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VIEWS: 148 PAGES: 13

19 January 2009
This newsletter is regularly distributed to members of WISA as a membership benefit. News items & links reported
in this newsletter are intended to provide information of interest to professionals in the water and sanitation
sector, and do not necessarily reflect the views and position of the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA).

WISA is a Southern African voluntary non-profit association of 2 510 members comprising water sector
professionals, interested parties, companies, government departments, educational & research institutions, local
authorities and associated organisations. WISA provides a sector-wide platform in Southern Africa for the
promotion, integration and application of scientific, engineering & management knowledge and skills in the
natural & controlled water cycle. It has 6 regional Branches & 10 Technical Divisions. Visit or for more details.

This newsletter is in pdf format hence if you wish to connect to a web link, click on the ―Select Tool‖ button on
the top toolbar (next to the ―Hand Tool‖ icon), and then click on the web link using the ―Select Tool‖ icon.




1.1 WISA President‘s Message No 12
Dear member of WISA,

I wish each and every WISA member a wonderful, prosperous 2009 and look forward to your active
participation in WISA activities.
One of our Past Presidents, Dr Marlene van der Merwe Botha, has a gift for writing inspiring messages.
This quote is from one she wrote I certainly cannot put it into better words:
―I wish you, the vision to dream wildly this year, the heart to love deeply , the spirit to embrace all the
beauty in life and our important work in the Water Sector, and the intent to engage with others to
benefit and motivate them to higher levels of growth, giving and appreciating‖.
This first newsletter of 2009 is already full of wonderful sector news and events. WISA is certainly in
an exciting time of re-alignment for the future.

I would like to use the 1st newsletter for 2009 communicate our vision for the next few years. WISA
recognises the dynamic nature of the local and international water sector. In order for WISA to remain
relevant, the WISA Board developed a draft strategic business plan called ―Vision 2015‖ that will now
be presented to the WISA Council. Council still needs to approve ―Vision 2015‖, but I thought it would
be appropriate to share the broad thinking with our members.

During the strategic planning process, we recognised that there is room for improvement. In future,
WISA will focus on key sector aspects such as climate change, capacity building, skills shortage, water
quality and service delivery.
Our strategic drives will focus on making a real difference in the water sector by increasing membership
benefits, promoting volunteerism, ensuring an Africa and global presence and financial sustainability.
Above all, ―Vision 2015‖ is about having great fun while achieving our goals.
In terms of the immediate future, we hope to finalise and approve ―Vision 2015‖ and start
implementation. This bold and ambitious strategic vision requires strong leadership and the
participation of each and every WISA member. It was therefore key to appoint a CE that has
leadership, understands the South Africa water sector and the skill to implement ―Vision 2015‖
successfully. We are very pleased to introduce our newly appointed CE, Mr Junior Potloane in this
newsletter‘s focus on feature.
 He is the immediate past Chief Executive of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority. He has
been the Deputy Director General at the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. He has been a
General Manager at the South African Breweries, Development Bank of South Africa and at Nedcor
Bank, where he established People‘s Bank. He also established the Lesotho Agricultural Bank.

Junior spearheaded the rationalization and transformation of development corporations in the Free
State post 1994. He chaired the Free State Development Corporation and was a director of Agriculture
and Ecotourism Development Corporation. He also led the establishment of Water, Sanitation and
Hygiene Programme (WASH) in South Africa under the auspices of Water Supply and Sanitation
Collaborative Council in conjunction with the World Health Organisation. He was a key team member
for the establishment of the African Ministers of Water Council (AMCOW) and a member of the
African Water Task Force, an independent body of African professionals in the water sector.
We look forward to Junior‘s experience and expertise in finalising and successfully implementing our
Vision 2015

Dr Heidi Snyman
WISA President 2008/09

―Keep on keeping on – we have work to do.....‖

1.2 Letters to the Editor
Please write to the Editor (Junior Potloane) at with any comments, views, suggestions etc for
inclusion in the next WISA eNewsletter.
         Mr Ronnie McKenzie writes on behalf of Emfuleni Municipality and WRP that WRP has received a letter
          from the Legal team at Emfuleni who were investigating the Beeld article by Elise Templehoff in which
          allegations were made by the Municipal Manager particularly against Mr McKenzie as well as the WRP
          and several other organisations. The Municipal Manager is no longer with the Municipality following
          these allegations and the allegations have now been thoroughly investigated over the past 6 months by
          the Municipality. The end result of which is that the Municipality want WRP to continue with the WDM
          initiatives that they started. This is to be one of the most important and significant WDM projects in
          South Africa as at least 10 mil m3/annum of water can be saved in the area and that is something worth
          the effort. It is hoped to have a Press Release made soon. It is all very sad that one small article can have
          such an impact and in this case, the article in the Beeld resulted in a project employing over 300 local
          people being stopped for 8 months. (4 Dec 08)

1.3 Patron Members news
This Guest Columns is reserved for news about WISA Patron Members, who are also invited to submit news about
their organisations or their views of/ concerns about the Sector.
1.4 Stay in touch!
Stay abreast of WISA activities – e-mail or fax your NEW contact details to or 011 315

1.5 People in the Water Sector
Please send an e-mail to WISA should you know of any promotions, retirements, career changes etc in the water
sector. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated.
        Mr Wallace Mayne has left WISA and joined Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) he can be
         contacted at, office number : +27 11 463 2022 or on 082 929 2790. The WISA staff
         wish Mr Mayne all the best in his new endeavours, he will be missed.

