find ourselves. Water is poisoned somewhere but not detected, not rectified and fed to unsuspecting citizens. Furthermore all municipalities (with the exception of Cape


Town) are simply not able to account for billions worth of spending, and achieve year after year an unqualified audit. Water sustainability can be made possible but only through a concerted but radical effort to root out the collective corrupt, and those left should listen to a small voice of reason pleading for the unquestionable saving grace of water demand management.

Other disasters present and future to avoid

Hydraulic Fracturing While some petroleum companies have been vying for the opportunity to supply methane gas to South Africa, widely spread information around the dangers to ground water abound. The danger of the possible ruination of all water in South Africa outweighs any energy derived from fracking. Any action that threatens water security in South Africa should be stopped forthwith. Bottled water The incidences of death from drinking municipal water and the inability of municipalities to produce good quality water have led to the explosion of sales of bottled water. This is tragic. The Department of Water Affairs and municipalities must know of the dangers to health over a prolonged period and the mountains of plastic litter and waste dumps growing daily from these empty bottles. Through demand management they must get municipal water up to standard, as any death from contaminated water is unacceptable, let alone those that occur every year. The banning of these plastic bottles of water will then be a matter of course.




CONTACT: 086 1140 860 Steve 083 308 5939

DOSATRONIC CHLORINE DIOXIDE GENERATOR SYSTEMS FOR SAFE WATER STERILISATION AND USE DOSAiX Chlorine Dioxide Generator: • Chlorine dioxide production according to the approved chlorite acid process • Security standard according to DVGW worksheet W 224 (German Standard) • Anytime safe operating conditions due to optimum chlorine dioxide concentration of max. 2 g/l • Microprocessor controller with menu-driven operating and service functions, as well as with clear alarm messages • 3 solenoid diaphragm dosing pumps with automatic venting for unfailing plant operation • Unfailing restart after power failure • Direct controlling by contact water meter, IDM or online chlorine dioxide mearuring SCOPES OF APPLICATION: • Potable water disinfection in public buildings, i.e. hospitals, hotels, sports facilities etc. • Disinfection in cooling systems, as well as in ventilating systems or air conditions • Operation in beverage and food industry, i.e. bottle cleaning facilities, CIP plants etc. ADVANTAGES OF CHLORINE DIOXIDE: Can be used as a versatile disinfectant which has an excellent bactericidal and sporicidal effect with viral and Algic features. It is a stronger and above all faster disinfection in comparison to chlorine, which is only required in low concentrations. CHLORINE DIOXIDE APPLICATIONS: Treating drinking water and service water, as well as other applications such as: In CIP plants (instead of other disinfectants), Pasteurisation (controlling algae and mucousforming micro-organisms), Filler washing (cold) disinfection of top area of bottle-washing machines, Washing empties EFFECTIVENESS OF CHLORINE DIOXIDE: Apart from the concentration and reaction time, the effectiveness of chlorine dioxide is also dependent on the respective micro-organisms. A chlorine dioxide concentration of 0.5 mg/l is sufficient to kill yeast, lactobacillus brevis, peiococcus damnosus, megasphaera sp. And pectinatus cerevisiiphilus at 20°C within 1 minute. TYPICAL APPLICATION CONCENTRATIONS Drinking water

0.4 mg/1

Cooling water

0.2 – 1.0 mg/l

Bottle-cleaning (cold)

2.0 mg/l

Waste water

2.0 – 4.0 mg/l

Bottle-cleaning (fresh)



0.5 – 3.0 mg/l

Tunnel pasteurisation

0.5 – 2.0 mg/l

Water level disinfection



CONTACT: 086 1140 860 Steve 083 308 5939

SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER USE The technology used for the treatment of sewage is the activated sludge process. This applies to both small and large processing plants and the difference lies in the arrangement and enhancement of the various sections of the process. The activated sludge process is a natural process and nature offers us a unique solution to treat sewage cost effectively. We can identify four major sections in an activated sewage plant system: 1. Collection and anaerobic treatment. 2. Aeration. 3. Settling of the sludge removing all solids.

