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					Knowledge Review

          Water Research Commission
Table of

 |2|   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
 Table of Contents
 Introduction                               5

 KSA 1 – Water Resource Management          10

 KSA 2 – Water-Linked Ecosystems            52

 KSA 3 – Water Use and Waste Management     72

 KSA 4 – Water Utilisation in Agriculture   121

 KSA 5 – Water-Centred Knowledge            145

 Impact Areas                               154

         Water and Society                  155

         Water and the Economy              171

         Water and the Environment          179

         Water and Health                   190

 Catalogue of Available TT Reports          202

                                                  Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   |3|

        To be a globally recognised leader in providing
        innovative solutions for sustainable water
        management to meet the changing needs of
        society and of the environment.


        The WRC is a dynamic hub for water-centred
        knowledge, innovation and intellectual capital.

        We provide leadership for research and
        development through the support of knowledge
        creation, transfer and application.

        We engage stakeholders and partners in solving
        water-related problems which are critical to
        South Africa’s sustainable development and
        economic growth, and are committed to
        promoting a better quality of life for all.

|4|   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                                                 edge that have collectively provided the           with good alignment with di erent stake-
                                                 basis for the development of policies and          holder groups. The Review supported the
                                                 strategies that allow for the sustainability of    WRC initiative in Africa and its support to
                                                 South Africa’s water resources. This empha-        NEPAD. Although the overall ndings of the
                                                 sises not only the important role that water-      Review were very positive, the Review panel
                                                 centred knowledge has played in the past,          also indicated areas that can be improved
                                                 but its increasing importance in providing         further. The recommendations of the Review
                                                 the country with knowledge which will allow        informed the WRC future core strategy and
                                                 it to deal successfully with the many emerg-       business plan.
                                                 ing challenges that will a ect our limited wa-
                                                 ter resources in future years. The WRC plays       During 2006/07 the WRC continued in
                                                 a crucial role in this regard. During 2006/07,     strengthening its support to South Africa
                                                 the WRC continued to provide leadership            by creating and disseminating water-cen-
                                                 and coordinated research which, in turn,           tred knowledge, building capacity through
                                                 created the knowledge that allowed South           research and establishing new research
                                                 Africa to manage water quantity and qual-          competencies, and further identifying me-
                                                 ity judiciously and, in so doing, to continue      dium- to long-term future research needs
                                                 to achieve sustainability. As in the past, the     that will allow sustainability of the resource
Dr Rivka K r
                                                 broad spectrum (natural and social sciences)       and related services. The WRC also continued
Chief Executive O cer
                                                 of research supported by the WRC during            to strengthen its role in Africa in support of
Water Research Commission
                                                 this nancial year has created knowledge            South Africa’s Government initiatives and
                                                 and supported its transfer to ensure that          NEPAD and further linking the South African
During the year under review the WRC ef-
                                                 South Africa avoids any undesirable future         water sector and the research community
fectively functioned according to its man-
                                                 scenarios.                                         to global knowledge and initiatives. The
date as re ected by its mission which, as in
                                                                                                    WRC strengthened its national, regional and
previous years, provided the framework for
                                                 Since 2005/06 marked the 5th year of opera-        global pro le, building strong water-centred
its strategic and operational initiatives, and
                                                 tion of the WRC as a dynamic water-centred         knowledge links and both initiated and
in accordance with the organisation’s core
                                                 knowledge hub, the organisation’s Board            undertook key roles in a number of national,
strategy and business plan as approved by
                                                 and Management decided that it was an              African and global initiatives, with many sta
the Minister of Water A airs and Forestry.
                                                 opportune time for an external review.             members serving in key leadership positions.
The WRC has ful lled the role of a ‘hub’ for
                                                 During July 2006 the WRC underwent an
water-centred knowledge, reporting to and
                                                 Institutional Review. The Review, which was        Building capacity in researchers continued
supporting its shareholder, the Government
                                                 carried out by a group of local and interna-       to be an important function of research and,
of South Africa through the Minister of
                                                 tional experts, addressed the organisation’s       in many areas of research supported by the
Water A airs and Forestry, the Department
                                                 relevance, e ectiveness and e cacy. The            WRC, it is evident that students who had par-
of Water A airs and Forestry (DWAF), other
                                                 aim was to provide the WRC Board and               ticipated in earlier WRC projects are currently
Government Departments (national, provin-
                                                 Management with feedback on strategy               leading WRC-funded research projects and
cial and local), and all other related players
                                                 and operations for the period 2001/02 to           are serving as members of reference groups/
within the water sector and related sectors.
                                                 2005/06. The Institutional Review found the        steering committees as well as reviewers of
Throughout the year, the WRC has been
                                                 WRC to be a relevant organisation with a           new proposals. The WRC has also supported
strongly attuned to the needs of the end-
                                                 sound and broad research portfolio. It also        DWAF’s 2025 Initiative and has undertaken
users who bene t from the water-centred
                                                 indicated that the performance of the WRC          a study assessing needs and mechanisms to
knowledge that emanates from their sup-
                                                 has continuously improved and that the WRC         support capacity building for water services
port. The WRC continued to function as a
                                                 has an adaptive management responding              in local government. Other national initia-
networking organisation, linking the nation
                                                 to national transformation imperatives. The        tives led by DWAF have also been supported
and working through partnerships. The WRC
                                                 WRC was found to be aligned to sustainable         by the WRC. Examples are the Women in
employed innovative strategies to develop
                                                 development and poverty eradication; its           Water, Sanitation and Forestry Awards initia-
novel (and practical) ways of packaging and
                                                 governance arrangements were found to              tive and the SA Youth Water Prize.
transferring knowledge which includes, for
                                                 be good and its capacity-building initiatives
example, policy briefs and other technology-
                                                 for research were found to be e ective. The        Another ongoing challenge is the appropri-
based products aimed at serving decision
                                                 Institutional Review reported an overwhelm-        ate state-of-the-art dissemination and ap-
makers, the water sector and the community
                                                 ingly positive view from stakeholders with re-     plication of WRC-created knowledge. During
at large.
                                                 gard to their relationships with the WRC. The      the course of the year the WRC created a
                                                 WRC is viewed as responsive and receptive to       new mechanism for knowledge dissemina-
Water quantity and quality are critical to
                                                 new and innovative ideas as well as being an       tion through policy and technical briefs. In
South Africa’s long-term sustainability. The
                                                 honest broker in the sector and a consensus        an e ort to share knowledge e ectively with
WRC has further built on decades of research
                                                 builder. It is also viewed as a reliable, objec-   national policy and decision makers, a set of
and development and science-based knowl-
                                                 tive, transparent and impartial organisation       brie ng notes was generated The organisa-

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   |5|
Introduction                                                   (continued)

tion undertook many knowledge transfer
                                                                                                          Number of
workshops and exhibited and participated                                                                                Total number of
                                                                         Organisation                   disadvantaged
in many scienti c, technical and profes-                                                                                   students
sional fora.
                                                        African Water Institute (AWI)                         2                2
Building the water-centred                              Anchor Consultancy (linked to UCT)                    2               12
knowledge base – capacity
building                                                ARC                                                   3                5
During 2006/07, the WRC continued to
                                                        Arcus Gibb (Pty) Ltd                                  2                2
contribute towards capacity building and
strengthening the water-centred knowl-                  Cape Peninsula University of Technology               2                2
edge base in South Africa The issues of
building the knowledge base (capacity                   Chris Swartz Water Utilization Engineers             10               10
building) and the dissemination, applica-
                                                        Coaltech 2020                                         2                2
tion, transfer and sharing of water-centred
knowledge are interlinked and are of great              Conningarth Economists                                3                3
importance to the relevance of the organi-
sation. The challenge of building capacity              Council for Geoscience                                2                3
and improving knowledge dissemination
                                                        CPH Water                                             1                1
and application is crucial to the WRC.
                                                        CSIR                                                 25               31
During the current year (2006/07) the WRC
has maintained its support to students,                 DH Environmental Consultants                          0                1
with special emphasis on historically dis-
advantaged students. Currently about 580                Digby Wells and Associates                            2                4
students are supported by WRC projects,                 Durban University of Technology                       2                2
of whom about 66% are from historically
disadvantaged backgrounds. This clearly                 Emanti Management (Pty) Ltd                           2                3
indicates that the WRC strategy to improve
capacity building through its research proj-            Environmental Business Strategies cc                  1                1
ects continues to bear fruits.
                                                        GEOSS                                                 1                1

Science councils continue in their support              Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd                    5                8
by building capacity and the number of
students supported by consultancy rms                   Industrial and Urban Infrastructure (Pty) Ltd         2                2
via WRC projects is also signi cant. The
                                                        Maluti Water                                          2                2
increase in the number of students in non-
academic institutions may be a result of the            Mvula Trust                                           2                2
WRC strategy of building research networks
and research consortia.                                 National Museum, Bloemfontein                         0                1

                                                        Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University                2                4

                                                        Nepid Consultants                                     1                1

                                                        Ninham Shand                                          3                5

                                                        NMMU                                                  0                1

                                                        Partners in Development cc                            2                2

                                                        Pegram and Associates                                 0                1

                                                        PICWAT                                                2                2

                                                        Pulles, Howard and de Lange (now with Golder)         3                5

                                                        Rand Water                                           10               16

                                                        Rhodes University                                    21               29

|6|   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                                               Number of
                                                                       Total number of
                  Organisation               disadvantaged

Rural Integrated Eng                                 7                         8

SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity                8                         15

SASRI                                                3                         3

SAWS                                                 3                         4

Sigma Beta                                           1                         4

Siyaphambili Development Consulting                  2                         2

Source Strategic Focus                               3                         3

Southern Waters Ecological Research and
                                                     2                         7

SRK                                                  6                         8

Sustainable Environmental Technologies               1                         1

TBR Project                                          1                         1

Tshwane University of Technology                    23                         24

Umgeni Water                                         8                         10

Umhlaba Consulting                                   1                         3

University of Cape Town                             20                         50

University of Fort Hare                             14                         14

University of Johannesburg                           5                         11

University of KwaZulu-Natal                         43                         69

University of Limpopo                                2                         2

University of Pretoria                              21                         37

University of Stellenbosch                          21                         31

University of the Free State                        14                         26

University of the North West                         3                         14

University of the Western Cape                      32                         42

University of the Witwatersrand                     13                         17

University of Venda                                  4                         4

William Harding                                      0                         1

Zakhe Training College                               2                         2

Zitholele Consulting (Pty) Ltd                       1                         1

Total                                              381                        580

                                          Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   |7|
Introduction                                                   (continued)

One of the important areas requiring the                events, which may severely a ect existing         projects that commenced during 2006/07.
building of competence is that of local gov-            infrastructure or further diminish our scarce     The various mechanisms of funding included
ernment. The WRC serves as the implement-               water resources.                                  both non-solicited projects, accommodating
ing agent for DWAF with regard to the Water                                                               projects within the broad research strategy
Information Network (WIN-SA). The WIN-SA                With regard to knowledge dissemination,           of each KSA, and solicited projects, where re-
sector initiative is growing in strength. WIN-          the WRC continues to search for di erent          search projects are developed in accordance
SA is aimed at knowledge sharing and capac-             mechanisms to improve knowledge sharing,          with clear terms of reference, aimed at solv-
ity building for local government.                      dissemination and transfer. During 2006/07        ing speci c problems. The WRC supported 67
                                                        the WRC nalised 72 research projects and          solicited projects, which translates to about
                                                        published 105 research reports, which were        28% of active projects.
Investing in the creation of                            distributed widely within the water sector.
water-centred knowledge                                 In addition to publishing research reports,       In comparison with the previous year, the
                                                        regular publications such as Amanzi, the          year 2006/07 shows a 6.5% decrease in the
Investing in the creation and                           Knowledge Review and The Water Wheel and a        number of projects, i.e. 314 projects vs. 336
sharing of knowledge                                    number of policy briefs, the WRC undertook        projects in 2005/06. This is a slight reduction
Water is fundamental to life: water quantity            two Open Days and many technical work-            compared to the 26% reduction reported
and quality are keys for quality of life, the           shops aimed at sharing knowledge.                 during the previous year (number of projects
health and well-being of both human beings                                                                was reduced from 454 (during 2004/05) to
and the environment and the country’s eco-              The research portfolio of the WRC for             336 (during 2005/06). This indicates that the
nomic and social sustainability. Having suf-            2006/07 was developed based on a needs            drive for improvement of project manage-
  cient water of good quality is a continuous           analysis including medium- to short-term          ment has resulted in achieving a reasonable
challenge facing South Africa. Since South              as well as explicit and implicit needs. South     number of projects. In addition, this trend
Africa is located in a semi-arid geographical           Africa’s water problems/issues are re ected       re ects a strategic drive to address the needs
zone, the country views its water as a scarce           in this portfolio with the aim to scienti cally   of the South African water sector where re-
commodity. Thus, South Africa is character-             build the required solution and, where pos-       search problems are often very complex and
ised by a continual quest for innovative ways           sible, the capacity for its use. The process of   require larger projects of a multidisciplinary
of using water optimally. Wise/e ective ways            setting the research portfolio was a result of    nature. As indicated by the number of active
of managing water will result in ‘having more           many interactions at various levels with both     projects the trend in reduction of overall
for less’. E ective management necessitates             the local and the global water sectors. The       project numbers is not a ecting the number
having the right knowledge and informa-                 portfolio was also informed by scienti c de-      of current ongoing projects. The number of
tion at one’s disposal. During 2006/07 the              velopments which can be applied to water          active projects is similar to that of previous
WRC continued to serve the South African                research so as to provide bene cial solutions.    years with a di erence of less that one per
Government and, more speci cally, the                                                                     cent deviation (i.e. two projects, 245 in the
Minister of Water A airs and Forestry, its              The WRC continued to invest in the cre-           previous year and 243 projects during the
shareholder, DWAF, and supported the water              ation of knowledge via its four main key          year under review). However, there is an in-
sector and all relevant institutions and part-          strategic areas (KSAs). These areas include       crease in the proportion of ongoing projects
ners by providing them with high-quality                Water Resource Management, Water-                 as a percentage of total active projects, while
and appropriately packaged knowledge to                 Linked Ecosystems, Water Use and Waste            the number of newly initiated projects has
inform the decision-making processes and                Management, and Water Utilisation in              been slightly reduced. During the year under
the application of technology which relates             Agriculture. In general, the portfolio as         review 56 new projects have commenced
to water resource management and the                    planned for the year under review was well        while the previous year indicated 70 new
provision of water and sanitation services.             received by the various stakeholders. The         projects. The reduction of the number of new
The WRC supported policy development and                Institutional Review also supported the re-       projects is directly related to the number of
implementation through the provision of the             search portfolio and the KSA-based structure,     ongoing active projects.
required knowledge.                                     with its four water-centred KSAs (as men-
                                                        tioned above), supported by the knowledge-        Utilisation of funds by the
The WRC continued to address the issue of               centred KSA. This structure continued to form     various KSAs
climate change. Climate change and the                  the core operating framework for WRC-fund-        The percentage utilisation of research proj-
linked phenomena of extreme events require              ed R&D and was further consolidated during        ect funds (based on amounts actually paid
both understanding and adaptability. This is            the year and became accepted generally.           out) by the KSAs during 2006/07indicates
again a key challenge facing South Africa as                                                              that about 49% in comparison to about
espoused by the Minister. The WRC supports              During the year under review , the WRC sup-       46% (2005/06) was invested in projects
South Africa in its endeavours to develop               ported 314 research projects, of which about      that focused on water resources (including
adaptive strategies to ensure the sustain-              77% (243 projects) were active projects (on-      water-linked ecosystems) and about 51%
ability of the country’s water resources and            going and new) and about 23% (71 projects)        (compared to 54% (2005/06)) in projects
services in the face of continuous changes              were nalised. The active projects comprised       that focused on water utilisation (including
in climatic conditions and potential extreme            187 ongoing projects and 56 newly initiated       e uent treatment and management, as well

|8|   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
as agriculture). This is based on the actual     (a maximum of 3%). The ratio addressing             for use. With creative licensing strategies,
amount paid out to projects during the cur-      funding of the creation of new knowledge            the WRC can assist in fostering sustainable
rent nancial year. The allocation of about       (research projects only) is the same as in the      development, which, in the WRC’s view, will
50% of the fund to issues related to resource    previous year. The ratio for research support       allow transfer of technology with the aim of
management and 50% to water utilisation is       is also similar to that of the previous year with   promoting a better quality of life for all. In this
ongoing and was supported by the recom-          only 2% di erence).                                 connection, a high percentage of the patent
mendations from the institutional review.                                                            portfolio is licensed out. During 2006/07, the
                                                 Making knowledge application a                      WRC continued in its e ort to license and
Based on cash paid out, the overall invest-      reality – commercialisation                         earn income from its licensed IP. A new IP
ment in research projects (knowledge cre-        During the year under review, knowledge ap-         manager has commenced duty during July.
ation) was about R60m. This amount (paid         plication, i.e. transferring of various technolo-   The WRC also aims to build awareness and
out for research projects) re ects a 6% devia-   gies, processes and/or products developed           improve IP management internally and at
tion from last year (R63.9m. during 2005/06).    with the support of the WRC continues to            academic institutions. The WRC is currently
                                                 be a challenge. It required the understand-         developing guidelines to deal with the pro-
Investment in the total support of knowl-        ing of issues of intellectual property (IP) and     cedure for disclosure and commercialisation
edge creation, sharing and dissemination         commercialisation. The WRC is continuing in         of its IP portfolio.
amounted to R85.5m. (including about             its drive to provide the country with applied
R4.8m. for WIN-SA and other income lever-        knowledge and water-related innovation.
aged for research projects during the year       In addition, the WRC is supporting water-             This publication is an abridged version of
under review). Both the investments in           related innovation and its commercialisation          the WRC 2006/07 Knowledge Review.
research projects and in research support,       where applicable. Often, these technologies,          The complete text is available on the CD
expressed as a percentage of total expendi-      processes and products require commercial             which is attached.
ture, were close to the set budgeted ratios      involvement in order to make them available

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   |9|
KSA 1 Water Resource Management
                                                           environment, social and economic develop-
                                                           ment. The NWA puts emphasis on the stake-
                                                           holder participation in water resource man-
                                                           agement; this requires e ective participatory
                                                           tools and approaches that can support multi-
                                                           stakeholder participation in water resource
                                                           management at catchment level.

                                                           The primary objective of research in this KSA
                                                           is to ensure that water resources of South
                                                                                                             Thrusts and programmes
                                                                                                             Thrust 1:
                                                                                                             Water Resource Assessment and
                                                                                                             Scope: This thrust focuses on developing a
                                                                                                             scienti c understanding of the hydrological
                                                                                                             cycle (and inter-linkages) in order to promote
                                                                                                             a systematic assessment and variability of
                                                                                                             the quantity and quality of water available for
                                                                                                             development in South Africa.
                                                                                                             • Groundwater hydrology
                                                                                                             • Catchment hydrology
                                                           Africa are protected, utilised, developed,        • Understanding and predicting hydro-
                                                           conserved and managed to achieve environ-            climatic variability
Ms Eiman Karar: Director                                   mental, social and economic sustainability.       • Development of appropriate techniques
                                                           The secondary aims have been streamlined             for evaporation monitoring
Scope                                                      from previous business plans to re ect the        • Water quality assessment studies and
                                                           needs analysis process. Thus the revised aims        information systems
The strategic focus for research in this key               to support the primary objective are to:          • Real-time mapping of daily rainfall
strategic area (KSA) is largely guided by the              • Develop a scienti c understanding of the           over South Africa
principles and objectives of the National                      hydrological cycle (and inter-linkages) in
Water Act (NWA) of 1998. The primary prin-                     order to promote a systematic assessment      Thrust 2:
ciple of the Act is that water resources should                and variability of the quantity and quality
                                                                                                             Management of Natural and Human-
be managed to achieve optimum long-term                        of water available for development in
                                                                                                             induced Impacts on Water Resources
social and economic bene ts for all; this                      South Africa
                                                                                                             Scope: Research in this thrust focuses
implies maintaining an optimum balance                     • Build up appropriate quantitative
                                                                                                             on developing appropriate quantitative
between protection of the environment and                      understanding, tools and adaptive
                                                                                                             understanding, tools and strategies for
e cient utilisation. This KSA supports the                     strategies for managing the impacts
                                                                                                             managing the impacts of climate variability
implementation of the policy by developing                     of extreme climatic events ( oods and
                                                                                                             and change as well as human interventions
tools and technologies for water resource                      droughts) due to global warming and
                                                                                                             on the hydrological cycle and related water
assessment, guidelines and decision-sup-                       human-induced impacts on water
                                                                                                             resources, with the aim of supporting the
port systems to support decision makers in                     resources(include understanding of
                                                                                                             development of policy responses, at regional,
achieving equitable and e cient allocation                     health impact to humans)
                                                                                                             national or catchment scale, to existing
of water resources among competing needs.                  • Provide control measures for improving
                                                                                                             and emerging problems. This includes
                                                               the prevention, mitigation and control of
                                                                                                             development of systems (e.g. river ow and
The research puts emphasis on multidisci-                      pollution of water resources
                                                                                                             inundation forecast models, drought impact
plinary approaches that provide decision                   • Support and improve policy reforms
                                                                                                             monitoring systems) for managing oods
makers and planners with appropriate tools                     for promoting equitable, e cient and
                                                                                                             and droughts
that enable them to take cognizance of so-                     sustainable conservation and allocation of
                                                                                                             • Developing predictive tools and
cial, environmental and economic factors in                    water resources among competing needs
                                                                                                                adaptive measures to global climate
the planning of water resource development.                                                                     change
                                                           In view of the above revised aims, the thrusts
                                                                                                             • Human-induced impacts
The research focus continues to shift from                 have been realigned as follows:
                                                                                                             • Integrated ood and drought
supporting policy making to providing guid-                Thrust 1: Water Resource Assessment
ance for policy implementation and develop-                            and Development
ment of policy instruments. The challenge for              Thrust 2: Management of Natural and
                                                                       Human-Induced Impacts
                                                                                                             Thrust 3:
research in this KSA is to provide the neces-
                                                                       on Water Resources                    Water Resource Protection
sary information systems, guidelines, deci-
                                                           Thrust 3: Water Resource Protection               Scope: Research in this thrust focuses
sion-support systems, prediction tools and
                                                           Thrust 4: Policy Development and                  on the generation of information and
technologies/methodologies that support
                                                                       Institutional Arrangements            understanding in order to improve water
protection of water resources and equitable
                                                                       for Water Resource Management         quality management, with reference to
allocation of water to meet the needs of the
                                                                                                             point sources as well as di use sources,

| 10 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
and addressing chemical, microbial, and          and global levels. The current emphasis of         Core Strategy
biological pollution impacts on surface water    the research portfolio continues to support
and groundwater                                  the implementation of the National Water           Strategic context
• Groundwater protection                         Resource Strategy through the following            South Africa has a high-risk hydro-climatic
• Protection and management of surface           broad ways:                                        environment. This is illustrated by mean an-
   water quality                                 • Through integrated water resource                nual precipitation (MAP) that ranges from <
• Urban water resource management                   assessment (developing knowledge of             100 mm to over 1 200 mm, with an average
• Low ows and stream ow reduction                   the di erent components of the resource         of approximately 490 mm. Linking this low
   activities                                       in terms of quantity and quality and            rainfall rate to the high level aridity results in
                                                    its condition in relation to reference          a mean annual runo (MAR) of less than 10%
Thrust 4:                                           conditions)                                     - a very low percentage when compared
Policy Development and Institutional             • By developing and re ning tools and              to the world average. However, it is not the
Arrangements for Water Resource                     methods to support implementation of            average conditions that complicate water
Management                                          resource-directed measures (RDMs) and           resource management per se but rather is-
                                                    source-directed controls (SDCs)
Scope: This thrust focuses on instruments                                                           sues such as inter- and intra-annual variability
                                                 • By providing greater understanding of
supporting e ective water resource                                                                  of the hydrological system or the di ering
                                                    threatening process to water resources
management, ranging from support for                                                                responses of the various components of the
                                                    such as global climate change, water
the development of appropriate policies                                                             hydrological system to rainfall variability.
                                                    resource degradation, over-commitment
and their implementation to research
                                                    of the resource, and impacts of land use
concerning the establishment of governing                                                           Nevertheless, su cient water resources have
                                                    and water storage and diversion on the
bodies and institutional arrangements (at                                                           been developed to date for South Africa
                                                    water resource
catchment, national and transboundary                                                               (about 320 dams) to ensure that all current
                                                 • By providing tools for the assessment of
levels). The thrust supports research on tools                                                      requirements for water can be met without
                                                    policy and management options (such as
and methodologies for decision support                                                              impairing the socio-economic development
                                                    modelling, decision-support systems, and
for IWRM, aims to provide strategic support                                                         of the country. The storage capacity of the
                                                    predictive tools)
for new policy development and improve                                                              dams is in the order of 32 400 x 106 m3/a.
                                                 • By providing data and tools for
the understanding regarding the e ective                                                            This represents 66% of the total MAR of 49
                                                    assessment of the progress of resource
functioning of institutional structures for                                                         000 x 106 m3/a. This high development and
                                                    management programmes, and their
implementing IWRM.                                                                                  regulation of water resources has caused sig-
                                                    successful re nement.
• Decision support for IWRM at catchment                                                            ni cant changes in the ow regimes of rivers
    and WMA level                                                                                   resulting in negative impacts on the environ-
                                                 The research community during the past
• Water policy development and strategic                                                            ment and loss of ecosystem functioning.
                                                 funding cycle has been given an opportunity
    policy support                                                                                  Further, the outcome of poor land-use prac-
                                                 through the non-solicited proposal stream
• Institutional arrangements and                                                                    tices has resulted in sedimentation of river
                                                 of funding to respond to the water resource
    processes for IWRM at catchment, WMA                                                            channels, lakes and reservoirs, and changes
                                                 management challenges. In 2006/2007, the
    and national level                                                                              in hydrological processes.
                                                 opportunity will be given to research com-
• Transboundary water resource
                                                 munity to respond to the water resource
    management                                                                                      In addition, deterioration of the quality of
                                                 management challenges through both the
• Governance, law and regulation                                                                    water resources is due to increases in salinity
                                                 solicited and non-solicited proposal streams
• Integrated catchment management                                                                   and nutrient loads from irrigation (irrigated
                                                 of funding. Continued consultation with            agriculture) and also the domestic, industrial
                                                 stakeholders will take place at local and re-      and mining sectors. Increased human activi-
                                                 gional level. This will be an important task to
Research portfolio for 2006/07                   identify future research needs and priorities.
                                                                                                    ties have led to the exposure of the water en-
                                                                                                    vironment to a range of chemical, microbial
The knowledge base generated in this KSA                                                            and biological pollutants as well as micro-
will help South Africa to move away from a                                                          pollutants. The mining and industrial sectors,
sectoral approach to water resource man-         Budget for 2006/07                                 especially, produce high concentration of
agement to a more integrated approach                                                               wastes and e uents that act as non-point
                                                 The approved funding of the research               sources of water quality degradation and
that promotes co-ordinated development of
                                                 portfolio for 2006/07 leads to a committed         acid mine drainage.
water, land and related resources in order to
                                                 funding budget of R28 415 046. The focus of
achieve social equity and economic growth.
                                                 this portfolio will continue along the current     Despite the above complexities, the devel-
The research will continue to contribute to
                                                 trends.                                            opment of water resources has supported
the development of a skilled and competent
pool of experts who can support the imple-                                                          both economic and social development
                                                 Herewith a list of the new projects which          in South Africa. In the economic sector,
mentation of national water policy and also
                                                 commenced between 1 April 2006 and 31              water has been utilised for industry, mining,
provide leadership for the sector at regional
                                                 March 2007.                                        hydropower generation, infrastructure and

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 11 |
Water Resource Management

transport purposes providing South Africa
with export earnings. In the agricultural sec-
tor water resource development has resulted
in well-needed employment through subsis-
tence and commercial agriculture, livestock
production, sheries and tourism. The provi-
sion of safe water supply and sanitation to
many communities in South Africa has been
important to reduce morbidity and mortality
rates of waterborne and water-related dis-
eases such as cholera, diarrhoea and malaria.

However, to continue to provide the above
                                                           knowledge and water-related innovation, by
                                                           translating needs into research ideas and, in
                                                           turn, by transferring research results and dis-
                                                           seminating knowledge and new technology-
                                                           based products and processes to end-users.

                                                           Needs analysis
                                                           The KSA aims to be pro-active and responsive
                                                           to the water resource management needs
                                                           in South Africa. Therefore, the KSA needs a
                                                           strong relationship with its stakeholders and
                                                           needs to adopt several approaches to im-
                                                           prove its understanding of the water sector’s
                                                                                                             The themes for discussion included: building
                                                                                                             end-user awareness and capacity, technol-
                                                                                                             ogy transfer to implementers and research
                                                                                                             needs/issues. Most of the recommendations
                                                                                                             have implications wider than the WRC. Some
                                                                                                             of the pertinent issues related to the devel-
                                                                                                             opment of the research portfolio are:

                                                                                                             • End-user awareness and capacity
                                                                                                               - A deeper understanding of water
                                                                                                                 issues needs to be developed in
                                                                                                                 end-users rather than only a notional
economic security and social well-being,                   needs and aspirations.                              - Awareness building needs to support
the water resource base requires protection.                                                                     the implementation processes
Environmental degradation is inextricably                  Through this process a number of outcomes           - Knowledge is required about local
and causally linked to problems of poverty,                are envisaged which include:                          issues, areas and systems
hunger, gender equality and health. The scale              • Establish research needs                          - The WRC needs to coordinate and
of water resource issues is best formulated                • Identify diverse perspectives on research           engage with partners to promote
in a number of critical issues that research                  issues                                             training in the water sector (including
needs to address in water resource manage-                 • Get or buy-in/ownership of the research             capacity building projects between
ment:                                                         portfolio                                          government departments).
• Will there be su cient water to support                  • Establish legitimacy of the research
    both the environment and future                           portfolio                                      • Technology transfer to implementers
    economic growth taking into account                    • Achieve balance in the research portfolio         - The research portfolio need to
    international rights and obligations and               • Identify critical issues                             incorporate tools for transferring
    water use of strategic importance?                     • Pro le stakeholders                                  and sharing knowledge i.e. training
• Will we be able to allocate water resources              • Achieve active engagement                            programmes, models and decision
    equitably while coping with extreme                    • Establish partnerships                               support systems, special events, case
    events such as oods and droughts due                   • Establish support base for water research.           studies, pilot applications, media etc.
    to global warming?                                                                                         - Research projects need to de ne the
• Can water quality be maintained and                      The methodologies followed in the needs                end at the beginning and involve end-
    enhanced?                                              analysis process are varied and include:               users in the research process.
• Will reforms in the water sector:                        • Stakeholder workshops
    - Bring us closer to the millennium                    • Policy documents, e.g. National Water           • Research needs/issues
       development goals (MDGs)?                              Resource Strategy                                - The implications of mine closure to
    - Ensure broad and e ective                            • Focal group and individual interviews                the water environment (groundwater
       participation in water resource                     • Interpretation and reinterpretation of               strategy for regional closure,
       management?                                            research outcomes                                   disposal of brine from groundwater
                                                           • International/regional forums                        desalination plants, apportionment
Science, technology and innovation will be                 • Strategic studies.                                   of liabilities with respect to impacts of
critical to address the above complex chal-                                                                       ground- and surface waters, decanting
lenges. This is because water resource man-                During 2005 a series (6 in total) of workshops         and abandoned mines)
agers will need to make informed choices in                was held with a number of stakeholders in           - Developing an understanding of
an environment of con icting and uncertain                 various provinces. These workshops were                ground- and surface interactions
alternative actions, which are best made                   a follow-up to national workshops held by           - Developing equitable mechanisms for
with the full bene t of research and analysis .            KSA 1 and KSA 2. The national workshops                allocation of water resources
Clearly the need for improved, more e cient                contributed to the development of strategic         - Developing management strategies
management of water resources and the                      focus issues, research needs and priorities for        for development of river and
more accurate knowledge of the hydrologi-                  future research as well as methods of opera-           estuarine margins, wetlands, lakes,
cal cycle for better water resources assess-               tion. The next stage in the process involved a         impoundments, groundwater and
ment underlines the need to implement a                    further participation process to derive input          catchment areas
system approach which includes the social,                 from a wider range of stakeholders to re ne         - Developing water information and
environmental and economic dimension for                   the outcomes of the initial workshops and to           monitoring systems
a sustainable development .                                incorporate local ideas, suggestions, needs         - Groundwater development in primary
                                                           and requirements. The participants were                and dolomitic aquifers
Thus, in line with WRC aims, the KSA in-                   drawn from spheres of government, water             - Protection of water quality
tends to provide the country with applied                  boards, research institutions and universities.        (eutrophication, radioactivity etc.)

| 12 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
   - Understanding of impacts of                    modelling, decision-support systems, and           groundwater and water quality interactions
     recreational use on water resources            predictive tools)                                  possible in a number of local environments.
   - Issues addressing water resource use         • By providing data and tools for                    Water resource modelling processes and
     for recreation purposes                        assessment of the progress of resource             concepts are set to be gained through fur-
   - Addressing sedimentation issues                management programmes, and their                   ther improvements which will be based on
     (brought down by rivers, marine                successful re nement.                              knowledge documented in recent research
     ingress, etc.)                                                                                    projects on water resource processes.
   - Strategic water resource planning            While providing research support to imple-
     (alternative sources, trans-boundary         ment the NWA is crucial to the KSA’s business,       Limited availability and poor quality in data
     issues etc.).                                this KSA needs to support water resource             on land surface variables is still a major chal-
                                                  management actions at global, regional and           lenge in water resource management. The
The National Water Resource Strategy              local level. In addition to challenges, identi-      installation of additional eld gauges such as
(NWRS) is a guiding document to de n-               ed at the 2nd World Water Forum, four fur-         the recently commissioned rainfall gauges
ing research requirements in this KSA. The        ther global challenges have been identi ed           on some mountain tops especially in the
NWRS is required by the NWA. The NWRS             for the future:                                      coastal regions, the increased access to radar
provides information about ways in which          • Water and cities: Acknowledging that               and satellite data sources through better
water resources will be managed, including            urban areas are increasingly the focus           cooperation with international space agen-
the institutions to be established. It must           of human settlements and economic                cies and institutions that collect satellite data
also provide quantitative information about           activities, and that they present distinctive    have continued to supplement the much
the present and future availability of and            challenges to water managers                     needed resources in water resource manage-
requirements for water in South Africa. This      • Water and industry: Focusing on                    ment research. The WRC has supported new
must be done for each of the water man-               industry needs and the responsibility to         installations of water resource data recording
agement areas, and propose interventions              respect water quality and taking account         tools. Most of these installations are targeted
by which the two may be balanced (‘recon-             of the needs of competing sectors                at addressing data requirements in speci c
ciled’). This Strategy must also quantify the     • Water and energy: Recognising that                 projects, with provisions to accommodate
proportion of available water in each water           water is vital for all forms of energy           other projects that will require the same tools
management area which falls under the di-             production, and that there is a need to          in the future. Important recent acquisitions of
rect control of the Minister in terms of her or       ensure that energy requirements are met          data observation tools have included surface
his national responsibilities. Research can-          in a sustainable manner                          layer scintillometers (SLS), with a number of
not provide management and immediate              • Ensuring the knowledge base:                       researchers bene ting from the use of large
policy decisions. These have to be made on            Re ecting that good water policies and           aperture scintillometers (LAS) for agrometeo-
the basis of available information. However,          management depend upon the quality               rological and hydrological studies.
the NWRS requires better information and              available to decision-makers.
improved information analysis tools that will                                                          The WRC and CSIR have collaborated in
allow detailed examination and evaluation         The outcomes of the above process were in-           the acquisition and use of eddy covariance
of the consequences of the various policy         corporated into the KSA’s strategic processes        systems for water use monitoring in com-
and management options. This KSA will sup-        and will assist in identifying future research       mercial forests, alien plant forest and various
port the implementation of the NWRS in the        projects and programmes (including priority-         types of natural forests. With increased eld
following broad ways:                             setting). The KSA aims to continue to be pro-        instrumentation, especially the use of more
• Through integrated water resource               active and responsive to the water resource          demanding equipment that can measure
    assessment (developing knowledge of           management needs in South Africa.                    several hydro-climatic and soils variables
    the di erent components of the resource                                                            at very short intervals of a few seconds, our
    in terms of quantity and quality and          Overview of technological trends                     project teams continue to face a number
    its condition in relation to reference        related to needs                                     of challenges in their research work. These
    conditions)                                   Research on water resource management,               challenges include the increased data obser-
• By developing and re ning tools and             especially water resource assessment stud-           vation costs, shortage of adequately com-
    methods to support implementation of          ies, has been characterised by the general           petent human resources to analyse and use
    RDMs and SDCs                                 trend towards improving the levels of detail         observed data, remoteness of most measure-
• By providing greater understanding of           and accuracy in water resource observa-              ment areas, higher security requirements at
    threatening processes to water resources      tions and modelling techniques. A number             measurement sites, lack of continuous power
    such as global climate change, water          of projects have been initiated to address           supply, di culty in collecting large volumes
    resource degradation, over-commitment         knowledge gaps in water resource processes           of continuous records at short intervals
    of the resource, and impacts of land use      and how these can be simulated in areas              and worst of all, vandalism as well as theft
    and water storage and diversion on the        that are de cient in data and information.           in some areas. The WRC has been involved
    water resource                                The knowledge gained through research                in addressing most of these challenges on
• By providing tools for the assessment of        on hydro-pedology, process hydrology and               eld-based case studies. Of interest to local
    policy and management options (such           other water resource processes has made im-          technological trends, was the establishment
    as re-allocation of water between users,      provements in understanding surface water/           of continuous and reliable ow of observed