1.6 Latest WISA Membership breakdown
The latest number of WISA Members in the different categories is given in the table below.

                            3         26       27      1         24       7        24        16
            Grade           May       Nov      Apr     Sept      Oct      Nov      Nov       Jan
                            2007      2007     2008     2008     2008     2008     2008      2009
            Affiliate           87       98      85        95       96       96        96        96
            Associate          415      518     500       383      408      414       414       402
            Company            139      153     152       159      163      168       169        171
            Educational         13       14      14        16       16       16        16         16
            Fellow (F)         331      331     341       326      326      325       325       362
            Honorary             11       11      11        11       11       11        11         11
            Media                 1        1       3         5        5        6         6          6
            Local Auth          49       47      50        52       51       53        53         52
            Member (M)         448      443     441       610      619      624       627       629
            Patron              26       30      32        32       34       34        34         37
            Prof MA             12       12      26        29       30       30        30         30
            Retired F           34       41      45        48       48       49        49         49
            Retired M           36       37      38        38       38       38        38         38
            Retired SF            7        7       8         7        7        7         7          7
            Senior Fellow       33       31      29        34       34       34        34         34
            Student            430      484     508       538      557      560       560       561
            Water Board         13       13        8         8        9        9         9          9
            TOTAL           2 085     2 271    2 291    2 391    2 452    2 476    2 480       2510

1.7 – World of water information in Africa
We wish all WISA members, our partners, subscribers and users of the eWISA website a prosperous new year. We
are looking forward to provide you a website that is more interactive in 2009 and to expand the information
contained on the website to be relevant to the issues and topics under discussion in the water field in Southern
The outbreak of cholera in our neighbouring Zimbabwe is a reminder of the need for adequate service delivery to
people and the need to be informed about the action to be taken to prevent and respond to such a crisis.
We have created a link to the cholera fact sheet which provides valuable information on what is cholera, how is
cholera transmitted, how can patients be treated and how can cholera be prevented.
The fact sheet on cholera is but one of many fact sheets on water related diseases. Visit the website and view or
download the others or contact us and we can supply you with a compact disc with all the available fact sheets.


It is appropriate for us in the beginning of the year to give acknowledgement to all our eWisa FOUNDER
MEMBERS and eWisa COMPANY SUBSCRIBERS who all contribute towards making eWisa a substantial
information hub for the entire water sector in Southern Africa.

We would like to welcome our first company subscriber for 2009 – Arch Chemicals/HTH Scientific –
Other companies subscribed to eWISA are as follows:

Founder Members:
Amatola Water( ), Magalies Water( ), Rand
Water( ), NCP Chlorchem ( ), Umgeni Water( ),
City of Cape Town( ), ESKOM( ), ESETA( ),
ERWAT( ), DWAF( ), WSSA( ), VWS Envig
( ), Bloemwater ( )

Subscription Members:
Africon( ), Amanz‘Abantu( ), Bio-Systems(www.biosystemssa, ), Breede
Valley( ), Cederberg Municipality( ),
Degremont( ), GE Water( ), Grundfos( ), Hantam
Municipality, Intaka Tech( ), Knight Piesold( ), Matzikama
Municipality( ), Mogale City( ), Ozone
Services( ), Prei Instrumentation( ), Project Assignments( ),
Sannitree International( ), Silulumanzi, SSIS Sahara( ), SSI
Engineers( ), St Helena Bay WQT(), Ugu District Municipality, Wettech, Watertek, Stellenbosch
Municipality( ), Laingsburg Municipality, Prince Albert Municipality, Theewaterskloof
Municipality( ), Witzenberg Municipality( ), Kannaland
Municipality( ), Beaufort West Municipality( ), Randfontein
Municipality( ), Overberg Water Board( )

eWISA PHOTO GALLERY- The eWisa photo gallery already contains more than 11 000 photos. We are steadily
adding more photos to the photo gallery. You are very welcome to submit photos to us and we will host it on the
eWisa website free of charge. All photos are fully reference and credited to the contributor. Use the following link
to view our photos. We will be adding a substantial number of photos on the recent floods events in the Breede
river and various historic photos on floods which will be supplied by Mr Danie van der Spuy (DWAF…).