4. Chlorination and phosphate removal to bring the final effluent up to the required standard.

PRIMARY OR INTERCEPTOR TANK: A collection tank or interceptor tank is recommended, this ensures that the feed to the aeration tank is mixed and is more even in character and assists with the denitrification process and ensures large particles are retained and not introduced into the aeration tank. Used also to store extra sludge generated in the process, which can then be removed on six monthly or annual intervals. AERATION TANK: The aeration tank is flat bottomed with a special aeration ring positioned in the bottom of the tank. Air is introduced and by means of the special aeration system using blowers and diffusers, intimate contact is established between the air and the solid matter. SLUDGE SETTLER: The third section of the plant consists of a settler tank where solids are settled and a clear overflow liquid is produced. Although more expensive to manufacture, we only use conical tanks for the settler so that no solids can collect in the bottom of the tank. If these solids were not returned to the process, they would become anaerobic and cause foaming in the settler, generating a poor effluent. PHOSPHATE SETTLER: For South Africa the outflow from sewage treatment plants feeding directly into dams and rivers, the Department of Water Affairs requires the removal of phosphates as well as chlorination. This is achieved by dosing ferric chloride and settling the phosphates using another settler similar to the main process settler. CHLORINE OR OZONE CONTACT TANK: The final contact tank is a chlorine or ozone contact tank with a Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorinator or ozone generator, which will finally treat the liquor to produce an effluent in accordance with the General Standard suitable for discharge into dams and rivers or for use as irrigation. SLUDGE BEDS OR TANK: It is also common practice that the solids produced in the plant are dried on site. A clean system of drying beds has been developed for this purpose to produce a sterile useable dry mass for composting.


Christine Colvin, Dean Muruven, Sindiswa Nobula


South Africa’s Water Source Areas Many South Africans, especially those living in urban areas, do not understand or appreciate where the water that flows from their taps really comes from, and the key role that healthy natural catchments play in providing it. The truth is that water goes on a long and difficult journey to get to our homes. Recent research by WWF South Africa (WWF) together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) mapped out South Africa’s strategic Water Source Areas (WSAs) as shown in Figure 1. The research revealed that only 8% of the land area of South Africa generates more than half of our river flow. This 8%, along with critical source areas in Lesotho and Swaziland (which comprise another 4%), form our key water production areas. WSAs provide a disproportionate amount of run-off to the rest of the catchment. South Africa’s water source areas are generally found in the highest part of the landscape that receives the most rainfall. Downstream users and ecosystems are dependent on the healthy functioning of these areas to sustain good quality water supplies.

Figure 1: South Africa’s Water Source Areas South Africa’s WSAs can be grouped into 21 areas, listed in Table 1. Figure 2 shows that the dominant land-cover is natural vegetation (63%), often because slope and altitude have prevented more intense


development. 15% of the area is cultivated land and 13% is under plantation. 3% is degraded land, mainly in the Eastern Cape. Less than 1% of the area of the WSAs is currently mined; however, 70% of these areas in Mpumalanga are under either prospecting or mining licence and this is cause for concern.

Figure 2: Percentage land cover in water source areas Only 16% of the WSAs are formally protected as nature reserves or parks. The highest level of protection can be found in the Western Cape with more than 70% of the Kougaberg, Swartberg and Grootwintershoek areas having formal protection. WSAs in the Eastern Cape and the Maloti Drakensberg, the Enkangala Drakensberg, the Mfolozi headwaters and the Soutpansberg have very low or no protection. South Africa’s WSAs can be further divided into those of local importance and those of national importance. Five WSAs are of local importance, but have limited downstream dependants and impact. These are mainly found on the coast in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The 16 nationally important WSAs form the headwaters of major river systems which supply significant downstream areas and/or the economy, including inter-basin transfers. These are South Africa’s strategic WSAs. Disrupting water supply from these 16 strategic WSAs would effectively turn off the taps to our THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK