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 13 |
Water Resource Management

records. The GPRS Direct to Web technology
which utilises the GSM cell-phone network
to deliver data directly from eld sites to a
web server was used. Measurements are
now consistent and timeously recorded and
saved at regular time intervals. This GSM-
and internet-based technology has made
it possible to use a range of measurement
intervals which stretch from a few seconds to
several hours or days. This technology, when
coupled to high performance data analysis
software, the super-fast PCs with processors
of several GHz will allow recording analysis
                                                           • The use of radar, in conjunction with
                                                             airborne sensors, to gain an adequate
                                                             understanding of rainfall processes
                                                             in clouds and develop the ability to
                                                             augment rainfall through appropriate in-
                                                             cloud intervention
                                                           • The use of radar and satellite data
                                                             in conjunction with ground-based
                                                             observations in an integrated real-time
                                                             system for measuring and mapping
                                                             rainfall over South Africa
                                                           • The use of integrated rainfall measuring
                                                             systems in conjunction with real-time
                                                                                                                and allocating water resources to meet
                                                                                                                the needs of the environment and various
                                                                                                              • Major water users including farmers,
                                                                                                                mines, industries, water service providers
                                                                                                                and civil society
                                                                                                              • South Africa shares many rivers with
                                                                                                                its neighbouring countries, therefore,
                                                                                                                the governments and major water-user
                                                                                                                groups from these countries constitute
                                                                                                                the 3rd group of key stakeholders.
                                                                                                                South Africa is also a signatory to several
                                                                                                                international conventions that govern
and interpretation of large volumes of data                  river- ow modelling to generate GIS-               water resource management at all levels.
that could never be imagined using manual                    based ood forecasts.
techniques. Security breaches and equip-                                                                      The research conducted within this KSA
ment malfunction are also reported to tech-                Improved satellite observation capabilities        contributes to better water resource man-
nicians at their remote locations using the                are constantly opening fresh avenues of            agement for the bene t of all the key stake-
same GPRS Direct to Web technology.                        investigation into hydro-climatological pro-       holders.
                                                           cesses (e.g. heat storage and evaporation)
The South African climate is characterised                 over both land and ocean surfaces. Such
by highly variable rainfall regimes with                   investigations are the key to better under-        Strategic Initiatives
increasingly higher incidences of drought                  standing of climate variability and therefore
and ood conditions. In the dry seasons and                 climate prediction and ongoing water re-
                                                                                                              Undertaken During 2006/07
drought periods many of the rivers are usu-                source assessment. Prospects of continuous
ally meandering low ow or dry channels,                    monitoring of soil moisture content from
                                                                                                              National initiatives
                                                                                                              Members of the KSA served on the execu-
while oods bring fast owing and highly                     space have also been enhanced. Results,
                                                                                                              tive committees of the following learned
scouring conditions in the river channel and               used in conjunction with appropriate numer-
surrounding catchment areas. The design of                 ical models, will further enhance accuracy of
                                                                                                              • South African National Committee for the
sediment extraction works is usually depen-                stream ow and ash ood forecasting.
                                                                                                                  International Association of Hydrological
dent on imported guidelines and technology
                                                                                                                  Sciences (Committee Member)
which frequently results in the construction               The resource water quality is continuously
                                                                                                              • National Disaster management Advisory
of poorly performing structures. In a recent               deteriorating through human related activi-
                                                                                                                  Forum (Committee member)
WRC project researchers have identi ed the                 ties. The microbial water quality is in uenced
                                                                                                              • WISA Council member
shortcomings of imported sediment abstrac-                 by the growing informal settlings near water
                                                                                                              • Member of the WISA Management sub-
tion technology and developed hydraulic                    resources where the lack of sanitation mostly
guidelines for the layout, design and main-                contributing to the load of pathogens to
tenance of river diversion structures in South             the water environment. Whilst the chemical
                                                                                                              The KSA is also involved in a number of
Africa. The documents which were published                 water quality deterioration are caused by in-
                                                                                                              national working groups/project steering
from this research are expected to provide                 dustrial and agricultural activities. Monitoring
further guidance to local design, construc-                of water quality could be very expensive
                                                                                                              • Member of the Technical Advisory Group
tion and maintenance of sediment extraction                and new means of assessing the health risk
                                                                                                                 (TAG) on Water systems planning (DWAF
works.                                                     to humans and animals and the ecological
                                                                                                                 – Water Resource Planning Directorate)
                                                           systems needs to be developed. This could
                                                                                                              • Integrated Water Resource Planning
The steady improvement in remote sensing                   include modelling of the water quality and
                                                                                                                 Systems User Forum (Renias Dube)
technologies that has taken place in the                   the development of risk evaluation tools that
                                                                                                              • Various recruitment interview panels for
recent past and is expected to continue into               would be cost e ect and could be used to
the future is creating opportunities for better            manage the resource water quality.
                                                                                                              • WISA 2008 Organising Committee
water resource assessment and manage-
                                                                                                              • External Examining for the IWRM Honours
ment. Although research has already con-                   New developments in this regard are being
                                                                                                                 course at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
tributed to realisation of some of these op-               investigated to be adapted for the SA condi-
                                                                                                              • International Hydrological Programme
portunities, great potential exists for further            tions and needs.
                                                                                                              • HELP 2007 organising committee
exploitation of these technological trends for
the bene t of the water sector.                            Key stakeholders
                                                                                                              The KSA is also facilitating the authors writing
                                                           The major stakeholders remain the same and
                                                                                                              workshop for the book by the Resources for
Examples of value already added by previous                fall within three groups:
                                                                                                              the Future Publishers (RFF) and initiated by
WRC research in this connection include the                • Water resource managers and planners,
                                                                                                              the World Bank book on Policy Frameworks
following:                                                      i.e. all those entrusted with developing

| 14 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
for Transforming Water management in            • Database Helps SA Keep Pledges to             • The rst African Water (WRC/EU joint
South Africa 13-15 March. The KSA is the lead     Neighbours Water Wheel, V5 No. 5 August         project) steering committee meeting was
author for the chapter on ‘Democratising          06                                              attended by the KSA.
Water Management through Institutional          • CLIMATE CHANGE: The Last Straw for            • Spanish Science and Technology
Reforms’.                                         Communities at Risk? Water Wheel V5, no.        delegation’s visit to South Africa.
                                                  1Jan 07                                         SA-Spain Joint Scienti c Workshop.
Discussion forums were held with a number       • Water The Tie That Binds Eastern Cape           Workshops dealt with the identi cation
of local stakeholders to introduce the KSA        Community. Water Wheel V5, No. 1 Jan 07         of suitable research topics for bi-national
research portfolio and strategic intent. This                                                     cooperation. Groundwater component
included meetings between Siemens and           African initiatives                               – Sha ck Adams.
DWAF, HSRC; gender portfolio, Intercede         • A presentation was delivered to a Mali        • The KSA was involved in the revitalisation
joint venture between CSIR and SIWI on            Delegation visiting the WRC                     of the International Hydrological
Transboundary Waters.                           • Presentation was made to the Inter              Programme (IHP) National Committee.
                                                  Academy Panel (IAP) during their                The IHP is a programme under the
The KSA took a major part in the training of      conference hosted by the WRC                    auspices of UNESCO to address water
the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on        • An invited speaker from the KSA                 resource management issues. As a result
IWRM.                                             contributed to the All Africa Technology        a South African bid for a symposium 2007
                                                  Di usion Conference in SA, 2006                 was prepared with the title ‘Hydrology for
National Workshops                              • Participated in the Waternet Research           the Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) in
• The Water Summit, May 06                        initiative through the University of            Action: Local Solutions to Global Water
• Water Services Leadership Group annual          Witwatersrand research group                    Problems Lessons for the South’.
  workshop                                      • Participated and presented in the African     • The KSA is a Collaborator in the TIGER
• DWAF Compliance and Enforcement                 Water Workshop (FP7 project) hosted by          remote sensing and GIS partnership.
  formative workshop                              the WRC                                         Project K5/1683 involves the use of this
• DWAF/IWMI annual Forum                        • Participated in the Southern Africa             partnership in integrating our research
• Catchment management Strategy                   UN Habitat project annual Meeting               into the European Research groups
  National Roadshow                               – Limpopo Basin Study.                          working on Soil moisture monitoring
• Waste Discharge Charge System nal                                                               using satellite images. A workshop was
  launch                                        The WRC is involved in a WaterNet-led             organized where the European partners
• DWAF/WRC strategic planning workshop          Challenge Programme (Project PN 17) in the        from Vienna and our local researchers
• Crocodile-West Marico CMA launch              Limpopo Basin: The Challenge of Integrated        interacted and shared thoughts and
• Women in Water Award                          Water Resource Management for Improved            knowledge on the use of radar satellites in
• Water research show cases at the              Rural Livelihoods: Managing Risk, Mitigating      soil moisture assessments.
  University of Pretoria                        Drought and Improving Water Productivity in
• DWAF – RDM Strategic Planning session         the Water Scarce Limpopo Basin.
• Inaugural Meeting of the South African                                                        Growing the Knowledge Base
  National Committee for UNESCO-IHP             International initiatives
• DWAF – Arti cial Recharge Strategy            • The KSA attended an International             Capacity-building initiatives
• Groundwater resources management and            Development Law Organisation course           Progress to date on ongoing projects indi-
  protection in Africa.                           on Law, governance and regulation in          cates that the number of students undergo-
                                                  IWRM. The KSA then joined the alumni          ing post-graduate training at tertiary institu-
Research conducted by this KSA has been           and organised for the same course             tions under WRC-funded projects in this KSA
mentioned in the media (including radio           for SADC. The course was hosted by            was estimated as 163 in total, of which 98
interviews):                                      the WRC for capacity building; local          students are from previously disadvantaged
• Water Scarcity in a programme: Rights           participation was sponsored by the WRC.       backgrounds (see table below). In total 16
   and recourse, SABC 3. Feb 07                   Another course will be organised for          project leaders are women (in 05/06 the
• Dr Mhita radio and TV Nov 06                    the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee         total was 29) and 9 project leaders are Black
• Water and Sanitation Dr Mhita                   on Water upon their request during the        males (12 in 05/06). This is in line with the
• Water and Sanitation IWRMP                      course of this nancial year.                  set targets. This gure represents approxi-
• Amanzi, April, June, August and Dec 2006      • As a Steering Committee member of             mately 24% and 15%, respectively of total
   issues                                         the CGIAR Comprehensive Assessment,           projects (was at 25% and 15% respectively in
• Licence to Limit – Groundwater Use              the KSA chaired a one day session at the      2005/06).
   Authorisation Under Scrutiny Water Wheel       Stockholm World Water Week.
   V5 No.2, April 2006                          • The KSA attended the Water Information        The table below illustrates the number of
• Building an Evaporation Monitoring              Summit for the South and North Americas       post-graduate students who bene ted from
   Toolkit Water Wheel, V5 No. 4. July 06         upon invitation.                              WRC-funded research in this KSA. This is in
                                                                                                line with the set targets.

                                                                                               Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 15 |
Water Resource Management

 Conningarth Economists

 CPH Water



 Malulti Water

                                                           Students from











 Ninham Shand                                                    3          5

 NMMU                                                            0          1

 North-West University                                           0          9

 Pegram and Associates                                           0          1

 Rand Water                                                      2          2

 Rhodes University                                               0          3

 SAWS                                                            3          4

 Siyaphambili Development Consulting                             2          2

 Source Strategic Focus                                          3          3

 Southern Waters Ecological Research And                         2          7

 SRK                                                             6          8

 University of Cape Town                                         6          15

 University of Free State                                        5          9

 University of KwaZulu-Natal                                    13          24

 University of the Western Cape                                 25          31

 University of Pretoria                                          5          12

 University of Venda                                             4          4

 University of Stellenbosch                                      4          4

 William Harding                                                 0          1

 University of the Witwatersrand                                 1          2

 Total                                                          98         163

| 16 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Knowledge-sharing and leadership                This KSA has put great e ort into and has          • Provide control measures for improving
The KSA participated in a number of initia-     successfully disseminated WRC-related                the prevention, mitigation and control of
tives contributing to the water-centred         knowledge. Knowledge dissemination has               pollution of water resources
knowledge base in South Africa. These initia-   taken place through the publication of sci-        • Support and improve policy reforms
tives included participation at open days and   enti c articles, conference papers, training         for promoting equitable, e cient and
arrangement of technology transfer work-        courses, workshops, software, guidelines and         sustainable conservation and allocation
shops (including participation). During the     technical reports.                                   of water resources among competing
course of 2006, sta participated in both the    • 35 technical reports                               needs.
WRC Open Days held at the Universities of       • Popular articles (The Water Wheel)
Western Cape and Pretoria.                         - Licence to Limit – Groundwater Use            The research portfolio for 2006/07 is pre-
The following workshops were held in sup-             Authorisation Under Scrutiny. The            sented in Table 1, which provides an over-
port of research outcomes related to:                 Water Wheel V5 No. 2, April 2006             view and description of research thrusts and
• The Impact of Deep Rooted Trees on               - Building an Evaporation Monitoring            programmes. The plan re ects changes in
    the Hydrological Balance (UKZN, -19               Toolkit. The Water Wheel, V5 No. 4. July     the portfolio from the previous plan based
    September 2006)                                   06                                           on feedback from the needs analysis, and
• National Water Resource Assessment and           - Database Helps SA Keep Pledges to             consultation with stakeholders and Board
    Planning - 23 April 2006                          Neighbours. The Water Wheel, V5 No. 5        input. These are:
• River Hydraulics Research                           August 06                                    • Rede ning the thrusts and programmes
• Improved Estimates In Water Resources            - Climate Change: The Last Straw for               as re ected in their descriptions
    Assessments Using Hyperspectral                   Communities at Risk? The Water Wheel         • Integration of the current Thrust 2:
    Imagery (UKZN – 15 May 2006)                      V5, No. 1Jan 07                                 Integrated Water Resource Development
• Design Flood Hydrology Methodologies             - Water the Tie That Binds Eastern Cape            into the other thrusts
    for Dam Safety – 8 May 2006 (Cape Town)           Community. The Water Wheel V5, No. 1         • Development of the new Thrust 3: Water
• Surface Water Resources of South Africa             Jan 07                                          Resource Protection
    – 29 May 2006                                                                                  • Changing the programme Groundwater
• Soil Moisture Measurement from Space                                                                Occurrence in Fractured Rock Aquifers
    – 23 November 2006                          Implementation Plan                                   to Groundwater Hydrology to re ect an
• Meetings and workshop with Prof.                                                                    emphasis towards quanti cation and
    Dr. Dr. Heinrich H.D. Meyer from the                                                              well- eld identi cation
                                                Research portfolio for 2006/07
    Technical University of Munich, Germany                                                        • Collapse of the programme Institutional
                                                The primary objective of the research in
    8-11August on the WRC Veterinary                                                                  Development and Collaboration in the
                                                this KSA remains the same as developed for
    Compound & Health Project (No. K5/1686)                                                           Eastern Cape into the other programmes
                                                2005/06. However, the secondary aims have
                                                                                                      of the various thrusts.
                                                been streamlined to re ect the needs analy-
Some other external workshops /                 sis process. Thus the primary objective is to
conferences                                                                                        Table 1 presents a research portfolio of cur-
                                                ensure that water resources of South Africa
• Attended WISA Conference (21- 25 May                                                             rent projects that are grouped into strategic
                                                are protected, utilised, developed, conserved
  2006)                                                                                            thrusts and programmes which address the
                                                and managed to achieve environmental, so-
• Attended the TIGER International                                                                 objectives of this KSA.
                                                cial and economic sustainability. The research
  Workshop (20 November 2006)                   portfolio for 2006/07 addresses this primary
• European South African Science                objective as re ected by the following re-         Expected outcomes
  and Technology Advancement                    vised aims to:                                     The knowledge base generated in this KSA
  Programme (ESASTAP) – 26 September            • Develop a scienti c understanding of the         will continue to assist South Africa to move
  2006Parlimentary Training Session                 hydrological cycle (and inter-linkages) in     away from a sectoral approach to water
  – January 2007                                    order to promote a systematic assessment       resource management to a more integrated
• UNESCO IHP Meeting – 20 September                 and variability of the quantity and quality    approach that promotes co-ordinated
  2006                                              of water available for development in          development of water, land and related
• South African Weather Services -                  South Africa                                   resources in order to achieve social equity
  International Conference on Extreme           • Build up appropriate quantitative                and economic growth. The research will also
  Weather events – 9 to 10 May 2006                 understanding, tools and adaptive              contribute to the development of a skilled
• UWC Open Day - 4 July 2006                        strategies for managing the impacts            and competent pool of experts who can
• Strategic Planning – 31 July 2006                 of extreme climatic events ( oods and          support the implementation of the national
• Water Resource Management in Africa               droughts) due to global warming and            water policy and also provide leadership for
  – 16 August 2006                                  human-induced impacts on water                 the sector at regional and global levels.
• WaterWatch: Combining Remote Sensing              resources(include understanding of
  and Economic Analysis to Assess Water             health impact to humans)
  Productivity - a demonstration project in
  the Inkomati Basin (23 August 2006).

                                                                                                  Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 17 |
Water Resource Management

Table 1

Overview and description of thrusts and programmes for KSA 1

                                              Thrust 1: Water Resource Assessment AND DEVELOPMENT

 Scope: This thrust focuses on developing a scienti c understanding of the hydrological cycle (and inter-linkages) in order to promote a
 systematic assessment and variability of the quantity and quality of water available for development in South Africa.

 Programme 1:
                                    Scope: This programme focuses on improved understanding of groundwater resources. The programme at-
                                    tempts to: Characterise various geological provinces in terms of groundwater occurrence and development
                                    potential; develop techniques and protocols for groundwater exploration; estimate aquifer parameters using
                                    innovative techniques, and develop systems for better resource managements.

 Programme 2:                       Scope: This programme seeks to establish and continuously provide current information on how much water
 Catchment hydrology                is naturally available in South Africa and its distribution in time and space. The programme links the climate,
                                    vegetation, soil, and water management variables to water ows in an integrated perspective for the better
                                    management of South African catchments. The hydrology of South Africa is characterised by very high natural
                                    variability in space and time and for management purposes research needs to provide a scienti c explanation
                                    and adequate quantitative understanding.

 Programme 3:                       Scope: The ultimate goal of this programme is to better forecast the variability of rainfall, ow and groundwa-
 Understanding and                  ter recharge. This is of great importance for water resource management. The ability to forecast at very short
 predicting hydro-                  time scales (48 down to a few hours ahead) would greatly bene t ood management and disaster mitigation
 climatic variability               activities. At longer time scales (e.g. inter-annual or seasonal scales) the ability would greatly assist decisions
                                    concerning seasonal water allocation to various users and the environment. Forecast models range from the
                                    empirical (based on statistical relationships using various oceanic and atmospheric predictors) to the mecha-
                                    nistic (based on the use of dynamic models encapsulating best understanding of in uential atmospheric and
                                    oceanic processes). The latter are usually scale-speci c. Therefore, because rainfall at local scale depends on
                                    processes operating at all scales, forecasting by means of the dynamic modelling approach depends on learn-
                                    ing, through projects in this programme, to use di erent-scale and di erent-type models interactively, while
                                    ensuring that local forcing factors such as topography, soil moisture, etc. are adequately accounted for.

 Programme 4:                       Scope: Actual evaporation (transpiration included) is the most poorly quanti ed and, after rainfall, the largest
 Development of                     single component of South Africa’s water budget. Variations in evaporation greatly in uence the amount of
 appropriate techniques             water available for all uses. Uncertainties in measuring or estimating evaporation have a profound e ect on the
 for evaporation                    reliability of water resource assessment. In this programme, research which investigates and delivers improved
                                    methods of evaporation measurement and estimation will be undertaken.

 Programme 5:                       Scope: The quality of water is an important factor in determining the quantity of water that is potentially avail-
 Water quality                      able for productive use. Determining the amount of water available for di erent uses is further complicated by
 assessment studies and             the considerable variation that exists in quality requirements between and within di erent user groups. This
 information systems                programme is aimed at developing and re ning tness-for-use criteria, developing the means to monitor and
                                    assess water quality at regional and national level, improve the way in which water quality information is con-
                                    veyed and the identi cation of emerging water quality issues.

 Programme 6:                       Scope: Rainfall, the primary input into South Africa’s water budget, is poorly estimated by the current national
 Real-time mapping of               rain-gauge network which provides an insu cient (and steadily declining) number of point measurements,
 daily rainfall over South          also inadequately distributed over South Africa’s surface. Recognising these serious inadequacies, the WRC, in
 Africa                             1993, initiated investigations into the feasibility of integrating rain-gauge and remote sensing (radar, satellite)
                                    technologies in developing a national system for the spatially continuous measurement of rainfall in real time,
                                    which would satisfy all water resource assessment requirements. With several pilot studies successfully com-
                                    pleted, this programme now researches the implementation of a country-wide rainfall monitoring system.

| 18 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                        Thrust 2 : Management of Natural and Human-Induced Impacts on Water Resources

Scope: Research in this thrust focuses on developing appropriate quantitative understanding, tools and strategies for managing the impacts
of climate variability and change as well as human interventions on the hydrological cycle and related water resources, with the aim of
supporting the development of policy responses, at regional, national or catchment scale, to existing and emerging problems. This includes
development of systems (e.g. river ow and inundation forecast models, drought impact monitoring systems) for managing oods and

Programme 1:                Scope: The need to prepare the country to cope with global climate change is of paramount and strategic
Developing predictive       importance. Taking the view that water is South Africa’s key resource implies the need to adapt water resource
tools and adaptive          management progressively as global climate change progresses, in order to maintain optimal levels of both
measures to global          resource protection and bene cial use of water for society. The development of coping strategies will require
                            the development of informed, quantitative scenarios of potential impacts at regional and catchment level
climate change
                            on rainfall regimes and rainfall variability, hydrological and geohydrological regimes, water availability and
                            reliability, water quality, ecosystem structure and functions and ecological processes. The following key ques-
                            tions thus need to be considered and addressed in this programme: What con dence can be placed in current
                            GCM-generated scenarios of global climate change? How reliable are current techniques for down-scaling of
                            scenarios from global to regional and catchment scales? At which point will anthropogenic climate change in
                            the Southern Africa context become detectable and distinguishable from natural climate variability and which
                            monitoring systems need to be in place in this regard? How will the frequency and magnitude of extreme rain-
                            fall and ow events be a ected? Can existing conceptual and numerical models utilise global change-related,
                            downscaled, hydro-climatic information e ectively, to provide information regarding likely inter-related land-
                            use, ecosystem, hydrological (including geohydrological), water yield and water quality changes at regional/
                            catchment level? How will existing management strategies and tools need to be adapted? What are the main
                            socio-economic impacts likely to be, given the structure of society in Southern Africa, and what are appropri-
                            ate technological, social and political coping strategies?

Programme 2:                Scope: Various kinds of human activities can in uence the quantity, quality, reliability and ecological health
Human-induced impacts       of water resources, including activities which take place in other environmental compartments within the
                            hydrological cycle. This programme includes research to improve our ability to assess, evaluate and predict the
                            e ects on surface and groundwater resources of human activities and human-induced impacts, with a view to
                            developing strategies for management and mitigation of health impacts.

Programme 3:                Scope: Flooding and drought are major natural hazards to human society and have important in uences on
Integrated ood and          social and economic development. This programme focuses on research that will result in the development
drought management          and implementation of integrated institutional frameworks and technological tools to reduce and combat
                              oods and their negative e ects while enhancing positive ooding patterns that are important to the natural
                            ecosystem. Research related to drought management will focus on integrated tools and strategies for early
                            identi cation and mitigation of the social and economic impacts of drought, with the aim of supporting col-
                            laborative, multi-institutional processes and programmes.

                                                                                             Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 19 |
Water Resource Management

 Scope: Research in this thrust focuses on the generation of information and understanding in order to improve water quality management,
 with reference to point sources as well as di use sources, and addressing chemical, microbial, and biological pollution impacts on surface
 water and groundwater.

 Programme 1:
 Groundwater protection

                                                           Thrust 3: Water Resource Protection

                                    Scope: This programme focuses mainly on identi cation, quanti cation, prediction and management of the
                                    impacts on groundwater quality of intensive land-uses. Research will be done to identify the greatest threats
                                    to groundwater quality; this will include the documentation of existing data on the extent, spatial distribution,
                                    propagation and types of contaminants and their associated sources. The programme outputs will establish:
                                    • An improved understanding of the relationship between polluting activities (sources) and quality e ects in
                                       the groundwater, i.e. understanding the origin of pollutants, the pathways by which these pollutants could
                                         ow into the environment and the ultimate fate of these pollutants.
                                    • Options for management and mitigation of the impacts on groundwater quality of intensive land uses. The
                                       programme also investigates the natural occurrence of hazardous constituents in groundwater, with the
                                       aim of developing strategies for minimising potential negative e ects on groundwater and surface water

 Programme 2:                       Scope: Increased industrialisation and development lead to the exposure of the water environment to a range
 Protection and                     of chemical, microbial and biological pollutants as well as micro-pollutants. Furthermore, improved analytical
 management of surface              techniques lead to continual reduction in detection limits of pollutants. Research in this programme is aimed
 water quality                      at providing strategies for improving the prevention, mitigation and control of pollution of surface waters,
                                    based on sound understanding of the scope, signi cance and impacts of changes in water quality. The pro-
                                    gramme addresses both point sources and di use sources of pollution, which can result from activities within
                                    the water environment or on the catchment surface.

 Programme 3:                       Scope: An integrated approach to water resource management is essential to sustainability of the urban and
 Urban water resource               peri-urban cities of South Africa. In many cities, water shortages stem from ine cient use and degradation
 management                         of the available water by pollution. This programme will search for a better integration of land-use and water
                                    management within the overall environmental management, standardise water quality regulations and in-
                                    crease incentives and sanctions for their enforcement.

 Programme 4:                       Scope: Scarcity of knowledge has been identi ed in licensing related to low ows, in surface water – ground-
 Low ows and                        water interactions and in tools for measurement of low ows when physical structures cannot be used. This
 stream ow reduction                research will seek to develop solutions to maintain high quality ows in river systems that comply with the
 activities                         Water Act of 1998. These low ows and SFR studies will provide clear directions to the licensing of SFRA and
                                    the maintenance of high quality ows in rivers. These studies will focus on developing methods or/and equip-
                                    ment for de ning and estimating stream ow reduction due to activities such as agriculture, forestry and indus-
                                    try that can be used by the licensing agents. The research will support the current initiatives in the compulsory
                                    licensing of stream ow reduction activities. Methods developed should clearly stand out as the preferred solu-
                                    tions in South Africa through how they are proposed, developed and implemented.

| 20 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                 Thrust 4: Policy Development and Institutional Arrangements for Water Resource Management

Scope: This thrust focuses on instruments supporting e ective water resource management, ranging from support for the development
of appropriate policies and their implementation to research concerning the establishment of governing bodies and institutional arrange-
ments (at catchment, national and transboundary levels). The thrust supports research on tools and methodologies for decision support for
IWRM, aims to provide strategic support for new policy development and to improve the understanding regarding the e ective functioning
of institutional structures for implementing IWRM.

Programme 1:                 Scope: Information, tools and methodologies for assessing and nding equitable balance between social,
Decision support for         ecological and economic aspects of decision-making regarding protection, development, allocation and
IWRM at catchment and        management of water resources. Determining how to in uence the quantity of water use and maintain the
WMA level                    quality of water through a combination of economic and legislative measures as well as through education
                             and persuasion.

Programme 2:                 Scope: Acquiring and interpreting information on the impact of water-related public policy and disseminating
Water policy                 related knowledge and information to o cials in government departments and representatives of water users
development and              in di erent use sectors. Capturing and dissemination of ‘stories’ (case-based) and best practices for IWRM at
strategic policy support     policy, planning and implementation levels.

Programme 3:                 Scope: Generating knowledge and understanding to support the design and development of appropriate
Institutional                institutional structures, functions and processes for the implementation of participatory IWRM, including both
arrangements and             statutory and non-statutory organisations and social groupings. Developing appropriate business models
processes for IWRM at        for water management institutions. Improving understanding and tools for building capacity to manage and
                             participate in IWRM.
catchment, WMA and
national level

Programme 4:                 Scope: This programme will provide tools and guidelines for resolving potential water-centred con icts for the
Transboundary water          management of shared international rivers and transboundary aquifer systems, including development of ap-
resource management          propriate institutional forms and functions, development and harmonisation of policy and regulation in shared
                             river basins, strategies for knowledge-sharing and joint management of shared river basins.

Programme 5:                 Scope: Supporting improved understanding, consistent interpretation and further development of water law
Governance, law and          and regulation, including linkages and harmonisation with other legislation. This programme addresses cus-
regulation                   tomary law as well as conventional law.

Programme 6:                 Scope: The programme establishes understanding of links and connectivities between the di erent biophysi-
Integrated catchment         cal components of the water resource system at a continuum of scales. The NWA requires water management
management                   to address the whole hydrological cycle as a single system. To do this properly, knowledge on how an interven-
                             tion in one part of the system impacts elsewhere in the system must be acquired.

                                                                                              Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 21 |
Water Resource Management

Research Projects for 2006/07

The ndings for projects completed during
the year under review are given, as well as a
summary of current projects and the motiva-
tion and objectives for new projects which
commenced between 1 April 2006 and 31
March 2007.

                                                           TMG region during this project. The average
                                                           recharge rate of the TMG is about 30 mm/a.
                                                           The highest recharge rate is 137 mm·a-1 as-
                                                           sociated with 1 842 mm/a at rainfall station
                                                           No. 0022116 in the hydrogeological unit 5;
                                                           the lowest recharge rate is 0.7 mm/a associ-
                                                           ated with 164 mm/a at Station No. 0048043
                                                           in the hydrogeological Unit 13. The regions
                                                           with a recharge rate of more than 35 mm/a
                                                           occur in the hydrogeological Units 5, 6, 8 and
                                                           part of the hydrogeological Unit 17. A rough
                                                           estimate for the TMG hot springs recharge
                                                           would be about 5 mm/a.
                                                                                                            Programme 3:
                                                                                                            Understanding and predicting hydro-
                                                                                                            climatic variability
                                                                                                            Development of a continuous
                                                                                                            simulation modelling system for design
                                                                                                              ood estimation in SA
                                                                                                            School of Bioresources Engineering and
                                                                                                            Environmental Hydrology, University of
                                                                                                            KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
                                                                                                            No 1318

                                                                                                            The estimation of design oods is necessary
Thrust 1:                                                                                                   for the design of hydraulic structures. The
                                                                                                            under estimation of design oods will result
Water Resource Assessment and                              Cost:    R800 000
                                                                                                            in the failure of hydraulic structures with con-
Development                                                Term:    2002 -2005
                                                                                                            sequent economic losses and possible loss
                                                                                                            of life. The over design of hydraulic structures
Programme 1:                                               Geothermal studies of TMG aquifer
                                                                                                            results in ine cient use of resources. The
Groundwater Hydrology                                      systems                                          choice of an acceptable and cost-e ective
Recharge mechanisms in TMG aquifer                         Umvoto Africa cc                                 engineering solution is dependent upon
systems                                                    No 1403                                          having reliable estimates of the frequency
Groundwater Group, Department of Earth                                                                      of oods, both in terms of peak ows and
Science, University of the Western Cape                    The best estimate of the background crustal      volumes of water.
No 1329                                                    heat ow from the pre-Cape basement
                                                           terrain in the Western Cape Province is 76       A number of methods are available for de-
The TMG as a regional fractured rock aquifer               MW/m2, obtained from a thermal gradient          termining design oods. In the absence of
system may still become a main source                      of 21.5 K/km in the deeper (190 to 290 m)        adequate stream ow data, most of these
of future water supplies to augment both                   interval of a 300 m borehole into the Cape       methods are event-based approaches. Event-
agricultural and urban requirements in the                 granite at Skuifraam in the Berg Water Project   based methods have a number of shortcom-
Western and Eastern Cape Provinces in South                area. Groundwater moving through the TMG         ings which include the implicit assumption
Africa. Although groundwater recharge is                   aquifer system transports substantial quanti-    that the exceedance probability of the
widely recognised as the key factor in de-                 ties of heat (amounting to at least 27 MW at     simulated stream ow is the same as that of
termining the sustainable management of                    the Brandvlei hot spring alone) and thereby      the input design rainfall and that antecedent
groundwater resources, no comprehensive                    alters the subsurface temperature eld, so        soil moisture conditions prior to large storm
study of groundwater recharge of TMG aqui-                 that the measured heat ow in overlying           events are not accounted for.
fer systems has yet been undertaken.                       stratigraphic units, such as in the Bokkeveld
                                                           Group at the Birkenhead site near Stanford, is   This research observed that the limitations
Among a few case studies carried out, the                  locally lowered to 50 to 55 MW/m2 (and may       of event-based approaches to design ood
Kammanassie area was comprehensively                       locally be raised elsewhere around discharge     estimation can be overcome by adopting
investigated because of the availability of                points). The quantitative spatial mapping        a continuous simulation approach to rain-
comprehensive data and a well-documented                   and in situ temporal monitoring of local         fall-runo modelling where the major pro-
problematic groundwater supply scheme.                     geothermal gradients and spring-discharge        cesses responsible for converting the input
Several methods were applied to crosscheck                 temperatures, in association with the com-       catchment rainfall into runo are explicitly
the results, including the Chloride Mass                   bined modelling of uid and heat advection        modelled. After investigating several existing
Balance (CMB) mixing model, statistical                    in the TMG aquifers, could provide a powerful    design ood estimation techniques, a contin-
methods, the water level uctuation meth-                   and relatively inexpensive new tool, both for    uous simulation modelling (CSM) technique
ods (RIB and CWD-CRD). Numerical model-                    groundwater exploration (storage and ow          based on the ACRU model was developed.
ling proved to be an excellent tool for use in             determination) and for the monitoring and
the veri cation of the water balance scenar-               interpretation of impacts due to large-vol-      The ACRU daily time step model was revised
ios for recharge estimation in the case of the             ume abstraction.                                 and new modules added to convert it into
Kammanassie area. At a regional scale, a soil-                                                              a design ood estimation technique. Some
water balance model can be used to provide                 Cost:    R150 000                                key additions to the ACRU model included
a guide value. This method is applied for the              Term:    2002 -2003                              disaggregating daily rainfall into hourly totals
19 hydrogeological units demarcated in the

| 22 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
to improve estimations of peak discharge;         Africa in order to improve seasonal outlook         further improve with an increased number
merging rain gauge and radar data to im-          information for hydrological purposes.              of ensemble members. However, multiple
prove the estimation of aerial rainfall and the   Down-scaling the large scale to more lo-            realisations are not required to describe the
use of the ne resolution space-time String-       calised seasonal rainfall over Southern Africa      internal variability of the nested system,
of-Beads model to simulate long series of         had previously been shown to be feasible,           which suggests that increasing the ensemble
rainfall. The method of disaggregating rainfall   but further research in down-scaling, with          size would mainly contribute to probabilistic
introduced in the project brought a stochas-      both improved spatial and temporal resolu-          forecast skill.
tic element into the model, using a proce-        tion, was required. The main aims of the
dure that can be applied in other models.         project were to:                                    The potential for using dynamical and statis-
The study concluded that realistic modelling      • Set baseline forecast skill levels, using         tical down-scaling methods and their combi-
of larger quaternaries was only possible after        statistical models                              nation for modelling South African seasonal
you have disaggregated the catchment to           • Compile an appropriate general                    regional rainfall variability has thus been
smaller units and then model each sub-                circulation model (GCM) climatology of a        demonstrated. In addition to expanding on
catchment as a number of HRUs.                        su ciently large ensemble                       the number of ensemble members, the test
The results from this study have shown that       • Nest dynamic regional climate models in           period of 10 years should be increased in or-
the use of the ACRU model as a CSM can                the GCM-simulated large-scale elds              der to test the robustness of the results pre-
simulate the hydrological responses from          • Compare the nested scheme’s forecast              sented here since this test period may be too
an operational catchment, despite the chal-           skill with the baseline skill levels.           short to unequivocally demonstrate which
lenges related to data and operations in the                                                          simulation method is the best. An increased
catchment. The output from the CSM has            Ultimately, various down-scaling techniques         ensemble size can also be considered to test
been shown to produce reasonable and con-         and raw GCM output were compared to                 the probabilistic skill levels of these systems
sistent estimates of design oods, particularly    one another over the 10-year period from            and how they can be used in an operational
in smaller catchments.                            1991/92 to 2000/01 and also to a baseline           seasonal forecasting environment that de-
                                                  prediction technique that uses only global          mands a description of forecast uncertainties.
Recommendations                                   sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies as
The researchers observed the urgent need          predictors. The various down-scaling tech-          Cost:      R450 000
to increase the monitoring and recording          niques described in this study include both         Term:      2002 -2006
of hydrological variable. The few available       an empirical technique called model output
records were noted to be a major limitation       statistics (MOS) and a dynamical technique          Extension of the South African National
to the potential of the developed model-          where a ner resolution regional climate             Microbial Water Quality Monitoring
ling tools. Increased monitoring is a major       model (RCM) was nested into the large-scale         Programme (NMMP) to include
national challenge. Suggestions to increase        elds of a coarser GCM. The study concluded         groundwater
national monitoring have been taken to the        by investigating the internal variability of the    Division of Water, Environment and Forestry
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water.       RCM.                                                Technology, CSIR, DWAF and the Department
It is estimated that R150 million/year for at                                                         of Health
least 8 years is required to take our national    The study addressed the performance of a            No 1277
water management recording processes to           number of simulation systems (no forecast
a competitive level, a level where we can be      lead-time) of varying complexity. These             The general purpose of this report and man-
assured that our planning is e cient and that     systems’ performance was tested for the             ual is to describe how the national microbial
it is based on realistic input data.              December-January-February (DJF) rainfall for        monitoring programme (NMMP) for ground-
                                                  both homogeneous regions and for 963 sta-           water should be implemented on a national
Cost:    R1 460 000                               tions over South Africa, and compared with          scale. This national monitoring programme
Term:    2002 -2005                               each other over a 10-year test period from          for groundwater supplements the National
                                                  1991/92 to 2000/01. For the most part the           Microbial Monitoring Programme for surface
Skills comparison of dynamic and                  simulation methods outscored the baseline           waters. However, it should not be regarded
empirical down-scaling methods for                method that used sea-surface temperature            as an extension of it. Monitoring ground-
Southern Africa from a seasonal climate           (SST) anomalies to simulate rainfall, thereby       water is fundamentally di erent from moni-
                                                  providing evidence that current approaches
modelling perspective                                                                                 toring surface water and accordingly has a
                                                  in seasonal forecasting are outscoring earlier      completely di erent design. The monitoring
SA Weather Services, Pretoria O ce
                                                  ones. Current operational forecasting ap-           design described in this manual focuses only
No 1334
                                                  proaches involve the use of GCMs which              on water quality and only on one aspect of
                                                  are considered to be the main tool whereby          quality, namely microbial quality that re ects
The main emphasis of the project was to
                                                  seasonal forecasting e orts will improve in         the degree of faecal pollution because of the
assess the ability of an advanced state-of-
                                                  the future. Moreover, advantages in statisti-       associated human health risks.
the-art, albeit computationally expensive,
                                                  cally post-processing output from GCMs as
method of down-scaling large-scale climate
                                                  well as output from regional climate models         Cost:      R600 000
predictions to regional and local scale as a
                                                  (RCMs) were demonstrated. Skill should              Term:      2001-2003
seasonal rainfall forecasting tool for southern

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 23 |
Water Resource Management

Programme 5: Water quality assessment
studies and information systems
Microbial groundwater monitoring protocols
re nement
No 1494

The general purpose of this manual is to
describe how a national microbial monitor-
ing programme (NMMP) for groundwater
could be implemented on a national scale.
This report is aimed at a variety of people and
organisations. It is initially aimed primarily
                                                           Programme 6:
                                                           Real-time mapping of daily rainfall over
                                                           South Africa
                                                           Daily rainfall mapping over South Africa
                                                           through radar, satellite and gauge
                                                           measurements: Infrastructure and capacity
                                                           Meteorological Systems and Technology
                                                           No 1426

                                                           During 2003 the South African Weather
                                                           Service (SAWS) took a major step forward in
                                                                                                             beyond the lifetime of this project. Bearing
                                                                                                             this in mind, the main objectives of this proj-
                                                                                                             ect are nevertheless judged to have been
                                                                                                             achieved successfully. An ambition held over
                                                                                                             and above the formal objectives, to routinely
                                                                                                             generate and publish rainfall elds at tem-
                                                                                                             poral resolutions ner than 24 hours, did not
                                                                                                             materialise. The aim of producing 12-hourly,
                                                                                                             6-hourly and even more frequent rainfall
                                                                                                              elds is, however, well within grasp.