Photo: Floods in the Bot/Breede river_ Western Cape        Photo: Eikenhof Dam_Palmiet River_Grabouw -
- eWISA – 15 Nov 2008                                      Toni Belcher/Dana Grobler - 30 November 2008

Water History: ―Streams of Life – The Water Supply of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage‖ by David Raymer has finally
been published.
The book covers the development of the Nelson Mandela Bay‘s water schemes and describes the battle the
community of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage had to endure for adequate water supplies over the last 160 years. It
describes the periodic droughts that the Eastern Cape experiences, floods that disrupted water supplies, the need to
implement ambitious and costly water schemes outside its area and the fierce rivalry that existed between Port
Elizabeth and Uitenhage over local water sources. The book has 75 pages of photographs, many historic. It will be
of interest to water engineers and academics and historians.

Extracts from this book can be found on the eWISA website under Water History, go to: ― Port Elizabeth water supply: From 1820
until 1880 no house in Port Elizabeth had water on tap unless the owner could afford rainwater tanks or
underground storage tanks. Rainwater from the roofs of houses was thus sometimes stored in tanks on the
landowners' premises, while surface water was obtained from the many creeks and streams in the town area. A
wide vlei on the site of the present Trinder Square (opposite the PE/St Georges Club in Bird Street) was used chiefly
by cattle and spans of oxen. The Baakens River and Shark‘s River were sources from which water was drawn.
Further away springs were found at Van der Kemp‘s Kloof, Bethelsdorp, Bogg Farm in Walmer, Lakeside and
Kragga Kamma Road‖ ‗Streams of Life – The Water Supply of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage‘ – by David Raymer

Visits to the eWISA website as at 13 January 2009 is 124 145

1.8 Competition – New Division Name
Three Technical Divisions of WISA have amalgamated to form one Technical Division. The Management
Committee of this new Division would like to call on all WISA members and interested parties to enter a
competition to supply proposals for a new name for this Division. The three Divisions that amalgamated are
Water Care, Water Scientists and Nutrient Management.
A follow-up competition will be held to propose a new logo for the newly named Division.
      1st Prize:           One year Free WISA Membership (for individual‘s membership)
      1st Runner up:       WISA 8GB Memory Stick
      2nd Runner up: WISA Multipurpose 2GB Memory Stick
Closing date: Monday 16 February 2009, 17:00
Entries can be e-mailed to



2.1 Southern Africa

2.1.1 Eskom halts Medupi construction after cholera scare
Eskom was hopeful that construction at South Africa‘s first new coal power station in more than two decades, the
Medupi plant, near Lephalale, would resume on Monday, following the site's closure owing to a suspected cholera
outbreak. Spokesperson Fani Zulu explained that about 15 construction workers had on Thursday afternoon
started displaying symptoms similar to that of cholera. Eskom had subsequently closed down the site in the
Limpopo province, and enlisted the help of medical staff to treat the suspected cases.
By Friday afternoon, the number of affected persons has increased to 61, but Zulu emphasised that it could not yet
confirm that this was a cholera outbreak. Experts were currently testing the water, with the results from the
laboratory expected to be available by Friday evening or Saturday morning.
(Engineering news, 9 Jan 09)

2.1.2 52 new cholera cases reported in Limpopo
Limpopo Department of Health spokesperson Phuthi Seloba has confirmed 52 new cases of cholera in the
province.This brings the total number of people infected with the disease in the province to 1854, according to Mr
Seloba who said that nine people have died so far. Eleven new cases were recorded in Sinthumule/Kutama area,
six were recorded in Louis Trichardt, 11 in Dikolong, six in Botlokwa and four in the Madimbo village, outside
Musina among others. Nationally, 2008 people have been infected with cholera with 15 people dying of the
disease. (BuaNews, 14 Jan 09)

2.1.3 Council disputes number of fish killed in Vaal River
A staggering 20 tons of dead fish have reportedly been removed from a contaminated section of the Vaal River
following massive municipal sewage spills late last year, but the local Emfuleni municipality is disputing this figure
as too high. In November, raw sewage started flowing into the Vaal River barrage from several malfunctioning
municipal sewage works in the region, killing thousands of fish, and leading local NGO Save the Vaal Environment
(Save) to institute legal action against the municipality to compel it to properly maintain its sewer reticulation
system. It is believed that the municipality is still diverting raw waste into the Rietspruit Water Works.
But Emfuleni has mentioned that it is impossible that all the raw sewage is running through the Rietspruit as there
are a lot of processes taking place before the effluent is released. A public meeting is being held next week in
Emfuleni to discuss the water pollution. (Meltwater News, 17 Jan 09)
2.2 Africa

2.2.1 Contaminated water kills 27 children in Nigeria
At least 27 children in the village of Ndiaegu-Amaegu in Nigeria's Ebonyi State have died from gastroenteritis after
drinking contaminated water, reported State Health Commissioner Sunday Nwangele. An emergency medical team
has been sent to the village. The major water source is the local stream, where livestock defecate and people wash
clothes, and according to Linus Nwankwo, a local teacher, "There is this belief here that. . .streams have a natural
way of purifying themselves so I don't think people here boil their water before drinking." (Sahra Newsletter, 14 Jan 09)