Water Source Area

Main Rivers


Olifants River; Klein Berg; Doring

Table Mountain*

Hout; Diep

Boland Mountains*

Berg; Breede; Riviersonderend


Doring; Duiwenhoks; Naroo; Gouritz; Breede


Gamka; Sand; Dorps; Gouritz; Olifants


Groot Brak; Olifants


Kouga; Baviaanskloof; Olifants; Gamtoos; Gouritz


Groot Storms; Klip; Tsitsikamma


Great Kei; Keiskamma; Great Fish; Tyume; Amatele

Eastern Cape Drakensberg*

Mzimvubu; Orange; Bokspruit; Thina; Klein Mooi; Mthatha

Pondoland Coast

Mzimvubu; Mngazi; Mntafufu; Msikaba

Maloti Drakensberg*

Caledon; Orange; Senqu

Northern Drakensberg*

Senqu; Caledon; Thukela; Orange; Vaal

Southern Drakensberg*

uMngeni; Mooi; Thugela; Mkomasi; uMzimkulu

Mfolozi Headwaters*

Lenjane; Black Mfolozi; Pongola

Zululand Coast

Mvoti; Thukela; Mhlatuze

Enkangala Drakensberg*

Pongola; Bivane; Assegaai; Vaal; Thukela; Wilge

Mbabane Hills

Usutu, Lusushwana, Mpuluzi, Inkomati, Pongola

Mpumalanga Drakensberg*

Elands; Sabie; Crocodile; Olifants


Middle Letaba; Ngwabitsi; Oliphants


Luvuvhu; Little Letaba; Mutale; Mutamba; Nzhelele * have been identified as the country’s strategic water source areas. Table 1: Summary of South Africa’s WSAs




economy and seriously impact our food and water security.

Threats to our water source areas

Coal Mining: Acid mine drainage is generated as water reacts with sulphides in the ore rock, forming sulphuric acid. Acid dissolves toxic metals more easily than neutral water, and these metals cause health problems for people, livestock and fish in the river. Crops irrigated with the water also suffer. Alien plants: Black wattle and pine invade landscapes, outcompeting natural plants. They reduce the natural biodiversity, destroy ecosystems and use more water than indigenous plants. An estimated 7% of South Africa’s available water resources are lost to alien plants. Fires: Fires are a part of the natural life cycle of Fynbos, savannah and grasslands. Today we are seeing a very high frequency of fires and that doesn’t allow enough time for natural ecosystems to recover. Higher intensity and frequency of fires means that soil is eroded more easily and is washed away from the landscape that needs it, clogging up rivers and dams. Climate change: Predictions indicate that climate change is expected to hit South Africa harder than countries in the north and will be felt first through water impacts. Higher temperatures will mean that plants need more water, evaporation rates will increase and algal and global blooms are more likely to impact dams. More droughts are predicted for the Northern and Western Cape. In Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal rainfall events will be more intense resulting in more flood damage and erosion. Land degradation: Land degradation occurs when land is over-used and poorly managed. Nutrients and soil are lost from poorly managed crop agriculture and


contaminate rivers and wetlands. When the number of livestock exceeds the carrying capacity of the land, riparian areas are trampled and biodiversity is lost. Degraded land cannot recover easily from inevitable droughts and floods. Plantations: Pine and wattle plantations use much more water than natural vegetation cover and reduce stream flows. Some forestry companies maintain buffer zones around rivers and wetlands and allow space for natural vegetation to flourish. However, where plantations are poorly managed they reduce available water to other users and are a source of invasive plants. Large-scale cultivation: Mono-crops such as sugar can reduce the amount of water available in rivers, wetlands and aquifers. These crops use more water than the natural vegetation and reduce stream flow. Sustainable farming of these crops needs to accommodate buffer zones around rivers and wetlands.

Protecting our water source areas

WSAs can be used productively in agriculture and well managed plantations where special care is taken to avoid soil erosion, pollution and disruption of the water cycle. Restoration is required in some areas such as the Maloti Drakensberg in the Eastern Cape, where land has been degraded. Restoration and compatible land-uses can stimulate the rural economy in water source areas and provide jobs. Water source areas can be protected by: • Strategic planning to prioritise water and prevent incompatible land-uses; • Including them in nature reserves or conservancies; and • Implementing water stewardship, restoration and land-care initiatives in these areas.