                                                                                                             Each of the platforms used for rainfall mea-
                                                                                                             surement, namely surface rain-gauge net-
at DWAF o cials who will have the primary                  publishing real-time daily rainfall products on   works, radar networks as well as satellite data,
responsibility to implement national water-                its website, the main one being an integrated     came under the spotlight.
related monitoring programmes. However,                    product combining rain-gauge, weather
it is also aimed at catchment management                   radar and satellite-determined rainfall elds      New quality check procedures for the pro-
agencies (CMAs) and water management                       in a way which uses the strengths of each         cessing of the real-time rain-gauge data
institutions to which monitoring responsibili-             platform whilst minimising their individual       (including that derived from new cell-phone
ties may be delegated.                                     weaknesses. The above achievement was             technology) were developed and imple-
                                                           the result of the WRC-funded SIMAR projects       mented.
This national monitoring programme for                     reported in WRC Report Nos. 1151, 1152 and
groundwater supplements the National                       1153 of 2004.                                     Measures to improve the calibration and
Microbial Monitoring Programme for surface                                                                   maintenance of radars were implemented,
waters. However, it should not be regarded                 Whist these measurements of rainfall at           resulting in a system that constantly moni-
as an extension of it. Monitoring ground-                  high temporal and spatial resolution im-          tors the performance of the radars in the
water is fundamentally di erent from moni-                 mediately found favour with users, they also      network. A new scheme to remove ground
toring surface water and accordingly has a                 received some criticism, in particular from       clutter from the radar precipitation elds was
completely di erent design.                                DWAF’s ood studies unit, who questioned           also developed and implemented. Errors
                                                           the accuracy of certain rainfall estimates.       introduced into radar rainfall elds through
Groundwater monitoring on a national                       Acknowledging the need for more rigorous          de cient sampling at longer ranges, espe-
scale is currently being carried out by the                quality assessments and improvements,             cially during stratiform-rain conditions, were
Department. However, it focuses mainly on                  where necessary, this project (No. K5/1426)       reduced through the dynamic determination
water quantity variables (water levels, etc.)              was undertaken to further re ne products,         of usable radar ranges in such conditions.
and chemical quality (TDS, major ions, pH,                 with the main focus being on correcting           Plans were developed to expand the radar
etc.). Three levels of monitoring are envis-               shortcomings attributable to infra-structural     network within South Africa and also within
aged of which one (Level 1) is extensively                 and capacity-building weaknesses.                 the region, with SAWS collaborating with
implemented. The three levels refer respec-                                                                  Mozambique and Botswana Meteorological
tively to:                                                 Speci c objectives were to:                       Services in this regard.
• Baseline monitoring (in unimpacted                       • Improve the real-time precipitation
    aquifers)                                                measuring infrastructure over South             A new satellite rainfall scheme was devel-
• Catchment monitoring (in impacted                          Africa for water resource and ood               oped using the MSG-channels correspond-
    aquifers)                                                warning applications.                           ing to those of the Meteosat 7 satellite on
• Local impact monitoring (typically project               • Establish a real-time precipitation             which the majority of the products gener-
    speci c and focused on aquifer zones).                   database over South Africa.                     ated during SIMAR had been based. The new
                                                           • Transfer technology to end users that will      scheme showed marked improvements
The monitoring design described in this                      utilise the systems already developed and       related to resolution, but further studies
manual focuses only on water quality and                     to be further re ned in DARAM.                  are to be conducted in conjunction with
only on one aspect of quality, namely micro-               • Build capacity in the application of            EUMETSAT with the aim of developing new
bial quality that re ects the degree of faecal               remote sensing technology for improved          precipitation algorithms utilising the ad-
pollution because of the associated human                    precipitation monitoring.                       vanced capabilities of the 12 MSG channels.
health risks.
                                                           The majority of the activities initiated with     The development of human capacity to
Cost:     R700 000                                         the purpose of achieving the objectives are       utilise the products being generated in
Term:     2004 – 2006                                      ongoing initiatives that will carry on well       DARAM was a major outcome of the project,
                                                                                                             resulting from a three-tier approach:

| 24 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
• Capacity development on an individual         only addresses the role groundwater plays in     against existing WR90 simulated monthly
  basis – where individuals working on          meeting basic human needs and sustaining         time series data. In general terms, the revised
  the processing and analysis of data were      aquatic ecosystems such as rivers and wet-       algorithms appeared to generate results that
  targeted. Shortcomings in their education     lands, GRDM allows the use and protection        were intuitively realistic as well as replicate
  and skills make-up were identi ed and         of the entire groundwater resource to be         hydrographs produced using the original
  appropriate short courses, supplemented       addressed holistically. Four levels of GRDM      Pitman Model while taking into account
  by in-house training, were conducted.         assessments are recognised – desktop, rapid,     groundwater factors. Some problems were
• Capacity development on an                    intermediate and comprehensive – each pro-       encountered in dolomitic catchments, but
  organisational basis – this entailed users    viding an increased level of con dence.          these are thought to be the result of the
  or prospective users of DARAM products                                                         modelling approach used by WR90 and not
  at an organisational level learning to deal   The objectives of this project were to:          the result of problems with the modi ed
  with the data. It included participation in   • Review and implement methods                   Pitman Model.
  workshops on data interpretation as well        developed to set RDM for groundwater
  as the provision of information speci cally     through an appropriate case study              Based on the calibration and testing of the
  related to the use of real-time data.         • Re ne and adapt methods as a result of         revised Pitman Model in 17 quaternary catch-
• Capacity development at grass-root level        lessons learnt during the pilot study          ments, guidelines were developed for esti-
  – here students at tertiary institutions      • Align methods with other components of         mating the groundwater parameters used
  were targeted and taught the basic              RDM (e.g. estuaries, rivers and wetlands).     in the model. Incorporation of the modi ed
  concepts of data generation, quality                                                           Pitman Model into the SPATSIM software has
  checking, utilisation in problem-solving,     The E10 catchment containing the Olifants        provided hydrologists with a useful tool to
  etc. The training in this regard took         River was selected as the pilot study area.      quantify surface - groundwater interaction
  the form of eld projects which were           A GRDM assessment was undertaken.                at a catchment scale. Proper training in the
  conducted using di erent observational        Additional data and information were col-        use of the software is required yield reliable
  platforms that included rain-gauges,          lected, through a hydrocensus, for the study     results.
  radars and satellites.                        area where data were lacking. The research
                                                resulted in the development of the GRDM          Cost:      R198 000
The DARAM project clearly highlighted           manual that can be used as a guide by both       Term:      2004 - 2006
the lack of rainfall observation infrastruc-    experienced and inexperienced geohydrolo-
ture. As a solution, the SA Weather Service     gists to undertake and review GRDM assess-       Chemical and biological assays and
Recapitalisation Plan was conceived and will    ments. Accompanying software was devel-          sentinel species for EDCs
be a crucial part of the modernisation and      oped to assist with the assessments.             Department of Urology, University of Pretoria
revitalisation of the South African meteoro-                                                     No 1505
logical and climatological infrastructure. It   Cost:   R 900 000
will support improved rainfall estimations      Term:   2004-2006                                There is increasing global concern over
and related applications.                                                                        persistent bio-accumulative chemicals, their
                                                Quanti cation of the groundwater                 potential for bio-magni cation, and, even
Cost:   R 1 214 000                             contribution to base ow                          more worrying, synergistic/additive e ects of
Term:   2003-2005                               Parsons and Associates                           endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) in mix-
                                                No 1498                                          tures. EDCs are chemicals that interfere with
                                                                                                 the structure or function of hormone-recep-
Thrust 2:                                       A prototype model was developed in a mod-        tor complexes and may be disruptive at very
Management pf Natural and                       ular fashion to accommodate inclusion of         low exposure levels. The damaging impact
Human-induced Impacts on Water                  results of parallel research being undertaken    of EDCs on health is internationally no longer
                                                by DWAF and the WRC. Using data sets gen-        an issue of dispute .Globally the environmen-
                                                erated during the Groundwater Assessment         tal load of EDCs has reached critical levels at
                                                Phase II Project, the Pitman Model was           which human and wildlife is at risk.
Programme 2:
                                                modi ed to facilitate the quanti cation of
Human-induced impacts
                                                the groundwater contribution to base ow.         The stream into the study area of the project
Pilot study: Setting resource-directed          This entailed consideration of recharge,         receives e uent from sewage treatment
measures for groundwater                        groundwater discharge to stream ow and           plants, industries and informal settlements in
Parsons and Associates                          abstraction.                                     the catchment areas.
No 1427
                                                The revised Pitman model was then included       The objective of this study was to determine
From a groundwater perspective,                 in the SPATSIM software, and tested in a         whether su ciently high levels of EDCs exist
Groundwater Resource Directed Measures          number of quaternary catchments across           in the general environment to exert adverse
(GRDM) assessment is more important that        South Africa. The model was calibrated           health e ects on aquatic or terrestrial animals
the Reserve on its own. While the Reserve                                                        or humans in the nature reserve.

                                                                                                Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 25 |
Water Resource Management

This report summarizes the scienti c back-
ground relevant to the study with emphasis
on chemical residue analyses, endocrine
disruptive metals (EDMs) and bio-assays for
oestrogenicity and dioxin and dioxin-like
PCBs. It also reviews the use of possible bio-
sentinel aquatic and terrestrial animals. This
is followed by separate chapters on analytical
chemistry and in vitro bio-assays. Clarias
gariepinus (sharptooth cat sh), Xenopus
laevis (African clawed frog), Bulinus tropica
(freshwater snail) and Rhabdomys pumilio
(striped mouse) were evaluated as possible
                                                           • Empirical frequency distribution models
                                                             Simpli ed models ( for predicting
                                                             hydraulic variables in cases where
                                                             appropriate relationships can be
                                                           • Lateral distribution tools (for predicting
                                                             velocities across a cross-section).

                                                           A software tool for predicting resistance in
                                                           rivers was developed as one of the key study
                                                           outputs. This tool uses photographic match-
                                                           ing to provide resistance coe cients. The
                                                           resistance coe cients are key parameters
                                                                                                              sulted in con rming the existing habitat clas-
                                                                                                              si cation for vertebrates and proposing new
                                                                                                              habitat classes for invertebrates. The pro-
                                                                                                              posed habitat classi cation for invertebrates
                                                                                                              was in uenced by the availability of more
                                                                                                              data and information in the hydraulic charac-
                                                                                                              teristics of river sections. Additional support
                                                                                                              software was developed to simulate the
                                                                                                              depth and velocity distributions using actual
                                                                                                              hydraulic measurements in river sections.

                                                                                                              This study observed that the current under-
                                                                                                              standing of the linkages between hydraulics
biomarker species for EDC exposure. The                    in deterministic models. The software tool,        and ecology was very limited. While the
impact of active biomonitoring (ABM) on                    which is part of the project report, is support-   study did not focus on these links, it ad-
  sh and snail species in the resource, the ef-            ed by a photographic database of several im-       dressed some of the linkages which is evi-
fect on macro-invertebrates (SASS5) and the                portant South African rivers, site descriptions    denced by the work leading to the proposed
possible role of plants in the wetlands were               equations and procedures for determining           new habitat classes for invertebrates. The
addressed separately. All the information                  resistance coe cients. In developing the           study also identi ed several gaps in the tools
gathered was integrated in a qualitative sce-              database based software tool for predicting        that are currently used in eco-hydraulics
nario-based health risk analysis and a toolkit             resistance, surveys were done to de ne the         and made suggestions on how these can
recommended for future use.                                cross sectional pro le of the river channel in     be bridged. In a few cases the study team
                                                           su cient detail to identify features of interest   addressed some gaps through the develop-
Cost:     R2 000 000                                       to river scientists. These surveys were also to    ment and provision of additional software
Term:     2004 -2007                                       enable hydraulic measurements and analysis         which is packaged with this report.
                                                           to be undertaken at su cient levels of reso-
Eco-hydraulic modelling in river systems                   lution. Surveys were preferably undertaken         The study recognised that the major focus of
Centre for Water in the Environment (CWE),                 during low ow conditions to incorporate all        future research in eco-hydraulics should be
University of the Witwatersrand                            signi cant changes in slope along the pro le.      on the links between hydraulics and other
No 1508                                                    The pro les were surveyed from bank to             physical, chemical and biological characteris-
                                                           bank of the macro channel and included the         tics of the river ecosystem.
‘Eco-hydraulics’ is a widely used term with a              location and type of in-stream, marginal and
multiplicity of interpretations. In this study             riparian vegetation.                               Cost:    R1 800 000
it was considered to mean the speci cation                                                                    Term:    2004–2007
of hydraulic variables that contribute to the              Photographs of each site were taken from
de nition of riverine habitat.                             subsequent identi able and repeatable posi-        Programme 3:
                                                           tions. The photograph positions are:               Integrated ood and drought
 The key aims in this study were to:                       • Across the channel along the surveyed            management Updated guidelines and
• Review the ndings and issues generated                      cross section                                   design ood hydrograph techniques for
   by previous research on the subject of                  • Facing upstream and downstream
                                                                                                              dam safety.
   eco-hydraulic modelling in river systems                   with the surveyed cross-section in the
                                                                                                              Ninham Shand Consulting Engineers (Pty)
• Develop tools/methods for eco-hydraulic                     foreground
   assessments at stream level                             • Site view – a photograph showing cross-
                                                                                                              No 1420
• Apply the tools/methods to at least two                     section, upstream and downstream.
   sets of case studies.                                                                                      Given the unfavourable spatial and temporal
                                                           The study also involved the development of
                                                                                                              distributions of rainfall over large regions of
The project involved a local and international             additional software to support the estima-
                                                                                                              South Africa, the water supplies needed for
review of eco-hydraulics. In this review, the              tion of other model inputs such as topo-
                                                                                                              the economic development of the country
types of information required for ecological               graphic data. Topographic data was used
                                                                                                              has had to be assured by storage. Some 3
studies in the context of the current South                as the main input in 2-D hydraulic models.
                                                                                                              700 dams with a height greater than 5m are
African legislation were investigated. The                 Techniques for interpolation of spatial data
                                                                                                              currently listed in the Register of Dams main-
various hydraulic models in use were also as-              to produce spatially explicit visual maps were
                                                                                                              tained by the Dam Safety O ce of DWAF.
sessed. These models can be classi ed into:                also developed and added as support tools
                                                                                                              Potentially, all dams that are large enough
• Deterministic hydraulic models (these                    for key models such as River 2D.
                                                                                                              to warrant listing on the Register potentially
   were further investigated under the sub-                                                                   pose a public safety hazard, but of particular
   headings of 1D, 2D and 3D according                     The research also looked at how hydraulic
                                                                                                              concern would be the 252 dams classi ed
   to the number directions of motion                      data should be interpreted in ways that are
                                                                                                              as ‘Large Dams’. For this reason, dam safety
   considered)                                             meaningful to ecologists. This process re-

| 26 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
legislation was promulgated in 1986, which        reported in a separate report, was a review of    nowcasts/forecasts (with horizons of 1/2,
prescribed the safety evaluation of all regis-    the SANCOLD Guidelines on Dam Safety in           1, 2, 4, 8 hour, etc.) to be given in as much
tered dams on a ve-year cycle by approved         Relation to Floods. This report also included     detail as required. This would also have
professional persons speci cally registered       insights into speci c aspects of the existing     entailed interacting and working with local
for that purpose by the Dam Safety O ce.          SANCOLD Guidelines as well as recommen-           disaster managers and local authorities to
                                                  dations for updating these Guidelines or          convert ows to inundation levels as well as
In the early 1990s the South African National     replacing them.                                   providing training initiatives (annual courses,
Committee on Large Dams (SANCOLD) is-                                                               presentations and software) for local disaster
sued a set of Guidelines on Safety in Relation    The key observations were that the existing       managers using simulated weather systems
to Floods (SANCOLD, 1991), as well as a           SANCOLD Guidelines were outdated and              to augment training on historical events.
compendium of South African Design Flood          that they were based on ine cient tech-
Determination Techniques (Alexander, 1990)        niques that resulted in both under- estimates     Soon after the inception of the project, it
to provide guidance to those charged with         of oods in some cases as well as over-de-         became clear, however, that the objectives as
evaluating the safety of existing dams, as well   signs in some cases. It was also noted that       listed (despite initial enthusiastic acceptance
as to the designers of new dams. More than        the existing guidelines did not use the most      by role-players) were excessively over-ambi-
16 years have elapsed since the publication       up-to-date hydrological regimes which have        tious in the light of the lack of clear de nition
of the SANCOLD Guidelines, which have by          some of the highest rainfall and ows in over      of the roles (as well as changing roles) of
now informed safety evaluations for hun-          a 100 years. It was observed that the existing    various institutions involved in ood warn-
dreds of registered dams.                         guidelines also left out risk assessments and     ing and management, and the severe lack of
                                                  analyses which are now important in most          institutional capacity required to roll out the
This project reviewed and evaluated the           countries. The observations made on the           national ood nowcasting system as origi-
footprint achieved by these Guidelines In         national and international safety evaluation      nally envisaged.
this research the researchers worked towards      of dams in relation to oods as well as the
updating these Guidelines in terms of inter-      methodology and software developed in             A very large and important part of the proj-
national best practice. In the project ood        this project can be used to improve the dam       ect was consequently devoted to formal and
hydrograph-related information contained          safety assessments and designs. In the longer     informal consultation and interaction with
in the stream ow records of the last three        run, this research project recommended            role-players, and presentations at meetings
decades were also brought into the project        that further work should be done by DWAF,         with national leaders and decision-makers
to update the data used in South African de-      SANCOLD and the WRC to take this research         in SAWS, NDMC and DWAF, extending to
sign ood practices. Other project objectives      into new o cial SANCOLD guidelines for            the Metros. This activity was undertaken in
included:                                         dam safety. The research project was report-      order to create awareness of the needs for,
• To establish updated Guidelines for the         ed in three reports and a software CD with        and potential bene ts of, a national ood
    safety evaluation of dams in relation to      the Design Flood Hydrograph Toolbox.              nowcasting system, to provide the neces-
     oods                                                                                           sary background knowledge and to clarify
• To derive a methodology for design ood          Cost:    R 1 349 800                              optimal institutional arrangements. The
    hydrograph estimation based on joint          Term:    2003-2006                                technical issues of determining areas at risk,
    occurrence of ood peaks and ood                                                                 establishing physical communication links
    volumes, through analysis of historically     National ood now-casting system                   and developing appropriate catchment
    measured ood hydrographs in all regions       towards an integrated mitigation                  models to be able to extend forecasts/now-
    of South Africa                               strategy                                          casts to ungauged catchments continued to
• To develop a modernised set of design           Department of Civil Engineering, University       receive attention.
    tools for the generation of complete ood      of KwaZulu-Natal
    hydrographs for dam safety evaluation or      No 1429                                           There were three major outcomes from the
    spillway design.                                                                                project, setting the stage for further develop-
                                                  This project, building on previous research       ment:
The project was carried out in 4 phases. The      and development, aimed to put an e ective,        • New insights were gained into the
  rst phase was an assessment of local and        e cient, readily available national ood-fore-        existing and desired capacities, roles
international practices regarding dam safety      casting system in place, to use this system to       and responsibilities of institutions. As a
in relation to oods. This phase was followed      forecast ood inundation levels routinely and         result, SAWS accepted the responsibility
by data collection and the Improvement of         alert disaster managers, vulnerable people           for ash ood forecasting at a meeting
Flood Hydrograph Generation Techniques for        and industry, in order to mitigate the e ects        held in Bethlehem on May 10, 2005, with
South Africa for Dam Safety Purposes. Phase       of oods. The intention was to have recent            DWAF retaining the responsibility of
3 involved the development of a ‘Design           information (merged satellite, radar and             forecasting oods in larger catchments.
Flood Hydrograph Toolbox’, the purpose            gauge estimates of rainfall) distributed from        The repercussions of this decision were
of which is to support the various compo-         the NDMC/DWAF: PSU (National Disaster                profound and include the:
nents of dam safety evaluation in relation        Management Centre/DWAF: Public Safety                - Need within SAWS for hydrological
to oods. The nal project output, which is         Unit) to sensitive regions to enable ood                modelling of the rainfall-runo

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 27 |
Water Resource Management

     relationship in catchments where
     people and property are vulnerable.
     Weather forecasters will be the
     channels of warning to local Metros
     and regional DMs, not only for severe
     weather which they do now, but also
     for ash oods.
  - Need for information on the wetness
     of the surface of the catchments
     concerned. SAWS has decided
     to deploy soil moisture probes at
     selected sites to telemeter information
     on a daily basis to their data-base. This
                                                           or underestimation of oods. Flood frequen-
                                                           cy analysis in South Africa is currently based
                                                           on at least three basic approaches. These are
                                                           deterministic methods (rational, unit hydro-
                                                           graph, SCS, etc.); statistical methods such as
                                                           the LP3 and Log-normal (annual maximum
                                                            ood series data); and empirical methods
                                                           (Midgley-Pitman, HRU 1/71 and RMF).

                                                           The study aimed at producing a nationally
                                                           consistent and robust method to estimate
                                                           design ood peaks and index oods using
                                                           regionalised growth curves that are based
                                                                                                            more historical ood and palaeo ood data
                                                                                                            and by assessing the in uence catchment
                                                                                                            area has on the growth curves.

                                                                                                            The work in this project also pointed out the
                                                                                                            urgency of extending ow routing records
                                                                                                            in all existing reservoirs. The need to extend
                                                                                                            palaeo ood records in other catchments is
                                                                                                            also reinforced through this study.

                                                                                                                      R773 200
                                                                                                                      2001 - 2002

     will allow ground validation of remote                on historical and palaeo ood data. The study     Improved methods for aquifer
     sensing of soil moisture indicators by                was also motivated by the fact that the exist-   vulnerability assessments and protocols
     satellites, a task built into a new WRC               ing methods were developed on the basis          (AVAP) for producing vulnerability maps,
     Project No. K5/1683: Soil Moisture from               of a few records taken in the past. This study   taking into account soils information
     Satellites: Daily Maps over RSA.                      looked at updating the data used in the ood      CSIR
• New ood-related knowledge resources                      estimation and also looking at palaeo ood        No 1432
  have been generated and made more                        data to stretch the data used to more than
  widely available                                         200 years in some instances. Most infra-         Aquifer vulnerability to contamination
• Technical advances, such as the                          structure is designed for oods that occur        comprises two components: unsaturated
  development of a hazard atlas and                        between 1 in 100 and 1 in 200.                   zone vulnerability and saturated zone vulner-
  adaptation of an appropriate distributed                                                                  ability. For the unsaturated zone, this project
  catchment model (the Topkapi Model)                      The observation records used consisted of        de ned vulnerability as the ease with which
  have been accomplished.                                  an average of 51 years for systematic data,      groundwater may become contaminated
                                                           125 years after including historical data and    by a contaminant source at the surface or in
Cost:     R 1 314 000                                      an average of 47 777 years after including       the unsaturated zone. For the saturated zone,
Term:     2003-2006                                        the palaeo ood data. The applicability of the    vulnerability is de ned as a function of the
                                                           combined data may thus be taken as 1 000         period of time after contaminating activities
                                                           years (that is twice the period of observa-      have ceased that a given contaminant can
Thrust 3:                                                  tion).                                           be detected in groundwater plus the volume
Water Resource Protection                                                                                   of the aquifer throughout which the con-
                                                           The NCAPA method for estimating the re-          taminant is above a preset concentration. For
                                                           gional ood Qi was developed in this project.
Programme 1:                                                                                                the unsaturated zone, the ‘AQUISOIL’ (Aquifer
                                                           This method was based on the CAPA (Mc
Groundwater protection                                                                                      Vulnerability Soil Assessment) approach and
                                                           Pherson, 1983) method which is used in
Statistically-based regionalised ood                                                                        a modi ed DRASTIC approach, called ‘EUZIT’
frequency estimation study for SA, using                                                                    (Excel-based Unsaturated Index Tool) were
systematic, historical and palaeo ood data                                                                  developed. Both approaches can be used for
                                                           The relative Qi estimation performance of
SRK (CE) Inc.                                                                                               assessing vulnerability at the water table.
                                                           the CAPA and NCAPA methodologies for the
No 1260
                                                           regions were compared. The coe cient of          Two study sites were selected to illustrate the
                                                           determination (R2) for the NCAPA method
After the very devastating oods of the year                                                                 use of AVAP approaches to the assessment of
                                                           was generally better. For the whole study
2000, many water infrastructure designers                                                                   groundwater vulnerability: the Goedehoop
                                                           area the R2 improves from 0.74 to 0.87 which
were worried that the design ood estimates                                                                  Irrigation Site near Secunda, and the Coastal
                                                           suggested that the NCAPA methodology
used in civil designs were not realistic. The                                                               Park Waste Disposal Site near Cape Town. It
                                                           provides better estimates for the index ood.
year 2000 ood devastation resulted in dam-                                                                  was found that the unsaturated zone vulner-
                                                           The study also concluded that the inclusion
ages exceeding R1.5 billion countrywide.                                                                    abilities are relatively high for both aquifers.
                                                           of historical and palaeo ood data along with
                                                           the systematic records in a regional ood
In this research project the researchers inves-                                                             A framework to support decision-making
                                                           study, signi cantly extend the range of prob-
tigated and developed new techniques for                                                                    was developed to assist groundwater
                                                           abilities for ood peak estimations and thus
calculating ood estimates in water resource                                                                 vulnerability assessment practitioners in
                                                           provide more stable estimates that will not
infrastructure designs. The project was set                                                                 understanding the role of their assessments
                                                           be subject to frequent amendments as the
to address a pertinent problem in available                                                                 in groundwater management and to assist
                                                           period of systematic observation increases.
  ood estimation techniques. These tech-                                                                    them in the selection of AVAP approaches
                                                           Estimation of the rarer ood events (>100-
niques have been known to give vastly di er-                                                                to groundwater vulnerability assessment.
                                                           years) for especially the larger catchments
ent results that could result in overestimation                                                             The framework highlights the fact that
                                                           can now be improved by the inclusion of

| 28 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
groundwater vulnerability assessments serve         si cation system to use for EWQII and also          to form part of the EWQII, and the US-EPA
as input to contaminant risk assessments,           to determine which water quality variables          ecotoxicology databases were used to obtain
which will contribute to a cost bene t              to use for EWQII. In cognisance of the major        a consistent level of data quality. Species
analysis. It is the outcome of the cost             contribution from intruding sea water to the        sensitive distribution (SSD) curves were
bene t analysis which will ultimately inform        estuaries salinity (or TDS) value, salinity was     produced. This study showed that the prob-
decision-making.                                    included as an important variable in the de-        ability of exceeding an exposure estimate
                                                    termination of estuary water quality integrity      with an unacceptable adverse biological
Cost:    R 3 500 000                                (estuaries brackish nature make them unique         e ect can be estimated. In the development
Term:    2003-2007                                  habitat). Another variable considered for in-       of the EWQII, each category of the EWQII
                                                    clusion was nutrients because water quality         was allocated a protection concentration or
Programme 3:                                        studies seriously recognize trophic status of       percentile hazard concentration (HCPs) with
Urban water resource management                     water resources. Metals, with the exception         di erent levels of certainty for each category.
Development of an estuarine water quality           of Al, Fe, and Mn, with historic data (mainly       In calculating the EWQII scores for best water
index for implementation in estuarine water         from SA Marine Water Quality Systems) were          quality indexing, the aggregation method
quality management in Southern Africa               included in metals variable. Some selected          which consolidates all variables and requires
Department of Zoology, University of                organic pollutants were considered. The             ranking of categories, was used. The EWQII
Zululand                                            literature review studies showed that estuar-       was then incorporated into the decision
No 1163                                             ies have uctuating salinity and a strong            support system (DSS). This project revealed
                                                    gradient in ecotoxicological parameters such        that the available methods and approaches
The need to develop a classi cation system          as pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, redox         developed for the freshwater systems cannot
for estuaries that is based not only on physi-      potential, and amount and composition               be adopted as they are for use in the man-
cal and biological components, but also on          of particles. A theoretical or mathematical         agement of the estuarine systems. The need
water quality, was identi ed. However, there        analysis which was based on three ecological        to reinforce estuaries research programmes
was a lack of estuary- related data that could      zones (euhaline, mesohaline, and oligoha-           strongly came out throughout the study.
be used in the setting of water resource            line) showed greater uctuation in salinity in       The results of this study are important and
quality objectives for Ecological Reserve           the mesohaline ecozone when compared to             relevant to the Resource Directed Measures
determination. Most of the available data,          the other two ecozones. If the estuary meso-        Division in DWAF because DWAF may have
particularly water quality data, were for rivers.   haline may be modi ed, this can increase the        to consider these results in developing clas-
This research studies were focused on choos-        duration and magnitude of stress in some            si cation system for estuaries for integrated
ing appropriate variables that can be used to       organisms. However, due to the limited              water resource management.
determine water quality for estuaries, which        amount of data available, the optimal salinity
in this study was referred to as Estuary Water      ranges for many estuaries organisms are still       Cost:      R515 000
Quality Integrity Index (EWQII). The main           unknown. Estuaries do not have steady-state         Term:      2000-2005
aims of the project were to develop a water         conditions, thus have no inter-speci c biotic
quality index for estuaries that interprets         competition because the physical-chemical
water quality variables in terms of ecologi-        factors nullify the possibility. Both studies       Thrust 4:
cal/biological resource protection, to incor-       indicated that:                                     Policy Development and
porate the index into a DSS using ARCVIEW           • The impact of saline regimes on estuary
                                                                                                        Institutional Arrangements for
as a platform to link to other meta-databases,          ecosystems cannot be predicted using
                                                                                                        Water Resource Management
to developed the index in such a way that               tools or ecotoxicological indices from the
it will contribute towards the classi cation            freshwater systems
                                                    • The classi cation system based on salinity
                                                                                                        Programme 2:
in terms of the Ecological Reserve require-
                                                        that may work should have to do with            Water policy development and strategic
ments, i.e. di erent integrity categories as
outlined in the RDM procedures, and to                  the distribution of estuarine fauna and         policy support
                                                        functional groups that are expected in an       Human rights and equitable access to water
integration of the water quality index with
                                                        unmodi ed estuary.                              AWARD
existing estuarine index scores through the
                                                                                                        No 1512
DSS. The generic hierarchical approach that
is followed in developing a water quality           Use of nutrient loading models was also
                                                    investigated. Available models were found to        A key concept evident in the South African
index (WQI) was followed, and it entailed
                                                    be not suitable for estuaries because they are      Constitution is that National Government
selection of water quality variables, trans-
                                                    oversimpli ed. The Land Ocean Interaction           is committed to providing adequate food
formation of variables into a dimensionless
                                                    in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) model for               and water ‘… to meet basic human needs’.
scale, formulating and computing the index
                                                    determining the nutrient mass balance of            Arguably the most crucial resource, in terms
score, and ensuring accessibility and func-
                                                    nutrient in the ecosystem was identi ed as          of human need, is water. This commitment
tionality of the EWQII through incorporation
                                                    the best model for estuaries when dealing           in providing water for basic human needs is
into a decision support system (DSS).For the
                                                    with nutrient loading. However, the paucity         captured by the National Water Act (1998)
selection of water quality variables to use in
                                                    of data in South Africa limits its use. Organic,    in the concept of the ‘Basic Human Needs
the EWQII, a thorough literature review was
                                                    neutral, and metallic toxicants were selected       Reserve’ (BHNR). This concept is an expres-
undertaken to identify the appropriate clas-

                                                                                                       Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 29 |
Water Resource Management

sion in real terms of the constitutional inten-
tion to provide water to meet basic human
needs (currently taken to be 25 ℓ /person
per day) before water can be allocated for
use by the various sectors. The notion of the
BHNR essentially elevates the status of water
for basic human needs to that of a human
right. Although an orientation that accepts
access to water as a human right is enshrined
in South African law, it represents a very new
concept in water management in South
Africa (and the world). One of the major ob-
stacles hampering implementation is a lack
                                                           Interpreting Water Governance:
                                                           The complete system of governance for
                                                           water may be represented as a three-dimen-
                                                           sional system of:
                                                           • Elements, including principles &
                                                              mandate, policies & legislation, regulatory
                                                              framework, institutional arrangements
                                                              and practice
                                                           • Levels, from international, national,
                                                              regional, local to neighbourhood levels
                                                           • Responsibilities of government, non-
                                                              government organisations and civil
                                                                                                            • Opportunities and institutional
                                                                                                              arrangements for joint planning,
                                                                                                              management and regulation of air and
                                                                                                              water quality (linked to land quality) at
                                                                                                              a catchment basin scale, through the
                                                                                                              catchment management strategy process
                                                                                                            • The technical, procedural and institutional
                                                                                                              considerations for addressing water
                                                                                                              resource impacts as part of the air
                                                                                                              emissions licensing process.

                                                                                                            Land Governance:
                                                                                                            From the wide-ranging review and evalu-
of familiarity and understanding of the no-                                                                 ation of land governance from a water-
tion of the BHNR by the very people tasked                 International Context:                           hydrological perspective, the following are
with the responsibility for ensuring that it is            De ning what constitutes international wa-       examples of the priority issues identi ed:
honoured, i.e. local government. An informal,              ter law is simply due to the preponderance       • The opportunities for e ective
preliminary survey conducted by AWARD in-                  of customary international law at this level.        coordination of land use governance
dicates that most members of local govern-                 For governance of water in the hydrological          through catchment management
ment have not heard about the BHNR.                        cycle, the most relevant initiatives are those       processes, and appropriate mechanisms
                                                           related to climate change, management of             to institutionalise the required
The objectives were:                                       transboundary water resources and envi-              cooperative governance
• An exploration of the concept of ‘water as               ronmental management. These initiatives          • The institutional capacity of local
  a human right’ within the context of the                 and law are taken as context for the national        government to e ectively perform its
  South African legal framework                            governance evaluation.                               functions related to management of the
• Enhanced understanding, capacity and                                                                          hydrological cycle, particularly around
  competence within Local Government                       National Policy and Legislation:                     integrated development planning,
  to implement the National Water Act                      Conclusions about the broad legislative en-          municipal service delivery, waste
  and allocate water resources with                        vironment are relevant for water governance          management and land use authorisation.
  consideration for the concept of ‘The                    in South Africa such as:
  Reserve’                                                 • The Constitution sets the parameters for       Water Governance:
• To produce and test learning support                         good water governance                        In addition to the water-related issues as-
  materials regarding the concept of the                   • The legislated governance system for           sociated with land governance, speci c
  Reserve                                                      water has several elements, with the         governance issues related to the water envi-
• To research, understand and document                         National Water Act and Water Services Act    ronment include as examples:
  the way that access to water resources                       administered by DWAF at its core.            • Governance of catchment management
  as a human right can be implemented in                                                                        agencies at all levels, within a paradigm of
  South Africa                                             Evaluation of the Governance Systems:                cooperative, integrated, developmental
• To share ndings generated by a research                  While the policy and legal environment has           and participatory management
  orientation with other catchments and                    been generally well developed in South           • Governance considerations and
  local governments in South Africa.                       Africa in accordance with government policy          mechanisms for the development of
                                                           since 1994, the implementation of this policy        catchment management strategies
Cost:     R173 000                                         and legislation has been generally uneven,           through a consultative process and
Term:     2004-2005                                        inconsistent and often inadequate to meet            their alignment with local development
                                                           the challenges facing the country. Therefore         planning (IDP, WSDP) and provincial
Strategic review of current and                            the key focus of the evaluation is on the            planning processes (PDGS).
emerging governance systems related to                     regulatory environment and practice. It
water in the environment in South Africa                   does this speci cally from the perspective       Challenges to Good Water Governance:
Pegasys Strategic Management                               of the water governance, and prioritisation      There are a number of fundamental chal-
No 1514                                                    is primarily based on the associated impact      lenges to improving water governance in
                                                           on the water environment. For practical          South Africa such as:
A particular governance system should be                   reasons, the synthesis takes a physical media    • Change and maturity in the governance
matched to and aligned with the biophysical                approach, focusing on governance of air,            systems
and ecological processes occurring within                  land and water.                                  • Institutional change and decentralisation.
the ecological system that supports a society
or community.                                              Air Governance: Speci c issues that may          Given the magnitude of these strategic
                                                           bene t from further investigation include:       challenges, it is remarkable that there is a

| 30 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
relatively e ective governance system in the          agreed to double the level of support, to          scarce natural resources. Worldwide there is
water and related sectors. From this synthe-          enable the appointment of a publicity and          increasing pressure on society to achieve eq-
sis and evaluation, it is apparent that an insti-     information o cer, a craftwork facilitator, an     uitable, e cient and sustainable use of eco-
tutional champion is required for promoting           environmental educator, an o ce manager,           system goods and services. The challenge
coherent and harmonised implementation                a conservancies consultant and later an up-        that governments face is to reconcile the dis-
of water governance related to the entire hy-         per catchment agricultural facilitator (with       tribution of costs and bene ts for society as a
drological cycle. While DWAF must continue            help from Mondi), and a conservation O cer         whole. The process that should underpin this
to play this role at a national policy level, it      (employed by the Umlaas Irrigation Board           reconciliation must be founded on trade-o s
is proposed that catchment management                 Catchment Project). These 11 people have           that have continually to be achieved through
agencies provide a focus point for improv-            undertaken a remarkable range of activities        democratic processes. Only if these trade-
ing governance of water in the hydrological           over the past 6 years. Together with 6 Dutch       o s are made democratically is it possible
cycle at a catchment level.                           students and several more South African            to expect the popular support that leads
                                                      students, they have built up a body of experi-     to compliance. In this way, attainment of
Cost:     R 500 000                                   ence in integrated catchment management            equitable, e cient and sustainable use of
Term:     2004-2005                                   (ICM). The programme has grown from a              ecosystem goods and services will re ect
                                                      small core of activities in one subcatchment,      the extent to which democracy is institution-
Programme 3:                                          to a more comprehensive attempt to bring           alised in society and the agencies that act on
Institutional arrangements and                        people together throughout the Mlazi River         its behalf.
processes for IWRM at catchment, WMA                  catchment, and also in uences Metropolitan
and national level                                    Durban through sta involvement in de-              The research was conducted in the Sabie-
                                                      veloping an Environmental Management               Sand catchment in Mpumalanga Province,
Towards integrated catchment management
                                                      System based on an understanding of                South Africa. The project was divided into
in the Mlazi River: A model for participation
                                                      the importance of ICM. The name of the             three phases. The objective of Phase I was to
in the South African context
                                                      programme has now been changed to the              develop familiarity with relevant underlying
Farmer Support Group, University of
                                                      Mlazi River Catchment Programme (MRCP)             theories and to describe the social-eco-
                                                      to re ect this more comprehensive scope.           logical system in the Sabie-Sand catchment
No 1157
                                                      However, as a lower level of support was           with respect to decision-making structures,
                                                      given to the third phase of the programme,         processes and behaviours. From this, issues
In 1994, various residents, resource managers
                                                      activities could not be extended into the          were selected to focus the action research
and researchers with an interest in the area
                                                      lower catchment, and the sta complement            phase of the project (Phase II). The objective
around the Ntshongweni Dam were ap-
                                                      was reduced from 10 sta members to 5               of Phase III was to draw lessons from the
proached by Raymond Auerbach concerning
                                                      members.                                           research experience and to highlight the
social and environmental problems in the
area. Although then Research Coordinator for                                                             implications for the development of appro-
                                                      The main activities of the programme can be        priate relationships and cultures for sharing a
Farmer Support Group, he was at the same
                                                      described under the headings water demand          common property resource.
time also a local farmer in a small subcatch-
                                                      management research, environmental edu-
ment of the Sterkspruit, a tributary of the Mlazi
                                                      cation, rural development and community            Phase I identi ed three models, or frame-
River. With the help of seed funding from
                                                      capacity building, local government devel-         works, that would be particularly useful in
Umgeni Water, and the positive engagement
                                                      opment and environmental monitoring. In            guiding the research. These were Senge’s
of many people, information was gathered,
                                                      each of these elds, a considerable number          process for profound change, a form of ac-
a proposal was submitted to the WRC and
                                                      of activities were undertaken, representing        tion research known as appreciative enquiry,
an initial catchment management workshop
                                                      technical, social and ethical aspects of catch-    and Cook’s model for understanding em-
was held in November 1994. At this point, the
                                                      ment management.                                   powerment. Phase I also identi ed a number
focus was on the Sterkspruit (or Mncadodo
Stream), the Nthsongweni area and Dam,                                                                   of issues around river resource governance in
                                                      Estimated cost: R1 000 000                         the Sabie-Sand catchment. These were:
and the Mlazi River between Mpumalanga
                                                      Expected term: 2000-2001                           • Large discrepancies between
Township and the Dam. The programme
was called the Ntshongweni Catchment                                                                         organizations and individuals
Management Programme (NCMP).                          Promoting democracy through the                    • Very little co-ordinated decision-making
                                                      IWRM process: Developing a model                       between organisations, which tend to
When WRC approved the pilot proposal for              for sustainable relationships for the                  engage government to resolve resource
1995 and 1996, three more sta members                 management of a scarce natural                         issues, rather than each other
                                                                                                         • A lack of formal representation of the
were appointed in addition to the coordina-           resource
tor (ecologist; catchment development fa-                                                                    interests of many resource users
cilitator; and agriculture facilitator). Activities                                                      • A predominance of decision-making
                                                      No 1294
gathered momentum, with a remarkably                                                                         structures that were not necessarily
positive response to the pamphlet (pub-                                                                      geared to address their constituency’s
                                                      This research was aimed at developing an
lished in 1996). At the end of 1996, WRC                                                                     resource-related issues.
                                                      understanding of how to govern shared,

                                                                                                        Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 31 |
Water Resource Management