2.2.2 WHO: Cholera death toll in Zimbabwe rises to 1,732
The death toll from cholera in Zimbabwe has risen to 1732 out of a total of 34,306 cases, reported the United
Nations World Health Organization (WHO). Every province is now affected. The pace of infection appears to be
speeding up since the epidemic broke out in August 2008, mainly due to the country's economic collapse, which
has wrecked the public health and sanitation systems. (Sahra Newsletter, 7 Jan 09)

2.2.3 Algeria: Despite the development of the water sector in the province of Ain Defla, distant
communes remain poorly supplied with potable water
Despite abundant water resources in Algeria's Ain Defla Province, residents in several areas struggle to survive on
far less than the 168 liters per person per day that their luckier compatriots possess. The Hydraulic Commission
told the Provincial Assembly that the communes of El Maine, Bethia, Hassania, Boumedfaa, and Hammam Righa
are the worst off. Among the reasons for this discrepancy in water access is a shortage of Algerienne des Eaux
personnel to mend pumps and boreholes and maintain reservoirs. Another reason is the widespread theft of
potable water by means of illegal line taps. The province is gearing up to remedy these shortages by running
pipelines from the Ouled Mellouk reservoir to six communes and building a water treatment plant with a capacity
of 43,200 cubic meters a day. In addition, six pumping stations will be built. Another six communes will be
similarly supplied with water from the Sidi Ahmed Ben Taiba reservoir. (Sahra Newsletter, 6 Jan 08 – original article in French)

2.2.4 AMCOW meeting on ―Carrying forward the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration and Commitments on
Water and Sanitation‖
The Executive Committee of the African Ministers‘ Council Water (AMCOW) met from 24-28 November 2008 at
the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme ―Carrying forward the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration and
Commitments on Water and Sanitation (adopted by the African Union Summit, Egypt, June 2008).‖ The following
recommendations were adopted on:
         the elements of the plan of action for the implementation of the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration and
          commitments on water and sanitation;
         the proposed Pan-African mechanism for the monitoring and evaluation of progress in the water and
          sanitation sector at the country, sub-regional and regional levels;
         the implementation and coordination of commitments relating to water [and sanitation];
         the proposals by the Kenyan government for the hosting arrangements of the 2nd Second Africa Water
          Week [proposed date March 2010];
         AMCOW‘s strategy for strengthening the AMCOW/G8 partnership; AMCOW‘s strategy for the high level
          conference on water for agriculture and energy;
         Africa‘s road map for the World Water Forum;
         the strategy and road map for the implementation of the eThekweni Declaration;
         the road map for accelerating the implementation of the decisions of the sixth session of AMCOW;
         measures for the restructuring of the AMCOW Executive Committee, strengthening AMCOW‘s sub-
          regional presence and bringing into full operation the secretariat of AMCOW located in Abuja, Nigeria;
         the chairmanship of the African Ground Water Commission and related arrangements; and
         the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the Governing Council of the African Water Facility
declaration-and-commitments-on-water-and-sanitation/ (Wash News Africa, 1 Dec 08)

2.2.5 Museveni advises on River Nile water
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda urged the ten nations that share Africa's Nile River to focus upon conserving
catchment areas at the source of the river instead of fighting over how to allocate its waters. Although rainfall
provides 70% of the water in Lake Victoria, he pointed out, upstream countries provide the remaining 30%
through their catchments, and these need to be cleared of silt and pollution. Under the Nile Basin Initiative, Kenya,
Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Eritrea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, and Uganda have been negotiating a new
agreement to replace treaties from 1929 and 1954 that give the lion's share of Nile water to Egypt and the Sudan. (Sahra Newsletter, 5 Jan 09)

2.3 Europe

2.3.1 Highest tide in 20 years floods historic Venice
IOne of the highest tides in the history of Venice brought activities in the fabled city of canals in Italy's Venezia
Province to a halt this weekend. City officials measured the tide at 61 in. (156 cm). The all-time record was 76 in.
(194 cm) in 1966. In St. Mark's Square, the water was so high that someone ran a small speedboat across the
famous piazza, but city spokesman Enzo Bon reported no damage to the city's historic architecture. Governor
Giancarlo Galan of the Veneto Region criticized city officials for allegedly dragging their feet on a long-planned
system of underwater barriers that would rise from the seabed to ease the effect of high tides. The staggeringly
expensive project, called "Moses" after the Biblical figure who allegedly parted the Red Sea, has been under
construction for years and is finally expected to be completed in 2011.;_ylt=As2c10k.zC
VvFOBDjF3P.6Ss0NUE (Sahra Newsletter, 5 Dec 08)

2.3.2 Civic organizations demand halt to Ilisu Dam project
Ercan Ayboga of the Initiative to Save Hasankeyf group in Turkey's Diyarbakir Province released a statement
praising the governments of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for their December 23 decision to suspend
financial support for the controversial Ilisu Dam project. Other groups have also criticized Turkey's failure to keep
its promises to protect Hasankeyf's inhabitants, environment, and cultural heritage. The massive hydroelectric dam
would flood the entire city, an ancient and historic site. The Turkish government has 180 days to meet its
contractual obligations. (Sahra Newsletter, 2 Jan 09)