Water stewardship One of the most important ways in which to achieve protection of our water source areas is through water stewardship. The concept of water stewardship forms part of a global initiative driven by WWF International and the various WWF country offices. The primary aim of water stewardship is to unite a wide set of stakeholders interested in water management. It aims to achieve a commitment to the sustainable management of shared water resources in the public interest, through a collaborative effort with businesses, governments, NGOs and communities. In common usage water stewardship refers to business action on water challenges (WWF, 2013). The importance of water stewardship cannot be stressed enough. Projections of the future of freshwater mean that we face increasingly difficult choices as we strive to meet our needs for food, energy and water while maintaining the other services that freshwater ecosystems deliver (WWF, 2013). Understanding the requirements of water users within a catchment is

1.Identifying companies in basins

8. Communicating

9. Key partnerships

2. Implementation

7. Working with investors, pension funds and financial institutions


imperative and optimising water use for one sector can have dire consequences for others, and history tells us that nature will usually draw the short straw. Addressing the shared water challenge means that we must engage key decision-makers within businesses responsible for driving change. Water stewardship can be an extremely effective tool if done correctly and will provide a new lever to affect positive change through companies and investors (WWF, 2013). Not engaging with businesses and companies in the areas which are of importance from a water conservation perspective is not an option and given the global water management challenges and poor implementation of integrated water resource management, in order to succeed we must consider all avenues for change to achieve our conservation goal.

Going forward with water stewardship

The WWF 2013 brief on water stewardship has identified 10 key areas to drive the water stewardship programme forward in

3. Risk analysis

4. Valuation

6. Speaking up

5. Validation of impacts

10. Collaboration

Figure 3: Steps to drive water stewardship forward (adapted from WWF, 2013) THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK




the next two years with a great deal of the focus being towards implementation. These areas are outlined in Figure 3 below. Identifying companies in basins- This step involves mapping companies in the priority basins and looking at collective action to address issues within the basin. The long term goal is to look at both supply chains and investments in both the public and private sectors and to engage financial institutions donors and buyers in all of the key basins. Implementation- This will involve working with companies in priority basins in order to implement water stewardship projects at scale. WWF will look to join existing initiatives within a basin where possible and create new channels for engagement where none are available. In areas where companies are publishing water disclosure data, WWF will encourage them to use the Alliance for Water Stewardship standard. More information on the standard can be found at http://www. Risk Analysis- One of the key tools to assist companies and investors and in understanding the importance of water is the Water Risk Filter (http://waterriskfilter. This tool will allow companies to better understand their risk and to conduct meaningful water strategies in areas in which they operate. Currently a country specific tool is being developed for South Africa which will incorporate parameters that apply specifically to the South African context. Valuation- Continuing to develop corporate appreciation of water will strengthen the business case for engagement in water stewardship. WWF will also focus new research on the value



at risk for business to help drive greater connection to the true cost of water. This work will evolve into an aspect of the Water Risk Filter over time (WWF, 2013). Validation of impacts- The most important aspect of water stewardship is that it must lead to conservation to ensure that water policy wins. WWF’s job is to make companies efficient or fit for purpose by working with them to ensure sustainable resource management that delivers mutual benefits. Speaking up- Becoming vocal on initiatives and claims is essential for creating meaningful change. Companies need to plan and act more strategically when considering water. WWF want to see these strategies published on their website. Working with investors, pension funds and financial institutions- Collaborating with financial institutions to create the right sort of programmes and initiatives to drive better performance is an important step in talking the programmes forward. WWF will actively engage investors to assess their own water risks and investment impacts. Ongoing engagement with pension funds and financial institutions will encourage them to support programmes and companies that WWF believe are leaders. Communicating- WWF’s objective is to highlight what does and does not work, to show companies and investors what “good” looks like, and to multiply the impact by encouraging others to replicate successful approaches (WWF, 2013). Key partnerships- Working with selected business that either have demonstrated leadership in water stewardship or that share a common vision and commitment to becoming good water stewards. These relationships help build


the foundations to drive water stewardship forward and develop examples of best practice for others to follow. Collaboration- The collaborative spirit among many groups, companies and NGOs on water stewardship has been inspiring. WWF are committed to working with these partners and with as many new initiatives, tool developers, data providers, companies, consultants and NGOs as possible. Where possible work will be linked and merged, particularly where there are opportunities for collaboration at a basin scale (WWF, 2013).