Apart from the issues identi ed, a number of
opportunities were also identi ed:
• The Sabie River Irrigation Board had a
  vision to expand its scope to include
  a number of downstream users. In
  this way, the board would enhance its
  representation and empower others. This
  o ered a signi cant opportunity to the
  research project
• The private forestry sector (global forest
  products) and the Kruger National Park
  stood out as organisations that are
  outward-looking, well-resourced and able
                                                           There were a number of outcomes arising
                                                           from the above process. Well-resourced
                                                           stakeholders were willing to engage and
                                                           invest in local-level informal processes, but
                                                           they felt that they would bene t greatly from
                                                           explicit acknowledgment and endorsement
                                                           of their endeavours by DWAF. Related to
                                                           this, there is a question about where the
                                                           responsibility of an informal process ends,
                                                           and where that of more statutory processes
                                                           begins. There was also a perceived need
                                                           for adequate and appropriate representa-
                                                           tion when people strive to make decisions
                                                                                                                The NWA puts emphasis on the decentrali-
                                                                                                                sation of water resource management to
                                                                                                                the catchment level. This necessitates an
                                                                                                                adoption of participatory management ap-
                                                                                                                proaches that can support a multi-stakehold-
                                                                                                                er dialogue of diverse interest groups such as
                                                                                                                water user associations (WUAs), community-
                                                                                                                based organisations, NGOs, water resource
                                                                                                                managers, policy-makers and planners.
                                                                                                                Therefore, there is a need for appropriate
                                                                                                                tools that can be used to support meaningful
                                                                                                                participation of the public at di erent levels
                                                                                                                of decision-making. This project answers the
  to seek, engage and drive co-operative                   together. There is a tension between being           following questions:
  processes. They are at opposite ends                     representative (i.e. having all groups present,      • What is the appropriate CMA level of
  of the catchment, again providing an                     but perhaps not participating equally) and               organisation that will be e ective in
  opportunity for focus and for integrating                building relationships, perhaps more slowly              ensuring that voices of marginalised
  upstream/downstream concerns.                            but more thoroughly and meaningfully, to                 groups are also taken into consideration
                                                           achieve full representation.                             in the governance of CMAs?
At the end of project Phase I, di erentials in                                                                  • How can civil society be best organised
levels and types of empowerment emerged                    The research conducted during this project               to play a meaningful role in the
as a major obstacle to stakeholders’ collective            has allowed the team to identify a number                management of water resources at a
capability to develop shared understanding                 of important lessons regarding co-operative              catchment and subcatchment level?
and make wise trade-o s. Learning about                    resource governance. These include the fol-
what constitutes empowerment and co-                       lowing:                                              Cost:    R 1 000 000
operative empowerment therefore became                     • Relationship-building cannot be rushed             Term:    2003-2005
a focus area for Phase II of the project. The                  (as predicted by Senge’s model)
Cook model of empowerment was used to                      • Repeated reinforcement is important for            Water Law of South Africa
guide the research team and resource stake-                    sustaining relationships                         Maritza Uys
holders.                                                   • Stakeholders can learn to value                    No 1513
                                                               relationships as much as the decisions
Phase II focused on action research. It applied                they support                                     The main purpose of this project was to iden-
strategic adaptive management (SAM) con-                   • Informal resource governance processes             tify future research needs in the law-related
cepts in its approach. SAM is based on the                     require support from formal processes,           portfolio in the KSA. The produced results
acceptance of the uncertainty and variability                  and there is a risk of failure if they are not   were not inclusive enough to be published. It
inherent in social-ecological systems and the                  supported                                        was found that the identi cation of water law
need to proceed with incomplete informa-                   • There is a need to balance the                     and governance issues should therefore be
tion. Thus, management should be experi-                       requirements for empowerment (which              approached from three perspectives:
mental, adaptive and learning-oriented, so                     takes time) representation (which can be         •     A statutory approach
that learning from each round of implemen-                     achieved relatively rapidly, but does not        •     A customary law perspective
tation informs the next. This approach moves                   necessarily lead to voluntary compliance         •     A human rights view.
away from the balance of nature theory to a                    and truly empowered resource sharing)
concept of nature as a system of hierarchical              • Individual champions, or catalysts, play           This will ensure that future water laws are not
patches that are changing and diverse over                     a critical role in sustaining and fostering      restricted to formal old-fashioned rules, but
space and time.                                                relationships in informal resource sharing       should be su ciently pliable to t into a new
                                                               processes.                                        exible and dynamic system of governing
Phase II of the research project proceeded, in                                                                  our scarce water resources, all integrated into
the rst place, as a series of individual consul-           Cost:     R1 416 700                                 a sustainable water resources management
tations with the ‘well resourced’ stakeholders.            Term:     2002 - 2005                                system.
Once their agreement was obtained to par-
ticipate further in the process, a joint work-             Stakeholder participation in the                     Cost:    R200 000
shop between the stakeholders, the research                establishment and governance of                      Term:    2004-2005
team, and DWAF was held.                                   catchment management agencies
                                                           (CMAs): Best practice guidelines
                                                           Department of Geography, Rhodes University
                                                           No 1434

| 32 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Current                                            fers needs to be consolidated. This is neces-       • Assess the value of isotopes in
                                                   sary to identify the research needs, gaps and         characterising the sustainability of
                                                   priorities. This project aims to synthesise           springs, including testing the correlation
Thrust 1:                                          current knowledge relating to basement                of perennial and seasonal springs with the
Water Resource Assessment and                      aquifers in Southern Africa. The output of the        isotopic signature
Development                                        synthesis will lead to a research strategy that     • Develop a weighting system to assess the
                                                   will address shortcomings in our knowledge            sustainability of spring- ow.
Programme 1:                                       base. This is a necessary project to guide fu-
Groundwater hydrology                              ture research in the hydrogeological domain.        Estimated cost: R734 100
A strategy for future investigations of deep                                                           Expected term: 2004 - 2008
groundwater systems in South Africa                Estimated cost: R564 430
Directorate Geohydrology, DWAF                     Expected term: 2003-2004                            Flow conceptualisation, recharge and
No 1237                                                                                                storativity determination in Karoo
                                                   Flow conceptualisation and storage                  aquifers (with special emphasis on the
Present knowledge of fractured-rock aquifers       determination in TMG aquifer systems                Eastern Cape (Mzimvubu to Keiskamma
in Southern Africa is mainly restricted to the     Department of Earth Sciences, University of         Water Management Area)
‘shallow’ (i.e. upper 100 m) of the earth’s sur-   the Western Cape                                    SRK (CE)
face, where the ubiquitous role of erosional       No 1419                                             No 1565
unloading/weathering is an important factor
                                                                                                       The Karoo rocks outcrop over almost three
controlling the occurrence of groundwater.         The TMG aquifer system is a regional aquifer        quarters of South Africa and act as a host for
There are, however, a number of key indi-          considered to have potential to be a major          important groundwater resources. Hundreds
cators pointing to the existence of deep           resource for future water supply in the             of villages in the rural areas of the Eastern
groundwater systems within many of these           Western and Eastern Cape. This project ad-          Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces obtain
hard-rock terrains, e.g. thermal springs and       dresses two key aspects, which are essential        their water supplies from boreholes adjacent
artesian boreholes. With the shift in emphasis     in order to manage TMG aquifers, i.e. concep-       to or within the area of in uence of dolerite
of groundwater resource assessment from            tualisation of the groundwater ow system            dykes and sills, which have intruded the
the localised to the catchment scale, there is     and determination of aquifer storage. The           Karoo sediments. These conditions produce
a need to assess the role of deep groundwa-        project will utilise a blend of fracture/analy-     unique and complex hydrogeological sys-
ter systems in the hydrological cycle. Due to      sis/remote sensing, eld testing, use of hy-         tems, which complicates the development of
a lack of information on and the complexity        drochemical/isotopic tracers and numerical          groundwater. This project aims to:
of the deep groundwater ow system, as              modelling to address the research questions.        • Conceptualise ow dynamics and ground-
well as the requirement of a multidisciplinary
                                                                                                       water ow paths
approach, a strategy for conducting such           Estimated cost: R3 500 000                          • Determine recharge-discharge and storativ-
research has to be formulated as a prerequi-       Expected term: 2003-2008                            ity and generate target maps for groundwa-
site to detailed investigations. The results of
                                                                                                       ter exploitation.
this research will provide guidelines to the       Protocols assessing the sustainability of
groundwater community in terms of the
                                                   springs                                             Estimated cost: R3 400 000
conceptualisation, exploration and develop-
                                                   Maluti Water                                        Expected term: 2005 - 2009
ment of deep aquifer systems, and will also
                                                   No 1488
identify key areas for future research.
                                                                                                       Programme 2:
                                                   This project intends to develop a protocol for      Catchment hydrology
Estimated cost: R198 000
                                                   de ning a spring- ow sustainability index.          Update of SA Atlas of Agrohydrology and
Expected term: 2001-2007
                                                   The development of a sustainability index           Climatology
                                                   would assist with water resource planning           University of KwaZulu-Natal
A synthesis of the hydrogeology of                 and result in security of water supplies to         No 1489
basement aquifers in Southern Africa:              communities. The successful outcome of this
Research needs and priorities                      project can result in innovative approaches         The South African Atlas of Agrohydrology
Council for Geoscience                             to protect and manage springs (both from a          and Climatology is one of the most exten-
No 1418                                            water supply and protection perspective.            sively used WRC products. Over 1 000 hard
                                                   The objectives are:                                 copies have been sold, several 1 000s of map
Basement aquifers are found extensively in         • The development of a protocol for                 images distributed and some 50 CD Rom
sub-Saharan Africa. The only viable water             de ning a spring- ow sustainability index        copies given to clients. Since its publication,
supply to many rural communities is located           (i.e. a tool for assessing the sustainability    however, considerable new information and
in these aquifer systems. To contribute to            of springs)                                      technology, as well as new needs, have seen
sustainable resource development, all knowl-       • Review all the factors that a ect spring-         the light of day which would necessitate and
edge about the attributes and dynamics of               ow                                             facilitate not only an updated and extended,
groundwater occurrence in basement aqui-

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 33 |
Water Resource Management

but also a greatly enhanced new Atlas. The
primary objective is to collate agrohydrol-
ogy- and agroclimatology-related data and
information from diverse research projects of
various organisations and WRC projects into
one co-ordinated spatio-temporal database
and to utilise that information for the produc-
tion of a new, electronically interactive atlas.

Estimated cost: R546 100
Expected term: 2004 - 2006

A synthesis and encapsulation of
                                                           common exible and extensible database
                                                           and integrated with a GIS for use at a plan-
                                                           ning and operational level by CMAs at spatial
                                                           scales ranging from point of use to the entire
                                                           WMA and at temporal time scales of one day.
                                                           The coarsest catchment scale at which the
                                                           modelling algorithms / modules within the
                                                           HDSF will operate in a lumped mode is at
                                                           a quaternary catchment level and, in order
                                                           to model the complexities of hydrological
                                                           responses within a catchment, it is envis-
                                                           aged that the modules will be applied at
                                                           sub-quaternary catchment scales. The HDSF
                                                                                                             A further objective of the project is to
                                                                                                             extend the capabilities of the some of the
                                                                                                             modules so as to enable the assessment of
                                                                                                             water resources and the allocation of water
                                                                                                             use licences at the level of CMAs as well as
                                                                                                             to consolidate and encapsulate existing
                                                                                                             relevant research ndings into the selected
                                                                                                             simulation modules in order to re ne the
                                                                                                             simulation of hydrological processes. Within
                                                                                                             the constraints of the budget and available
                                                                                                             resources, these could include an easy-to-
                                                                                                             use methodology to simulate dynamics in
                                                                                                             the catchment, re nements to hydrological
hydrological research ndings into a                        should simplify and ensure maximum ex-            processes, addition/re nement of selected
DSS for application and operational/                       ibility in system con gurations, utilise GIS to   water quality modules, re nements to cater
planning level                                             generate system / module inputs and have          for proposed new water allocation and man-
                                                           interfaces suitable for water resource manag-     agement options such as fractional water
School of Bioresources Engineering and
                                                           ers to interrogate the system. It is envisaged    allocation and capacity sharing / water bank-
Environmental Hydrology, University of
                                                           that the framework developed will be able         ing, and inclusion of dam operating rules to
                                                           to accommodate modules not utilised in            meet IFR and other water demands. Where
No 1490
                                                           this study. The HDSF is to include a spatio-      necessary, additions and re nements will be
                                                           temporal database populated with quality          made to the selected modules to extend the
Hydrological operation and planning levels
                                                           controlled data.                                  HDSF such that it can be used operationally.
in South Africa are in the process of being
                                                                                                             These include ‘ownership’ of water in im-
updated in line with the requirements of the
                                                           The purpose of the HDSF will ultimately be        poundments and near real time operations
National Water Act of 1998 (NWA). The NWA
                                                           to support CMAs in planning and manag-            with links to climate forecasting systems.
requires the establishment of catchment
                                                           ing water resources under their jurisdiction
management agencies (CMAs) to protect,
                                                           and to provide tools to facilitate planning       An additional objective will be to provide
conserve, manage and control water re-
                                                           and scenario analyses. Although this will         user support and up-to-date user documen-
sources in water management areas (WMAs).
                                                           require a number of di erent functions to         tation for the HDSF and to assist users in
Developments of tools to equip CMAs have
                                                           be performed, the main focus in this proj-        the implementation of the HDSF. Thus this
occurred, with limited integration, such that
                                                           ect will be the development of an HDSF to         project will collaborate where possible with
the value of these developments to water
                                                           support CMAs in the assessment of water           other WRC-funded research projects (e.g.
managers has been very limited. This study
                                                           resources and the allocation of water use         No. 1318, No 1320 and No. 1430) as well as
seeks to develop a decision support system
                                                           licences under the new requirements of the        with solicited proposals currently under con-
(DSS) that will be useful for the operation
                                                           NWA of 1998. This will require designing the      sideration (KSA 1: Water resources of South
and planning at CMA level. The development
                                                           framework, integration of relevant modules,       Africa, 2005; KSA 1: Low ows and stream ow
of the DSS will integrate existing research
                                                           or adding functionality to existing modules,      reduction activities; KSA 4: Standards and
  ndings, data and available tools and will
                                                           design of a generic and extensible database       guidelines for improved e ciency of irriga-
also make improvements to these tools.
                                                           and GIS structures and the population of          tion water use from dam wall releases to root
While national planning within DWAF has
                                                           these with quality controlled data at both        zone application; KSA 4: Technology transfer
dealt primarily with relatively large scales
                                                           quaternary and sub-quaternary catchment           and integrated implementation of water
(i.e. catchment and quaternary level) using
                                                           scales. A suite of relevant simulation modules    management models in commercial farm-
monthly time steps, this study will focus on
                                                           best suited to the requirements of CMAs will      ing) and with modelling e orts at DWAF (e.g.
  ner spatial and temporal resolution than
                                                           be selected for incorporation into the HDSF.      systems analysis) in order to reduce duplica-
was the case in the past. The ner resolution
                                                           The selection of modules will be nalised          tion of e ort.
is targeted to deal with water resources at
                                                           after a review of user needs has been per-
a range of scales varying from points of use
                                                           formed, but it is anticipated that a physical-    Estimated cost: R2 597 000
to the whole WMA. Similarly, the planning
                                                           conceptual process based on hydrological          Expected term: 2004 - 2008
aspect will handle a range of time scales
                                                           modules, integrated so that system analyses
varying from daily to annual.
                                                           can be performed, will be required for the        Water resources of South Africa, 2005
                                                           assessment of water resources and the al-         Study (WR2005)
The objectives are:
                                                           location of water-use licences. It is envisaged   SRK (CE) Inc.
The primary objective of this project is the
                                                           that the HDSF will be applied on selected         No 1491
development of a Hydrological Decision
                                                           catchments within two WMAs which will
Support Framework (HDSF) which can incor-
                                                           give the opportunity to assess and re ne the      The 1990 Surface Water Resources of South
porate relevant and appropriate modelling
                                                           HDSF.                                             Africa Study (WR90) and its predecessors
algorithms / modules which are linked by a
                                                                                                             have played a major role in providing key

| 34 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
hydrological information to water resource         formance under di erent conditions. Using          in Southern Africa today. It has now been
managers, planners, designers, research-           a suite of several GCMs not only increases         recognised that the heat content of the
ers and decision makers throughout South           the e ective ensemble size, it also leads to       upper ocean and evaporation from the ad-
Africa since the late sixties. The deliverables    probabilistic simulations that are skilful over    jacent oceans may be of even greater value
from the last nationwide water resource as-        a greater portion of the region and a greater      than previously anticipated in understanding
sessment in 1990, WR90, became essential           portion of the time series. Multimodel en-         the mechanisms by which the ocean in u-
tools for water resources management, plan-        sembles are nearly always better than any of       ences the weather and climate variability of
ning and operational practitioners, research-      the individual ensembles. The bene ts from         countries in Southern Africa. These variables
ers and decision makers. The 1990 study            combining ensembles are a result of the            may, therefore, hold the key to simulating the
which basically focused on surface water           inclusion of complementary predictive infor-       processes whereby sea surface temperatures
resources has become less and less useful          mation since the scheme is able to extract         in uence rainfall variations which, as indicat-
over the years as the water sector evolved         useful information from the results of indi-       ed, currently remain poorly understood. The
with new legislation coming in (Water Act of       vidual models from local regions where their       methodologies are in line with the current
1998), changing land uses, improved knowl-         skill is higher. The project seeks to assemble     state of the art and are able to accommodate
edge and data, technological advances,             leading forecasting models and to put into         possible future improvements in models, re-
and the need to answer new questions in a          place a scheme for using models operation-         mote-sensing hardware and computational
changing water sector. The WR2005 study            ally in a complementary way, and assess their      facilities.
seeks to quantify and assess national water        skill in producing probabilistic ensemble
resources in an integrated manner that takes       climate forecasts.                                 This project aims to enhance the under-
into account the new water environment                                                                standing of hydroclimatic variability and the
and addresses the shortcomings of the previ-       The objectives are to:                             prediction of climate variation in Southern
ous nationwide studies.                            • Investigate the operational predictability       Africa, with special reference to the role of
                                                     of seasonal to inter-annual rainfall and its     the oceans and to addressing needs of water
The objectives are to:                               extremes over Southern Africa through            resource managers.
• Evaluate the WR90 project and its use.             the use of multimodel ensembles
  Critically review the outcomes of the            • Investigate the operational predictability       Speci c objectives are to:
  WR90 project with regard to                        of seasonal to inter-annual occurrence           • Assess the suitability of indices used to
  - Project implementation                           of tropical cyclones over the south-               represent hydroclimatic variation over
  - Uses and users                                   western Indian Ocean through the use of            Southern Africa from a joint ocean/
  - Project impact on the water sector               multimodel ensembles                               atmosphere system and water-resource
  - Shortcomings and strengths                     • Test di erent recalibration methods                management perspective and address
• Develop WR2005 project framework                   linking GCM-simulated large-scale elds             shortcomings, where necessary
• Develop WR2005 tools                               to rainfall                                      • Select, assess and apply the most
• Develop WR2005 database                          • Assess if the recalibration is an                  promising of advanced remote sensing
• Investigate and build a user support               improvement over raw GCM rainfall                  and modelling products which would
  system for WR2005 products                         forecasts                                          assist in achieving the remaining
• Document the project work and package            • Test various multimodel ensemble                   objectives of this project
  products e ciently and cost e ectively             combination schemes                              • Test hypotheses concerning the
• Introduce and build PDI capacity                 • To set up an operational multimodel                importance of the heat content of upper
                                                     prediction system at the SAWS to the               ocean layers, and evaporation from the
Estimated cost: R6 700 000                           bene t of the end-users of seasonal                oceans adjacent to Southern Africa, in
Expected term: 2004 – 2008                           forecast products.                                 in uencing the weather and climate
                                                                                                        variability of countries in Southern Africa
Programme 3:                                       Estimated cost: R436 000                           • Assess the degree of improvement in the
Understanding and predicting                       Expected term: 2004-2008                             predictability of climate/rainfall variations
hydroclimatic variability                                                                               through appropriate consideration of
MOSMEPS (Model Output Statistics applied           Hydroclimatic variation over Southern                newly identi ed in uential oceanic
to multimodel ensemble long-range climate          Africa at intra-annual and inter-annual              variables in conjunction with the re ned
prediction)                                        time scales, with special reference to the           use of dynamic models
South African Weather Service                      role of the oceans                                 • Familiarise water resource managers
No 1492                                            Department of Oceanography, University of            with advances in, and capabilities and
                                                   Cape Town                                            potential bene ts of using improved
This project will combine single general           No 1476                                              prediction tools.
circulation models (GCMs) into a multimodel
ensemble since GCMs di er in their param-          Climate variability is arguably the greatest       Estimated cost: R2 000 000
eterisations and, therefore, di er in their per-   problem faced by water resource managers           Expected term: 2004 – 2007

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 35 |
Water Resource Management

Using enhanced knowledge of climate
variability for the bene t of water
resource management
University of Cape Town
No 1566

Research into climate variability over the past
15 years has enhanced knowledge substan-
tially with regard to the Southern African
region. Because of the sensitivity of water re-
sources in the region to climate variability, it
is imperative that this knowledge be utilised
optimally for water resource management.
                                                           There are many compelling water-resource
                                                           related reasons (among them demands
                                                           created by recent water legislation) for be-
                                                           ing able to measure/estimate and monitor
                                                           evaporation with su cient accuracy and
                                                           precision. While many potentially suitable
                                                           techniques and methods exist, there is a
                                                           lack of knowledge regarding their appro-
                                                           priate use and capacity in applying them.
                                                           Consequently, this project will aim to:
                                                           • Classify and characterise land uses/units
                                                               and water-resource management
                                                               applications for which evaporation
                                                                                                                large number and variety of biological tests
                                                                                                                are available internationally for aquatic toxic-
                                                                                                                ity assessment. A range of toxicity tests has
                                                                                                                also been established for South African use.
                                                                                                                Most of the local tests are presently applied
                                                                                                                in hazard assessments to establish toxic-
                                                                                                                ity at the source level. However, in order to
                                                                                                                implement the requirements of the NWA,
                                                                                                                methodologies appropriate for resource-
                                                                                                                directed measures and source-directed
                                                                                                                controls are required, as well as knowledge
                                                                                                                on how methodologies for one applica-
                                                                                                                tion relate to the other. The purpose of this
Consequently, this project will focus on:                      measurements/estimates are needed                project is, therefore, to establish a guideline
• Identifying the strengths and weaknesses                 • Assess accuracy and precision                      for the selection of toxicity tests that would
    in current climate prediction tools                        requirements relating to evaporation             support the information requirements of the
    from the water resource management                         measurement/estimation for various               NWA. This will be compiled in a user-friendly
    perspective                                                water-resource management applications           document that will facilitate the application
• Assessing whether recently gained                        • Assess appropriateness of evaporation              of toxicity assessment in water resource
    knowledge of climate variability                           measurement/estimation techniques for            management.
    (including knowledge resulting from                        addressing a range of key water-resource
    locally-conducted research) and new                        management needs                                 Estimated cost: R450 000
    insights from current research on climate              • Develop guidelines for the                         Expected term: 2001-2002
    variability related to climate change can                  complementary use of measurement and
    be used to improve tools, and/or the                       estimation techniques                            Development of technical guidelines for
    e ectiveness with which tools can be                   • Develop/re ne evaporation                          water quality use allocation procedures
    used, by water resource managers.                          measurement/estimation techniques,               under the NWA through application of
• Demonstrating bene cial use of best                          where necessary, for key water-resource          the Berg River water quality information
    available tools or tools speci cally                       management applications
    improved for water resource                            • Establish a sound basis for capacity
                                                                                                                Department of Civil Engineering, University
    management applications and                                building and skills development relating
                                                                                                                of Stellenbosch
    transferring knowledge in this regard.                     to evaporation measurement and
                                                                                                                No 1301
• Filling crucial knowledge gaps which                         estimation.
    are known to still exist, in as far as this is                                                              The implementation of the National Water
    possible in the short term                             Estimated cost:     R1 600 000
                                                                                                                Act (NWA) (Act No. 36 of 1998) is gradually
• Identifying longer-term research,                        Expected term:      2005-2008
                                                                                                                unfolding at both the national scale and at
    capacity-building and/or educational                                                                        the catchment scale across South Africa. The
    initiatives to enable water resource                   Programme 5:                                         NWA provides a statutory framework for inte-
    managers derive maximum bene t from                    Water quality assessment studies and                 grated water resource management (IWRM)
    climate modelling and forecasting tools.               information systems                                  at the catchment scale through two tiers
                                                           A guideline for the selection of toxicity tests in   of interlinked water resource management
Estimated cost: R1 478 000                                 support of the information requirements of           (WRM) strategies:
Expected term: 2005 – 2008                                 the National Water Act                               • National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS),
                                                           Division of Water, Environment and Forestry              which provides a large-scale planning
Programme 4:                                               Technology, CSIR                                         framework, procedures and guidelines to
Development of appropriate techniques                      No 1211                                                  ensure that water de cits or poor water
for evaporation monitoring                                                                                          quality do not arise on a regional basis at
Re ning tools for evaporation monitoring in                An important implication of the National                 the scale of declared water management
support of water resource management                       Water Act (NWA) is that the introduction of              areas (WMAs) and that international
CSIR                                                       both source-directed controls and resource-              water-sharing obligations are met
No 1567                                                    directed measures aimed at improving water           • Catchment Management Strategies
                                                           quality will be based on the e ect of these              (CMSs) inside WMAs, which ensure
Evaporation, after precipitation, is the largest           measures on the resource. Biological toxic-              sustainable, equitable and optimal water
component of the hydrological cycle at the                 ity tests are ideally suited to assess these             resource utilisation at catchment scale
land surface. It includes evaporation from                 e ects for stressors. Toxicity assessments               with due ecological protection of the
open water surfaces, moist soil and wet foli-              can be used to set the standards used in                 resource and with full participation by
age, as well as the transpiration of plants.               source-directed controls, or to elicit a site or         stakeholders and a ected communities.
                                                           situation-speci c response to a stressor. A

| 36 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
The NWA prescribes the minimum compo-             research e ort is required to unpack the           • Provide strategic guidance to the WRC for
nents of the CMS and prime amongst these          conceptual and technical components of the           future research in this area
are the formulation of water allocation prin-     water quality part of the allocation challenge.
ciples and a Water Allocation Plan for each                                                          Estimated cost: R200 000
WMA (Section 9). However, for individual          The research aims to:                              Expected term: 2004-2005
catchments in which water ‘stress’ (water         • Develop a conceptual framework for
supply de cits or unacceptable water qual-          water quality use allocation procedures
ity) exists or threatens, or where redress of     • Develop and disseminate technical                Thrust 2:
past discrimination in terms of water use is        guidelines for water quality use allocation      Management of Natural and
urgently needed, the NWA requires the com-          procedures.
                                                                                                     Human-induced Impacts on Water
pulsory re-allocation of water, followed by
compulsory licensing on the basis of elicited     Estimated cost: R683 000
licence applications (Sections 43-47).            Expected term: 2002 -2004
                                                                                                     Programme 1:
Because the NWA implementation is still in        Review of research needs and priorities            Developing predictive tools and
its initial stages, no compulsory re-alloca-      for water quality assessment studies and           adaptive measures to global climate
tions have hitherto been undertaken, even         information systems                                change
though the initial screening of catchments in                                                        Secondary impacts on water resources due
                                                  Umgeni Water
preparation for the rst edition of the NWRS                                                          to primary changes in precipitation and
                                                  No 1424
has indicated a number of catchments which                                                           temperature associated with climate change
fall in that category. Consequently, no deep                                                         University of Cape Town
                                                  Arising from the National Water Policy of
understanding currently exists of what would                                                         No 1562
                                                  1997 (which can be termed ‘executive policy’)
constitute best practice procedures in the        is a suite of new component or ‘operational’
water allocation process. From the DWAF                                                              The WRC is currently funding a project to in-
                                                  policies, related to various aspects of the
Strategic Plan for the period 2001-2005 it is                                                        vestigate the potential impact of global and
                                                  management, protection, development and
evident that the earliest compulsory licens-                                                         regional changes in climate and climate vari-
                                                  use of water resources. Some very signi cant
ing that is foreseen would be during 2004.                                                           ability on water resources, but this focuses
                                                  changes have occurred in the way in which
There is, therefore, time in hand to engage in                                                       only on hydrology at present. There are likely
                                                  water quality is managed, both from a re-
a learning process so as to develop adequate                                                         to be secondary e ects on water resources
                                                  source point of view (through the resource-
understanding of what the compulsory re-                                                             arising through changes in ow regimes and
                                                  directed measures) and a source point of
allocation and licensing procedures need to                                                          ambient temperature – these include chang-
                                                  view (source-directed measures). Policy at
entail both in a technical WRM context and in                                                        es in nutrient cycling, changes in processes
                                                  the operational level has advanced in both
a participatory WRM context.                                                                         a ecting sequestration of toxic substances
                                                  these areas. In addition, the institutional
                                                                                                     such as metals, changes in chemical and bio-
                                                  landscape of water resource management,
This project is proposed as such a learning                                                          chemical oxidation and reduction processes,
                                                  which includes the management of water
process, but focuses on a very particular                                                            and changes in background concentrations
                                                  resource quality (and water quality within
part of the allocation challenge, namely the                                                         of dissolved salts. The complex changes in
                                                  that context) will change signi cantly in
allocation of ‘Water Quality Use’. Intuitively,                                                      water quality, water quality and temperature
                                                  the short- and medium-term, as catchment
allocation may be associated with water                                                              due to climate change will in turn have ef-
                                                  management agencies and other local-level
quantity, but a signi cant innovation of the                                                         fects on aquatic ecosystem structure and
                                                  water management institutions begin to play
NWA is that it de nes ‘water use’ very broadly                                                       function, with further implications for the
                                                  progressively greater roles in everyday water
– amongst others to include the use of the                                                           quantity, quality, reliability and availability
                                                  resource management.
resource to dispose of waste (Section 21). It                                                        of water resources. This project will build
                                                  Water quality is often ignored in resource
can be expected that allocation procedures                                                           on recent and current research within the
                                                  assessment. This project will provide a stra-
based on ‘water quantity use’ of the resource                                                        WRC and other organisations, to generate
                                                  tegic framework for research investment by
will be developed by DWAF fairly readily dur-                                                        potential scenarios for the secondary and
                                                  identifying research gaps and priorities. The
ing the next few years, but the same cannot                                                          tertiary impacts of climate change on water
                                                  project aims to:
be expected of allocation procedures of the                                                          resources, with the aim of supporting the
                                                  • Review research needs and priorities for
‘water quality use’ of the resource. The com-                                                        development of policy responses and coping
                                                      water quality assessment, with a focus
plexity of point and non-point delivery and                                                          mechanisms.
                                                      on water quality assessment studies and
transport processes that determine the water          water quality information systems, arising
quality constituent loads in a catchment, the                                                        Estimated cost: R 2 500 000
                                                      from recent South African water quality
relatively poor water quality databases and                                                          Expected term: 2005 - 2008
                                                      policy development and implementation
the role that statutory resource quality objec-       initiatives associated with resource-
tives are required to play in WRM (Section            directed measures as well as source-
13 of the NWA) all indicate that a focused            directed measures

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 37 |
Water Resource Management

Programme 2:
Human- induced impacts

Fluoride in drinking water and its e ects on
human health and nutrition (A component
project of the research programme on
sustainable groundwater management and
utilisation in the Northern Cape)
Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western
No 1094

Contributing to the poor domestic water
supply and quality in the Northern Cape are
                                                           cess of ET was also key to this project, and
                                                           central to the development of a broad water
                                                           use framework. Suitability for linkage to a
                                                           user-friendly interface to permit model use
                                                           by non-specialist users was a further con-
                                                           sideration. Against these criteria, the WAVES
                                                           model was selected as the most suitable
                                                           model. The original version of this model was
                                                           developed by the Land and Water CRC of the
                                                           CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. In this project
                                                           this model was revised with permission from
                                                           the developers to meet the project objec-
                                                           tives and adapted to local conditions.
                                                                                                                It was also observed in the study that further
                                                                                                                work will be important to improve the value
                                                                                                                that will be gained from the use of the updat-
                                                                                                                ed WAVES model. Important areas for further
                                                                                                                research work include linking ET changes to
                                                                                                                stream ow in a spatial context; parameteris-
                                                                                                                ing more vegetation types for inclusion in
                                                                                                                the models; and investigating the water use
                                                                                                                of aquifer-dependent vegetation in the drier
                                                                                                                parts of the country. This will ensure that a
                                                                                                                high priority is given to further species of alien
                                                                                                                invasive plants that are suspected of bringing
                                                                                                                about signi cant hydrological changes and
high uoride levels, this study, through sys-                                                                    will highlight and enable the regulation of
tematic analysis, is investigating the impact              The project aimed at developing a frame-             aquifer utilization to avoid permanent ecosys-
of poor water quality, high in uoride, and                 work of understanding of the major controls          tem damage. .
the potential for low-cost treatment.                      of evapotranspiration (ET) in di erent types
                                                           of vegetation and crops in South Africa. This        Estimated cost: R1 013 000
Estimated cost: R318 000                                   research is expected to lead to a better un-         Expected term: 2002 -2005
Expected term: 1999-2007 (extended)                        derstanding of how changes in land-cover
                                                           will impact on surface water yields; and also        Community-based research on the
Development of a system of simpli ed                       to propose simpler approaches of assessing           in uence of rehabilitation techniques on
methods of vegetation water use                            these impacts, easing the task of simulating         the hydrology of degraded catchments
                                                           water use in the wide variety of vegetation,         School of Applied Environmental
based on the principle of limits to
                                                           both indigenous and alien.                           Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Division of Water, Environment and Forestry                                                                     (Pietermaritzburg)
                                                           The updated WAVES model was simulated to             No 1316
Technology, CSIR, Stellenbosch
                                                           determine ET and transpiration for a variety
No 1319
                                                           of land covers. The simulated outputs were           Two neighbouring communities of
                                                           compared with eld based measurements                 Mnweni and Okhombe in the Amazizi
Water resource managers will increasingly
                                                           from scintillometry, Eddy Covariance, Bowen          and Amangwane Tribal Wards have both
need to assess whether proposed changes
                                                           Ratio and Heat Pulse Velocity techniques. It         embarked upon intensive job creation pro-
in land use within catchments are likely to
                                                           was observed in the project that the WAVES           grammes which have focused on the reha-
signi cantly reduce the quantity and tem-
                                                           model gave good correlation with mea-                bilitation of degraded areas. Both areas are
poral availability of water to down-stream
                                                           sured ET and transpiration for most of the           situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg
users. Such decisions need to be based on
                                                           vegetation types. The climate controls in ET         which forms the main catchment area for
the relative annual water use of the existing
                                                           were also very evident in the study as the           KwaZulu-Natal. Loss of grass cover on these
and proposed new crops or vegetation. The
                                                           availability of soil water restricted ET which       steep mountain slopes has resulted in poor
National Water Act makes provision for de-
                                                           occasionally rose after rainfall and fell in drier   water in ltration, increased runo and severe
claring certain land-covers (forests and crops)
                                                           periods in the cases of certain shallow root         soil erosion. Soil erosion is seen as a major
as SFRAs but it is likely that other land-cover
                                                           forests such as fynboss. The researchers also        threat to water resources and land productiv-
changes may also have a signi cant impact
                                                           noted that, while the plant growth module in         ity. The communities have been assisted in
in some situations. The principle of limits to
                                                           WAVES is far simpler than that in many other         their erosion control e orts by various institu-
evapotranspiration will allow for the limiting
                                                           process-based models, it allows the green            tions including the University of KwaZulu-
factors to be identi ed in particular situa-
                                                           leaf biomass to be adequately simulated over         Natal, Farmer Support Group, CSIR, Dept.
tions and thus for a screening of land-cover
                                                           time, and models the various constraints im-         of Agriculture and KwaZulu-Natal Nature
changes based on the likely impacts. It could
                                                           posed on both growth and transpiration.              Conservation services.
also provide a useful framework for interpret-
ing the impacts of regional climate change in
                                                           In this project a user-friendly prediction tool      One of the objectives of this project is to imple-
South African situations.
                                                           to allow non-specialist modellers to assess          ment participatory monitoring whereby the
                                                           the water use of various land cover types            rural participants record and analyse di erenc-
In selecting a model to use in this study, the
                                                           was developed through the improvements               es and change. This will provide an opportu-
research team considered easy availability of
                                                           to the WAVES model. The version of WAVES             nity for learning where the people contribute
the model, proven scienti c credibility and
                                                           developed in this project is a CD-based prod-        to the monitoring process and are empowered
application in hydrological studies, good
                                                           uct that will be distributed with the research       to take subsequent decisions. In this way local
documentation, a balance between simplic-
                                                           report for the bene t of a wide variety of           capacity is enhanced and the communities
ity and realism, and applicability to a wide
                                                           researchers, water resource managers, con-           become involved in technologies that t local
range of vegetation types. The concept of
                                                           servationists and students.                          and environmental conditions.
identifying limits and controls on the pro-

| 38 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
The research aims to:                             range of temporal and spatial scales of         The research aims to:
• Determine the e ect of di erent                 the leachate generated at the poorly            • Provide professional guidance to
  rehabilitation techniques on runo and           managed land ll site on the Soutpan               practitioners in using assessment
  soil loss                                       Stream and its immediate surroundings.            protocols that are aligned with national
• Identify and prioritise rehabilitation        • Suggest measures which will help to               catchment water quality assessment
  interventions for establishing baseline         minimise any adverse impacts on the               studies to assess eutrophication-related
  conditions in the study areas                   environment and human health.                     catchment and receiving water body
• Establish land users’ perceptions on soil                                                         characteristics
  erosion and rehabilitation in conserving      Estimated cost: R386 000                          • Provide a means by which local and
  water                                         Expected term: 2002 -2004                           international best eutrophication
• Determine soil conservation measures                                                              assessment practice (methodologies and
  that will be socially acceptable and          A guide to conduct eutrophication                   protocols) can be captured and made
  physically e ective in communal areas.        assessments for rivers, lakes and                   available to a wide range of catchment
                                                wetlands                                            assessment practitioners in Southern
Estimated cost: R984 000                        Ninham Shand (Pty) Ltd                              Africa
Expected term: 2002 -2007                       No 1343                                           • Develop tools and course material that
                                                                                                    can be used to fast-track capacity building
An investigation into the impact                Eutrophication is the enrichment of waters          in eutrophication-related water quality
of land ll leachate on the physical,            with plant nutrients which results in an array      assessment and management.
chemical and microbiological quality of         of symptomatic changes, amongst which
the Soutpan Stream and its immediate            increased production of algae and aquatic         Estimated cost: R669 700
                                                macrophytes, deterioration of water quality       Expected term: 2002 -2004
Department of Chemistry, Technikon              and other undesirable changes that interfere
Northern Gauteng                                with water uses. In South Africa, eutrophica-     An investigation and formulation of
No 1341                                         tion has been recognised as a priority water      methods and guidelines for the licensing
                                                quality problem for over 30 years. DWAF           of SFRAs with particular reference to low
The Soutpan Stream runs past a very poorly      recently completed a study that assessed the       ows
managed land ll site which serves the lo-       eutrophication status of a number of South        School of Bioresources Engineering and
cal Soshanguve community. The land ll is        African water bodies. It was found that the       Environmental Hydrology, University of
used for dumping of domestic and indus-         extent of eutrophication of reservoirs and        KwaZulu-Natal
trial wastes. Visible leachate is observed on   river systems has increased since the prob-       No 1428
a regular basis running into the Soutpan        lem was rst identi ed in the 1970s.
Stream. The Soutpan Stream serves a huge                                                          Section 36 of the National Water Act, Act 36
informal settlement as sole water source and    A recent study commissioned by the WRC            of 1998 (NWA) gives the Minister of Water
thus presents a health hazard. The commu-       found that South Africa’s policy and ap-          A airs and Forestry the powers to declare a
nity uses the water for household practices,    proach to eutrophication control has been         land-based activity as a stream ow reduction
gardening and for animals to drink.             inadequate over the last 20 years. It also        activity (SFRA) if that activity is likely to sig-
                                                found that the lack of policy development,        ni cantly reduce the availability of water in
This project aims to improve the situation      monitoring, research, reporting and capac-        a watercourse to the Reserve, to meet inter-
and make the water and the land ll practices    ity development has greatly diminished the        national obligations, or to other water users.
acceptable according to set guidelines. This    country’s ability to deal with the problem.       While a orestation has so far been declared
will serve as an upliftment project for the     A strong need was identi ed to remobilise         an SFR activity, scarcity of knowledge has
community as we will make use of their ex-      and redevelop its capacity to manage eutro-       been identi ed as a major constraint in this
perience and knowledge.                         phication. The publication of this report was     regulatory process. The available licensing
                                                followed by a workshop to discuss research        methods have been noted to be too coarse
The research aims to:                           and capacity building within the eld of           and, besides spatial scales, have also failed to
• Conduct an environmental inventory and        eutrophication. Assessment of the eutrophi-       handle issues such as soil textures and vary-
  audit of the study area                       cation problem was identi ed as the highest       ing temporal scales. Questions surrounding
• Obtain information on how the land ll         priority research area.                           the licensing process, the basis of the meth-
  site is managed, the hydrogeological                                                            ods in use, the future of SFRA licensing and
  conditions, attenuating factors, weather      Three products are envisaged to emanate           the need to evaluate other land uses con-
  patterns, volume and type of waste            from this project: a eutrophication assess-       tinue to build up. This study seeks to develop
  dumped, the volume and characteristics        ment guide, an Internet-enabled version           scienti cally robust (generic too) and legally
  of leachate produced                          of the guide and the outline and course           defensible methods of assessing low ow
• Investigate the direct and indirect           material for a short course on eutrophication     reductions and ultimately develop guidelines
  physical, chemical and microbiological        assessment which uses the eutrophication          for the licensing of SFRAs.
  impacts and consequences over a de ned        assessment guide as primary text.