2.3.3 Lost and Damaged Rivers to get a new lease on life
Hidden rivers that wind their way under London's grey streets and green spaces are to once more see the light of
day thanks to a plan to restore them to their natural state. The action plan was launched on 8 January to restore
the capital's buried and neglected rivers. The London Rivers Action Plan (LRAP) aims to restore 15 kilometres of
Thames tributaries to their natural state by 2015. (Edie
Newsletter, 14 Jan 09)

2.3.4 Improving Future Health of Scotland's Water
Scotland's environment watchdog has found that 57% of Scotland's water is in good condition, or better. This
provides an excellent basis for our future livelihoods, economy and recreation. However, support is needed to
deliver further improvements for a sustainable water environment from now and into the future.
(European Water News, 14 Jan 09)

2.4 North America

2.4.1 Obama Policies Could Clean Up Water Act
An insistent cadre of experts and activists have high hopes for the nation‘s water infrastructure under current
President-elect Barack Obama. During his campaign he pledged to preserve and rebuild wetlands and waterways
across the country. Obama recently emphasized his support for infrastructure improvements, improvements that
he believes can stimulate the nation‘s economy.
―If we want to keep up with China or Europe, we can‘t settle for crumbling roads and bridges, aging water and
sewer pipes. It‘s gotten so bad that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our national infrastructure a D,‖
Obama told crowds in Flint, Michigan.
Converting conviction to concrete action first means reinvigorating the authority of the Clean Water Act, water
mavens mention. This legislation, crucial in preventing environment pollution from factories to farms, has been
significantly weakened during the Bush administration, concludes an article in US News & World Report. Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer has already pushed Congress to pass a bill
clarifying that the Clean Water Act applies to and protects all federally-owned water. Professor Robin Craig, a
premier water law expert, said she ―would not be surprised if that actually got passed within the first few years of
the Obama administration.‖ (Circle of
Blue, 3 Dec 08)
2.4.2 'Nothing but dirt,' dead cattle in dry Texas
Drought conditions in Texas are so bad -- especially in Bexar and Bastrop counties - that weakened cattle are
falling down in their pastures and dying. Veterinarians and ranchers point to the same cause: no grass. According
to the U.S. Drought Monitor map, 71% of the state is now in some stage of drought, up from 58.3% last week.
The cause: La Nina, a weather pattern in the central Pacific Ocean, which is bringing below-normal rainfall and
above-normal temperatures. (Sahra Newsletter, 16 Jan 09)

2.4.3 Melting snow causes heavy flooding in Washington State
Pierce and King counties in the state of Washington were battered by high winds and heavy rain that triggered
avalanches, mudslides, and floods as previous thick snowfall began to melt. Sixty-two highways were closed,
including every pass through the Cascade Range. Fire trucks armed with loudspeakers rolled through Orting, Pierce
County, advising more than 25,000 residents to leave the area as the Puyallup River neared record levels. In
Snoqualmie, King County, kayakers paddled in the street after the Snoqualmie River flooded, while officials urged
them to leave their homes. "This is going to be a memorable flood event," predicted Andy Haner, a National
Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle. (Sahra Newsletter, 7 Jan 09)

2.4.4 Tennessee: High Arsenic Levels in Water near Spill
The US Environmental Protection Agency found arsenic levels in some samples of water from the Emory River in
Tennessee to be 149 times the safety level, although samples taken upstream from the Kingston Steam Plant in
Harriman, Roane County -- where a massive leakage of coal ash occurred -- were within legal limits, except for the
toxic element thallium. A retention pond burst at the Federally owned power plant last month, spreading more
than a billion gallons of sludge near the river.
(Sahra Newsletter, 2 Jan 09)

2.4.5 Evaporation Station: Laser to Monitor Farm Water Use
LOS ANGELES — Drop by vaporous drop, the amount of water farmers lose through evaporation can be
significant. But a scientist and his students intend to measure this amount exactly, using a telescope-like laser called
a large aperture scintillometer to monitor the losses.
Jan Kleissl and his students from the University of California-San Diego believe that determining when and how
fast water turns to air may help farmers maximize production during a time of drought — when regulations restrict
the volume of water available to California farmers.
use/ (Circle of Blue, 31 Dec 08)

2.5 South America

2.5.1 Amazon deforestation accelerates
For the first time in three years, satellite images from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show that
deforestation in the Amazon River Basin has increased. More than 11,960 square kilometers of land were cleared
between January and July, nearly 4% more than in 2007. The causes appeared to be rising demand for cattle-
grazing areas and soybean cultivation. Environment Minister Carlos Minc, although disappointed, said that the
government's recent clampdown on illegal logging had undoubtedly reduced the speed of land clearance. "Many
had expected an increase of 30-40% and we managed to stabilize it," he said. (Sahra Newsletter, 5 Dec 08)