The Journey of Water Campaign

To help reconnect people to the real source of water, which is nature, WWF in partnership with Sanlam developed the Journey of Water campaign. In particular, WWF wanted the South African public to recognise that ‘water doesn’t come from a tap’. By highlighting the important role that catchments play in providing the water that runs through our taps, WWF envision a society where we all understand where our water comes from and how we can better manage this natural resource for current and future generations. The Journey of Water campaign is based on WWF’s Water Source Areas programme which seeks to mobilise different stakeholders to ensure the ecological functioning of WSAs, through engagement with national macro plans (National Protected Area Expansion Strategy; Strategic Integrated Projects; etc.) and by prioritising WSAs with the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Environmental Affairs. Through this campaign, WWF have noticed increased awareness and interest from different


sectors of our society in these important water areas. The campaign has allowed WWF to forge strong relationships with other conservation bodies (e.g. Department of Water and Sanitation, CapeNature, SANBI etc.), business and civil society. WWF believes that this will enable fast tracking of the protection of these WSAs from identified threats such as mining, alien invasive vegetation and poor land management.


Three quarters of South Africans can turn on a tap and receive good quality drinking water. Because our needs for water are met, we tend to not think about where our water has come from and the journey it has taken to reach us. Most Cape Town residents do not realise that the water in their taps is either supplied from Table Mountain, from Boland Mountain Rivers or from the Riviersonderend valley. Similarly, most residents in Gauteng are not aware that they receive water that has been pumped uphill from the catchments in Mpumalanga Drakensberg, the Enkangala Drakensberg and Lesotho. Our water comes from natural sources that are often far away; we are disconnected from the natural sources by kilometres of pipes and distribution networks. Most of us do not know if our local streams and vleis are healthy. It is important that we reconnect with our sources of our water and ensure that they are adequately protected. We need to stand up for our right to a healthy environment and the rights of the next generation to inherit a country with intact water source areas. The Department of Water and Sanitation is mandated to be the custodian of our nation’s water resources. The second National Water Resource Strategy (2013)




outlines the Department’s intentions to meet the challenges of water resource management in the coming five years. Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) will be set up to give effect to coordinated land and water development. Effective and capacitated CMAs and the Department of Water and Sanitation are critical to ensuring sufficient protection and sustainable use of water. Many levels of competent government are required to ensure there are strategic policies and planning, effective implementation of protective measures and coordinated regulation of waterusers. This includes the National Planning Commissions, the Department of Water and Sanitation and other impacting departments such as Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Development and Land


Reform, Mineral Resources as well as the Department of Environmental Affairs. The private sector will become a key partner through water stewardship and investing in ecological infrastructure and catchment restoration. WWF South Africa enables corporates, farmers and other water users to cooperate with one another to invest in their source areas and reduce water risk. Several other NGOs are also actively bringing people together and building local capacity to care for our water resources. There is plenty of scope to be an active water citizen in South Africa and to do your part to protect our water source areas, rivers and wetlands. Find out where your water comes from and begin your own journey of water. For more information on the Journey of Water, please visit


• •

World Wildlife Fund for Nature South Africa. (2013). An Introduction to South Africa’s Water Source Areas. WWF Report 2013. World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Cape Town, South Africa. World Wildlife Fund for Nature. (2013). Water Stewardship: Perspectives on business risks and responses to water challenges. WWF Brief 2013. World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Gland, Switzerland.