                                                                                                 Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 39 |
Water Resource Management

The objectives are:

• To re-analyse, and improve upon,
  conceptual modelling methods and
  input data utilised in WRC Project No 1110
  (Estimation of stream ow reductions
  resulting from commercial a orestation in
  SA) and the reconsideration of methods
  used for the derivation of con dence
  limits from the above project, and the
  incorporation of these into the proposed
• Analyses of di erent ow components
  (quick ow, inter ow, base ow &
                                                             assist in hydrological assessments for the
                                                             consideration of water use authorisations
                                                             These will form an SFRA component of
                                                             the planned Water Allocation Toolkit,
                                                             the components of which can be
                                                             applied consistently across regions,
                                                             are transparent in approach and are
                                                             adaptable in that they can be upgraded
                                                             or amended with minimum disruption
                                                           • To ensure the compatibility of Reserve
                                                             determination methodologies and the
                                                             results thereof with SFRA and other water
                                                             use estimates and available hydrological
                                                                                                           The objectives are:
                                                                                                           • Determination of hydraulic interaction of
                                                                                                             irrigated mine water with the underlying
                                                                                                           • Assessment of the e ect of irrigation
                                                                                                             on the hydrology and water quality at
                                                                                                             opencast colliery spoils
                                                                                                           • Determination of salt migration and
                                                                                                             attenuation from irrigated areas under
                                                                                                             natural and spoils conditions
                                                                                                           • Quanti cation of the potential regional
                                                                                                             e ects of large-scale mine water
                                                                                                             irrigation on the groundwater quality and
  groundwater discharge) to determine                        information through consideration of            quantities in Mpumalanga
  how these are a ected by a orestation                      speci c months and daily ow records for       • Compilation of a comprehensive
  and by dry and wet cycles as well                          various assurance of supply levels              database and document which can
  as the determination of the relative                     • To test these products through the              be used as decision- making platform
  importance of the ow components                            application of the guidelines in at least       for future mine water irrigation in the
  between catchments and the impacts of                      four catchment case studies                     Mpumalanga coal elds
  a orestation on the ow components                        • To improve the research capacity in           • The establishment of criteria for site
• Through these analyses, and with input                     South Africa in the eld of land-use             selection/operation, monitoring,
  from related process study research, to                    hydrology and integrated water resource         determination of impacts and mitigation
  improve the simulation of low ows in the                   management and the skills of water              methods for mine water irrigation areas.
  ACRU Agrohydrological Modelling System                     resource managers involved in water-use
  through improved conceptualisation of                      licensing, particularly SFRAs.                Estimated cost: R445 650
  low- ow generation processes and the                                                                     Expected term: 2004 –2007
  translation of these into model code                     Estimated cost: R3 800 000
• To devise and implement a process                        Expected term: 2004 - 2007                      Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in
  whereby research and management                                                                          the environment
  needs are pursued in parallel in order to                Mine-water irrigation return ow                 North-West University
  ensure optimal applicability and usability               Institute for Groundwater Studies, University   1561
  of the products of SFRA-related research                 of the Free State
• To provide a link between researchers                    No 1507                                         South Africa is a signatory to the Stockholm
  involved in hydrological process studies                                                                 Convention, which is intended to minimise
  (e.g. WRC Project No K8/577 (Weatherley                  Project No 1149 evaluated the practice of       and prevent the release of harmful persis-
  catchment: Soil organic carbon and                       irrigating with neutralised acid mine water     tent toxic substances in the environment.
  vegetation baseline study) and K5/1317                   on a commercial scale with di erent water       Although the WRC has recently funded work
  (The relationship between soil water                     qualities and on di erent soil types. The       on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the
  regime and soil pro le morphology in the                 rationale behind this project was that most     water environment, this research now needs
  Weatherley catchment, an a orestation                    of the dissolved calcium and sulphate in        to be taken further in order to:
  area in the North-Eastern Cape) of the                   the neutralized acid mine drainage would        • Assess with higher con dence the scale
  e ects of land-use change on low ows,                    precipitate within the soil pro le, thereby        and signi cance of the occurrence of
  and managers and other interested and                    causing a signi cant reduction in the salt         POPs in the water environment in South
  a ected parties involved in this eld                     load percolating to groundwater. The current       Africa, the potential short-term and
• To re ne the guidelines for dealing with                 project aims, amongst others, to evaluate the      long-term impacts on water resources
  scale and resolution in the quanti cation                environmental impact and sustainability of         and water-linked ecosystems and the
  of SFRs developed by Ninham Shand and                    such an irrigation practice and will extend        associated threats to sustainability of
  the University of Stellenbosch                           these investigations with more detailed            water resources and water use
• To provide guidelines for the declaration                groundwater observations, the description       • Better identify and quantify the fate
  of additional SFRAs that may be declared                 of aquifers, plume migration and the nal           and e ect of selected POPs in the water
  in the context of recent DWAF discussions                impact of various pivot arrangements on            environment
  and their authorisation in the context of                groundwater resources. This information is      • Guide and inform the development
  the above guidelines                                     required in order to assess the impact large-      of appropriate policy and regulatory
• To develop and implement in DWAF                         scale irrigation with mine e uent will have        measures that will:
  national and regional o ces, and                         on water quality over the long term, so that       - Support implementation of the
  existing CMAs, a decision support                        informed decisions about its application can           requirements of the Stockholm
  system and associated guidelines, to                     be made.                                               Convention

| 40 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
   - Substantially contribute to the              tions in drinking water may lead to methe-          The objectives are:
     protection of water resources and            moglobinaemia, impairment of the blood to           • Identify agship eld sites where DNAPL
     water–linked ecosystems with regard          transport oxygen in infants, whilst sustained         site characterisation methods and natural
     to POPs.                                     exposure to high nitrate levels may cause             attenuation processes will be evaluated
                                                  intestinal cancer in adults. The results of this      and tested during the project
Estimated cost: R1 500 000                        study are intended to produce strategies and        • Evaluate rapid methods for the
Expected term: 2005 -2008                         guidelines for the mitigation of high nitrate         delineation of DNAPL-contaminated
                                                  concentrations which, it is expected, will nd         zones
Development of a model to assess the              direct application in the current investiga-        • Conduct eld- and laboratory-scale
cost associated with eutrophication               tion which logically can be extended into a           based studies in order to identify and
The Institute of Natural Resources                region in which an enhanced understanding             predict critical factors for DNAPL ow and
No 1568                                           of the systematics of excessive nitrate levels        transport under South African aquifer
                                                  in groundwater is a high priority.                    conditions
Eutrophication and its accompanying e ects                                                            • Assess the viability of natural and
is one o the intractable symptoms of water        Estimated cost: R300 000                              enhanced attenuation processes of
pollution associated with modern society. It      Expected term: 2002 -2003 (extended)                  DNAPL-contaminated zones
diminishes the quality of our water resources                                                         • Establish methodologies for DNAPL site
for many uses and costly treatment is often       To calibrate and verify a predictive                  characterisation
required to overcome its negative e ects. In      model for the occurrence of naturally               •    Develop guidelines for the construction
the prevention vs. cure debate, it is important   occurring hazardous trace constituents                of conceptual models of DNAPL-
to not only know the cost of prevention, but      in groundwater                                        contaminated sites
also the cost associated with eutrophication      Council for Geoscience                              • Develop appropriate guidelines
when it occurs at various levels, in order to     No 1431                                               for monitoring systems of DNAPL-
justify often expensive preventative mea-                                                               contaminated sites.
sures. Knowledge of the cost associated with      The South African groundwater database
eutrophication will also help in determining      does not support identi cation of areas with        Estimated cost: R3 058 000
and justifying the introduction of waste          high concentrations of trace metals that may        Expected term: 2004 - 2007
discharge charges. Similar to a study that        form a potential hazard due to incomplete
assessed the cost to users that can be associ-    data and di culties in detecting these trace        Programme 2:
ated with water salinity, a multidisciplinary     metals. In this project a geochemical model-        Protection and management of surface
team will conduct this project to determine       ling approach will be adopted to determine          water quality
the costs associated with eutrophication          the presence of trace metals in groundwater.        The assessment of short-, medium- and
that are experienced by di erent water users,     The objectives of the project are: veri cation      long- term impacts on groundwater quality
such as those associated with water puri ca-      of prediction of naturally occurring trace          associated with the lling of dolomite cavities
tion, recreation, irrigation and the aquatic      constituents in groundwater by eld sam-             Metago Environmental Engineering
environment.                                      pling at appropriate test sites; setting up of      No 1122
                                                  leaching tests; veri cation of geochemical
Estimated cost: R2 000 000                        and geological models; and development              De-watering of the dolomite aquifers overly-
Expected term: 2005 -2008                         of a GIS map that identi es areas of special        ing ore-bearing reefs has, since the 1960s,
                                                  concern.                                            resulted in the formation of a large number
Thrust 3:                                                                                             of cavities in the dolomite compartments
Water Resource Protection                         Estimated cost: R 900 000                           on the West Rand. These cavities need to
                                                  Expected term: 2003-2007 (extended)                 be lled both for safety reasons as well as
                                                                                                      to prevent further in ows of surface water
Programme 1:
                                                  Field investigations to study the fate and          which would lead to aggravated ground
Groundwater protection
                                                  transport of DNAPLs in groundwater                  instability and accelerated recharge of the
A multitracer study of the origins, systematics
                                                  Institute for Groundwater Studies, University       mine void. The State Technical Committee
and hydrological linkages of high nitrate
                                                  of the Free State                                   for Sinkholes has raised the alarm about the
concentrations in Bochum District, Northern
                                                  No 1501                                             potential for groundwater contamination
                                                                                                      when the cavities are lled with various mine
Schonland Research Centre, University of the
                                                  Studies on the fate and transport of organic        waste materials, including slimes and waste
                                                  pollutants in groundwater have, to date,            rock. This investigation will focus on the im-
No 1328
                                                  been done on an ad hoc basis. DNAPL move-           pacts arising from the future lling of cavities
                                                  ment in the subsurface is density-driven and        and assess the e ectiveness of alternative
In large tracts of the Northern Province with
                                                  extremely complex. This project will consoli-         ll materials and methods in reducing those
millions of inhabitants who rely almost exclu-
                                                  date knowledge about the fate and transport         impacts. Impacts will be assessed over the
sively on groundwater supplies, high nitrate
                                                  of DNAPLs in groundwater in a systematic            short-, medium- and long-term. The inves-
values are reported. High nitrate concentra-
                                                  manner.                                             tigation will furthermore assess the relative

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 41 |
Water Resource Management

signi cance of the lling of sinkholes as a
source of groundwater contamination in
comparison to other sources of contamina-
tion such as tailings dams, waste rock dumps,
return water dams and streams, and assess
the provisions of both current and pending
legislation to ensure that proposals arising
from the project comply with the require-
ments of such legislation.

Estimated cost: R440 000
Expected term: 2000 -2002
                                                           PCR-based markers for identi cation of
                                                           toxic cyanobacteria
                                                           Department of Genetics and the Forestry and
                                                           Agriculture Biotechnology Institute (FABI),
                                                           University of Pretoria
                                                           No 1502

                                                           The quality of many water sources in South
                                                           Africa is declining. The decline is primarily as
                                                           a result of eutrophication and pollution by
                                                           trace metals. During April 2003 a blue-green
                                                           algae bloom of 30 cm thick and a diameter
                                                           of 4 ha was detected in the Hartbeespoort
                                                                                                              Land-use impacts on salinity in Western
                                                                                                              Cape waters
                                                                                                              Department of Soil Science, University of
                                                                                                              No 1503

                                                                                                              The importance of dry-land salinity on water
                                                                                                              resources has been recognised for quite
                                                                                                              some time. Its importance is especially vis-
                                                                                                              ible in the dryer parts of the country and in
                                                                                                              Western Cape rivers. Earlier research attrib-
                                                                                                              uted the mobilisation of salt to ploughing of
                                                                                                              land, which increases in ltration and acceler-
Development of a user-friendly model                       Dam. This cyanobacterial bloom did not only        ates the mobilisation of salts contained in the
for assessing the impact of waste                          cause a health risk to both animals and hu-        underlying geologic strata. Another potential
discharge applications on downstream                       mans, but may also result in other problems        mechanism is that changes in land use from
water quality                                              for suppliers and users of potable water. The      extensive pastoral use to intensive crop-
Stewart Scott (CE) Water Quality                           current cyanobacterial taxonomy does not           ping over the last century or more may have
No 1212                                                    provide an unequivocal system for the iden-        triggered the same process of salt decanta-
                                                           ti cation of toxigenic and bloom-forming           tion being experienced in Australia. As the
Successful catchment management from                       genus Microcystis. The ambiguities that exist      salinisation of some Western Cape dams is
a water quality perspective, requires inter                in the cyanobacterial taxonomy are due to          intimately linked to salinity releases from ag-
alia an intelligent representation (modelling              the expressed variability, minor morphologi-       ricultural land it is important to gain a better
system) of the catchment which describes                   cal and developmental characteristics used         understanding of the mechanisms that are
present water quality and which can be used                for identi cation, classi cation of the genus      operative. The central aim of this project is
to predict the e ect that proposed new or                  or species level. The increasing occurrence of     to develop a thorough understanding of soil
modi ed impacts will have on water quality                 toxic Microcystis aeruginosa blooms in major       water and salinity dynamics, salt sources and
at speci c points. Options that need to be                 water resources make identi cation and pre-        salt storage in dry-land pro le and hill-slope
incorporated in such a modelling system in-                diction of these toxic blooms very important.      transects, as well as corresponding ground-
clude applications for new discharge points,               The research will contribute to the develop-       water salinity dynamics. This understanding
increased discharges or altered permit condi-              ment of techniques that will aid in the rapid      should inform future large–scale modelling
tions. It is also necessary to assess the impact           identi cation of toxic cyanobacterial strains      and enable the development of land-use
of current and projected water use and                     and in assessing the potential toxicity of the     practices that would reduce/prevent degra-
alternatives for managing water quality. This              strains.                                           dation of land and water resources.
points to the need for a simple but robust
technology that can be used to rapidly as-                 The objectives are to:                             The objectives are:
sess the impacts of applications to discharge              • Assess the genetic diversity of a wide           The central objective of this project is to
waste and the e ect of proposed manage-                      variety of geographically unrelated              develop a thorough understanding of water
ment options. The purpose of this project is                 strains of Microcystis aeruginosa collected      and salinity dynamics in the regolith (soil plus
to develop such a tool that will not replace                 from selected South African dams (e.g.           vadose zone) of a small dry-land catchment
the more complex models, but could rather                    Gauteng and North-West Province).                representative of semi-arid conditions in the
be used to sift options to determine if more               • Develop an unequivocal identi cation             Berg River basin. The perspective will include
complex models need to be applied. The                       system for toxigenic and bloom-forming           both salt sources and storage and ground-
proposed tool could also serve to standardise                genus Microcystis with the objective             water uxes and catchment runo , in order
the approach taken by CMAs in evaluating                     to manage cyanobacterial blooms by               to inform future large-scale modelling and to
the initial results obtained by a large variety              ensuring early detection of toxic strains.       guide the development of land-use practices
of organisations. It will be developed in                  • Correlate the observed ngerprint                 that would reduce the degradation of land
co-operation with DWAF’s Directorate of                      obtained using the toxin-producing mcyb          and water resources.
Water Quality Management and its Gauteng                     gene to toxin levels measured in the
Region.                                                      speci c strains.                                 Subsidiary objectives include the
Estimated cost: R 494 890                                  Estimated cost: R668 000                           • Determine and map the spatial
Expected term: 2001-2007                                   Expected term: 2004 - 2007                            distribution of salts across the whole Berg
                                                                                                                 River catchment.

| 42 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
• Spatially relate salt distribution to salinity   sampler will be evaluated under laboratory          determine the modulatory role of environ-
  generating factors (soils and soil-forming       conditions for its trapping e ciency for a          mental orthophosphate and nitrate levels on
  processes, geology, climate, topography,         range of pollutant groups as well as potential      microcystin production by the dominant mi-
  vegetation and land use) across the whole        synergism and antagonism associated with            crocystin producing genus in South African
  Berg River catchment.                            trapping combinations of pollutant groups.          freshwater impoundments and to develop a
• Develop an improved understanding                                                                    model to describe the cellular mechanisms
  of how local tillage and other dry-land          The objectives are:                                 by which these environmental parameters
  farming practices augment or reduce the          • Develop a time-integrated sampling                modulate microcystin content.
  mobilisation of salts.                             device based on silicone rubber
• Conduct mechanistic modelling of salinity          for measurements of pesticide                     1401 (c)
  dynamics.                                          concentrations at environmental levels            Cyanobacteria are a group of extraordi-
• Use the model to create small catchment-           under eld conditions                              narily diverse Gram-negative prokaryotes.
  scale salt ux scenarios for various land         • Evaluate the e ciency of the sampling             Problems may occur as a result of algal over-
  use and water management practices                 device for trapping representative                growth and the production of toxins. This
  that will serve to inform modelling of salt        examples of pesticides and other                  species periodically blooms in Hartbeespoort
   uxes on a regional scale.                         pollutant groups                                  Dam, a popular recreational dam and a
                                                   • Determine the synergism and antagonism            source of domestic and irrigation water in
Estimated cost: R2 347 068                           associated with trapping combinations of          North West Province. Consequently, there
Expected term: 2004–2007                             pollutant groups                                  was a need to conduct a study to assess the
                                                   • Evaluate the release of high                      appearance pattern and persistence of the
Novel silicone rubber integrative passive            concentrations during subsequent                  Microcystis aeruginosa in the Dam.
 eld sampler                                         exposure to lower environmental
School of Environmental Sciences/                    concentrations.                                   The primary aim was to investigate environ-
Department of Ecology and Resource                                                                     mental factors that a ect the occurrence,
Management, University of Venda                    Estimated cost: R250 000                            persistence and bloom formation of phyto-
No 1504                                            Expected term: 2004-2007                            plankton species with particular emphasis on
                                                                                                       the Microsystis aeruginosa in the dam.
Time-weighted average (TWA) passive                Programme 3:
  eld samplers provide vital information in        Pollution of surface water                          Estimated cost: R630 000
ecological risk assessment of chemical pol-        Cyanobacteria programme: Investigation              Expected term: 2002 – 2005
lutants. The passive eld samplers quantify         into toxin blooms and toxin promotion
the freely dissolved pollutant in water that       Consortium members: PU for CHE; University          PCR-based markers for identi cation of
approximate the bio-available fraction in          of Port Elizabeth; Technikon, Pretoria              toxic cyanobacteria
longer exposure times. They therefore give         No 1401 ( b; c)                                     Department of Genetics and the Forestry and
vital information also on changes in pollutant     1401 (b)                                            Agriculture Biotechnology Institute (FABI),
level over time. However, not many passive                                                             University of Pretoria
  eld samplers are available and those that        Due to the ability of several genera of             No 1502
are available are mostly not very selective.       Cyanobacteria to produce a range of hepa-
They furthermore require additional clean-up       totoxins and neurotoxins. Since many genera         The quality of many water sources in South
steps before analysing the extracted samples.      of freshwater cyanobacteria are capable of          Africa is declining. The decline is primarily as
This project aims to develop, construct and        production of hepatotoxins, increase in the         a result of eutrophication and pollution by
test a simple and cheap TWA passive eld            frequency and severity of bloom events pos-         trace metals. Cyanobacterial blooms do not
sampler that will require no mechanical            es a problem for potable water supply in that       only cause a health risk to both animals and
device and can be used in remote sites. The        classical treatment methods result in cell lysis    humans, but may also result in other prob-
sampler will utilise silicone rubber in the form   and release of these toxins. An understand-         lems for suppliers and users of potable water.
of a hollow bre as absorbing medium. The           ing of the environmental conditions that            The increasing occurrence of toxic Microcystis
inside of the hollow bre will serve as the         modulate toxin production would therefore           aeruginosa blooms in major water resources
receiving phase and the outside as the donor       be bene cial to the management of potable           make identi cation and prediction of these
phase. The pH of the solution in the receiving     water supplies. De nition of the primary            toxic blooms very important. The research
phase will be set such that target analytes are    parameters and a model of the mechanism             will contribute to the development of tech-
ionised and trapped. It is anticipated that this   of modulation of toxin production would fur-        niques that will aid in the rapid identi cation
will result in very high enrichment factors        ther facilitate management and treatment.           of toxic cyanobacterial strains and in assess-
over longer exposure periods. The developed        The primary objective of this work was to           ing the potential toxicity of the strains.

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 43 |
Water Resource Management

The objectives are to:

• Assess the genetic diversity of a wide
  variety of geographically unrelated
  strains of Microcystis aeruginosa collected
  from selected South African dams (e.g.
  Gauteng and North-West Province).
• Develop an unequivocal identi cation
  system for toxigenic and bloom-forming
  genus Microcystis with the objective
  to manage cyanobacterial blooms by
  ensuring early detection of toxic strains.
• Correlate the observed ngerprint
  obtained using the toxin-producing mcyb
                                                           • The development of predictive tools to
                                                             assess the impact (or risk) of groundwater
                                                             abstraction on the environment
                                                           • To improve our understanding of
                                                             groundwater-dependent ecosystems
                                                             (GDEs) in the TMG and the sensitivity to
                                                             groundwater level uctuations
                                                           • The use of innovative techniques to
                                                             determine the impact of groundwater
                                                             abstraction on the environment
                                                           • The development of indicators to monitor
                                                             the e ect of abstraction on sensitive
                                                                                                             The objectives are to:
                                                                                                             • Develop predictive capability with respect
                                                                                                               to the impacts of large-scale planting
                                                                                                               of Jatropha curcas on water resources
                                                                                                               through hydrological process studies and
                                                                                                               modelling using appropriate techniques
                                                                                                             • Provide information regarding the
                                                                                                               biophysical requirements of Jatropha
                                                                                                               curcas and produce maps through an
                                                                                                               ARC-View GIS modelling framework
                                                                                                             • Gauge the perceptions and levels of
                                                                                                               understanding of SFRA processes and
                                                                                                               licensing amongst users of Jatropha
  gene to toxin levels measured in the                     • Coupling time series and spatial                • Provide recommendations to the WRC,
  speci c strains.                                           databases in order to ascertain the               DWAF, the SFRA licensing committee
                                                             impacts of low ows (groundwater                   and other stakeholders with regards to
Estimated cost: R668 000                                     and surface water interaction) on the             potential SFRA declaration and regulation
Expected term: 2004 – 2007                                   environmental system                              and speci cally Jatropha.
                                                           • Improved understanding of the impact
Programme 4:                                                 of changing low ows on freshwater               Estimated cost: R750 000
Low ows and stream ow reduction                              ecology                                         Expected term: 2004 - 2007
activities                                                 • Improved understanding of the
Importance of groundwater in the                             relationship between surface ow,                Thrust 4:
hydrological cycle and the relationship to                   event discharge from high-lying TMG             Policy Development and
surface water bodies                                         uncon ned aquifers and deep con ned-
                                                                                                             Institutional Arrangements for
Department of Hydrology, University of                       aquifer discharge in maintaining wetlands
                                                                                                             Water Resource Management
Zululand                                                     or seeps
No 1168                                                    • Improved understanding of subsurface
                                                             TMG discharge in maintaining coastal
                                                                                                             Programme 1:
                                                             plain wetlands and vleis.                       Decision support for IWRM at catchment
Understanding the processes involved in
                                                                                                             and WMA level
groundwater-surface water interactions is
becoming increasingly important for protect-               Estimated cost: R2 201 327
                                                           Expected term: 2002 -2007 (extended)              The value of water as an economic resource
ing the integrity of ecosystems. This project
                                                                                                             in the Great Letaba River catchment
aims to develop models of typical ground-
                                                           An investigation of Jatropha curcas: A            Economic Project Evaluation
water-surface water processes in South Africa
                                                           case study                                        No 989
and also to establish compatible methods for
estimating time series of surface and ground-              CSIR
                                                                                                             Apart from separate sectoral analyses in de-
water rates for comparative analyses.                      No 1497
                                                                                                               ned sub-regions, no comprehensive com-
                                                                                                             parison on the value of water for di erent
Estimated cost: R770 000                                   Recent business initiatives have proposed
                                                                                                             uses has been undertaken in South Africa.
Expected term: 2000-2007 (extended)                        the introduction of so-called ‘wonder-crop’
                                                                                                             The best option under these circumstances is
                                                           exotic species for large-scale planting in
                                                                                                             to estimate water values through economic
Ecological and environmental                               South Africa. Speci cally, Jatropha has been
                                                                                                             modelling. In view of the research backlog
impacts of large-scale groundwater                         identi ed for introduction in the KwaZulu-
                                                                                                             and the unacceptability of generalisations
development in TMG aquifer systems                         Natal Province. The plant has potential as bio-
                                                                                                             regarding water values, tenders were invited
                                                           fuel, and thus a source of renewable energy.
CSIR / Umvoto                                                                                                and approved according to speci ed guide-
                                                           The motivations behind these initiatives have
No 1327                                                                                                      lines. The outcomes of these projects will
                                                           been the laudable themes of poverty allevia-
                                                                                                             enable the determination of the value of wa-
                                                           tion, job creation and business development.
There is currently a debate concerning the                                                                   ter in di erent catchment areas, for various
                                                           However, questions around the potential hy-
extent to which groundwater abstraction                                                                      combinations of water-use sectors, following
                                                           drological and ecological e ects of the asso-
from TMG aquifers will lead to environmen-                                                                   di erent modelling approaches by a number
                                                           ciated land-use changes remain unanswered
tal impacts. This project aims to assess the                                                                 of competent research organisations.
                                                           due to a lack of information. Due to the
dependency of aquatic and terrestrial TMG
                                                           signi cant area being proposed for planting
ecosystems on groundwater and predict im-                                                                    Estimated cost: R795 625
                                                           Jatropha and other species, DWAF (Sub-di-
pacts of groundwater abstraction. These eco-                                                                 Expected term: 1998-2002
                                                           rectorate: Stream ow Reduction Allocations)
systems include wetlands, highland seeps,
                                                           has drafted a discussion paper proposing
the riparian zone and spring discharge sites,
                                                           that all such species be declared stream ow
amongst others. Speci c objectives are:
                                                           reduction activities (SFRAs).

| 44 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Approval and licensing of groundwater             economic development of South Africa. At             Rainwater harvesting (RwH), an old technol-
development and use                               present it is very di cult to predict which          ogy that dates back thousands of years, is
Parsons and Associates                            unforeseen negative e ects well-intended             gaining popularity in a new way. The global
No 1510                                           management decisions may have on devel-              trend towards cheap and less ecologically
                                                  opment. Australia developed a model of the           disruptive water supply systems has tended
Currently, granting approval for groundwater      Australian economy that relates the pres-            to favour the development and application
development and use falls within the respon-      ent and future water demands to potential            of cheap, environmentally friendly and read-
sibility of DWAF, DEAT and their delegated re-    growth in production in 55 industry groups           ily available techniques that are decentral-
gional and local authorities. Authorisation is    across 18 regions. This model is used to pre-        ized as opposed to huge centralized water
legislated under the National Water Act (Act      dict how the Australian economy would be             infrastructure. RwH, one of the cheaper and
36 of 1998), the Environment Conservation         a ected under di erent scenarios of water            decentralized water provision techniques, is
Act (Act 73 of 1989, and amendments) and          resource management. The model that will             set to expand nationally to cater for South
the National Environmental Management             be developed under this project will do the          Africa’s unserviced population in rural and
Act (Act 107 of 1998). Unfortunately, current     same for the South African situation.                agricultural communities which currently
procedures for granting approval for ground-                                                           exceeds half the population. Larger-scale
water use are unnecessarily restricting           Estimated cost: R2 000 000                           implementation of RwH will require im-
groundwater development. This is because          Expected term: 2005 -2008                            proved management to enhance bene ts
the two departments follow di erent proce-                                                             and mitigate negative impacts. Increased
dures with respect to assessing groundwater       Programme 2:                                         understanding and a better synthesis of RwH
use applications                                  Water policy development and strategic               techniques to be achieved in this project will
                                                  policy support                                       lead to the development of a model-based
Estimated cost: R390 000                          Towards the establishment of water market            decision support tool as well as a policy
Expected term: 2004–2006 (extended)               institutions for e ective and e cient water          document on the RwH practice. The RwH
                                                  allocation                                           decision support tool and the policy docu-
Industry-government partnerships                  CPH Water                                            ment are set to guide and direct the RwH
for the development of sector-based               No 1569                                              practice within the boundaries of integrated
                                                                                                       water resource management in accordance
standards for the water environment
                                                  The NWA provides for the transfer of water           with the provisions of the National Water
Karin Bowler Enterprises
                                                  use licences through a water market. A recent        Act and other related legislation such as the
No 1511
                                                  WRC review of the value of water to di erent         Environmental Conservation Act. As part of
                                                  sectors of the economy has revealed that             the RwH decision support tools, methodolo-
The aim of this project is to develop a
                                                  the market mechanism has proved to be an             gies for quantifying socio-economic, hydro-
partnership approach between industry
                                                  e cient tool to e ect the transfer of water to       logical, ecological and environmental im-
and government for setting of agreed envi-
                                                  more e cient users and improve water use             pacts of RwH are expected to be developed
ronmental standards, based on the Dutch
                                                  e ciency under South African conditions.             and re ned for packaging as standalone
‘covenant’ model and utilising the provisions
                                                  However, due to high transaction costs, this         applications or for incorporation into exist-
of the NWA for setting minimum standards
                                                  mechanism is under-utilised. In order to utilise     ing water resource management and water
for water uses which impact on the water en-
                                                  the e ciency of market mechanisms, it would          systems analysis models.
vironment, and implementing these through
the use of provisions for environmental co-       thus be necessary to institute institutions that
                                                  facilitate transfer and reduce transaction costs.    Estimated cost: R2 800 000
operation agreements which are contained
                                                  On the other hand, safeguards also need to be        Expected term: 2005-2008
in the National Environmental Management
Act. The approach is to work at pilot scale for   instituted to prevent potential negative exter-
one industrial sector and one aspect of the       nalities associated with transfers. This project     Programme 4:
water environment, in order to develop a          will investigate three case studies to deter-        Transboundary water resource
generically applicable model.                     mine which steps and institutions are required       management
                                                  to balance these requirements.                       Implications of South Africa’s trade policies
Estimated cost: R400 000                                                                               for water policy and water resource
Expected term: 2004-2006                          Estimated cost: R 1 500 000                          management
                                                  Expected term: 2005 -2008                            University of Pretoria
Econometric model to predict the                                                                       No 1564
e ect that various water resource                 Programme 3:
                                                  Institutional arrangements and                       This project is to develop a strategic un-
management scenarios would have on
                                                  processes for IWRM at catchment, WMA                 derstanding of the linkages between trade
South Africa’s economic development
                                                  and national level                                   policies and water policy in South Africa, and
Conningarth Economist
                                                                                                       the implications of trade policies for water
No 1570                                           Water resource management in rainwater
                                                                                                       resources and water management, as well as
                                                  harvesting (RwH): An integrated system
                                                                                                       to identify points or issues for future related
Water being a limited resource, it is ac-         Source Strategic Focus (Pty) Ltd
                                                                                                       research to support policy development,
cepted that its availability will constrain the   No 1563

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 45 |
Water Resource Management

analysis and implementation in the water
sector and linked economic sectors.

Estimated cost: R 530 000
Expected term: 2005 -2007

Programme 6:
Integrated catchment management
In uence of spills and releases on the river
geomorphology downstream of a selection
of existing dam spillways
PD Naidoo Associates
No 1314

                                                             ushing type ows designed to achieve pre-
                                                           determined environmental objectives. The
                                                           larger ushing releases may typically be of
                                                           the order of the average annual ood in size
                                                           and can represent a signi cant part of the
                                                           dam’s volume.

                                                           The purpose of this study is to research
                                                           the geomorphological changes that have
                                                           occurred on a range of existing dams in
                                                           South Africa with a view to expanding the
                                                           knowledge available to teams involved in the
                                                           IFR determination process. This will enable



                                                                                                                 catchment, within the context of the Fish
                                                                                                                 Keiskamma WMA
                                                                                                                 Establish the criteria for acceptance by
                                                                                                                 DWAF of the allocation schedule and the
                                                                                                                 catchment management strategy
                                                                                                                 Undertake a yield analysis to establish the
                                                                                                                 water yield that can be reliably provided
                                                                                                                 by the Kat River
                                                                                                                 Assess the Reserve for the Kat River
                                                                                                                 Develop RQOs for the Kat River
                                                                                                                 Establish existing lawful use of the water
                                                                                                                 resources of the Kat River
                                                                                                                 Reach agreement among the WUA
                                                           better assessments to be made of the mag-             members on a water allocation schedule
Hydrologists have long been challenged                     nitude of environmental releases that are             for license applications
to document the degree to which human                      required to achieve the objectives of ush-      •     Establish strategic and contingency water
activities and uses of land and water have al-             ing ows and to identify both the bene cial            requirements for the Kat River
tered ood regimes and low- ow conditions.                  and negative environmental e ects of such       •     Establish the downstream water
In recent decades, growing concern for the                 releases.                                             requirements of the users of the Great
protection of biological diversity has led to                                                                    Fish River, into which the Kat River ows
increased scrutiny of the consequences of                  The main aim of the project is to develop an    •     Design and initiate a monitoring
human-induced hydrological alteration to                   understanding of the degree of geomorpho-             programme that will assess the various
natural ecosystems.                                        logical changes on river reaches, that have           water uses, Reserve ows and water
                                                           occurred just downstream of the spillways             quality, and the resulting state of the river.
Typical hydrological alteration takes place                of a selection of South African dams and to
with the construction of a dam in a water-                 relate these changes to a de ned range of       Estimated cost: R2 100 000
course, usually eliminating or reducing a                  in uencing criteria.                            Expected term: 2004 - 2007
range of natural oods previously experi-
enced in the river. This has a number of con-              Estimated cost: R500 000
sequent e ects on the river regime down-                   Expected term: 2002 -2004                       New Projects
stream of the dam wall. One consequence of
such hydrological alteration is the changes in             A catchment management strategy for
the channel geomorphology in the zone just                 the Kat River                                   Thrust 1:
downstream of a spillway. Since a dam acts                 Kat River Valley Water Users Association        Water Resource Assessment and
predominantly as a silt trap, and spills and               No 1496                                         development
arti cial releases from the dam are largely
sediment free, the zone most susceptible to                For the past 6 years, a process of community    Programme 1:
geomorphological change is the region just                 education and capacity building has been        Groundwater hydrology
downstream of the dam spillway. Erodable                   pursued by the communities in the catch-        The use of 222Rn as a hydrological tracer in
material in this zone is the rst that is vulner-           ment, aided by the Geography Department         natural and polluted environments (NS)
able to attack and the material is selectively             at Rhodes University. This process has re-      CSIR
transported and deposited downstream. The                  sulted in the establishment of a Water Users    No 1685
extent to which this occurs is dependent                   Association (the Kat River Valley Water Users
on the quantity and energy of the release or               Association –KRVWUA). It, therefore, o ers        Rn is a very soluble noble gas and because

spill from the dam. These changes have the                 the opportunity on a pilot scale to develop     of its conservative nature has application
e ect of altering the habitat available for the            and apply methods of establishing a co-         as a hydrological tracer in fractured rock
sustainability of the river ecology, particularly          operative catchment management strategy,        environments, providing insight into aquifer
in the zone within a few kilometres of the                 including water allocations, the Reserve re-     ow rates and groundwater residence times.
dam wall.                                                  quirements and Resource Quality Objectives,     Consequently, the aims of the study are to
                                                           and a monitoring programme.                     test whether 222Rn:
Environmental laws in South Africa now de-                                                                 • Is justi ed as a tool for use during
mand that arti cial releases from dams meet                The objectives are to:                              base ow studies in South Africa when
the various instream ow requirements (IFRs)                • Continue to develop the socioeconomic             compared to existing geochemical and
for environmental purposes. This implies                     capacity of the community of the KRV              isotopic parameters
that new dam outlets be designed to meet                   • Establish cooperative governance of the       • Concentrations vary with groundwater
a range of planned environmental releases                    resources of the Kat River between DWAF,          age, chemistry, depth or ow rate
from low base ows and freshets to larger                     the KRVWUA and the communities of the         • Concentrations vary with seasons

| 46 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
• Can be used to distinguish between               with local and regional conditions such as          The determination of annual
  di erent geological features or point            vegetation, soils and the topography that           phosphorus loading limits and land-
  sources of pollution                             largely determines soil moisture levels. This       use-based phosphorus loading models
• Has application as a tool to optimise the        project will aim to:                                for 30 key South African dams in relation
  positioning of passive treatment works,          • Understand the interactions of vegetation
                                                                                                       to their present and likely future trophic
  assess risk, or calculate nancial liability at       and soil moisture with the large-scale
  mine sites.                                          atmospheric circulation during the early
                                                                                                       W Harding (Private Consultant)
                                                       part of the rainfall season
                                                                                                       No 1687
Estimated cost: R 1 367 745                        • Identify regions where characteristics of
Expected term: 2006-2009                               early seasonal rainfall may be in uenced
                                                                                                       South Africa is almost totally reliant on stor-
                                                       by vegetation and soil moisture and
                                                                                                       age in dams for water supply, with, in many
Programme 2:                                           understand the implications of land-use
                                                                                                       cases, a large proportion of the ows to
Catchment hydrology                                    change for the early season climate of the
                                                                                                       these dams being comprised of polluted
Towards improved estimates in water                    region.
                                                                                                       return ows and wastewater e uents from
resources assessments using hyperspectral                                                              urban developments. These return ows
imagery to classify and map land-cover             Estimated cost: R 1 642 600
                                                                                                       are characterised in the main by elevated
classes in Southern Africa (NS)                    Expected term: 2006-2010
                                                                                                       concentrations of phosphorus. Ideally the
CSIR                                                                                                   management (reduction/prevention) of eu-
No 1684                                            Thrust 2:                                           trophication focuses on phosphorus attenu-
                                                   Integrated Water Resource                           ation. However, in South Africa phosphorus
The quality of water resource research             Development                                         elimination from wastewater and other
outputs, among other factors, depends on                                                               e uents is not targeted as a priority. With eu-
the accuracy and level of detail in available      Programme 2:                                        trophication as the cause, the most common
data resources. The ner spectral resolution                                                            impact is the increasing, both in extent and
                                                   Human-induced impacts
of a hyperspectral imagery which allows                                                                duration, development of noxious cyano-
                                                   Endocrine disruptive chemical (EDC) activity
for the detection of surface materials and                                                             bacterial aggregations, with the associated
                                                   and health e ects of identi ed veterinary
their abundances, as well as inferences of                                                             risks of cyanotoxin production. Cyanotoxins
                                                   compounds in surface- and groundwater
biological and chemical processes, is set to                                                           are notoriously di cult and costly to remove
                                                   University of Pretoria
improve local data resources. In this project,                                                         from raw potable waters. The project aims to
                                                   No 1686
hyperspectral imagery will be used in the                                                              categorise a suite of key South African dams
processing and analysis of remote sensing                                                              in terms of:
                                                   The adverse e ects of endocrine disrupting
imagery to measure and characterise the                                                                • Their current trophic status
                                                   chemicals (EDCs) in the water environment
spectral signatures of selected land-cover                                                             • The current matrix of phosphorus
                                                   have been widely recognised. The impact
classes, to map selected and classi ed land-                                                               sources contributing to the total annual
                                                   of livestock wastes as a source of endocrine
cover classes in study catchments as well as                                                               phosphorus loads to each of these dams
                                                   disruption in aquatic environments is not
to contribute towards an envisaged spectral                                                                (based on land use)
                                                   well known. Most of the excretions of natural
library for vegetation in Southern Africa.                                                             • Setting each dam’s total maximum
                                                   hormones from both human and animal ori-
                                                   gin are degraded in the environment, but the            annual phosphorus load (TMAPLs)
Expected term: R643 700                                                                                • Identifying from the land-use-based
                                                   synthetic ones are relatively stable in liquid
Estimated cost: 2006-2008                                                                                  loading pro le where nutrient attenuation
                                                   manure and solid dung. The excretions from
                                                   animals are recycled into other production              management practices should be
Programme 3:                                       systems such as fertilisers for soil or agricul-        focused.
Understanding and predicting                       tural land. In SA no data is available on the
hydroclimatic variability                          contamination of the environmental water as         Estimated cost: R243 750
The role of antecedent conditions in               a direct result of the usage and excretion of       Expected term: 2006-2007
determining rainfall characteristics during        synthetic hormones during the production
the early part of the rainfall season (NS)         cycle of the animal. In this study the presence     Remote sensing as a tool to determine
University of Cape Town                            /absence of veterinary drugs in the environ-        the legal compliance of surface and
No 1681                                            ment would be obtained. The veterinary              groundwater users in catchments
                                                   compounds, growth promoters and animal              Council for Geoscience/ Univ of Cape Town
The early part of the rainfall season is a         dips used in South Africa will be identi ed         GEOSS
critical period for water resources in South       and tested and water sources screened for           No 1690
Africa. Initial rainfall and its characteristics   estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity, us-
(frequency and intensity) determine the            ing a battery of bio-assays                         Since South Africa is such a water-scarce
saturation of soils, contribution to runo and                                                          country, it is important for managers to have
associated reservoir storage levels as well as     Estimated cost: R 1 900 000                         accurate information of all aspects of water
farmers’ preparations for planting. It is the      Expected term: 2006-2009                            resource management. This includes knowl-
character of the climate and how it interacts                                                          edge of the level of compliance of water

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 47 |
Water Resource Management

users to water use licence legislation. In the
Berg River catchment for example, compli-
ance to water use legislation is checked
by DWAF on a case by case basis. This is a
tedious and time consuming procedure.
Remote sensing can be used to detect and
map past and current water use. This can be
compared to current water use licenses in
the WARMS database. The aims of the project
are therefore to:
• Use remote sensing to identify small dams
   in catchment areas of South Africa
• Establish the volume of water stored in
                                                             geological domains for further detailed
                                                             groundwater reconnaissance and
                                                             exploration (to be based on utilising
                                                             integrated groundwater exploration
                                                             approaches, viz. hydrocensus, tectonics
                                                             and geodynamics analysis, strain analysis
                                                             for eld structural mapping, remote
                                                             sensing, etc.)
                                                           • Conceptualize ow dynamics
                                                             (interconnectivity, regional directional
                                                             permeability and transmissivity) and
                                                               ow paths (including dating and tracing
                                                             of deep water) in the identi ed water-
                                                                                                             duction of the toxin standards necessary for
                                                                                                             continued research in this eld. The study will
                                                                                                             also include the development and testing
                                                                                                             of an analytical method to screen for BMAA
                                                                                                             (beta /methyl amino alanine, a cyanobacte-
                                                                                                             rial neurotoxin suggested to have detrimen-
                                                                                                             tal implications on human health.