2.6 Australia

2.6.1 Bleak environment assessment for South Australia
A report by the Environment Protection Authority in the Australian state of South Australia concluded that
groundwater use in the northern Adelaide Plains and parts of the state's southeast, as well as surface water use in
some parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges, was unsustainable. The study showed the health of rivers, str eams, and
wetlands in the Murray River floodplain declining due to drought, over-exploitation from aquifers and the
resulting salinization, and non-delivery of water intended to maintain flows. Environment Minister Jay Weatherill
responded that the government would consider the EPA's recommendations, which included doubling the
collection and recycling of stormwater and wastewater by 2012. (Sahra Newsletter, 5 Dec 08)
2.6.2 Wonthaggi desalination plant gets Govt approval
Construction on the Wonthaggi Desalination plant will begin later this year. The Victorian Government has given
final environmental approval for the $3.1 billion desalination plant in South Gippsland. Limited construction has
already begun on the plant at Wonthaggi. The plant will be able to produce up to 200 gigalitres of water per year
to help cope with the drought. The Government says while the project may cause some harm to the environment,
its impact can be effectively managed. (AWA Newsletter, 12 Jan 09)

2.6.3 Hospitals struggle to cope with dengue fever outbreak
In the past two months, 78 cases of the potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus have been confirmed in Cairns
and in a separate outbreak, two people have been struck down in Townsville. Public health specialist Jeffrey
Hanna said the Cairns outbreak, which has been traced to an international traveller, is already stretching the
capacity of medics and extra staff have had to be employed,,,24882745-911,00.html (AWA Newsletter, 12 Jan 09)

2.6.4 Cloncurry pipeline to go ahead despite rain
The Queensland Government says a water pipeline to Cloncurry will still be built even though the north-west
town is surrounded by floods. Last month, the Government approved the urgent construction of a $42 million
pipeline because the town was in danger of running dry. But there has been so much rain in the last few days that
floodwaters have isolated Cloncurry and the local dam is over-flowing. Acting Premier Paul Lucas says the pipeline
is still needed to shore-up future supplies. (AWA Newsletter, 12 Jan 09)

2.7 Asia

2.7.1 North China drought worsens
The Flood Control and Drought Relief Office in China's Shanxi Province reported that a four-month drought is
growing worse. Shanxi has only received 20.4 mm of rain since October 2008, compared to 49.7 mm over the
same period last year. About 544,000 ha of crops have been affected. The provincial government is allocating 10
million yuan ($1.47 million US) to fight the drought. (Sahra Newsletter, 17 Jan 09)

2.7.2 Chennai's 2nd desalination plant at Nemmeli gets Central nod
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Friday approved construction of a 100 million litre per day
desalination plant at Nemmeli, about 35 km south of the city. This will be the city's second plant, in addition to
the one with similar capacity being constructed at Minjur, about 30 km north of the city. The Minjur plant,
expected to commence commercial operations in mid-April this year, will be the largest desalination plant in the
country. (AWA Newsletter, 12 Jan 09)

2.8 Middle East

2.8.1 World Bank reports drinking water shortages in Gaza
The World Bank warned of a public health crisis in the Palestinian Authority's Gaza Strip, now under attack by
Israel, because of a shortage of drinking water and a failure of the sewer system. A sewage pond in northern Gaza
City is close to overflowing, and the bank urged the Israeli government to allow maintenance crews to shore up
the perimeter; it also asked Israel to allow enough fuel into Gaza to operate some 170 water and sewage pumps. (Sahara Newsletter, 15 Jan 09)

2.8.2 94 major dams under construction
Iran's Deputy Energy Minister for Water Affairs, Mohammad-Reza Attarzadeh, announced that five new dams will
become operational by March. Eighty-nine more are under construction and the government hopes to privatize
many of them. Around 500 dams have been built by Iranian engineers since the Islamic Revolution of 1979,
making Iran one of the world's most experienced dambuilders, and the country is carrying out similar projects in 12
other nations. (Sahra Newsletter, 12 Jan 09)

2.9 World

2.9.1 The World‘s Water: Hard Facts Point Toward the Soft Path
On the horizon rests a dark cloud. It may or may not bring soothing rain. In California, experts at the Pacific
Institute are doing their part to ensure it does.
By most forecasts, the future looks grim:
        In barely sixteen years, the United Nations predicts that 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water
        By 2025 they worry that two out of three people will be living in water stressed regions.
        Already, four of every ten people cannot access their basic everyday need for the resource.
Water might well be a renewable resource, experts say, but its capacity to renew itself depends on how it is
managed. According to the Pacific Institute‘s latest book in its World‘s Water series, humankind faces a serious
management issue.
soft-path/ (Circle of Blue, 13 Jan 09)

2.9.2 US scientists crack iceberg mystery
A team of scientists led by Richard Alley of the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Centre County,
Pennsylvania, discovered how icebergs break off ("calve") from Antarctica and Greenland, a finding that may help
predict rising sea levels as the climate warms. When parent ice sheets spread out quickly over the sea, icebergs are
more likely to break off than when the parent ice sheets spread slowly. Computer models can now incorporate
this fact into their predictions of how ice sheets will behave in warmer weather. (Sahra Newsletter, 5 Dec 08)