The South African company KROHNE had been represented in South Africa since 1967, so the decision to invest here was a sound one based on the company’s increasing involvement in mining and other major industries. While some specialist manufacturing was initially carried out in South Africa, this activity was suspended in 1996. The benefits still remain in that the company retains the expertise to carry out a substantial amount of flowmeter refurbishment, and very important, instrument calibration and in-line verification. While Krohne (Pty) Ltd operates autonomously under General Manager/CEO John Boxley, the parent has strong board representation including Michael Rademacher-Dubbick, a regular visitor to our country. Michael is the son of the late Kristian Rademacher-Dubbick. While the local company’s prime focus is on the KROHNE range of equipment, it has expanded its value to its customer base by representing some other leading companies who offer complementary measurement products. The principals represented by Krohne in South Africa are, Hycontrol, P.T.L Hermann and ProComSol. KROHNE in South Africa has many notable achievements, a milestone was the installation and calibration of massive 2,5 m diameter electromagnetic and ultrasonic flowmeters in the Lesotho Highlands Water scheme. These meters, one continuously checking the other, is what determines the payments South Africa makes for the supply of water from this landmark African engineering project. In the latest Coup KROHNE supplied the largest electromagnetic flow meter in Africa to Rand water, a massive 3 meter diameter electromagnetic flow meter that is used as the custody transfer point from the DWAF Vaal Dam to the Suikerbosch water treatment plant owned and Managed by Rand Water. This high spec meter was wet calibrated and witnessed by Rand Water. KROHNE is proud to have achieved of the SABS custody transfer certificate for KROHNE Optimass 7000 mass flowmeter as well as the Altosonic III Ultrasonic flowmeter. The Altosonic V, a 5 beam ultrasonic meter, is also now approved and is used to verify various hydrocarbon meters used on bunkering barges to transfer lubricants and refuel fuels in other vessels in harbours in Durban and Cape Town. KROHNE (Pty) Ltd has a flow verification facility in Midrand, and although this is not accredited, this is verified using the company’s own accredited facility in the Netherlands using reference meter method that are checked and recalibrated if necessary every six months. The original focus of KROHNE in Germany was on the measurement needs of the chemical industry, Duisburg being located nearby the concentration of this industry, including the now international conglomerate, Bayer. While the chemical industry is still its largest single client, KROHNE now services the needs of the mining industry, the water industry, petrochemicals and


the general process control industry. In fact anywhere where it is necessary to make measurements of level, flow, or other physical properties on liquid and liquid-like (e.g. slurries) substances. The local company has obviously made major inroads into the pulp and paper industry, local customers including the giants Mondi and Sappi. Amongst its other customers are specialised plants of Eskom such as Koeberg Nuclear power station, with KROHNE being one of the few nuclear accredited instrument manufacturers, the gold, platinum and coal mining industries and more process industry customers including Unilever, Clover SA and Sasol, Nampak. KROHNE recently upgraded the metering facility SFF for the measurement of bulk crude oil into South Africa as well as supplying many ultrasonic meters for NMPPP project and three meter provers for Transnet. The KROHNE ALTO V was recently given the nod of approval for KPC, Kenya Pipe Line Company. KROHNE southern Africa services its customer base through its head office in Midrand and branches located in Natal, the Free State and Cape Town, while sub-distributors have been appointed to service Limpopo, Botswana, Mpumalanga and Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana. KROHNE celebrated 75 years as a privately owned company during 1996. The anniversary virtually brought the company’s hometown of Duisburg to a standstill, and a major feature, close to the heart of the controlling family, was a major display of works of art. KROHNE is a major sponsor of art and a major buyer, with these acquisitions being displayed at its companies throughout the world. In a succinct answer as to why KROHNE should collect art, Michael Rademacher-Dubbick quoted from the 75th Anniversary Brochure. There it states “All these different art trends offer a glimpse of new dimensions of existence, hoped for and longed for, shaped by humans even if not always understood by all”. What better axiom could a family owned business, striving for excellence in products and care of its staff, ever hope to have. “Employees who, whatever their motivation, are able to be influenced and stimulated by creative work, constitute an ever-increasing company asset that will continue to bear fruit in future” An anomalous post-war perspective KROHNE, which had worldwide revenue of EUR 462,3 million in 2013 was visited by an MI6 “Instrumentation & Control” team on 6 May 1946. Their report, intended to allow America to make best use of technology existing in Germany in the post war era, stated: This firm makes a crude form of rotameter that has been supplied mainly to makers of furnaces for heat treatment. The tapered glass tubes for these instruments were obtained from Jena (Schott) in sizes up to about 10 mm bore. Larger sizes were obtained by selection from glass tube makers’ scrap. The instruments are crude in style and finish, and display no features of technical interest. The methods of calibration and design are empirical. Out of this “discard” business, the KROHNE and RademacherDubbick families have built a company which is unique in the process control business in that it has maintained a tight market focus and market domination for an extended time and ranks amongst the industry’s leaders. KROHNE Achieve more with innovative solutions in flow, level, pressure, temperature and analytics 011 314 1391