                                                                                                             Estimated cost: R250 000
                                                                                                             Expected term: 2006-2007

                                                                                                             An investigation into the e ects of
                                                                                                             atmospheric pollutants on surface
   small dams in selected catchments                         bearing structural features and geological      water quality in the eastern regions of
• Use remote sensing and GIS to identify                     domains                                         South Africa
   the illegal extraction of water from rivers             • Determine storage capacity and storage          Univ of KwaZulu-Natal
• Use remote sensing to identify potential                   coe cients (and sustainability yield            No 1697
   groundwater resources                                     constraints) of the various geological
• Identify if groundwater is being used as                   domains and its reliability during              South Africa possesses abundant sources of
   resource rather than dams within the                      droughts using appropriate investigative        coal, found chie y in Mpumalanga Province.
   same area                                                 techniques.                                     This region therefore houses power genera-
• Quantify groundwater use based on                                                                          tion facilities which supply the majority of
   identi able agriculture                                 Estimated cost: R3 400 000                        the country’s needs. The process of combus-
• Use remote sensing and GIS to identify                   Expected term: 2006-2010                          tion of coal leads to the production of wastes
   legal compliance of groundwater users in                                                                  which are discharged to the atmosphere,
   selected catchments                                     Production of microcystin standards               whence they are transported across the re-
• Develop a methodology whereby water                      and evaluation of cyanobacterial                  gion by atmospheric circulation before being
   use compliance can be ascertained for                   hepatotoxin quanti cation methods                 re-deposited on the land surface. Amongst
   any catchment in South Africa whether                   and their relative suitability for                the pollutants emitted by the burning of fos-
   groundwater- or surface water-driven.
                                                           screening and quanti cation                       sil fuels are oxides of nitrogen and sulphur
                                                           Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University            (NOx and SOx). These compounds have for
Estimated cost: R1 259 600
                                                           (NMMU)                                            decades been associated with large-scale
Expected term: 2006-2009
                                                           No 1695                                           environmental degradation, (chie y acidi -
                                                                                                             cation of soils and water) in the rst world.
Basement aquifers in support of rural                      Cyanobacterial hepatotoxins pose a serious        More recently their deleterious e ects have
communities in Limpopo, North-West                         threat to human and livestock health. Many        been recognised as potential threats to eco-
and Mpumalanga Provinces (with                             water-testing laboratories in South Africa,       systems in other parts of the world, including
special emphasis on transboundary                          however, lack the resources to e ectively         the eastern regions of South Africa.
aquifer systems)                                           monitor levels of these toxins, partly due
University of Pretoria                                     to the increasing di culty in obtaining           The project therefore aims to:
No 1693                                                    cyanobacterial hepatotoxin standards. This        • Investigate the deterioration of surface
                                                           project intends to produce cyanobacterial           water quality in selected catchments of
The primary intent of this project is to de-               hepatotoxin variants (the main MCYST vari-          the eastern regions of South Africa over
velop an understanding of groundwater                      ants and nodularin) and to assess the feasibil-     the past few decades, due to the e ects of
resources in crystalline metamorphic and                   ity of maintaining a supply to researchers          atmospheric pollution
igneous terrains. The focus areas are the                  and water-testing laboratories. Clearly toxin     • Investigate deterioration of soil quality
basement aquifers occurring in the Limpopo                 production represents an opportunity for            in selected catchments of the eastern
and Mpumalanga Provinces, speci cally                      commerce development and more e ective              regions of South Africa over the past
the Limpopo and Luvuvhu/Letaba Water                       and applicable research can be achieved by          decade and a half, due to the e ects of
Management Areas.                                          the increased availability of toxin variants. A     atmospheric pollution
                                                           recent WRC report (No. 1288) highlighted the      • Project, by means of modelling, future
The main objectives of this project are:                   need to increase the monitoring frequency           deterioration of soil and water quality
• Based on stakeholder involvement                         of blooms and toxins as well as collecting          in selected catchments of the eastern
  (e.g. DWAF, etc.) and previous studies                   more information on analytical methods in-          regions of South Africa under various
  (including areas that are experiencing                   volved in toxin analysis. This project is aimed     management scenarios
  water stress), identify regionally signi cant            at rectifying gaps in the current knowledge       • Illustrate the cost-bene t dynamics of
  water-bearing structural features and                    in the area of cyanobacterial hepatotoxin           managing pollution from atmospheric
                                                           screening, and testing the feasibility of pro-      sources

| 48 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
• Ascertain the reliability of available           The presence of radioactive constituents            subsoils, groundwater and surface water
  estimates of atmospheric deposition.             (uranium, thorium and associated daughter           after clearing. Nearby areas with natural veg-
                                                   elements) in groundwater poses a health             etation will serve to provide baseline data.
Estimated cost: R1 435 300                         risk. Weathering and leaching of trace
Expected term: 2006-2009                           element-rich geological formations and also         The project aims to:
                                                   mining wastes result in high concentrations         • Quantify nitrogen accumulation in soils
Programme 3:                                       of these constituents in groundwater.                 and sub-soils under invasive vegetation,
Integrated drought and ood                         The National Radioactive Monitoring                   using undisturbed natural vegetated
management                                         Programme (NRMP) of DWAF aims to                      areas as baseline
Soil moisture from satellites: Daily               monitor radioactive elements on a national          • Investigate the spatial distribution of
rainfall maps over RSA, for ash ood                scale. The focus of this study is to support          nitrogen species (nitrate, ammonia, and
forecasting, drought monitoring, catchment         the NRMP by implementing investigations               organic nitrogen), within soil and sub-soil
management and agriculture                         around impacted sites for local monitoring            pro les and across catchment landscapes,
Pegram & Associates                                programmes. Speci c objectives are:                   as well as ground- and surface water
No 1683                                            • Re-evaluate the results of earlier research       • Determine changes to the physical
                                                         ndings on uranium speciation and the            distribution and chemical speciation of
The amount of water in the soil acts as a              associated anomalies (i.e. anomalies in           nitrogen in catchment landscapes after
vital switch between the atmosphere and                the aqueous environment) at the selected          clearing of alien vegetation and the
the ground, governing many Earth-bound                 study area                                        impact on the quality of water resources.
water processes: in ltration, evapotranspira-      • Applying recent advances to characterize
tion, inter ow and ground-water recharge.                ow regimes in fractured rock aquifer          Estimated cost: R 845 000
If accurate spatial estimates of SM over large         systems, with reference to ‘tracing’ the        Expected term: 2006-2008
areas were available, they would be useful in          distribution of radioactive elements in
many applications in hydrology, meteorol-              fractured media                                 Programme 2 :
ogy and agriculture. A number of satellites,       • Development of local-scale sampling               Protection and management of surface
launched in the recent past have capabilities          and monitoring protocol for radioactive         water quality
to measure variables for calculating country-          elements in fractured rock formations           GIS based assessment of non-point source
wide SM at fairly high resolution. This project    • Delineating a groundwater protection              pollution in Kuils-Eerste River catchments,
is expected to develop, and put in place, the          zone around a selected study area with          Cape Town
scienti c capacity to exploit the hardware,            respect to an unstressed system taking          Univ of Western Cape
software and skill that exist in di erent inter-       into account the hydraulics, behaviour of       No 1692
national satellite agents. Other key project           selected radio-active elements, relevant
aims include:                                          policy documents, etc.                          The water quality and hydrological character
• Developing a daily soil moisture map over                                                            of the Kuils River and Eerste River in Western
    Southern Africa at a resolution of 1 minute    Estimated cost: R1 500 00                           Cape which discharge into the False Bay have
    of arc and loading it onto the internet        Expected term: 2006-2009                            been changed drastically by land uses in the
• Ground validation for remote sensing                                                                 catchment area. Major sources of pollution
    using soil moisture estimates at probes        Nitrogen dynamics in catchment                      are the continuous e uent dischargers from
    deployed by SAWS                               landscapes cleared of alien vegetation              the Macassar Sewage Works as well as the
• Interpolation over Southern Africa of            and impacts on water quality                        non-point source (NPS) pollution due to the
    meteorological variables near ground           CSIR                                                present land-use practices in the Kuils-Eerste
    level: temperature, pressure, humidity,        No 1696                                             River Catchment. The assessment and quan-
    wind speed and energy.                                                                             ti cation of NPS pollutants in this area and
                                                   Extensive areas of land in South Africa are         others has always been a major challenge.
Estimated cost: R2 483 200                         currently being cleared of invasive alien           This study will aim to provide techniques
Expected term: 2006-1010                           vegetation under the DWAF Working for               for assessing and quantifying NPS pollut-
                                                   Water Programme. Several of the invasive            ants and developing intervention measures
                                                   alien trees being targeted are legumes (e.g.        Kuils-Eerste River catchment. In addition, this
Thrust 3                                           Acacia spp. such as black wattle, rooikrans         project will also assess runo -water quality
                                                   and Port Jackson willow), which x nitrogen,         over di erent land use types, extend the ex-
Water Resource Protection
                                                   thus a distinct risk that clearing alien vegeta-    isting data on stream ow measurements and
                                                   tion may lead to nitrate contamination of           water chemistry of stream ow and other sur-
Programme 1:
                                                   groundwater and eutrophication of surface           face runo water in the area, generate a GIS-
Groundwater protection
                                                   water bodies exists. The proposed study will        based water quality hydrologic model (catch-
Sampling and monitoring protocol for
                                                   be a systematic assessment, in two or three         ment loading model) and provide guidance
radioactive elements
                                                   selected catchment areas in the Western             for the mitigation of the water resource pol-
Univ of the Western Cape
                                                   Cape, of nitrogen stocks in soils under alien       lution in the Kuils-Eerste River system.
No 1694
                                                   vegetation and nitrogen movement in soils,

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 49 |
Water Resource Management

Estimated cost: R713 000
Expected term: 2006-2009

Programme 3:

Urban water resource management
The history of Cape Town’s river systems:
Using hindsight to guide the management of
urban river systems in South Africa
Southern Waters Ecological Research and
No 1691

Historical urban water resource issues, en-
                                                           inability of hydrological models to accurately
                                                           simulate the deeper soil water processes.
                                                           This project which will rely on eld-based
                                                           experimental work and computer modelling
                                                           is expected to:
                                                           • Quantify the long-term e ects of
                                                               commercial forestry species on deep
                                                               soil water pro les, stream ow and
                                                           • To investigate and describe
                                                               environmental and soil water processes
                                                               which allow for total evaporation to
                                                               exceed the annual rainfall
                                                                                                               service provision [WSP]; local authorities can
                                                                                                               act as WSAs. Challenges to local government
                                                                                                               are therefore considerable, particularly where
                                                                                                               capacity and nancial resources are limited.
                                                                                                               Added challenges are posed by municipal
                                                                                                               and water management area boundaries
                                                                                                               that do not coincide; the inattention to the
                                                                                                               linkages required for sustainable WRM to
                                                                                                               support WSP; and little guidance given to the
                                                                                                               links between WUAs, catchment forums and
                                                                                                               local government. This project emerges from
                                                                                                               the recent call for researchers’ participation in
                                                                                                               the design of Integrated WRM (IWRM) insti-
countered problems and how they were re-                   • To provide a modelling framework for              tutional arrangements research programme.
solved, changes in the whole water resource                    the catchment water balance to improve          Local government needs to establish WSP
environment including physical changes                         stream ow predictions and speci cally           within an IWRM, in an environmentally
to the riverine and catchment areas are                        low ows                                         sustainable manner. In order for local govern-
documented in a number of archived mu-                     • To extend and test the database of                ments to e ectively contribute to catchment
nicipal material. In addition, satellite images                the catchment hydrological variables            WRM, understanding point and non-point
and aerial photographs have also captured                      including data on tree root behaviour and       source management, with questions of wa-
changes over time. An analysis of past events,                 its e ect on soil water in deeper soil layers   ter quality and quantity impacts on resource
water resource problems, the interventions                     in modelling studies.                           management, is essential.
undertaken and the associated ecological,
economical and social implications will en-                Estimated cost: R639 200                            Estimated cost: R 537 000
able the provision of meaningful guidance                  Expected term: 2006-2009                            Expected term: 2006-2009
on the future management of urban rivers.
This project will also aim to:                                                                                 Institutional dimensions of water
• Undertake a comprehensive review of the                  Thrust 4:                                           resource management in South Africa:
    management of rivers in Cape Town in                   Policy Development and                              Socio-cultural perspectives
    the 20th century                                       Institutional Arrangements for                      Univ of Cape Town
• Evaluate the options selected in the past                Water Resource Management                           No 1698
    to improve understanding of implications
    on social, ecological and economic costs                                                                   This project seeks to analyse, monitor and
                                                           Programme 3:
    and bene ts                                                                                                evaluate the new water management institu-
                                                           Institutional arrangements and
• Use the lessons learnt to inform a set of                                                                    tional arrangements by focusing on the role
    principles for future management of Cape
                                                           processes for IWRM at catchment,
                                                                                                               of socio-cultural issues, particularly the role
    Town’s rivers in particular, and urban rivers          WMA and national level                              of traditional leadership, customary water
    in South Africa in general.                            The development of a framework for the              tenure and cultural and religious practices, in
                                                           involvement of local government in water            determining water management outcomes.
Estimated cost: R 642 200                                  resource management linked to water service         Some of the long-term bene ts of the
Expected term: 2006-2008                                   provision                                           research include enhancing public participa-
                                                           Rhodes University                                   tion in water management and the voices of
                                                           No 1688
Programme 4:                                                                                                   local people, alleviating tensions and con ict
Low ows and stream ow reduction                                                                                in water management institutions so that
                                                           Institutional arrangements supporting the
activities                                                                                                     they can ultimately function more e ciently
                                                           implementation of the National Water Act
The impact of deep-rooted trees on the                                                                         and sustainably.
                                                           (No. 36 of 1998) and the Water Services
hydrological balance of a small catchment in               Act (No. 108 of 1997) are devolved across
the KwaZulu-Natal midlands                                                                                     Estimated cost: R 390 400
                                                           all three tiers of government. At a regional
CSIR                                                                                                           Expected term: 2006-2009
                                                           level, water resource management [WRM]
No 1682                                                    is currently being transferred from regional
                                                                                                               Programme 5:
                                                           DWAF o ces to catchment management
Recent WRC studies and modelling of forest-                                                                    Governance, law and regulation
                                                           agencies(CMAs), facilitated by water
ry water use have shown that our best esti-                                                                    A philosophy and strategy enabling learning
                                                           user associations [WUAs] with additional
mates of tree water use, and in particular dry                                                                 for good ecosystem governance
                                                           stakeholder input from catchment forums
season water use are not within acceptable                                                                     CSIR
                                                           including local government. Water services
error margins. One of the main reasons is the                                                                  No 1689
                                                           authorities [WSAs] are to manage water

| 50 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
The project takes the creation of knowledge
to the level of utilisation of knowledge by
end users to the progressive creation of
learning organisations. Therefore the aim is
to articulate the philosophy and establish
the principles within which WRM institutions
will be able to create appropriate learning
environments for good ecosystem gover-
nance. In addition, the aim is also to develop
a strategy and implement it using the above
principles in pilot areas. As a new emerging
  eld such studies are needed to enhance the
role of the WRC as a knowledge hub and to
share the knowledge with decision makers
for other policy applications.

Estimated cost: R 639 200
Expected term: 2006-2009

 Contact persons

 Thrust 1: Dr R Dube
 Tel: +27 12 330 9030

 Thrust 2: Mr Meiring du Plessis
 Tel: +2712 330 9037

  Thrust 3: Dr Sha ck Adams
  E-mail: sha
  Tel: +2712 330-9080

 Thrust 4: Ms Eiman Karar
 Tel: +2712 330 9029

                                                 Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 51 |
KSA 2 Water-Linked Ecosystems
                                                           The above will be achieved by developing
                                                           technologies and methodologies, adap-
                                                           tive management processes and capacity
                                                           to protect the resource and to sustain the
                                                             ow of goods and services in a time of both
                                                           demographic and climatic change in the
                                                           Southern African context. Technologies and
                                                           methodologies will be developed within this
                                                           KSA to support the implementation of the
                                                           national water policy to ensure sustainable
                                                           resource use.
                                                                                                               Thrust 1:
                                                                                                               Ecosystem Processes

                                                                                                               This thrust includes research addressing the
                                                                                                               biophysical processes, form and function of
                                                                                                               ecosystems. The aim is to generate knowl-
                                                                                                               edge to inform policy and management.
                                                                                                               Current programmes are:
                                                                                                               • Estuarine processes
                                                                                                               • Riverine processes
                                                                                                               • Wetland processes
                                                                                                               • Groundwater-dependent ecosystems
                                                                                                               • Impoundments
                                                           In the light of international trends in research,
Dr Steve Mitchell: Director                                the portfolio of research falling within the
                                                                                                               Thrust 2:
                                                           scope of and addressing this KSA will be
                                                                                                               Ecosystem Management and
Scope                                                      adjusted. However, the main (primary) and
                                                           secondary objectives of this KSA have been
                                                           reviewed and found to appropriately address         This thrust includes research which speci -
Research undertaken within this KSA will
                                                           future research need scenarios. The main            cally addresses the management of ecosys-
continue to address the conservation of
                                                           objective is the provision of knowledge to          tems for sustainable utilisation. Central to
aquatic ecosystems in order to provide the
                                                           enable good environmental governance                this is the need to manage the social and
knowledge for their sustainable function-
                                                           so as to ensure the utilisation and sustain-        economic requirements of society from
ing in terms of the national commitment
                                                           able management of water – Develop an               ecosystems and the implementation of
to international conventions and the ongo-
                                                           understanding of the ecological processes           policy and legislation. Capacity will be built
ing provision of goods and services which
                                                           underlying the delivery of goods and linked         to implement the research ndings. The fol-
ecosystems deliver. In addition, the National
                                                           ecosystems in a water-scarce country during         lowing programmes are addressed:
Water Resource Strategy (NWRS) focuses
                                                           a time of demographic and climate change.           • Ecological Reserve
on resource protection as one of its com-
                                                           This will be achieved through the following         • Estuary management
ponents. The research undertaken in this
                                                           (secondary) objectives aiming to:                   • Ecosystem health
KSA provides knowledge for protection of
                                                           • Develop the knowledge to sustainably              • Environmental water quality
the resource, and is therefore central to this
                                                               manage, protect and utilise aquatic             • Endocrine disrupting compounds in
aspect of the NWRS. No major changes in
                                                               ecosystems.                                         water sources
strategic direction are envisaged and the re-
                                                           • Transfer the knowledge to appropriate             • Ecosystem governance
search portfolio as presented in the previous
year’s strategy was found to be sound and                      end-users.
applicable. Deviations in programme focus                  • Build capacity in both research and
or structure will be highlighted below.                        management to sustainably manage                Thrust 3:
                                                               aquatic ecosystems.                             Ecosystem Rehabilitation
Water-linked ecosystems are de ned as in-
stream (fully aquatic), riparian (dependent                                                                    This thrust addresses the rehabilitation of
on water stored in the river banks and linked              Thrusts and programmes                              the aquatic environment (including both the
to the river) and water table-dependent (de-                                                                   abiotic and the biotic components) which
pendent on a water table, but not on surface               As indicated above the research portfolio           has been degraded through anthropogenic
water). This KSA focuses on the protection                 presented here does not deviate materially          activities with the view to restoring process,
and sustainable utilisation of the aquatic                 from that presented in the previous year’s          form and function. This will be done in terms
environment and biota (in-stream, riparian                 plan. However, a new programme on im-               of both relevant international conventions
and groundwater). This includes the research               poundments has been introduced under the            and national legislation, and seeks to restore
needs around the international conventions                 thrust addressing Ecosystem Processes. A            bio-diversity where possible. Capacity will
on environmental management (e.g. bio-                     general description of thrust and programme         be built to implement the research ndings.
diversity) as well as human needs from the                 structure is presented below. New initiatives       This thrust includes research addressing the
aquatic environment (e.g. sustainable man-                 and current projects have been grouped into         processes and functioning of ecosystems,
agement for equitable ecosystem resource                   strategic thrusts and programmes which              dealing more speci¬ ¬cally with the bio-
utilisation, recreation and ecotourism).                   directly address the above-mentioned objec-         physical processes and form of ecosystems
                                                           tives and are summarised as follows:                as well as the rehabilitation of these in eco-

| 52 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
systems. Know¬ledge generated by research         that this will be funded from the 2007/08           Kruger National Park Rivers Research
within this thrust will be used to increase the    nancial year. The e ects of global warming         Programme: Phase 4:
national capability to sustainably manage         are apparent in the temperate zones and             Technologies developed during Phases 1-3
ecosystems and the impact of people on it.        becoming increasingly apparent in South             were world-leading at the time and consider-
Programmes include:                               Africa, and this research will indicate what we     able e ort was made to transfer these to the
• Wetland rehabilitation                          can anticipate and guide decisions that have        KNP management. This energy was put in at
• River rehabilitation                            to be taken in managing the e ects where            the level of scientist to scientist. During the
• In uence of instream-constructed                this is necessary.                                  2005 drought the monitoring raised several of
   barriers                                                                                           the red ags that the monitoring programme
                                                  Impoundment management:                             designed during Phases 2 and 3 was designed
                                                  A programme on the integrated                       to raise, but no action was taken to remedy
Research portfolio for 2006/07                    management of the aquatic environment,              the situation. It was apparent that the buy-in
                                                  with an emphasis on water quality in                generated during previous phases had not
This KSA focuses on the protection and            impoundments will be started in 2007. The           reached the upper echelons of manage-
sustainable utilisation of the aquatic envi-      long-term objective of this programme               ment. It also became apparent that although
ronment (abiotic and biotic). It addresses        will be to reduce the negative impact of            Ecological Reserve had been determined for
national research needs (strategic and            eutrophication.                                     the Olifants River, DWAF lacked the political will
shorter term) as well as those of international                                                       to enforce this and SANParks did not have the
conventions on environmental manage-              Development of an ecosystem health risk             necessary co-operative governance structures
ment (e.g. wetland conservation [RAMSAR]          assessment model to determine the risk              in place to be able to work with DWAF at a
and biodiversity). Work done within this KSA      of endocrine disrupter chemicals in the             su ciently high level to remedy the situation
has contributed to the development of the         water environment:                                  quickly enough to avert the river drying up
National Water Act (NWA) and associated           EDCs have been included in the National             with the ancillary problems.
policies, an example being the Ecological         Toxicant Monitoring Programme developed
Reserve. This has meant that work within this     for DWAF. A risk assessment model has               Phase 4 will be aimed primarily at developing
  eld has not only addressed the strategic        been developed for DWAF for the normal              the governance structures that will enable the
needs of the country which have increased         toxicants. EDCs do not have the same e ect          technologies to be implemented as neces-
in line with the increased global recognition     as toxicants on the ecosystems but have             sary. Part of the outcome of this research will
of the importance of the role of sustainable      a detrimental e ect on various systems              be the development of a generic protocol
environmental management, but also has            of living organisms at very low detection           that can be applied in other situations, as the
addressed some of the immediate research          limits. The EDCs were therefore not included        problem of implementing good technology
needs related to the NWA and its implemen-        in this risk assessment model. An EDC risk          has also been experienced in other spheres of
tation. What people require of the environ-       assessment model needs to be developed              WRC activity.
ment is an area of increasing importance,         for ecosystem health. This project will
and the building of capacity amongst the          aim to develop a model by which the risk            Natural resource accounting:
country’s citizens (managers and the various      may be determined when ecosystems are               This is the augmentation of conventional mea-
user groups) to manage the environment            exposed to EDCs. The model will include             sures of economic activity by accounting for
sustainably is of cardinal importance.            all the di erent pathways of exposure and           the missing environmental values and integrat-
                                                  will address all the di erent e ects of EDCs,       ing these into a uni ed framework for macro-
The proposed new projects will continue to        such as e ects on the reproductive system,          economic and environmental management.
develop knowledge to enhance the national         nervous system, thyroid function and the            The outcome of this research will contribute
capacity to ensure sustainable management         immune system.                                      to decision making around the sustainable
and utilisation of ecosystems while main-                                                             management of the resource. This project was
taining diversity in the form and function of     National Wetland Research Programme                 initially planned to start in 2005/06.
ecosystems.                                       Phase 3: Wise Use of Wetlands:
                                                  The initial TOR as envisaged in 2002 will be        Non-solicited research:
Research will be solicited in the following       updated during the early part of 2006 in time       Projects researching ecosystem processes will
areas during 2006/07 to start in 2007:            for the call for proposals. The study is becom-     be given prominence.
                                                  ing increasingly necessary as NDA are start-
The e ect of temperature change on                ing the process of drawing up new policy for
aquatic ecosystems:                               agriculture in wetlands. There is also increas-     Budget for 2006/07
During the course of 2006/07 the scope            ing interest in this topic internationally, with
and terms of reference (TOR) will be drawn        Wetlands International holding a workshop           The approved funding of the research portfo-
up for a project investigating the e ect of       at St Lucia, KZN at the end of January 2006         lio for 2006/07 leads to a committed funding
temperature and temperature change on             and a resolution on this was discussed at the       budget of R11 958 845 in 2006/07. The focus
aquatic ecosystems with the expectation           recent RAMSAR COP.                                  of this portfolio will continue along the cur-
                                                                                                      rent trends.

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 53 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

Core Strategy

The core strategy is fundamentally un-
changed from 2006/07. Research funded
from within this KSA will continue to address,
within the mission and vision of the WRC, is-
sues of sustainable use and the needs of the
legislation and international conventions of
South Africa.

Strategic context
The KSA for Water-Linked Ecosystems may
be de ned both by the physical boundaries
                                                           To this end the WRC has funded research on
                                                           ecosystems for approximately a decade and
                                                           a half. The work funded has been a balance
                                                           between the generation of knowledge need-
                                                           ed to support resource management and
                                                           the generation of understanding of the eco-
                                                           system processes to guide future resource
                                                           management direction. Some examples of
                                                           this from research funded during 2005/06
                                                           are the funding of research on the sustain-
                                                           able management of estuaries aimed at
                                                           empowering local authorities to better man-
                                                           age their natural resources and research on
                                                                                                             ties, with a method of articulating their needs
                                                                                                             which will feed directly into the manage-
                                                                                                             ment of institutional arrangements. Another
                                                                                                             aspect is to generate the understanding that
                                                                                                             a healthy and sustainably managed environ-
                                                                                                             ment is integral to a healthy and sustainable

                                                                                                             In addition, research is needed to address the
                                                                                                             processes and functions of various compo-
                                                                                                             nents of aquatic ecosystems. It is becoming
                                                                                                             increasingly apparent that with the switch to
                                                                                                             largely addressing the needs of management
                                                           the development of cross-sectoral policy on       over the last decade and a half, we are reach-
of the area addressed by the KSA, as well as
                                                           biodiversity conservation aimed at providing      ing the limits of current knowledge. More re-
by the strategic role occupied by the WRC in
                                                           all tiers of government with the knowledge        search needs to be initiated in selected areas
the eld, with relevance to organisations ac-
                                                           to protect South Africa’s unique biodiversity     of this to ensure that our knowledge remains
tive in ecosystem research and management.
                                                           without sti ing development.                      ahead of the need to apply it.
Physically, the eld includes aquatic and
riparian ecosystems as well as those depen-
                                                           The WRC, with its mandate to improve the          At the operational level, in addition to the
dent on groundwater.
                                                           national capability to sustainably manage         issues around the implementation of legisla-
                                                           water in the country, has a speci c role which    tion, there is a need to provide knowledge
The research funded through this KSA
                                                           di ers from that of other research funders.       on the mitigation of the e ect of develop-
provides knowledge for protection of the
                                                           Although in some cases there is an overlap,       ment (generally in the form of engineering
resource and biodiversity of aquatic eco-
                                                           there is opportunity for synergy with other       interventions) on ecosystems
systems, thus addressing the commitment
                                                           sources of funds, as the breadth of work
of international conventions as well as the
needs of policy.
                                                           funded by the WRC covers the short-term to        Overview of technological trends
                                                           longer-term strategic needs of the country,       related to needs
                                                           and ranges from more fundamental to highly        Several important new trends in inland water
The position of the WRC in funding
                                                           applied work within the area de ned by the        research have been emerging internationally,
research into ecosystems                                   mandate.                                          and these are brie y discussed below. These
Aquatic ecosystems comprise the resource
                                                                                                             trends are being picked up into the medium-
in terms of the National Water Act of 1998.
                                                           Needs analysis                                    to long-term planning within the KSA where
Even without this they are important for
                                                           Identi ed in previous years is the urgent         they are relevant to the country.
a number of reasons. They provide a ba-
                                                           need for the generation of the ability to         • Climate change. There is an increasing
rometer of ecosystem health, and hence
                                                           implement the new legislation such as the             body of knowledge on the e ects of
environmental quality, which is responsive
                                                           NWA. However, the need also exists, possibly          climate change from the temperate
to change and easy to interpret. They also
                                                           more than ever, for strategic research for in-        latitudes, but this deals largely with
provide a number of goods and services
                                                           novation, the lead for which may come from            increasing temperature. More relevant to
which are used by all sectors of the popula-
                                                           global trends not necessarily yet re ected            Southern Africa is the predicted change in
tion. Examples of this are water for domestic,
                                                           as needs in South Africa. The need to imple-          rainfall, with the dry west becoming drier.
agricultural and industrial use, polishing of
                                                           ment legislation tends to distract attention          The rami cations of this for management
e uents, basic food and bre ( sh, plants),
                                                           from this long-term need, although this is            of the resource could be substantial.
traditional medicines and recreation oppor-
                                                           handled proactively as far as possible within     • Impoundment management. Toxic
tunities to name a few. A stable ecosystem
                                                           this KSA so that anticipated research prod-           blue-green algal blooms resulting from
provides the necessary resilience to cope
                                                           ucts are available when needed. The capabil-          the eutrophication of impoundments
with extreme events such as oods and
                                                           ity to sustainably manage ecosystems is an            are a problem world-wide. Recent work
droughts (natural) and pollution events
                                                           overarching need which this KSA addresses.            internationally is addressing the possibility
(anthropogenic). In the past a proportion of
                                                           This was articulated at the World Summit on           of managing the natural ecological
the national cost for the treatment of wastes
                                                           Sustainable Development (WSSD).                       processes within these impoundments
was externalised to the environment and
                                                                                                                 in order to reduce the impact of these
although the environment was degraded by
                                                           At the higher level, it is necessary to improve       blooms. The ability to do this would not
this, by and large the load did not exceed the
                                                           the interface between scientists on the one           only protect the natural environment, but
capacity of the environment to cope with
                                                           hand and managers and the public on the               would also assist in keeping the cost of
it. However, it is bene cial for all to maintain
                                                           other. Without this the concept of sustain-           water treatment down.
the resource in a good condition than to
                                                           able management will remain in the realm          • Conservation planning is being used
carry the costs associated with a poor-quality
                                                           of theory. An aspect of this will be a way to         increasingly internationally as a holistic
                                                           provide people, particularly rural communi-           and reliable tool for making decisions

| 54 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
  on how to most e ectively conserve                  new research in this eld should decline         • The research initiative into the need for
  representative ecosystems.                          sharply. Projections for this research            and provision of sh-ways is going well
• Natural resource accounting is becoming             topic are that within 5 to 6 years it will        and the current level of funding will
  widely accepted as a way to bring                   require considerably less funding than            probably be reduced substantially after
  environmental values into the macro-                it has at the moment, and in about 10             2008.
  economy of countries.                               years it will be phased out. A possible         • Following the emphasis on the need for
• In Europe there is a current surge                  exception to this may be wetlands, as             Communication, Education and Public
  of interest in the development of                   methods for determining the Reserve in            Awareness (CEPA) which emerged from
  environmental water quality indices                 these complex systems have not yet been           the consultative workshops held early
  based on diatoms. These appear to be                  nalised.                                        in the year, increasing attention will be
  more successful than previous attempts          •   Co-operative environmental                        paid to this aspect of technology transfer.
  at correlation as it appears that new               management and governance is                      Some of the activities routinely taken
  methods of data analysis are being used.            being developed within the context                within the KSA have proved successful,
• The successful implementation of                    of research programmes addressing                 but it is necessary to hone these activities
  all of the above hinges on thorough                 estuaries, wetlands, the Ecological               in order to ensure that this important link
  knowledge of ecosystem functions and                Reserve and other initiatives. This               is managed as e ciently as possible.
  processes as well as the will to implement.         develops the capability to integrate            • A number of research initiatives have
                                                      ecosystem management with the social              been identi ed, some of which are being
Portfolio planning: As indicated in the pre-          and economic requirements of the                  piloted. It is anticipated that some of
vious years’ business plans, national research        stakeholders.                                     these will become large programmes
drivers in ecosystem research continue to be      •   Within the current estuaries research             which will run for longer than a decade.
aligned with international trends, although           programme much progress has been                  Resource constraints prevent all of these
the emphasis is on the local situation. A             made in locating the management                   from being initiated simultaneously.
series of consultative workshops were held in         of estuaries within the institutional             These are discussed brie y below:
conjunction with KSA 1 early in the year dur-         structures of the local authorities               Knowledge of the socio-economic
ing which stakeholders (researchers, manag-           responsible for the estuaries.                    aspects of sustainable ecosystem
ers and industry) were consulted to give          •   The current wetlands programme will               management lags behind knowledge of
input into the future research needs in water-        be run in 3 phases. The rst phase                 the ecosystem functions and processes.
linked ecosystems. Although a number of               (rehabilitation) is underway, and a start         Knowledge of this aspect needs to
technological issues were identi ed, a num-           has been made on the second phase                 be improved if we are to ensure long-
ber of drivers not speci cally related to tech-       (health and integrity). The third phase           term sustainability of the resource. It is
nologies and methods were also identi ed.             (wise use) will probably start between            anticipated that research in this area will
These addressed areas of communication,               2008 and 2010. It is anticipated that this        continue for the foreseeable future. Some
awareness, public understanding of science            programme (as currently envisaged) will           work may be done within the KSA that
and capacity and competence development.              be complete before 2015.                          addresses water resource management
The e ective management of resources,             •   Conservation planning is a tool for               (KSA 1), but KSA 2 will make a substantial
including existing knowledge, as well as the          making decisions on how to most                   contribution to this topic. TOR will be
more e ective transfer of technology also             e ectively conserve representative                developed early in the year for a solicited
featured in the issues to be addressed. Thus,         ecosystems. The WRC is co-funding a               project on this topic.
current research drivers include:                     programme which is piloting this process        • Groundwater-dependent ecosystems
• Ecosystem processes and functions.                  on rivers (elsewhere it has only been used        present a little-understood area where
    Research into these aspects is important          in terrestrial situations until now).             the over-use of resources can cause
    for the sustainable management of             •   Ecosystem health and environmental                irreversible (on the time scale of a
    ecosystems and it is anticipated that this        water quality provide knowledge to                human life) change. The complexity, as
    will remain a priority research driver for        balance the use of the resource and the           perceived form the standpoint of present
    the foreseeable future. Research in this          discharge of e uents with the ecological          knowledge, indicates that this research
    area provides the basic understanding             health and sustainability of the resource         area will be active for a long time to come.
    on which management decisions may be              as well as human health related issues. It        During current nancial year Research has
    based.                                            is anticipated that research into this topic      been initiated to indicate the needs in this
• The Ecological Reserve provides a tool              will continue for the foreseeable future.         area.
    which enables managers to balance             •   Rehabilitation research in its present          • Research has been initiated on the
    resource use with sustainability. Version         form has a nite duration. It is becoming          Reserve determination for non-perennial
    II of the Resource Directed Measures              linked to wetland rehabilitation within           rivers. Perennial rivers are largely limited
    (RDM) Manual is in the early stages of            the Working for Water programme as well           to the well-watered east and the main
    development, and it is anticipated that           as within DWAF, and will probably cease           stems in the arid west of South Africa.
    the process to determine the Reserve              to exist as a research initiative within 10       However, many of the tributaries, even in
    will become a lot more stable once this           years.                                            the well-watered east, are non-perennial.
    is out. As this happens the need for                                                                Although this programme is planned to

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 55 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

  be complete by 2009, it is certain that
  a number of research questions will
  be raised during the research, and will
  require a decision as to which should be
  addressed in future research initiatives.
  A one-year study carried out during
  2005/06 tested current methods as used
  for the determination of environmental
  water requirements on perennial rivers
  on non-perennial waters. This was done
  through desktop studies of three main
  case studies and the review of six other
  non-perennial systems on which DWAF
                                                             through both the WRC and DWAF are
                                                             investigating the potential of using
                                                             diatoms as an indicator for wetland health
                                                             as the conventional indicators have not
                                                             come up to expectations in this complex
                                                           • Conservation planning for aquatic
                                                             ecosystems is a new area of research
                                                             which is being piloted in South Africa
                                                             through an initiative co-funded by DWAF,
                                                             CSIR and the WRC. It o ers a quantitative
                                                             method for planning conservation
                                                             and utilisation of the resource. While
                                                                                                                per year (1997 value; WRC Report No
                                                                                                                756/2/03). We know qualitatively that
                                                                                                                the prawn sheries o the Thukela River
                                                                                                                mouth, in the Maputo Bay and o the
                                                                                                                Zambezi River mouth improve after a
                                                                                                                season in which there have been good
                                                                                                                  oods. We do not know the extent of
                                                                                                                the e ect of management interventions
                                                                                                                on rivers on the near-shore marine
                                                                                                                environment, so are unable to include
                                                                                                                this e ect in any natural resource
                                                                                                                accounting on new developments.
                                                                                                                Land-based developments may prove
  has conducted Reserve studies. This                        this initial phase may not last longer             to be less economically attractive when
  process enabled the compilation of a                       than 8 to 10 years, the needs identi ed            viewed against the larger picture. A
  research programme which addresses the                     during this phase will continue for the            consultancy to provide initial insight
  areas of the current methodology most                      foreseeable future and are likely to               into the contribution of river ow to the
  needing attention.                                         address the management of biodiversity             near shore environment is approaching
• Since the closure of the FRD Inland Water                  and the resource. In addition to the               conclusion, and this will provide insight
  Ecosystems Programme in the mid-1980s                      above initiative the WRC is one of the             into the importance of this and will
  there has been very little research done                   lead agents in the harmonisation of                outline future research needs.
  on impoundments, and this has been                         policy across government departments,            • There is a need to develop the ability to
  largely limited to that funded by the water                the support of a national forum of                 e ectively manage the integration of
  boards to address their own pressing                       stakeholders and will fund research                ecological, economic and sociological
  needs. Impoundments are integral                           into the socio-economic aspects of                 knowledge to enable IWRM. This
  to both South Africa’s water resource                      biodiversity conservation from 2006/07.            will synergistically add value to the
  management strategy and to the linear                    • Research into the management of                    knowledge available in each of the
  ecosystem corridors of the rivers that                     biodiversity (in terms of the recent               disciplines. The work planned for natural
  they impound. They also have speci c                       legislation) has started with a small              resource accounting will feed into this.
  characteristics of their own. For instance,                project on sh biodiversity. It is likely
  they are the rst part of the resource                      that this eld will expand substantially          Key stakeholders (in uencers)
  to be a ected by eutrophication, they                      once the outcome of the conservation             The key stakeholders remain largely un-
  break the connectivity of the river which                  planning programme (above) becomes               changed. They are the national government
  a ects biodiversity, alter the sediment                    known. This initiative is being expanded         departments which have water under their
  characteristics of the river and a number                  to, inter alia, develop conservation.            jurisdiction (DWAF and DEAT), speci cally at
  of other e ects. There are new ideas                                                                        this time when they are implementing new
  emerging from elsewhere in the world                     There are a number of research areas which         legislation. Provincial and local government
  that have the potential to improve                       have not yet been addressed, and these             are also key stakeholders, and the anticipated
  our management of impoundments,                          need attention for the reasons given below.        needs of catchment management agencies
  and these need to be examined. It is                     These are listed brie y:                           (CMAs) are in uencing research direction.
  anticipated that research in this area will              • Climate variability and change. The              Donor funding is available in this eld, usu-
  continue for the foreseeable future. A                      e ects of these on biota and the in uence       ally for speci c tasks which satisfy the donors’
  consultancy was initiated with the brief to                 on long-term resource management                mandate. The largest funder is the Global
  review the state of the art internationally                 need to be better understood if we are          Environment Facility (GEF), funded by the
  and to guide the development of TOR for                     to plan successfully in the long term. Of       World Bank, which has been instrumental in
  future research in South Africa.                            particular importance to the Southern           establishing large biosphere reserves as well
• South Africa has a very rich history of                     African situation is the predicted decrease     as the Cape Action Plan for the Environment
  diatomology. Recently developed indices                     in rainfall in the drier western parts of the   (CAPE) in South Africa. Both the IUCN and
  using diatoms as indicators of water                        country. The initial stage of addressing        Wetlands International, (international NGOs)
  quality appear to be promising as both                      this is being undertaken by climatologists,     fund speci c projects within their mandates
  present indicators of water quality which                   and ecologists will be included this year.      in this eld, and the latter is becoming in-
  are both robust and easy to use, but will                • The contribution of river ow to the              creasingly active in Africa. Funding may also
  also be able to give insight into historical                near-shore environment needs to be              be available from industry for speci c proj-
  water quality for areas where early                         better understood. We estimate the              ects. The relationship between the WRC and
  collections exist. It appears that these                    contribution of estuaries to the marine         the Secretariat of the RAMSAR Convention is
  indices may be successfully applied to                      commercial shery (through species               becoming closer.
  both historical collections and to recently                 that either breed or spend part of their
  collected diatoms. New initiatives                          life cycle in estuaries) at R950 million

| 56 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Strategic Initiatives                              - Working for Wetlands Steering               • Dr MS Liphadzi co-authored 3 journal
                                                     Committee                                     papers with Prof. M.B. Kirkham of Kansas
Undertaken During 2006/07                          - Co-chair of FETWater (with DWAF)              State University in the USA:
                                                                                                   - Auxin-enhanced root growth for
National initiatives                            • Leadership positions: (within South Africa)          phytoremediation of sewage sludge
• Assisted in the assessment of proposals to      - Board of the National Community                    amended soil. Environmental
  develop a generic estuary management               Water and Sanitation Institute,                   Technology 27 695-704.
  plan for the CAPE Programme. – 8/08/06             University of the North (Chairperson)         - Chelate-Assisted heavy metal removal
• Member of the CAPNET team in Pretoria              (SA Mitchell)                                     by sun ower to improve soil with
• Member of NRF panel assessing                   - Appointed member of the ARC Board                  sludge. Journal of Crop Improvement
  proposals for the ecosystems programme             01/11/06 (MS Liphadzi)                            16 151-170.
  – 23/10/06                                      - Institute for Environmental and Coastal        - Availability and plant uptake of
• Presentation to the NSTF on the WRC                Management, UPE (vice-Chairperson)                heavy metals in EDTA-assisted
  – 23/11/06                                         (SA Mitchell)                                     phytoremediation of soil and
• Plenary presentation at the NMMU annual         - Institute of Water Research, Rhodes                composted biosolids. South African
  symposium on research done through                 University (SA Mitchell)                          Journal of Botany 72 391-397.
  the year by sta and students – 30/11/06         - National Science and Technology                - A further publication is in preparation.
• Organised the Science Exhibition at the            Foundation – Executive Committee            • Presented a paper at the World Congress
  University of Venda that WRC participated          representing the Science Council              of Soil Science in Philadelphia, USA (7-14
  – 11 /08/2006                                      sector Chair NSTF Science Councils            July 2006) – Received a travel grant of R12
• Yellow sh Working Group annual meeting             Sector meeting – 23 /11/06 (MS                000 from the NRF to contribute to travel
  – 7-9/4                                            Liphadzi)                                     costs.
• Attended SASAqS conference – 18 – 23/6          - Consortium for Estuarine Research and
• Participated in the Institutional Review of        Management (CERM) – Co-ordinate for
  the WRC.                                           the WRC – WRC the lead organisation
• Co-author of ‘The Changing Water                                                               Growing the Knowledge Base
                                                     (SA Mitchell).
  Resources Monitoring Environment in
  South Africa’ presented at the SAEON                                                           Capacity-building initiatives
                                                Strategic positioning
  summit and subsequently published in                                                           Progress to date on ongoing projects indi-
                                                • Led a delegation to present the Annual
  the S. Afr. J. Sci.                                                                            cates that the number of students undergo-
                                                  Report to the Parliamentary Portfolio
• The E ects Of Water Pollution On Fish And                                                      ing post-graduate training at tertiary institu-
                                                  Committee – 9/5
  People – presentation to the Yellow sh                                                         tions under WRC-funded projects in this
                                                • Participated in the ESASTAP workshop
  Working Group, 4/06                                                                            KSA was estimated as 120 in total, of which
                                                  held at the Innovation Hub (Pretoria)-
• Attended the Climate Change Workshop                                                           49students are from previously disadvan-
  held at the ARC, 5 July 2006                                                                   taged groupings.
                                                • Made a presentation and participated
• Arranging a conference on environmental
                                                  in the DWAF-RDM strategic planning
  water requirements.                                                                            The following table gives a breakdown of the
                                                  workshop in Midrand, JHB. – 30 /11/06
                                                                                                 students employed by each of the agencies
                                                • Took part in the portfolio committee
National collaboration                                                                           with which KSA 2 has research contracts for
                                                  training in January 2007 Facilitated an
Participation in national committees related                                                     the year 2006/07:
                                                  IUCN workshop on Environmental Flows
to this KSA                                       in the Mzingwane catchment, southern
• Steering Committee (National)                   Zimbabwe. Workshop held in Bulawayo
    - The River Health Programme. The WRC         – 28 – 29/09/06
       is one of three national custodians of   • Attended Joint African Union-Economic
       this programme                             Commission for Africa Science,
    - Development of a planning tool for          Technology and Innovation in Addis
       the systematic conservation of river       Ababa (23-30 January 2007)- NEPAD
       biodiversity in South Africa – project   • Chaired the IMWI steering committee
       steering group                             meeting on wetland management in
    - South African Environmental                 SADC countries
       Observation Network (SAEON)
       – Technical Committee
                                                International initiatives
    - Researchers funded through this
                                                • Appointed reviewer by Elsevier
       KSA were well represented and
                                                  Publishing Co. to review research papers
       participated actively in the WRC Open
                                                  for their three international journals
       Day held at the University of the
                                                  (Environmental Pollution, Hazardous
       Western Cape.
                                                  Waste, and Chemosphere) – 02/08/06.