3.1 ―Streams of Life – The Water Supply of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage‖.
Recently published, the book covers the development of the Nelson Mandela Bay‘s water schemes and describes
the battle the community of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage had to endure for adequate water supplies over the last
160 years. It describes the periodic droughts that the Eastern Cape experiences, floods that disrupted water
supplies, the need to implement ambitious and costly water schemes outside its area and the fierce rivalry that
existed between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage over local water sources.
The book has 75 pages of photographs, many historic. It will be of interest to water engineers and academics and
The book is available at Fogarty‘s Bookshop, Walmer Park Shopping Centre, Port Elizabeth at R230.00 (VAT
inclusive) - Tel No 041 368 1425 or at or directly from the author at R180.00 plus R20
postage - Tel No 041 581 2916 or at

3.2 Publications available from Australian Water Association (AWA)
        Proceedings CDROM & Abstracts Handbook. AWA De-Salting 2008 Conference. Perth.
         Keynote speakers were Tom Pankratz and Lisa Henthorne from International Desalination Association
         plus an excellent program updating progress across the nation. Costs $85 including postage (within
        Proceedings CROM & Abstracts Handbooks from AWA Biosolids Specialty IV. Adelaide.
         Keynote speakers included Peter Matthews, Tim Evans and Stephen Smith. Another set of excellent papers
         from this group. Costs $85 including postage (within Australia).
        AWWA Manual of Practice Water Conservation Planning (M52).
         Provides simple series of measures and steps to improve water use and efficiency within a business. Quote
         AWA member number for price $139 plus p & h. Available
        Pretreatment for Membrane Seawater Desalination. Nikolay Voutchkov.
         A wide-ranging text outlining the importance of planning and design of pretreatment for membrane
         desalination projects. Identifies problems, provides reasons for choice of different processes and
         outcomes. Available (Bookshop). AWA member price (quote membership number) $79.

3.3 IWA Publishing announces that the following titles are available
        3.5.1 Groundwater Management in Large River Basins
         Editors: Milan Dimkic, Heinz-Jurgen Brauch and Michael Kavanaugh
         Publication Date: November 2008 • ISBN: 9781843391906 • Pages: 728 • Hardback
         Non IWA Members Price: £ 100.00 / US$ 200.00 / € 150.00 IWA Members Price: £ 75.00 / US$ 150.00
         / € 112.50
        3.5.2 Environmental Hydrogeology: Second Edition
         Authors: Philip E. LaMoreaux, Mostafa M. Soliman, Bashir A. Memon, James W. LaMoreaux & Fakhry A.
         Publication Date: November 2008 • ISBN: 9781843392286 • Pages: 374 • Hardback
          Non IWA Members Price: £ 60.00 / US$ 120.00 / € 90.00 IWA Members Price: £ 45.00 / US$ 90.00 / €

         3.5.3 Pathways for Sustainable Sanitation: Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
          Authors: Arno Rosemarin, Nelson Ekane, Ian Caldwell, Elisabeth Kvarnstrom, Jennifer McConville, Cecilia
          Ruben & Madeleine Fogde, EcoSanRes Programme, Stockholm Environment Institute
          Publication Date: November 2008 • ISBN: 9781843391968 • Pages: 64 • Paperback
          Non IWA Members Price: £ 25.00 / US$ 50.00 / € 37.50 IWA Members Price: £ 18.75 / US$ 37.50 / €

         3.5.4 Sediment and Contaminant Transport in Surface Waters
          Author: Wilbert J. Lick
          Publication Date: October 2008 • ISBN: 9781843392293 • Pages: 456 • Hardback
          Non IWA Members Price: £ 65.00 / US$ 130.00 / € 97.50 IWA Members Price: £ 48.75 / US$ 97.50 / €

         3.5.5 Biological Wastewater Treatment: Principles, Modelling and Design
          Editors: M. Henze, M. C. M. van Loosdrecht, G.A. Ekama and D. Brdjanovic
          Publication Date: September 2008 • ISBN: 9781843391883 • Pages: 528 • Hardback
          Non IWA Members Price: £ 90.00 / US$ 180.00 / € 135.00 IWA Members Price: £ 67.50 / US$ 135.00 /
          € 101.25

         3.5.6 Health Impact Assessment for Sustainable Water Management *
          Editors: Lorna Fewtrell and David Kay
          Publication Date: July 2008 • ISBN: 9781843391333 • Pages: 300 • Hardback
          Non IWA Members Price: £ 85.00 / US$ 170.00 / € 127.50 IWA Members Price: £ 63.75 / US$ 127.50 /
          € 95.63

Publications can be ordered from Portland Customer Services at Tel: +44 (0)1206 796 351 or Fax: +44 (0)1206
799 331 or Email:


4.1 Inventor unveils solar-powered water purifier
A Swedish inventor has unveiled a device that she hopes will be used to purify water for drinking in some of the
world's poorest countries. Petra Wadström has spent the last eleven years developing Solvatten, a solar-powered
water purifier. The device, which from the outside resembles a standard jerrycan, can be filled with up to 10 litres
of water, opened out and left in the sun. (Edie Newsletter,
12 Jan 09)