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Dr Herman Wiechers



outh Africa has approximately 900 municipal wastewater treatment works. These vary from very large (50 –150 Ml/d), to medium sized (1–50 Ml/d) to small (100–1 000m3/d). The quality of treatment and the resulting quality of the treated effluent varies from excellent, to good, to poor, to atrocious. Since the final effluent ends up in the water environment, be it a stream, a river, a dam, an impoundment or into the ground water, it has an impact. Because South Africa is a water scarce country, every care should be taken to ensure that these limited receiving water resources are not polluted. South Africans should go the extra mile to purify and preserve the effluent resource. Today’s effluent is tomorrow’s drinking water. Hence the authorities, the effluent generators, the municipalities and the receiving environment custodians, should all work together to protect and preserve this precious resource. The South African Government and in particular the Minister of Water Affairs are well aware of the problem, and have put various policies and strategies into place to address this problem. However, the man in the street is less aware and concerned, and some unscrupulous industries do not play the game. Hence, much stricter action needs to be taken, and severe pollution of the environment should be classified as a criminal offence, with dire consequences. More prominence needs to be given to this topic in the public media, at schools and universities, and by NGOs. Higher budgets need to be allocated to counter this pollution threat.

Status quo of wastewater treatment in South Africa

The status quo of sanitation service and wastewater treatment works in South Africa are of concern (Suzan Oelofse, CSIR, 2010). Wastewater management services, together


with the way in which these services are rendered and maintained, lie at the heart of the pollution of South Africa’s water resources (DWAF, 2001). An estimated 8.3% of households in South Africa still have no toilet facility or are using the bucket system (Statistics South Africa, 2007). Snyman et al. (2006) estimated that in the order of 96% of micro-, small- and medium-sized wastewater treatment plants in South Africa are not adequately operated and maintained. Municipalities are therefore faced with a number of challenges regarding the provision of complete and effective sanitation services. Inadequate disposal and use of wastewater sludge was found at 81% of the sewage plants surveyed. The sampled wastewater treatment works (WWTW) are indicated with red squares on the map shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Capacity of municipalities to provide wastewater treatment services (Snyman et al., 2006). According to South African legislation (Republic of South Africa, 1996) sanitation services are the mandate of municipalities. However, there is an increasing trend of poor service delivery in this regard. The 2007/2008 municipal capacity assessments showed that 37% of the 231 local municipalities had no capacity to perform THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK



Dube Ngeleza Wiechers Environmental Consultancy (Pty) Ltd (DNW) is a small South African enterprise that provides specialist environmental and project management services both in South Africa and internationally. DNW has access to, and associations with, a number of local and international environmental specialists, including ecologists, social impact practitioners, public participation facilitators, limnologists, hydro-geologists and engineers. By utilizing teams of specialists with appropriate expertise, the company provides a comprehensive environmental management service. DNW’s clients include government, business, commerce, industry, agriculture and mining, as well as labour, community based organizations, and non-governmental organizations. DNW’s areas of expertise and services include the following: • Environmental Impact Assessments and Project Management • Chemistry Research and Development • Development of Environmental Policy and Strategy • Implementation and Action Plans • Solid Waste Management • Air Emission Licenses and Climate Change


their sanitation functions (Municipal Demarcation Board, 2008). One of the key challenges faced by local municipalities in South Africa is therefore the need to find the most effective and efficient way of delivering adequate sanitation services to communities (Lorenz, 2003), within the local constraints. Numerous obstacles—such as budget restrictions, service backlogs and insufficient skills development—prevent local municipalities from providing services (DEAT, 2007). Wastewater facilities that do not comply to existing licenses should be prosecuted. The current high level of non-compliant municipal wastewater treatment facilities (Snyman et al., 2006) is a case in point which may be viewed as leniency towards municipalities. In addition, the current situation has the potential to create dual standards in the management and operation of public and private facilities in South Africa.