                                                                                                Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 57 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

 Anchor Consultancy (linked to UCT)

 CSIR Environmentek

 DH Environmental Consultants

 National Museum, Bloemfontein

 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University



                                                                           Total number of






 Nepid Consultants                                               1               1

 Pulles, Howard and de Lange (now Golders)                                       2

 Rhodes University                                               4               5

 SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity                           8               15

 University of Cape Town                                         5               20

 University of the Free State                                                    3

 University of Johannesburg                                                      5

 University of KwaZulu-Natal Dbn & Pmb                          18               27

 University of Limpopo                                           2               2

 University fof the North West                                                   2

 University of Pretoria                                                          3

 University of Stellenbosch                                                      2

 University of the Western Cape                                  1               4

 University of the Witwatersrand                                 4               7

 TOTAL STUDENTS                                                 49              120

| 58 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Knowledge-sharing and leadership                2. Develop the knowledge to sustainably            Capacity building and competence develop-
KSA sta contributed to and attended the            manage, protect, utilise and rehabilitate       ment are central to the work funded in this
Open Day at UWC as well as the launch of           the aquatic ecosystem.                          KSA as, apart from natural attrition, the imple-
the 2005/06 Knowledge Review                    3. Transfer the knowledge to appropriate           mentation of the NWA and all the changes
                                                   end-users.                                      that that implies to the management struc-
Scienti c technical workshops                   4. Build capacity in both research and             tures, requires that water management will
The KSA led, participated in and/or sup-           management to sustainably manage                be devolved to lower levels of government,
ported 6 technical workshops so far this year      aquatic ecosystems.                             requiring greater numbers of people able to
as follows:-                                    5. Increased emphasis will be placed on            ful l the function.
• Workshop on Ecostatus conditions                 points 3 and 4 above.
    – reference conditions for sh                                                                  The research portfolio for 2006/07 is pre-
• Facilitate stakeholder workshop on            The research portfolio (broken down into           sented in Table 1, which provides an over-
    developing policy for agriculture in        thrusts and programmes) is presented in            view and description of research thrusts and
    wetlands for the DoA & ISCW                 Table 1. A 6th programme (on Socio-eco-            programmes.
• International workshop on conservation        nomic considerations) and a 7th programme
    planning in conjunction with the            (on Ecosystem governance) has been added
    IUCN (Australia & USA) and the Nature       to Thrust 2, as there is a need for research on
    Conservancy (USA), Kruger National Park.    these.
    (~60% of delegates not South African)
• Workshop on Social Ecological Systems         Expected outcomes
• Wetland Specialist Workshop (facilitated)     An additional programme on impound-
• ToR workshop for the solicited project        ments has been added to Thrust 1 to accom-
    ‘Framework and manual for the valuation     modate research scheduled to start during
    of goods and services from aquatic          2006/07.
    ecosystems for the Resource Directed
    Measures (RDM)                              In Thrust 2, two additional programmes
                                                will be developed in 2006/07. These will
Sta of the KSA attended the                     be socio-economic considerations and
following conferences:
• South African Society for Aquatic Sciences
                                                Each programme within each thrust is de-
• Attended WISA conference in Durban,
                                                signed to deliver products which are needed
                                                by speci c end-users in the short-, medium-
                                                and long-term. In the case of the thrusts on
                                                ecosystem management and utilisation as
Implementation Plan                             well as ecosystem rehabilitation the end-us-
                                                ers will largely be managers and policy mak-
Research portfolio for 2006/07                  ers, while in the case of that on ecosystem
In essence, the implementation plan follows     processes the end users may be the same as
that of previous years in that the primary      above, the research will also provide the basis
objective of this research portfolio is the     on which the more applied research would
provision of knowledge to enable good           be based.
environmental governance so as to ensure
the utilisation and sustainable management      Each programme is designed with the input
of water-linked ecosystems in a water-scarce    of the relevant stakeholders, taking global
country during a time of demographic and        trends into account, and so is able speci cally
climate change.                                 to address the needs expressed, and bene t
                                                the country.
This will continue to be achieved through
the following:                                  Products are planned, as far as possible, to be
1. Develop an understanding of the              ready before they are needed by the end-us-
   ecological processes underlying the          ers, in this way e ecting innovation.
   delivery of goods and services.

                                                                                                  Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 59 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

Table 1

Overview and description of thrusts and programmes

                                                            Thrust 1: Ecosystem Processes

 Scope: This thrust includes research addressing the biophysical processes, form and function of ecosystems. The aim is to generate knowl-
 edge to inform policy and management. Current programmes are:


 Programme 1
 Estuarine processes

                                    Estuaries are fragile and highly productive ecosystems and are highly sought after as places to live. Projects in
                                    this programme address the ecological processes occurring in estuaries.

 Programme 2                        Programmes to investigate the ecosystem functioning and processes of riparian zones, rivers and impound-
 Riverine processes                 ments will be developed This is an area in which South Africa needs improved capability to manage, and in
                                    the case of riparian zones, this is a topic attracting international interest

 Programme 3                        Within this programme research will be conducted to develop understanding of the ecological processes and
 Wetland processes                  functioning of wetlands, and assessing their value to both the catchment and the people living adjacent to

 Programme 4                        Within this programme the dynamics of groundwater-dependent ecosystems will be investigated in relation
 Groundwater-dependent              to the aquifers on which they depend. This will be related to exploitation of the groundwater. Special attention
 ecosystems                         will be given to the vulnerability of these systems.

 Programme 5                        Research within this programme will cover ecological functions and processes within impoundments with a
 Impoundments                       view to improving our ability to manage these.

| 60 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                                           Thrust 2: Ecosystem Management and Utilisation

Scope: This thrust includes research which speci cally addresses the management of ecosystems for sustainable utilisation. Central to this
is the need to manage the social and economic requirements of society from ecosystems and the implementation of policy and legislation.
Capacity will be built to implement the research ndings.

Programme 1                  Within this programme research will be conducted to develop and re ne methods for determining and opera-
Ecological Reserve           tionalising the Ecological Reserve as required by the National Water Act. The programme will address the more
                             strategic issues such as the development of new and improved methods as well as the shorter term issues
                             such as implementation of the Reserve. This programme is managed in close association with DWAF.

Programme 2 Estuary          Within this programme research will be conducted to develop an understanding of the ecological processes
management                   within estuaries, and the e ect of anthropogenic disturbance on these. This understanding is then conveyed
                             to stakeholders (tiers of government, communities) as management guidelines to inform them on how to
                             manage estuaries sustainability. This programme is managed in close association with Marine and Coastal
                             Management, DEAT.

Programme 3                  The River Health Programme (RHP: custodians are DWAF, WRC and DEAT) aims to implement nationally (at
Ecosystem health             the level of provincial government and industry) a coherent bio-monitoring programme with well-de ned
                             indices. Much of the R&D is done within this programme. Additional issues on the management of river health,
                             although they may not directly be part of the RHP, link closely with it and so are kept in the same programme.
                             Research on the environmental health of wetlands, estuaries and impoundments is also included in this pro-
                             gramme. This programme links with the crosscutting domain Water and Health and includes resource man-
                             agement actions which may a ect human health.

Programme 4                  Within this programme research will be conducted to develop bio-assays (both in the laboratory and the eld)
Environmental water          which will be employed to protect people and the environment from the e ects of poor water quality. It will
quality                      develop methods and competence to enable the use of toxicology in e uent discharge licenses as well as
                             its use in environmental water quality as required in the Ecological Reserve. This programme addresses the
                             longer-term development and re nement of methods and the competence to use them, as well as the shorter
                             term competence required to implement policy in terms of the NWA. This programme links to the endocrine
                             disrupter programme within the crosscutting domain Water and Health.

Programme 5                  The overall objective is to characterise, and acquire information for assessing the EDC e ects of various chemi-
Endocrine disrupting         cals and compounds in water (singly or in combination) both those occurring naturally and those resulting
compounds                    from pollution which have the potential to cause detrimental health e ects in humans, animals and the aquat-
                             ic environment as a guide to develop and implement cost-e ective treatment and control strategies. Further
                             emphasis is on the development of simple, rapid and cost- e ective detection techniques. This programme
                             will be done in three phases, of which the rst phase is already completed.

Programme 6                  The overall objective of this programme is to develop and integrate knowledge on the sociological and
Socio-Economic               economic aspects of Water-Linked Ecosystems with the ecological knowledge in order to develop the under-
Considerations               standing and competence necessary to sustainably manage the aquatic environment.

Programme 7                  The overall objective of this programme is to develop understanding of what is required for the successful
Ecosystem Governance         governance of aquatic ecosystems and how to build the necessary capacity to implement this.

                                                                                               Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 61 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

 Scope: This thrust addresses the rehabilitation of the aquatic environment (including both the abiotic and the biotic components) which has
 been degraded through anthropogenic activities with the view to restoring, as far as possible, process, form and function. This will be done in
 terms of both relevant international conventions and national legislation, and seeks to restore bio-diversity where possible. Capacity will be
 built to implement the research ndings:

 Programme 1
 Wetland rehabilitation
                                                               Thrust 3: Ecosystem Rehabilitation

                                    Within this programme research will be conducted to develop methods to rehabilitate wetlands which will
                                    address both abiotic and biotic components, and seek to rehabilitate ecological processes and restore biodi-
                                    versity as far as possible in degraded wetlands. This will be done in terms of both the international conventions
                                    to which South Africa is signatory as well as recent legislation from both DEAT and DWAF. The programme will
                                    also develop the competence to implement rehabilitation. Projects in this programme link closely with each
                                    other, and are managed as a unit

 Programme 2                        The research conducted within this programme aims to provide protocols for the rehabilitation of rivers, with
 River rehabilitation               the emphasis on urban rivers, that have been degraded as a result of anthropogenic activities or invasive biota.

 Programme 3                        This programme investigates ways to ameliorate the e ects of barriers such as weirs and impoundments on
 In uence of instream-              natural river systems.
 constructed barriers

Research Projects for 2006/07                              vironments, is proposed. Recommendations            which releases are required in order to supply
                                                           regarding continued research and predictive          ow in terms of the Ecological Reserve.
The ndings of projects completed during                    assessments are made, such as the need to
the year under review are given, as well as a              di erentiate between coastal ecosystems             Cost:    R241 688.66
summary of current projects and the motiva-                (from east to west). Guidelines are given for       Term:    2002 - 2006
tion and objectives of new projects which                  the extension of Resource Directed Measures
commenced between 01 April 2006 and 31                     (RDM) protocols to include potential fresh-         Conservation planning for river
March 2007.                                                water requirements of the marine environ-           biodiversity
                                                           ment.                                               Environmentek, CSIR
                                                                                                               No 1486
                                                           Cost:    R200 000
Completed                                                  Term:    2004 – 2006                                Conservation planning was developed for
                                                                                                               use on terrestrial systems. Using it on river
Thrust 1:                                                  Programme 2:                                        biodiversity is a new application which
Ecosystem Processes                                        Riverine processes                                  started during the planning of the Greater
                                                           Ecological impacts of reverse hydrograph            Addo National Park. It worked well, but
Programme 1:                                               water releases from Albert Falls Dam on in-         areas needing re nement were identi ed.
Estuarine processes                                        stream processes                                    This study formed a pilot study for a broader
Freshwater requirements of the marine                      Umgeni Water                                        national initiative, which aimed to develop a
environment: A proposed predictive                         No 1307                                             policy and planning framework for system-
approach to assessment of potential impacts                                                                    atic conservation of inland water biodiversity
Environmentek, CSIR                                        Impounded water is usually released at times        in South Africa. The pilot was undertaken in
No K8/509                                                  of natural low ow. Most South African rivers        the Fish-to-Tsitsikamma Water Management
                                                           are a ected in this way, but there is little data   Area, which aims to facilitate testing, re ne-
The report considers the impact of altered                 on the impacts (positive or negative) of this.      ment and demonstration of the river priori-
fresh water ows on estuarine and inshore                   It was shown that while the ecosystem re-           tization and selection tool at a sub-national
marine systems. Observations indicate that                 mained functional, the ecosystem structure          scale, providing an example of the lessons
freshwater inputs have a strong in uence on                was altered by ‘reversing the hydrograph’ on        learnt and best practice for use elsewhere in
the abundance of many aquatic species of                   the river. This will enable guidelines to be de-    the country.
socio-economic importance which are sup-                   veloped on optimising environmental releas-
ported by these marine environments. An                    es from impoundments within the manage-             Cost:    R545 966.79
Assessment Framework and methods to as-                    ment requirements of the system. This infor-        Term:    2004 - 2006
sess the potential impacts of the reduction in             mation will contribute to the development
freshwater ow into South African marine en-                of operational rules for impoundments from

| 62 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Programme 3:                                      on monitoring for adaptive management,             Cost: R459 075.97
Wetland processes                                 and includes aspects of water quality, plants,     Term: 2002 - 2006
Strategic overview of the research needs          invertebrates, sh, amphibians and habitat.
regarding wetlands health and integrity
Univ Cape Town                                    Cost:    R549 403.22                               Thrust 2:
K8/590                                            Term     2001 - 2005
                                                                                                     Ecosystem Management and
The wetlands research programme, when             A wetland classi cation system
planned in 2002, saw the need for three           Freshwater Consulting Group, Cape Town
                                                                                                     Programme 1: Ecological Reserve
phases of research, namely rehabilitation,        K8/652
                                                                                                     Assessment of the geomorphological
health and integrity, and wise use. This con-
                                                                                                     reference condition: Application to resource-
sultancy was initiated primarily to ascertain     The national wetland inventory is based on
                                                                                                     directed measures and the river health
what was being done both in South Africa          the advanced wetlands layer of the National
and worldwide in the eld of the assessment        Land Cover initiative which provides the dis-
                                                                                                     Department of Geography, Rhodes University
and management of wetland health and              tribution and extent of wetlands cover. But
                                                                                                     No 1306
integrity. Two of the important outputs of the    the evaluation, management and conserva-
consultancy were a Terms of Reference for         tion of wetlands requires that each wetland
                                                                                                     In terms of the reference condition, the ini-
the research to be funded by the WRC during       unit be described and classi ed according to
                                                                                                     tial approach of this project was to classify
Phase 2 of the programme and to collate a         its biophysical characteristics and functional
                                                                                                     river reaches in terms of their zonal gradient
bibliography of the topic of the assessment       attributes. Consequently, the development
                                                                                                     classes and assess whether channel mor-
of wetland health and integrity.                  of a classi cation system to distinguish be-
                                                                                                     phology and dominant bed material could
                                                  tween di erent wetland types is fundamen-
                                                                                                     be accurately predicted using channel gradi-
Cost:    R200 000                                 tal to the compilation of a national wetland
                                                                                                     ent. If common groupings could be found for
Term:    2004-2005                                inventory that encompasses the full diversity
                                                                                                     undisturbed ‘reference’ sites, it would then be
                                                  of wetland types throughout South Africa.
                                                                                                     possible to gauge how far a ‘disturbed’ reach
A biophysical framework for the                   Through wide consultation and review of
                                                                                                     was removed from its reference condition.
sustainable management of wetlands in             classi cation systems in use elsewhere, the
                                                                                                     This did not work and it was necessary to
the Northern Province with Nylsvley as a          report presents a hierarchical classi cation
                                                                                                     adopt a di erent approach.
                                                  systems based rstly on hydro-geomorphic
reference model
                                                  criteria and secondly on biological criteria.
University of the North in conjunction with                                                          The approach used was a systems approach.
University of Johannesburg                                                                           A river is seen as a system, and relevant sys-
                                                  Cost:    R60 000
No 1258                                                                                              tems concepts are examined and de ned.
                                                  Term:    2005 – 2006
                                                                                                     An important concept in this regard is that
It has been estimated that 50% of South                                                              of self-organisation. This is a measure of the
Africa’s wetlands have been lost as a result of   Programme 4:
                                                                                                     system’s intrinsic adaptation to the current
anthropogenic activities. However, wetlands       Groundwater-dependent ecosystems                   set of external drivers. It becomes necessary
provide a number of valuable goods and ser-       Groundwater-dependent ecosystems
                                                                                                     to understand the degree of self-organisa-
vices amongst which are ood attenuation,          CSIR
                                                                                                     tion that a system exhibits, and the trajectory
improved water quality and agricultural po-       No 1330
                                                                                                     of self-organisation permits prediction of the
tential. Many of South Africa’s wetlands are                                                         end point of change. It is proposed that the
small and on private ground and as such are       During this project a national scale summary
                                                                                                     degree of self-organisation is a better mea-
vulnerable, and Nylsvley, the subject of this     of known and probable groundwater depen-
                                                                                                     sure of ecosystem health than a measure that
project, is no exception in that it is approxi-   dent ecosystems in South Africa was pro-
                                                                                                     compares the present condition to a historic
mately 95% in private ownership although          duced based on geohydrological-type set-
                                                                                                     reference condition.
the nature reserve (approximately 5% of the       tings. This overview provides scientists and
total area) is a Ramsar Site. In addition, the    managers with the understanding necessary
                                                                                                     Cost:      R356 428.18
Waterberg (the catchment for Nylsvley) is         to engage this new eld of research, and is
                                                                                                     Term:      2002 - 2006
registered as a Biosphere Reserve, making it      particularly relevant in terms of the resource-
an important international and national con-      directed measures as required in the National
                                                                                                     Low- ow hydraulics in rivers for
servation area. The research covers a range       Water Act. Guidelines have been drawn up
                                                                                                     environmental applications
of the biophysical aspects of Nylsvley and        to enable CMAs and DWAF to assess the im-
                                                                                                     Dept of Civil Engineering, University of the
its catchment in the Waterberg, and based         portance and vulnerability of groundwater-
on this the project developed a framework         dependent ecosystems and to test the appli-
                                                                                                     No 1405
for the development and re nement of              cation of the tools developed for measuring
management plan. The framework centres            groundwater use and dependency.

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 63 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

The science of hydraulics integrates the
hydrology with the ecology. It has been
shown that the conventional equations are
unsuitable for the estimation of low ow, and
it is critical that there are reliable methods
for the estimation of low ows for use in the
determination of environmental ows. This
follow-on project will continue the develop-
ment of appropriate methods for describing
the hydraulic characteristics of South African
rivers under conditions of low discharge, as
well as the in uence of vegetation on large
bed roughness.
                                                           knowledge generated into the Integrated
                                                           Development Planning (IDP) process is a
                                                           necessary step towards sustainable manage-
                                                           ment of estuaries and building the capacity
                                                           in this will entrench this for the future. This
                                                           sustainable management is also required in
                                                           terms of existing legislation.

                                                           Like other ecosystems, estuaries o er a range
                                                           of services and attributes that generate value
                                                           and contribute to human welfare. A suit of
                                                           methods have been developed to establish
                                                           economic value and the application of these
                                                                                                             key for use in both the DAP and general dia-
                                                                                                             tom work. Finally the project has positioned
                                                                                                             the SA Diatom Collection as a vital source of
                                                                                                             historical water quality information.


                                                                                                             Thrust 3:
                                                                                                                      R357 500.00
                                                                                                                      2005 - 2006

                                                                                                             Ecosystem Rehabilitation

                                                                                                             Programme 2:
                                                           indicate that estuaries confer signi cant ben-
Cost:     R1 052 365.20                                    e ts to society. As part of this engagement
                                                                                                             River rehabilitation
                                                                                                             The nature and rehabilitation of alien-
Term:     2003 – 2007                                      an estuary management training course has
                                                           been developed for municipalities and tested      invaded riparian zones
                                                                                                             Dept of Zoology, Freshwater Research Unit,
The determination of substrate                             in three areas. The course contains modules
                                                           on economic value, estuary functioning, im-       University of Cape Town
maintenance ows in cobble- and
                                                           pacts on estuaries, estuary management and        No 1407
boulder-bed rivers: Ecological and
hydraulic considerations                                   enterprise opportunities that can be derived
                                                           from estuaries.                                   Riparian zones are vulnerable to invasion
Dept of Civil Engineering, University of                                                                     by alien plants and need active manage-
Stellenbosch                                                                                                 ment in areas where such species occur.
                                                           Cost:    R1 244 337.00
No 1411                                                                                                      This project was designed to investigate the
                                                           Term:    2004 - 2007
                                                                                                             e ects of woody alien invading tree species
The science of hydraulics integrates the                                                                     on the natural vegetation of Western Cape
hydrology with the ecology. It has been                    Programme 4:
                                                                                                             headwater riparian zones, and the recovery
shown that the conventional equations are                  Environmental water quality
                                                                                                             of the indigenous vegetation after aliens had
unsuitable for the estimation of low ow, and               Development of a diatom protocol for river
                                                                                                             been cleared. Six invaded and ten cleared
it is critical that there are reliable methods             health assessment (continuation of K8/508)
                                                                                                             sites were then compared to the reference
for the estimation of low ows for use in the               DH Environmental Consulting
                                                                                                             condition to assess the impacts of inva-
determination of environmental ows. This                   No 1588
                                                                                                             sion and clearance on a number of biotic
project de ned and quanti ed the ows                                                                         characteristics. A small study of the possible
causing ecologically signi cant disturbance                The main aim of this project was to develop a
                                                                                                             allelopathic e ects of alien invasives was also
of substrate in cobble- and boulder-bed                    Diatom Protocol for River Health Assessment
                                                                                                             conducted. All the heavily-invaded areas
rivers, developed models to address the re-                in South Africa, which was achieved through
                                                                                                             investigated during this study supported a
lationship between discharge and substrate                 three project phases. The rst phase was
                                                                                                             number of riparian scrub species beneath
disturbance and developed guidelines for                   comprised of the development of a South
                                                                                                             the dominant alien canopy. In most cases
the speci cation of substrate-maintenance                  African diatom taxonomic identi cation key
                                                                                                             the wet bank was abundantly vegetated with
  ow components in these rivers.                           using proven Lucid-based software technol-
                                                                                                             indigenous species whilst the dry bank had
                                                           ogy, transfer of diatom images from the SA
                                                                                                             a few isolated indigenous shrubs and small
Cost:     R890 597.34                                      Diatom Collection into electronic format,
                                                                                                             trees of either Afromontane forest riparia or
Term:     2004 - 2007                                      and linkage to the taxonomic key; and de-
                                                                                                             scrub riparia a liation. The results suggest
                                                           velopment of a standard Diatom Assessment
                                                                                                             that young alien saplings probably do not
Programme 2:                                               Protocol (“DAP”) for subsequent eld testing
                                                                                                             exert an interference e ect on establishing
Estuary management                                         and calibration. Phase 2 covered the com-
                                                                                                             indigenous seedlings.
                                                           prehensive testing of the DAP in parallel with
Integrated development planning for
                                                           SASS. Phase 3 involved continuing extrac-
estuaries                                                                                                    Cost:    R863 579.47
                                                           tion of historical water quality and informa-
Institute of Natural Resources, Rhodes                                                                       Term:    2003 - 2006
                                                           tion on ecosystem condition from the SA
                                                           Diatom Collection. The outcomes of this proj-
No 1485                                                                                                      Development of management
                                                           ect provided the basis for eld application
                                                           of the DAP as an added value, second-level
                                                                                                             guidelines for controlling pest black ies
The Eastern Cape Estuaries research and                                                                      along the Orange River
                                                           aquatic ecosystem assessment tool that aug-
management programme which was initiat-
                                                           ments the present use of invertebrate-based       Nepid Environmental Consultants
ed in the late 1990s to empower the commu-
                                                           methodologies. Additionally, the project has      No 1558
nities living beside these estuaries to manage
                                                           provided a PC-based diatom identi cation
the resource sustainably. The integration of

| 64 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
This project was the fourth in a series on the     ment the existing projects researching sh-          is known about the stygobiont fauna or the
control of the black y in the Orange River.        ways by providing additional information            interaction between underground and sur-
The overall objective of this project was to       that these projects will not be able to pro-        face water. During this project the following
develop practical management guidelines            vide. This work has previously been funded          aims will be addressed:
for integrated black y control, based on a         as a consultancy, and progress has been             • Formulate a framework to characterize
combination of chemical and biological con-        made in both initial aims of the project, as            the geological occurrences and
trol methods, as well as ow manipulation. It       well as in the sourcing of funds for the radio          geographical distribution of the
is clear that the Black y Control Programme        telemetry tracking of the sh.                           subterranean amphipods using GIS
is having a bene cial impact in this region,                                                               techniques
not only for sheep farmers, but also for the       Estimated cost: R688 000                            • Discussion on the applicability of the
rest of the population. While cost-bene t          Expected term: 2004-2007                                sampling protocol
analyses show signi cant bene ts to the                                                                • Identifying microbial composition in
control programme, bene ts could poten-            Programme 3:                                            association with stygobiont amphipods
tially be further increased through applying       Wetland processes                                   • Trace of inorganic macro-elements for
smaller volumes of larvicide in an optimized       National Wetland Rehabilitation                         water quality
manner, which incorporates upstream resid-         Programme: Phase II - Wetland Health and            • A primary framework development for
ual amounts through downstream carry. The          Integrity                                               the characterization of groundwater
key recommendation arising from this study         University of Cape Town, Freshwater                     systems.
is to establish an active advisory committee       Research Unit
for black y control in the middle and lower        No 1584                                             Estimated cost: R1 350 000
Orange River. The main objectives of the                                                               Expected term: 2005 -2010
proposed committee are to ensure that the          This is a solicited project, the second of three
control programme is e ective, e cient, safe,      phases in the National Wetland Rehabilitation
legally compliant and scienti cally sound.         Programme, and focuses on the develop-              Thrust 2:
                                                   ment of methods to assess the health and            Ecosystem Management and
Cost:    R348 334.31                               integrity of wetlands, as this assessment lags      Utilisation
Term:    2004 - 2006                               behind the assessment of rivers and estuar-
                                                   ies, which poses a problem in the environ-
                                                                                                       Programme 1:
                                                   mental water determination process.
                                                                                                       Ecological Reserve
Current                                            There is growing recognition of the impor-
                                                                                                       Environmental water requirements in non-
                                                   tant role of ecosystem services provided by
                                                                                                       perennial systems
                                                   wetlands. This project will develop a suite of
Thrust 1:                                          assessment techniques not only to assess the
                                                                                                       Centre for Environmental Management,
Ecosystem Processes                                                                                    University of the Free State
                                                   ecological condition of the wetland, but also
                                                                                                       No 1587
                                                   the state of the services delivered, in addition
Programme 2:                                       to a protocol by which the loss of wetland
                                                                                                       Methods for the determination of environ-
Riverine processes                                 function through degradation can be mea-
                                                                                                       mental ows for the Reserve have been de-
Habitat, use and movement of freshwater            sured. Training courses and a communica-
                                                                                                       veloped and used for rivers with permanent
 sh species                                        tion programme will assist in the transfer of
                                                                                                        ow. However, many rivers in the semi-arid
Freshwater Research Unit, UCT                      the technologies developed.
                                                                                                       west of the country are ephemeral. The NWA
No 1483
                                                                                                       requires that the Reserve be determined
                                                   Estimated cost: R3 450 000
                                                                                                       before licences may be issued, and currently
This project presents a unique opportunity         Expected term: 2005 -2009
                                                                                                       used methods have not been veri ed for
to investigate the movements of large sh in
                                                                                                       ephemeral rivers. Veri cation needs to be
an un-impounded river, the Doring River in         Programme 4:
                                                                                                       done and, where necessary, new methods.
the Western Cape. This is knowledge which          Groundwater-dependent ecosystems
cannot be obtained from elsewhere in the           Framework development for the sampling,
                                                                                                       Estimated cost: R 2 737 000
country as there are so few un-impounded           classi cation and geographical occurrences
                                                                                                       Expected term: 2005 -2008
rivers remaining. The two things making this       of stygobiont amphipods in South Africa
opportunity unique are that the Doring River,      University of North-West, Potchefstroom,
                                                                                                       Development, testing and installation
which is one of the last un-impounded rivers       Zoology Department
in the country, will be impounded within           No 1586
                                                                                                       of a real-time Ecological Reserve
the next decade or so, and that we have a                                                              implementation method for the
researcher capable of the task. DWAF have          97% of the world’s freshwater is subterra-          Thukela River
asked for information on the movements of          nean, and there is an increasing demand for         Institute for Water Research, Rhodes
  sh in a river system for use in their planning   the development of this resource to meet            University
of sh-ways, and this research will comple-         the increasing needs of the population. Little      No 1582

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 65 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

Previous work on implementing the Reserve
has identi ed the need for suitable hydrolog-
ical triggers to be used to specify the Reserve
  ows required in real time. It has also identi-
  ed some of the limitations of the Regional
O ces of DWAF to deal with, and make
use of, the Reserve information supplied by
the DWAF RDM O ce. During the recent
Reserve determination on the Thukela River
some concepts were developed on how this
could be done.

During the project the researchers will de-
                                                           Estimated cost: R2 170 000
                                                           Expected term: 2004-2008

                                                           The freshwater requirements of
                                                           temporarily open / closed estuaries on
                                                           the South Eastern and South Western
                                                           Cape coasts
                                                           South African Institute for Aquatic
                                                           Biodiversity (SAIAB)
                                                           No 1581

                                                           This project is the result of recommendations
                                                           of a CERM strategic planning meeting held
                                                                                                            value within the River Health Programme,
                                                                                                            but its application has identi ed additional
                                                                                                            work that needs to be done to make it the
                                                                                                            robust and universally applicable tool that
                                                                                                            is required by the Programme. With this in
                                                                                                            mind, the aims of the project are to relate
                                                                                                              sh distribution to the eco-regions, evaluate
                                                                                                            the suitability of the FAII in assessing levels of
                                                                                                            site-speci c impairment for rivers, to amend
                                                                                                            and standardise techniques used as part of
                                                                                                            the FAII to ensure acceptable levels of ac-
                                                                                                            curacy, precision and representivity and to
                                                                                                            develop guidelines for the use of the FAII to
velop and test a real time Reserve implemen-                                                                enable the evaluation of the levels of site-
                                                           in March 2004 and is a multi-faceted project
tation method, and install the system in the                                                                speci c impairment.
                                                           in order to answer the generic questions rou-
KZN DWAF Regional O ce, for application to                 tinely posed during DWAF RDM workshops.
the Thukela River A manual for the method                                                                   Estimated cost: R593 000
and training of KZN DWAF Regional O ce                                                                      Expected term: 2001-2005
                                                           The outcome of the research will deepen the
sta will also be developed. The model will                 knowledge on the functioning of temporarily
be based on a standard model for which                     open and closed estuaries. The results will      Osmoregulation in freshwater
initial calibrations are available for all the                                                              invertebrates in response to salt
                                                           be worked into estuary management as the
quaternary catchments country-wide, so the                                                                  pollution
                                                           work progresses as the team are involved
model will be widely applicable.                                                                            Institute for Water Research, Rhodes
                                                           with DWAF and MCM initiatives in estuary
                                                           management, including determination of           No 1585
The development and application of a real-                 the Reserve.
time Reserve implementation method will                                                                     Salinisation is a major cause of water quality
assist in the implementation of the NWA on                                                                  deterioration. Current methods for water
                                                           Estimated cost: R1 753 000
the ground.                                                                                                 quality assessment include boundary values
                                                           Expected term: 2005 -2008
                                                                                                            for speci c salts. Biological data is scarce for
Estimated cost: R681 800                                                                                    most of these salts, and what exists is based
                                                           Programme 3:
Expected term: 2005 -2008                                                                                   on acute toxicity data. This research aims to
                                                           Ecosystem health
                                                           Evaluation of the sh assemblage integrity        provide chronic toxicity test data for selected
Programme 2:                                                                                                indigenous stream organisms which is bio-
                                                           index to assess river health, and its
Estuary management Valuation of                            re nement to ensure high levels of accuracy      logically relevant for the country. This will be
estuary services in South Africa                           Ecosun                                           done through physiological experimental
Dept of Economics, Nelson Mandela                          No 1256                                          research (oxygen consumption and osmolar-
Metropolitan University                                                                                     ity) using samples generated during acute
No 1413                                                    Worldwide there is a trend towards bio-          and chronic toxicity testing, and evaluating
                                                           monitoring for the initial monitoring of water   the salt boundary values in the setting of
Estuaries are delicate systems that are not                quality. Some of the reasons for this are that   resource quality objectives.
only in high demand for development, but                   it would be virtually impossible to monitor
also deliver important goods and services                  chemically for all the substances released       Estimated cost: R2 01 160
with a value out of proportion to the geo-                 into the environment, and biomonitoring          Expected term: 2005 -2007
graphical area occupied. The continued                     o ers a cost-e ective way of ascertaining the
delivery of these goods and services is de-                water quality and alerting authorities to the    The e ects of stream ow manipulation
pendent on adequate freshwater in ow, and                  existence of problems. The South African         on the intermediate hosts and vector
with the high rates of abstraction this is de-             River Health Programme, a biomonitoring          populations of disease and the
creasing. The Reserve determination process                programme using a suite of methods, has          transmission of associated parasites
takes into account ecological processes and                been piloted in Mpumalanga and is in the         Environmental Assessment and Reporting,
functions, but does not adequately account                 process of becoming institutionalised in sev-    Institute of Natural Resources
for the values placed on estuaries by people.              eral provinces in the country.                   No 1589

This follow-up project will build a database of            The prototype Fish Assemblage Integrity          An e ect of manipulating the ow of a river
the value of freshwater in ow into estuaries us-           Index (FAII), one of the indices used in this    is that the changes in habitat will result
ing the contingent valuation method to value               programme, has been developed over a             in changes in the occurrence, population
the goods and services provided by the fresh-              number of years in Mpumalanga and the            dynamics and dominance of organisms in
water in ow and based on the value attributed              Northern Province, and has been used             the ecosystem. While many of the e ects
to the freshwater in ow by estuary users.                  elsewhere in the country. It has proved its      brought about by these changes are known,

| 66 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
one e ect which needs more attention is           possibility of selecting for an environmentally    Programme 5:
the in uence of ow manipulation on the            relevant micro-organism. The use of biolu-         Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC)
aquatic intermediate hosts / vectors of the       minescence-based biosensors is gaining             in water sources
diseases. The diseases caused by bilharzia,       support as a sensitive method in microbial         WRC Programme for endocrine disrupting
liver uke and malaria are prevalent in certain    eco-toxicity assessment. The Microtox as-          contaminants (EDC)
areas of South Africa and within these areas      say, which uses a naturally bioluminescent         Consortium Members: US; UFH; Techknikon
are considered to have important economic         marine bacterium, has become widely                Free State; Tshwane University of Technology;
consequences, which are manifest in sectors       adopted as a microbial biosensor. This assay       SABS; CSIR Environmentek; ARC-PPRI;
of the economy other than the water sec-          is expensive and not appropriate for all envi-     Consultant manager
tor. The implication of the Reserve process       ronmental applications. The use of a marine        No 1402 (includes Projects 1469, 1470,
determination on human health has hitherto        micro-organism for the assessment of soil          1471, 1472 and 1473)
not been realised or researched. The need to      and freshwater samples presents a number
understand the relationships between the          of disadvantages because it requires pH and        This Programme, which is the result of several
environmental Reserve and epidemiology is         salinity conditions normally associated with       preliminary studies, is intended to determine
critical for community household health and       the marine environment. The cloning of lux         the present status of EDC pollution in South
regional economic growth. This project will       genes from marine vibrios into terrestrial         African waters. A wide variety of chemicals
de ne the intermediate hosts / vectors and        bacteria o ers the opportunity for biolumi-        will be identi ed and techniques for their
routes of parasite transmission in the natural    nescence-based toxicity testing using bio-         detection will be developed, where neces-
environment for bilharzia, liver ukes, and        sensors relevant to the environment being          sary, and tested. A battery of bio-assays
malaria; describe those stream ow interven-       tested. The focus is to develop the tests and      and chemical analyses will be identi ed in
tions that enable or enhance the interme-         the capacity to use them in the country.           order to monitor EDC pollution. Thereafter,
diate hosts /vector life cycle and parasite                                                          training workshops involving local and
transmission; it will assess the low manipula-    Estimated cost: R700 000                           international expertise are planned in order
tion options for control of the Intermediate      Expected term: 2001-2004                           to transfer speci c skills and build capacity
hosts / vectors and associated parasites. The                                                        at laboratories on a country-wide basis. This
project will develop the capability to predict    A programme for research into the                  is a follow-up of the preliminary studies of
the e ect of ow manipulations on the              application of aquatic toxicology to               the EDC programme. The Programme will
intermediate hosts / vectors and associated       water resource management                          focus on the present status of EDC pollution
parasites and will make recommendations           Institute for Water Research, Rhodes               in the aquatic systems of the country and
on how stream ow manipulation could be            University and Ecosun                              will address the wide variety of chemicals
used to manage the incidence of the identi-       No 1313                                            involved to determine those crucial for the
  ed diseases.                                                                                       SA environment and the special techniques
                                                  This toxicology programme will investigate         and skills needed for the detection thereof.
The project will be carried out mainly as a       the application of aquatic toxicology to wa-       It will be a combined e ort between labora-
desktop study and available data from the         ter resource management. The speci c aims          tories country-wide with speci c capabilities
regulated and unregulated rivers will be con-     will be determined at a workshop to be held        and skilled researchers to develop a battery
sidered. Relevant case studies that illustrate    early in 2002 together with DWAF.                  of bio-assays and chemical analyses that
the implications of stream ow regulation                                                             could be used to determine the extent of the
for regulation of intermediate host / vector      Estimated cost: R1 900 000                         EDC pollutions in SA. Each laboratory will
populations and the transmission of associ-       Expected term: 2002-2005                           be expanding on their special capabilities
ated diseases will be identi ed for use in this                                                      and building capacity to form a centre of
study.                                                                                               expertise, but not working in isolation, to the
                                                  Application of chronic (sub-lethal)
                                                  toxicity endpoints to the development of           bene t of this research in SA.
Estimated cost: R400 000
Expected term: 2006 -2008
                                                  resource quality objectives
                                                                                                     Estimated cost: R3 000 000
                                                  Centre for Aquatic Toxicology, Rhodes
                                                                                                     Expected term: 2002-2005
Programme 4:
                                                  No 1484
Environmental water quality                                                                          An investigation into the occurrence
Application of biosensors for eco-toxicity                                                           of steroidal hormones (oestrogens)
                                                  It is necessary to know the chronic levels of a
testing of water resources                                                                           in sewage e uent using biological/
                                                  toxicant for the process to determine water
Department of Microbiology, University of
                                                  quality in the Reserve, so that safe levels may    biochemical and chemical techniques
                                                  be prescribed. This project will re ne work        CSIR Environmentek
 No 1286
                                                  on acute toxicity of various stressors in order    No 1555
                                                  to verify extrapolations of chronic toxicity
Microbial biosensors o er advantages over
                                                  levels to acute levels.                            Chemicals with endocrine disrupting poten-
other methods of eco-toxicity testing by the
                                                                                                     tial nd their way into the environment via
rapid and sensitive response they provide,
                                                  Estimated cost: R1 340 000                         use and disposal. A large number of structur-
ease of culturing and maintenance, and the
                                                  Expected term: 2004-2007                           ally diverse chemicals are suspected to act

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 67 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
One of the groups of EDC contaminants
found in the environment is the steroidal
hormones (oestrogens). Studies have shown
that sewage e uent and surface waters
contain the oestrogenic chemicals 17ß-
estradiol, estrone, estriol (metabolites of
human hormones) and 17α-ethynylestradiol
(synthetic oestrogen). Several in vivo and in
vitro biological/biochemical techniques have
also demonstrated signi cant oestrogenic
activity in South African sewage e uent and
receiving surface waters. As oestrogens may
                                                           Water quality criteria for Cd, Zn and Ca, have
                                                           been set, but have not been established for
                                                           other EDCs. DDT was detected in streams
                                                           and some at levels marginally higher than
                                                           the WHO guideline levels. It is important to
                                                           widen the scope of the study to get a clearer
                                                           picture of the pollution pro le of waters in
                                                           the Venda Province.