4.2 Fuel Worth Its Saltwater: Could Saline Solve the Ethanol Controversy?
Desalination remains an expensive solution to water scarcity, but what if self-desalinating plants could take
advantage of ever-encroaching sources of saltwater, and produce both biofuels and foodstuffs? Wired Science talks
to several scientists who debate the merits of farming on an oceanic scale. One believes that saltwater cultivation
could be the solution to a spectrum of land and water pollution crises, including the Salton Sea catastrophe.
―I started in aquaculture back in the early 70s and we thought, golly, aquaculture is going to save the world.
Looking back, it‘s been 35 years, but over half of the key fisheries products come from aquaculture, it just took
longer than people thought,‖ Robert Glenn, a plant biologist at the University of Arizona, told Wired Science. ―I
think it‘s the same thing with saline crop production.‖
ethanol-controversy/ (Circle of Blue, 5 Dec 08)

4.3 Revolutionary New Software Delivers Considerable Productivity Gains and Cost Savings
for Detailed Pipeline Design Production and Rapid Return on Investment
State of the art software for detailed pipeline design production, PipePlan gives civil engineers the unprecedented
ability to quickly and accurately design, plot and complete final drafting of water distribution and transmission
pipes in both plan and section views. The program is hoped to reduce the time-consuming and complex task of
design of pressurized pipelines. It requires compliance with a daunting number of design criteria, including pipeline
minimum slope, maximum spacing between air release valves, intersection with existing utilities, and pipe cover.
Meeting these criteria, while also achieving quality assurance standards, requires repetitive iterations based on
sound engineering experience. It provides all the capabilities needed to streamline engineering design processes,
optimize detailed pipeline design (both horizontal and vertical alignments), increase productivity and accuracy,
and significantly shorten project schedules. These advances in detailed pipeline design production deliver
substantial cost savings and productivity gains. Visit for more information.


5.1 UNESCO-IHE announces course offerings for upcoming year
UNESCO-IHE would like to draw attention to the educational opportunities related to Water Management at
UNESCO-IHE for the coming year. They have a diversity of flexible arrangements to improve knowledge and skills
in water management. They offer full time programmes in Delft like the 4-year PhD programme and the 18-month
Water Management Master of Science Programme as well as short courses of 3 to 4 weeks. They also offer part-
time programmes in the form of 16-week on-line courses and upon request we are able to offer to groups tailor-
made training sessions. (UNESCO Water Portal Newsletter, 2 Dec 08)

5.2 Pipeline course
Well-known experts, Prof SJ van Vuuren and Mr Marco van Dijk of the University of Pretoria have presented a
number of courses in water engineering. The One-day Pipeline Course will focus on the practical aspects of
pipeline design. The theoretical knowledge with regard to pipeline engineering will be discussed and numerous
examples will be assessed. Participants will leave with the confidence to design pipe systems in practice.
Planners, designers and managers of pipelines and water infrastructure will benefit from the course.
The course will be presented in various centres during early next year, tentatively as shown:
          Pretoria/Johannesburg - (8-14 February 2009)
          Cape Town - (15-21 March 2009)
          Port Elizabeth - (1-7 March 2009)
          Bloemfontein - (8-14 March 2009)
          Polokwane - (15-21 March 2009)
          Nelspruit - (22-28 March 2009)
The fees are R1150 per person, VAT included however if organisations send more than 5 delegates in a single
registration then the fee is R950.00 per delegate
Please register online at or address enquires to Ms Carla de Jager at Cell: 083 376

5.3 Graduate seeking employment
Suzan Mothiba has informed WISA that she is seeking employment. She has a BSC in Community Water Services
and Sanitation from the University of Limpopo. Should you be interested please contact Ms Mothiba on 072 750
1695/ 083 392 2243 or at Please contact Melissa Wheal for Ms
Mothiba‘s full CV.


6.1 ALCAN Specialty Aluminas
A global presence in water treatment, protecting the world‘s water supply. The availability of suitable drinking
water is becoming an increasingly critical global problem. Identification of naturally-occurring contaminants (such
as arsenic and fluoride) and the detrimental health effects they cause in relatively low dosages, as well as the
environmental degradation of water due to pollution, industrial waste, extensive use of fertilizers, storm water and
farm runoff, all contribute to the need for cleanup.
New regulations around the world for arsenic and fluoride levels in potable water, coupled with cleanup and
environmental protection, have expanded the use of activated alumina as an absorbent, as well as initiated
improvements on the old technology. ALCAN Specialty Aluminas is meeting the demand for activated alumina, in
addition to providing enhanced products such as ActiGard AAFS50 and Fluorograde AA400G, for specific
applications, at reduced costs.
For more information please contact and view the web link below.


        The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty.
        The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
        Ross Perot

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Editor: Melissa Wheal, Water Institute of Southern Africa
[Tel: +27 11 805 3537] [E-mail:]

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