Wastewater technology choices compromise quality

In many small towns, municipalities have revenue bases that are not sufficient to cover the costs of operation and maintenance of their wastewater treatment facilities. The findings from a Water Research Commission study done in partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) indicates that 44% of the studied wastewater treatment plants may have opted for less (Saving Water SA, 2011). According to the latest Green Drop Report (Saving Water SA, 2011), less than half of South Africa’s 821 sewage works are treating the effluent they receive to safe and acceptable standards. The Green Drop Report, which presents the state of wastewater treatment plants in in South Africa, states that while Green Drop status was awarded to 40 plants, up from 33 in 2009, it warns that another 460 plants


(56 percent) are either in a “critical state” or delivering a “very poor performance”. It should further be noted that the report does not cover treatment works owned by public works, such as those at prisons, and other private operators. Many of the poorly performing plants are located in the country’s poorer provinces, including the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo. The report states that: “The Western Cape, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, are producing the highperforming waste water systems; Eastern Cape, followed by Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo, are producing the bulk of the systems that are in critical and poorperforming positions.”

Inspection of wastewater treatment works

One of the key requirements for ensuring the proper and efficient operation of wastewater treatment works is their regular inspection. A useful publication to assist wastewater treatment works operators is the Water Research Commission’s Guideline for the Inspection of Wastewater Treatment Works (2009). This guideline document deals with the requirements for undertaking an inspection at a wastewater treatment works (WWTW). It assists the Process Controller to: • Prepare for an inspection at the WWTW; • Take corrective action where a problem is identified; Furthermore it also assists the Inspector to: • Undertake an inspection at a WWTW; • Give guidance where a problem is identified. The Guideline provides checklists for those unit processes that are most frequently encountered at South African WWTWs. Furthermore, a list of proposed additional reading material that every WWTW should have on site is provided. THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK



CHEM-TEC Chemical Services CC. was established in 2001 after a need was identified to serve the industries in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. With headoffice in Groblersdal on the border between the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces of South Africa, CHEM-TEC provides chemicals and related equipment to the heavy industrial, mining, and potable water industries. With our consulting type approach, our goal is to exceed the expectations of every customer by offering outstanding customer service, increased flexibility, and greater value thus optimizing system functionality and improving operation efficiency. This approach contributed to the fact that we soon developed into a significant role player in the marketplace and hence we expanded countrywide. With our well maintained fleet of delivery vehicles and experienced drivers our deliveries are fast, efficient and safe. CHEM-TEC supply the following products: • pH Control chemicals

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Exceptional functional and technical expertise coupled with extensive industry knowledge makes CHEM-TEC Chemical Services the ideal choice for a chemical supplier in the heavy industrial, Mining, and potable water industries. CHEM-TEC is proudly level two B-BBEE.



Table 1. Wastewater Treatment Works Checklists Hub%20Documents/Research%20Reports/TT-375-08.pdf

References Boyd LA and Mbelu AM (2009) Guideline for the Inspection of Wastewater Treatment Works, WRC Report No TT 375/08, January 2009 CSIR (2010) A CSIR Perspective on Water in South Africa 2010, CSIR Report No. CSIR/NRE/PW/IR/ 2011/0012/A, Compiled by: Suzan Oelofse and Wilma Strydom, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment DEAT (2007) Assessment of the Status of Waste Service Delivery and Capacity at the Local Government Level, Draft 3, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria, South Africa, August 2007 DWAF (2001) Managing the Water Quality Effects of Settlements: Legal Considerations for Managing Pollution from Settlements, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry: Pretoria, South Africa Lorenz, M (2003) Activity Completion Report MCBF Activity 7.1.3. Project for Building Service Delivery Capacity. Free State, DC16, Xhariep Municipality. p. 65 Municipal Demarcation Board (2008) National Report on Local Government Capacity: District and Local Municipalities. MDB Capacity Assessment Period 2007/2008. [Online]. Available: http:// www., 20 August 2008 Saving Water SA (2011) Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems, 01 July 2011), wastewater-treatment-plants/) Snyman, H.G., Van Niekerk, A.M. and Rajasakran, N. (2006) Sustainable Wastewater Treatment – What Has Gone Wrong and How Do We Get Back on Track; in the 2006 Proceedings of the Water Institute of South Africa (WISA) Conference, Durban, 21-25 May 2006. Statistics South Africa (2007) General Household Survey 2007: Statistical Release P0318; Online Available: THE SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCE HANDBOOK



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