                                                           The objectives of the project are to:
                                                           • Establish the use pattern of pesticides in
                                                              the region
                                                           • Compile a list of endocrine disrupting
                                                                                                             synthesised Xenopus laevis vitellogenin and
                                                                                                             this study will test its reproducibility and reli-
                                                                                                             ability for use with the Xenopus liver culture
                                                                                                             assay system.

                                                                                                             Estimated cost: R200 000
                                                                                                             Estimated term: 2005 -2006

                                                                                                             Thrust 3:
                                                                                                             Ecosystem Rehabilitation

                                                                                                             Programme 1:
pose a risk to human health and aquatic life,                 pesticides in use and other potential EDCs
it is essential to screen local sewage e uent                 and heavy metals (Cd )
                                                                                                             Wetland rehabilitation
                                                                                                             Wetland rehabilitation
for oestrogens, to ensure useful results for risk          • Determine the levels of OCPs and heavy
                                                                                                             Consortium: School of Life and
assessment and management.                                    metals - Cd, Pb, Zn, Ca (Ca & Zn because of
                                                              their synergistic and antagonistic e ects      Environmental Sciences, University of
                                                                                                             KwaZulu-Natal (Lead agent)
The objective of this project is to determine                 on Cd) in major freshwater systems in the
                                                                                                             No 1408
the oestrogenic activity (biological/biochem-                 region
ical tests) and oestrogen concentrations
                                                                                                             This programme, co-funded by Working for
(chemical analysis) in the e uent of selected              Estimated cost: R60 000
                                                                                                             Wetlands, aims to establish national wetland
sewage treatment works.                                    Estimated term: 2004 -2005
                                                                                                             rehabilitation procedures by establishing a
                                                                                                             framework within which wetlands requiring
Estimated cost: R120 000                                   A seasonal study of the endocrine
                                                                                                             rehabilitation may be prioritised and con-
Estimated term: 2004 -2005                                 disruptors in e uent coming from the
                                                                                                             tinually assessed. It will develop a diagnostic
                                                           Kuils River Sewage Treatment Plant,               framework for assessing the underlying
An investigation into the occurrence                       Western Cape, South Africa                        causes of degradation and develop national
of endocrine disrupting chemicals                          University of the Western Cape                    guidelines for rehabilitation including a
- organochlorine pesticides and heavy                      No 1590                                           review of the methods available. It will also
metals (Cd, Zn, Ca and Pb) in surface                                                                        develop synergy with other research being
waters of the Northern province                            Sewage e uents have a major impact on             done on wetlands, examine the institutional
University of Venda                                        aquatic ecosystem health. Several xenobiot-       arrangements around wetland management,
No 1557                                                    ics occurring in the environment are known to     and develop a long- term monitoring system
                                                           interact with the development and function-       that will allow strategic adaptive manage-
Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and cadmi-                ing of endocrine systems in wildlife and hu-      ment of wetlands.
um (Cd), a heavy metal, have been implicated               mans. Many of these xenobiotics have been
in endocrine disrupting activities. Lead (Pb)              known to exhibit oestrogen-like activity in       Estimated cost: R4 000 000
though not classi ed as endocrine disruptor                  sh, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.    Expected term: 2003-2007
is equally toxic. In malarious regions residual            One of the most widely used approaches for
spraying of DDT for malaria control purposes               assessing oestrogenic activity in non-mam-        Programme 2:
is common and allowed by government. OCP                   malian oviparous species is the development
                                                                                                             River rehabilitation
residues could get into freshwater systems                 of bioassays for detecting vitellogenin in the
                                                                                                             Integrated management of water
via storm water erosion (both urban and from               plasma of animals. In vitro assays have been
                                                           developed using vitellogenin as biomarker.
                                                                                                             hyacinth in South Africa
agricultural lands). OCPs have been of great
                                                                                                             School of Animal Plant & Environment
concern due to their persistent nature and                 Vitellogenin induction by Xenopus laevis liver
                                                                                                             Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
chronic adverse e ect on wildlife and humans.              cultures and the recombinant yeast assay
                                                                                                             No 1487
These substances including Cd may a ect                    could be used to detect oestrogen activity
the normal function of the endocrine systems               in environmental waters. Recently ELISA kits
                                                                                                             Water hyacinth is di cult to control and is
and can adversely a ect the bio-diversity of               that detect estrone, estradiol and estriol have
                                                                                                             a problem worldwide. Chemical control is
ecosystem and also have serious implications               become commercially available.
                                                                                                             expensive and ine ective in the long term.
for human health. Cadmium is also implicated
                                                                                                             Biological control has provided a sustainable
in endocrine disrupting activities. Lead is also           The aim of the study is to do a seasonal study
                                                                                                             and cost-e ective control in certain condi-
shown to be toxic. Zink (Zn) and calcium (Ca)              to monitor EDCs (oestrogenic contaminants)
                                                                                                             tions, but the harsh South African winters are
have synergistic and antagonistic interactions             in sewage treatment plant e uents ending
with Cd, respectively. Their presence in large             up in the Eerste-Kuils River water catch-
                                                                                                             more detrimental to the control agents than
amounts could a ect the toxic e ects of Cd                 ment system by using the locally produced
                                                                                                             the weed, allowing the weed to regenerate
one way or the other.                                      UniVtg kit for the detection of tissue culture

| 68 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
in the spring of each year. This project will    UCT (Dept. of Geological Sciences)                  green algae can cause toxin, taste or odour
re ne earlier work (WRC Project No. K5/915)      No 1591                                             problems and any excessive algal growth will
to control this problem weed by low-dose                                                             reduce the recreational value of the water
levels of certain herbicides without unduly      The relationship between groundwater and            body. Knowledge of the dynamics of the
damaging the populations of the control          surface water is poorly understood and the          relationship between water quality and ow
agents.                                          relationship between groundwater and the            on the one hand and the response of the
                                                 marine environment is even less well under-         periphyton on the other will enable more
Estimated cost: R1 655 600                       stood. However, the impact of poorly man-           accurate prediction of this response, and this
Expected term: 2004-2009                         aged groundwater exploitation on the latter         capability is required in the determination of
                                                 would have a severe impact on the ecology           the Ecological Reserve.
Programme 3:                                     of the system. The groundwater – seawater
In uence of instream-constructed                 mixing process impacts the salinity, anoxia         During this project understanding of the in-
barriers                                         and water movement, bioturbation and                terrelationship between periphyton growth
                                                 nutrient availability in the sub-surface coastal    and water quality / ow will be developed to
                                                 environment thereby controlling the distri-         a point where preliminary predictions can be
Facilitating the free passage of migratory
                                                 bution of halophytes and freshwater loving          made, and this knowledge will be transferred
aquatic biota in South African rivers
                                                 plants and any change in this balance will          to managers involved in determination and
Consortium: Pulles Howard & de Lange (lead
                                                 reverberate through the ecosystem. Over-            implementation of the Reserve
                                                 exploitation of the groundwater resource will
No 1409
                                                 have this e ect.                                    Estimated cost: R 1 000 000
                                                                                                     Expected term: 2006-2009
The need to manage water has led to the
                                                 This project aims to investigate this relation-
construction of barriers in rivers, e ectively
fragmenting the habitat and curtailing the       ship in the West Coast National Park, an area       Programme 3:
                                                 of low rainfall and permeable geology where         Wetland processes
passage of migratory biota. This project will
                                                 the Langebaan Lagoonis, which is primarily a        National Wetland Rehab Programme Phase II
develop protocols for assessing the extent of
                                                 groundwater-fed estuary. The area is under-         Wetland Health & Integrity
blockage to free passage, and so prioritising
                                                 going development and so the demand for             UCT Zoology Department
river systems for remedial measures, for the
                                                 exploitation of the groundwater is increasing.      No 1584
assessment of sites for use in the EIA and the
                                                 This research will re ne the understand-
RDM process. Understanding of the biologi-
                                                 ing of the groundwater discharge around             This solicited project is Phase 2 of the
cal / hydraulic requirements of the relevant
                                                 Langebaan, generate water quality maps,             three- phase National Wetland Research
biota will be developed and this, together
                                                 and identify any relationship between plant         Programme and it focuses on the develop-
with data from existing sh-ways, will be
                                                 species and geohydrological characteristics.        ment of methods to assess the health and
used to develop cost-e ective designs for
                                                 It will also identify speci c characteristics       integrity of wetlands. The assessment of wet-
local biota.
                                                 which may be used in a monitoring pro-              land health and integrity lags behind that for
                                                 gramme and make recommendations on en-              rivers and estuaries and this poses a problem
Estimated cost: R2 000 000
                                                 vironmental water requirements of the area.         in the environmental water determination
Expected term: 2003-2007
                                                                                                     process. There is also growing recognition of
                                                 Estimated cost: R 397 400                           the important role of the ecosystem services
Herewith a list of the new projects which
                                                 Expected term: 2006-2008                            provided by wetlands. A suite of assessment
commenced between 1 April 2006 and 31
March 2007.                                                                                          techniques is required not only to assess
                                                 Programme 2:                                        the ecological condition of the wetland but
                                                 Riverine processes                                  also the state of the services delivered. To
                                                 Periphyton ow dynamics                              that end, research undertaken during this
New Projects                                     UCT Zoology Department                              project will address the development of tools
                                                 No 1676                                             to assess the ecological condition as well
Thrust 1:                                                                                            as the state of the services delivered, and to
Ecosystem processes                              Periphyton (benthic algae) in rivers is highly      develop a protocol to gauge the loss of wet-
                                                 sensitive to changes in both water quality          land function through degradation. Training
Programme 1:                                     and ow. Periphyton forms the base of the            courses and a communication programme
Estuarine processes                              riverine food chain and any change at this          will be developed to assist in the transfer of
Biochemical processes in a groundwater-fed       level will be re ected throughout the ecosys-       the technologies developed.
inter-tidal ecosystem:                           tem. In addition, the growth of undesirable
Biogeochemical controls on the plant             periphyton can have negative economic               Estimated cost: R 3 450 000
biodiversity within a salt-marsh ecosystem       consequences in several ways. Filamentous           Expected term: 2006-2010
in the West Coast National Park: Impact of       algae can clog irrigation and water puri ca-
saltwater-groundwater interaction on pore        tion equipment as well as rendering the
water chemistry and vegetation                   habitat un t for sensitive organisms, blue-

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 69 |
Water-linked Ecosystems

Programme 4:

Groundwater-dependent ecosystems
Framework development for the sampling,
classi cation and geographical occurrences
of stygobiont amphipods in South Africa
North-West University, Zoology Department
No 1586

Groundwater ecosystems are virtually un-
known in South Africa. However, in Australia
recent research has shown them to be highly
diverse. Fundamentally, they are of interest
because there are certainly organisms which
                                                           generated in such a way as to provide the
                                                           additional dimension of an economic evalu-
                                                           ation of the estuarine services. In this way
                                                           the knowledge generated will become more
                                                           accessible to managers.

                                                           Estimated cost: R 644 500
                                                           Expected term: 2006-2009

                                                           Programme 3:
                                                           Ecosystem health
                                                           The e ects of stream ow manipulation
                                                           on the intermediate hosts and vector
                                                                                                              The objective of this project is to develop a
                                                                                                              conservation model for threatened sh spe-
                                                                                                              cies using Opsaridium peringueyi as a refer-
                                                                                                              ence species, and the study will examine the
                                                                                                              population status, threats to the population
                                                                                                              and rehabilitation.

                                                                                                              Estimated cost: R1 078 170
                                                                                                              Expected term: 2006-2008

                                                                                                              Programme 4:
                                                                                                              Environmental water quality
will be new to science, and the physiology                 populations of disease and the transmission        Determine the applicability of Ecological
and food chain dynamics of the organ-                      of associated parasites                            Informatics Modelling Approaches for South
isms inhabiting these areas is of interest. In             Institute for Natural Resources                    African conditions with preliminary testing
terms of the new legislation on biodiversity               No 1589                                            on algal blooms
it is necessary to protect the ecosystems.                                                                    University of the North-West (Potch) School
However, the introduction of the concept                   Altering the ow of a water body will alter         for Environ Sciences
of a groundwater reserve in the Water Policy               the environment. One of the e ects of an           No 1675
means that if we are to implement the policy               altered environment is a change of the or-
e ectively we need knowledge of the eco-                   ganisms that inhabit the environment. When         Ecological informatics was formalized as a
system that is to be protected.                            making decisions on environmental ows,             discipline in 2004 and is de ned as inter-
                                                           the status of disease vectors or intermedi-        disciplinary framework promoting the use
The objective of this study is to broadly                  ate hosts is not considered, and yet diseases      of advanced computational technology
characterise the ecosystem in which stygobi-               such as malaria, bilharzia (in people) and         for the elucidation of principles of informa-
ont amphipods occur, develop a sampling                    fascioliasis (in livestock) have a substantial     tion processing at and between all levels of
method and conceptualise a biomonitoring                   impact on the economy of areas where they          complexity of ecosystems for use as a deci-
protocol for groundwater using stygobionts.                prevail.                                           sion-making tool. Cyanobacterial blooms
                                                                                                              pose an ongoing problem in the water treat-
Estimated cost: R1 350 000                                 The overall objective of this study is to assess   ment industry, and there is currently no way
Expected term: 2006-2009                                   the impact on the economy and to inves-            of forecasting events, with planning being
                                                           tigate ways in which it can be ameliorated,        based on past experience. The ecological
                                                           either through management actions or               informatics approach is being developed,
                                                           through altering the behaviour of the popu-        with some early success, for the forecasting
Thrust 2:                                                  lation groups at risk.                             of cyanobacterial blooms in Australia.
Ecosystem management &
utilisation                                                Estimated cost: R400 000                           The objective of this project is to develop
                                                           Expected term: 2006-2009                           a cyanobacterial toxin prediction tool for
Programme 2:                                                                                                  South African use based on the technologies
Estuary management                                         Conservation model for threatened                  used in Australia for use by water resource
CERM: East Kleinemonde Estuary                              sh species                                        managers and water treatment works.
modelling study                                            Limpopo University, School of Agricultural &
Anchor Environmental Consultants; UCT                      Environmental Sciences, Aquaculture Unit           Estimated cost: R225 000
Zoology Department                                         No 1677                                            Expected term: 2006-2007
No 1679
                                                           Freshwater ecosystems are recognised as the        Programme 5:
This project will be closely linked to WRC                 most threatened ecosystems world-wide,             Endocrine disrupting contaminants
Project No. K5/1581 (The freshwater re-                    and in a n inherently water-short situation        The environmental exposure and health risk
quirements of temporarily open / closed                    this threat is increased. Fish, being fairly       assessment in an area where ongoing DDT
estuaries on the South Eastern and South                   large and requiring larger units of habitat,       spraying occurs
Western Cape coasts), where the objective                  are generally more sensitive to disturbance        University of Pretoria
of this study is to integrate the knowledge                than invertebrates. The three main threats         No 1674
                                                           are from habitat loss, impact of aliens and

| 70 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                                                                                                       ible, practical and a ordable, a framework
The presence of DDT and metabolites in             Programme 6:                                        and manual for the valuation of goods and
single pilot water, sediment and sh samples        Socio-economic issues                               services from aquatic ecosystems for the
from the Vhembe district, Thohoyandou,             Enriching freshwater conservation planning          RDM are now required. The set of problems
Limpopo Province, is of concern. The con-          and management                                      to be addressed here is therefore clear: in
cordant high prevalence of urogenital birth        CSIR Environmentek                                  order to enable interpretation (and negotia-
defects and the DDE concentrations in cord         No 1678                                             tion) of the likely consequences of changes
blood in babies born in a DDT-sprayed area                                                             in management class as embodied in the
should be regarded as a matter of extreme          The pressures from social-economic aspira-          RDM procedures, the ‘invaluable’ aquatic eco-
concern. The research question is whether          tions have resulted in a progressive degrada-       system threshold must be determined, while
environmental levels of DDT and DDE may            tion of freshwater habitats in recent decades.      trade-o s in ecological, social and economic
contribute to adverse health e ects in cat sh      As in other countries, this country’s rivers        bene ts of the other management classes
and may pose a health risk for humans. The         have deteriorated faster than terrestrial           must be made transparent to users and other
project will review the e ects of EDCs on          habitats. Ad hoc conservation e orts are not        interested and a ected parties.
aquatic invertebrates and develop a compre-        e ective in the face of this pressure, a strate-
hensive research programme to investigate          gic and systematic approach is needed if the        This project aims to develop a framework
the use of aquatic invertebrates as monitors       initiative is to be e ective.                       that will enable decisions to be made based
of ecological health e ects of endocrine dis-                                                          on appropriate de nitions of value, aligned
ruptors. A further objective is to link possible   This project is part of a suite of initiatives      with appropriate valuation techniques, based
health e ects in biota from a DDT-sprayed          (funded by WRC, DWAF and CSIR) which                on sound data, within a context where ben-
area to adverse health e ects in humans            include the development of cross-sectoral           e t trade-o s are clari ed.
living in the Vhembe area. A scenario-based        policy and planning tools for conserva-
health risk analysis will be performed, EDC as-    tion planning, and aims to advance our              Estimated cost: R 750 000
sessment techniques evaluated and a toolkit        understanding of the relationships between          Expected term: 2006-2008
of tests for wider application in other spray-     freshwater conservation planning and the
ing areas will be developed                        socio-economic and political processes that
                                                   govern freshwater conservation at interna-            Contact persons
Estimated cost: R 1 985 000                        tional, national and sub-national levels. This
Expected term: 2006-2008                           will be done through engaging the broader             Thrust 1: Ecosystem processes
                                                   socio-economic and political discourse to             Dr Steve Mitchell
Thyroid-disrupting activity in                     identify the issues that are important for the        E-mail:
South African waters: Amphibian                    successful implementation of the conserva-            Tel: +27 12 330 9020
metamorphosis as biological model to               tion planning process, and incorporating
study e ects of endocrine contaminants             these into the overall process. This will be          Thrust 3: Ecosystem rehabilitation
on thyroid function                                tested in a speci c geographic context.               Dr Steve Mitchell
University of Stellenbosch (Dept of Zoology)                                                             E-mail:
No 1680                                            Estimated cost: R 450 000                             Tel: +27 12 330 9020
                                                   Expected term: 2006-2008
Endocrine disruption of the control and                                                                  Thrust 2: Ecosystem management
functioning of the reproductive system is          Framework and manual for the valuation of
                                                                                                         and utilisation
of global concern but there is also evidence       goods & services of aquatic ecosystems for
                                                                                                         Dr Stanley M Liphadzi
that EDCs may interfere with the normal            resource directed measures
functioning of the thyroid system. Changes         Zeta Consulting CC
                                                                                                         Tel +27 12 330 9021
in thyroid function could adversely a ect          No 1644
several physiological systems in humans and
wildlife but the speci c e ects and toxicants      The determination of the Ecological Reserve
involved is not well-known. This project aims      for a particular catchment area requires the
to set-up, validate and review protocols of        integration of the catchment area’s manage-
the Xenopus metamorphosis assay (XEMA)             ment class, the related Reserve and the re-
for testing e ects of water-borne chemicals        source quality objectives. In addition, bene t
on the thyroid endocrine system. A chemi-          trade-o s with other water users also have to
cal and water serial diluter system and a          be considered. The NWRS recognises this by
  ow-through water exposure system for EDC         seeking to nd a ‘balance between protec-
screening will be designed and tested.             tion and utilisation’. Therefore, in order to
                                                   develop resource-directed measures (RDMs)
Estimated cost: R 400 000                          that are technically sound, scienti cally cred-
Expected term: 2006-2008

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 71 |
KSA 3 Water Use and Waste Management
                                                           Water use and waste management in South
                                                           Africa is consequently a key factor for social
                                                           and economic growth, as well as our environ-
                                                           ment. The entire way we think about and use
                                                           water is thus an important factor in deter-
                                                           mining our future. A changing institutional
                                                           environment and the need for strong institu-
                                                           tional capacity add to this challenge.

                                                           The primary objective of this KSA is to
                                                                                                             urban areas. The focus of this thrust is to
                                                                                                             address strategic research aspects related to
                                                                                                             policy issues, institutional reform, regulation,
                                                                                                             infrastructure management, operations
                                                                                                             and maintenance, sanitation (storm
                                                                                                             water, sewerage and on-site sanitation),
                                                                                                             water-related competencies and capacity
                                                                                                             required for the strengthening of water
                                                                                                             institutions (Water Service Providers, Water
                                                                                                             Service Authorities, Water Boards, National
                                                                                                             Departments) in providing sustainable water

                                                           provide knowledge that ensures reliable, af-      Current programmes are:
                                                           fordable and e cient water use and waste          • Cost recovery in water services
                                                           management services to enhance the quality        • Institutional and management issues:
Mr Jay Bhagwan: Director                                   of life, and contribute to economic growth          Water services
                                                           and improved public health.                       • Innovative management arrangements:
Scope                                                                                                          Rural water supply
                                                           The secondary objectives are to:                  • Water Services Regulation.
The Water Use and Waste Management                         • Improve the management of water
KSA focuses mainly on the domestic, indus-                   services in both rural and urban areas
trial and mining water sectors. It aims to                 • Develop appropriate technologies for            Thrust 2:
proactively and e ectively lead and support                  improving the quality and quantity of our       Water Supply and Treatment
the advancement of technology, science,                      water supplies for both domestic use and        Technology
management and policies relevant to water                    industrial applications                         Scope: The provision and supply of
supply, waste and e uent management,                       • Develop new approaches to manage and            a ordable and reliable water of su cient
for these sectors. This KSA also supports                    enhance hygiene and sanitation practices        quality and quantity for domestic and
studies on institutional and management                    • Provide appropriate, innovative and             economic (industrial/commercial and
issues, with special emphasis on the e cient                 integrated solutions to water and waste         mining) activities, remain continuous
functioning of water service institutions and                management in the industrial and mining         challenges. Research support for these
their viability. Research on infrastructure for              sectors.                                        activities is the focus of this thrust. Linked
both water supply and sanitation is included.              • Develop applications for improved               to water supply is the all-important aspect
A further focus is on water supply and treat-                treatment of wastewater and e uent and          of the protection of human health. The
ment technology serving the domestic                         improve processes for enabling increased        objective of this thrust is to develop
(urban, rural, large and small systems) as well              reuse thereof.                                  innovative technologies, processes and
as the industrial/commercial and mining                    • Improve health, economic and                    procedures that address aspects related
sectors of our economy. This KSA also focuses                environmental conditions while                  to bulk water supply, water treatment
on waste and e uent as well as reuse tech-                   supporting the development of                   technology, distribution and water quality.
nologies that can support the municipal,                     appropriate technologies and socially-
mining and industrial sectors and improve                    focused management practices related to         Current programmes are:
management in these sectors with the aim                     water and e uent management.                    • Drinking water treatment technology
of improving productivity and supporting                                                                     • Water treatment for rural communities
economic growth while minimising negative                                                                    • Drinking water quality
e ect on human and environmental health.                   Thrusts and programmes                            • Water distribution and distribution
The provision and supply of water of ad-                   This KSA focuses on a portfolio of ve thrust
equate quality and quantity for economic                   areas, these being:
and public health purposes remains a con-
tinuous challenge. Water is a nite resource
                                                                                                             Thrust 3:
and speci cally in the context of South Africa,
                                                                                                             Wastewater and E uent Treatment
becoming incrementally scarce. Managing
                                                           Thrust 1:                                         and Reuse Technology
water use and the waste released to the                    Water Services - Institutional and                Scope: With the continuous increase in
water environment is thus of paramount im-                 Management Issues                                 wastewater and e uent ows, the challenge
portance to ensure the sustainability of the               Scope: The e cient functioning of water           arises to better manage treatment, such that
resource and the activities relying on it.                 service institutions and their viability is key   the e uent produced meets requirements
                                                           to sustaining water services in rural and         and can be considered as a resource.

| 72 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Research in this thrust aims to develop          under other thrusts. This thrust addresses         • Developing tools, guidelines and
innovative treatment technologies and            the research required to assist the national         appropriate institutional models for
systems that would optimise treatment            government to achieve its goal of clearing           accelerating sustainable delivery of water
processes and infrastructure in the municipal,   the sanitation service backlog by 2010. It also      and sanitation services
mining and industrial sectors.                   identi es research that is essential to support    • Providing information that supports the
                                                 planning for basic sanitation service delivery       development and application of water
Current and new programmes to com-               beyond 2010. The focus is on low cost and            services legislation
mence from 2006/07 are:                          a ordable sanitation technologies.                 • Improving understanding and knowledge
• Biological sewage treatment processes                                                               on sanitation and hygiene education;
• Sludge characterisation, treatment,            Current programmes are:                            • Extending the implementation of waste
  utilisation and disposal                       • Health and hygiene education                       minimisation, cleaner production, cleaner
• Treatment and recovery of organics             • Peri-urban sanitation research                     consumption and clean technologies
  from agro-industrial processing                • Knowledge/information management                 • Investigating the potential and
• Treatment and recovery of inorganics             and advocacy                                       technologies required for recovery and
  (incl. sulphate and metals) in industrial      • Institutional and management aspects               reuse of water from industrial, mining and
  and mining e uents                               of sanitation service delivery                     domestic wastewaters (including grey-
• Training in wastewater treatment plant         • Technical sustainability of sanitation             water and storm water)
  operation                                        services                                         • Furthering the knowledge and
• Biotechnological co-treatment of               • Financial sustainability.                          technologies for recovery and reuse of
  industrial / mining e uents with                                                                    material and energy resources in water
  sewage wastewaters                                                                                  and wastewater management
• Sewerage reticulation                          Research portfolio for 2006/07                     • Enhancing ways to predict pollutants and
• Stormwater                                                                                          their impacts
• Energy from waste.                             The strategic focus of this KSA is guided by       • Addressing infrastructure security and
                                                 the technical, environmental, social and             sustainability
                                                 institutional challenges posed in the supply       • Optimisation of water and wastewater
Thrust 4:                                        of water and the treatment and disposal of           treatment processes.
Industrial and Mine-water                        wastes (including sewage, e uents, polluted
                                                                                                    Strategic initiatives of the previous years,
Management                                       drainage and solid waste) in the domestic,
                                                 industrial, commercial and mining sectors.         together with the consolidation of research
Scope: The usage of water in the mining
                                                 A key consideration is to achieve integrated       and project activities in the year 2005/06,
and industrial sectors produces high
                                                 and holistic solutions that aid sustainable        has provided the path for strengthening the
concentrations of wastes and e uents.
                                                 development. In the domestic sector, greater       activities of the KSA related to strategic direc-
Some mining activities produce wastes
                                                 emphasis has been placed over the past few         tion, technology transfer, project manage-
that act as non-point sources of water
                                                 years on supporting water services issues,         ment and business processes, towards meet-
quality degradation and acid mine drainage.
                                                 in order to accelerate service delivery and        ing the broader KSA and organisational goals
This thrust aims to provide appropriate,
                                                 implementation of water services legislation.      . In the year 2005/06 the KSA introduced and
innovative and integrated solutions to water
                                                 There is ongoing emphasis in this area on          prioritised three new programme areas in the
use and waste management in the industrial
                                                 assisting and capacitating local government        Wastewater and Treatment Thrust to cover
and mining sectors.
                                                 in the delivery and acceleration of services,      aspects related to stormwater and sewerage
                                                 education around sanitation and hygiene is-        and water services and institutional issues
Current programmes are:
                                                 sues, and promotion of sustainable solutions.      to address quantifying the impacts of water
• Quanti cation of water use and waste
                                                 In the industrial and mining sectors, the focus    and sanitation interventions, as well as a new
                                                 is on developing and promoting manage-             thrust area dedicated to sanitation issues.
• Regulatory mechanisms to improve
  industrial and mine-water management           ment systems, technology and process im-
                                                 provements which support greater e ciency          The plan for 2006/07 will put greater empha-
• Minimising impact of waste on the
                                                 in the use of material and energy resources        sis on technology transfer and consultations
  water environment
                                                 and hence a reduction in pollution. While          with the sector role players towards further
• Minimising waste production
                                                 continuing to support the development              identifying research needs and creating
• Improved ability to predict and quantify
                                                 and improvement of treatment systems for           awareness of the strategic research portfolio
  e ects.
                                                 environmental and human protection, the            for the KSA and its thrusts. It is planned
                                                 emphasis is placed on getting all sectors to       that one new programme will be initiated in
                                                 recognise wastes as a resource and the pro-        2007/08 as follows:
Thrust 5:                                                                                           • In the thrust area of Wastewater
                                                 cesses for recovery and reuse as commercial
Sanitation and Hygiene Education                                                                        Treatment and Reuse, the thrust will
                                                 opportunities. The new portfolio of projects
Scope: This is a new thrust that includes                                                               establish the programme dealing with
                                                 aims at providing solutions which support
some programmes which were previously                                                                   Energy from Waste. This programme and
                                                 these directions in the following ways:

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 73 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

  initiative supports national S&T strategy
  to start looking at alternative sources of
  renewable energy. Sewage sludge has
  the potential to be a renewable energy
  resource. This programme will start
  with scoping studies and grow into an
  important research activity area in the
• The programmes in the thrust area
  Sanitation, Health and Hygiene
  Education will be lowered to four instead
  of the current six programmes. These
  are Programme 1: Advocacy, health and
                                                           the last 20 to 30 years. Economic growth and
                                                           development resulting in a greater demand
                                                           for water and annual consumption continues
                                                           to rise in most countries. Ensuring a reliable
                                                           source of clean water and adequate treatment
                                                           of wastes and wastewater for large urban
                                                           populations and rural communities pose great
                                                           challenges for many developing countries.
                                                           South Africa is no exception to this situation
                                                           and this has led the government to embark
                                                           on major water-related infrastructure develop-
                                                           ment projects and to introduce water conser-
                                                           vation measures, the focus being on optimal
                                                                                                              E uents from all of these sources arise either
                                                                                                              as point sources (e.g. piped e uents from
                                                                                                              factories or sewers) or as non-point sources
                                                                                                              (e.g. runo from un-ser viced high-density
                                                                                                              settlements and seepage from mine slimes
                                                                                                              dumps or mine workings).

                                                                                                              Water use and waste management in South
                                                                                                              Africa is consequently a key factor for social
                                                                                                              and economic growth, as well as our environ-
                                                                                                              ment. The entire way we think about and use
                                                                                                              water is thus an important aspect in deter-
                                                                                                              mining our future.
  hygiene education; Programme 2: Peri-                    utilisation of existing water resources, the up-
  urban sanitation research; Programme 3:                  grading of existing sources and conservation       When comparing water use against the GDP
  Institutional and management aspects of                  and protection of catchment areas.                 of South Africa, the example of Gauteng
  sanitation service delivery; and Programme                                                                  shows that for an estimated use of 11% of
  4: Technical sustainability of sanitation                As water consumption continues to rise,            the total water used in South Africa ( 1 355
  services. In Programme 1 emphasis will be                Government will face the huge challenge of         million m3/annum), Gauteng generates 38%
  placed on the role of HIV/AIDS on and in                 meeting increasing water supply and waste-         of South Africa’s GDP and 10% of Africa’s GDP
  the sector                                               water treatment demands, together with             (DWAF 2004, Gauteng Water Summit).
                                                           overcoming a legacy of poor water resource
Eighteen (18) new projects have been ac-                   management, the pollution of water sources         Although the water requirements for domes-
cepted for funding, comprising 13 non-so-                  and wastes. Only by developing long-term           tic and urban (23%), industrial and mining
licited and 5 solicited. An amount of R 516                strategies to address these issues, includ-        (6%) sectors are a fraction compared to total
320.00 has been set aside, called the reserve              ing the introduction of water conservation         water availability and water consumed, it is
fund, to allow the KSA to respond to priority              measures and continued investment in wa-           the assurance and continuation of the supply
research issues requiring urgent attention                 ter-related infrastructure, will access to clean   that dictates the high capital and infrastruc-
which may emerge during the year.                          water and treatment facilities be available to     ture costs. Industrial and mining processes,
                                                           a greater proportion of the population in the      though a small user of water, together con-
                                                           future. It is clear that the cost of providing     tribute to the bulk of the pollution a ecting
Budget for 2006/07                                         clean water to an expanding and growing            our water environment.
                                                           population and growing economy will con-
The approved funding of the research                       tinue to grow.                                     The policies of the previous Government had
portfolio for 2006/07 leads to a committed                                                                    left a legacy which has resulted in at least
funding budget of R 32 230 000. The focus of               Whereas the provision of water for human           half the population of South Africa not hav-
this portfolio will continue along the current             needs plays a cardinal socio-economic role         ing access to safe and reliable water services.
trend.                                                     in the upliftment of people and in promoting       The Government has made this the focus
                                                           a healthy population, it is the industrial and     of attention since 1994 and great strides
                                                           mining sectors which play a primary role in        have been made in improving this situation.
                                                           the development of the South African econ-         The radical policies and strategies that have
Core Strategy                                              omy and hence in development of the coun-          been introduced to accelerate and achieve
                                                           try in terms of wealth creation, employment        the goal of complete coverage, has in itself
Strategic context                                          creation and export earnings. Sanitation and       generated and posed a number of new chal-
No major changes with regard to water                      wastewater treatment are essential elements        lenges on the issue of sustainability of water
use have emerged over the past few years,                  of maintaining a healthy environment for           services.
except for the oods, 2004 Tsunamis and                     our population. Environmentally, the mining
earthquakes that have raised greater impor-                and industrial sectors have common features        The costs of providing clean water and
tance of how to deal with disasters and its                such as an intensive demand on material            sanitation to a fast-expanding and grow-
mitigation, as well coordinating strategies for            and energy resources, a major impact on            ing economy will continue to escalate. In
restoring and rebuilding reliable water and                the landscape, a relatively small demand on        an environment of increasing resource and
sanitation provision.                                      the national water use and a proportion-             nancial constraints, coupled with the vision
                                                           ately much higher pollutant pro le. This           of some for all and the need to redress past
Water is an essential ingredient for economic              includes e uents of high concentration,            imbalances, e cient use of water for domes-
development, the maintenance of natural life               contaminants that are di cult or expensive         tic, industrial and mining purposes, as well
support systems and basic human existence.                 to remove, and with the potential to degrade       as improved sanitation, would be critical for
Urbanisation and industrialisation rates in de-            large volumes of water, thereby render-            improving public health, eradicating poverty
veloping countries have been dramatic over                 ing them less t for other bene cial uses.          and contributing to global competitiveness.

| 74 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
To achieve the above more innovative poli-          on the environment and resource base, insti-            are required towards sustainable and
cies and improved implementation, strate-           tutional and management issues, minimisa-               a ordable water services provision.
gies for water use and waste management             tion of wastes and other emerging issues.               Key focus over the next few years will
will be required, supported by a good basis                                                                 be on strengthening the capacity of
for appropriate technologies, changes in            Against this background the challenges                  local government to function in this
infrastructure approaches and broader water         posed are medium to long term and require               challenging environment, introduction
management policies. It is inherent that            greater interdisciplinary solutions. In line with       of successful models of service
institutional processes and capacity be in          the strategic context presented in previous             delivery which enjoy the support of
place, supported by sound technologies and          years, which has regularly undergone both               all stakeholders, tackling the issue of
methodologies.                                      internal and external reviews, there are no             poverty and service provision (including
                                                    major changes, as shown above, but there is             a ordability and cost recovery),
Over the past 30 years, the science of water        greater emphasis towards solving the water              development of appropriate strategies,
supply and collecting, treating and bene -          supply and sanitation problems, it is worthy            tools and policies to regulate water
cially using wastewater and storm water             to note that the importance of research and             services and give e ect to the water
has grown signi cantly. As a nation we have         development has also been strongly em-                  services and related legislation. The
gone from rudimentary treatment to com-             phasized. Any major emerging changes are                aspects of community participation and
plex systems involving multiple phases and          incorporated and absorbed into the current              local economic development are central
types of treatment. We have also expanded           context.                                                to these objectives.
considerably the infrastructure of collection                                                             • The water services environment has
systems feeding increasingly sophisticated          Needs analysis                                          undergone dynamic change over the past
treatment plants. However, much still needs         During 2005/06, the KSA in its endeavour                few years. The newly published Strategic
to be done. As water and wastewater ows             towards identifying research needs, as well as          Framework for Water Services (DWAF,
continue to increase, supply and treat-             developing and improving research strate-               2003), has set a new set of challenges and
ment systems must be optimised for better           gies at the thrust level have continuously              goals for the sector. It will be imperative
management and e ciencies. This can be              engaged at a strategic level both nationally            that the success of this framework will
achieved not only by increasing infrastruc-         and internationally ;to identify any gaps and           help realize the ultimate goal of national
ture but by nding new and innovative tech-          strengthen the portfolio of priority research           water policy and local government
nologies and processes that will enhance the        topics and areas requiring attention. In this           legislation.
performance of systems. An example is treat-        regard, a number of small consultancies were          • The World Summit and World Water
ment processes that can target development          awarded and the outcomes will provide the               Forum 3 impetus on setting water
of new media and increasing treatment ow            following:                                              and sanitation targets has generated a
through. New innovative and appropriate             • The state of stormwater management in                 new urgency and priority to this area
technologies will play a key role in the im-            South Africa                                        of activity. South African ambitious
proved management and extension of our              • The state of sewerage in South Africa                 declaration of obtaining full coverage by
water resources.                                    • The state of ponding and small systems in             2010 has prompted greater importance to
                                                        South Africa.                                       the provision of water and sanitation.
The provision and supply of water of ad-                                                                  • Since 1994, greater emphasis has been
equate quality and quantity for economic            Added to the above the following strategies             placed on improving water supply
and public health purposes remain continu-          were developed during 2006/07 that assisted             coverage resulting in sanitation coverage
ous challenges. Water is a nite resource and,       to shape the KSA portfolio:                             lagging behind. Recent incidences of
speci cally in the context of South Africa, is      • Towards a research strategy and agenda                cholera outbreaks have highlighted
becoming incrementally scarce. Managing                 to support sanitation delivery South Africa         the importance of sanitation and
water use and the wastewater released to            • Strategy of the health domain will                    hygiene. The provision of sanitation is
the water environment is thus of paramount              in uence activities in the programmes               more complex and provides greater
importance to ensure the sustainability of              related to drinking water quality and               challenges as the responsibility is spread
the resource and the activities relying on it.          supply.                                             across many Government departments.
                                                                                                            The short-, medium- and long-term
With all the achievements and developments          In reviewing the wealth of information gen-             goals are to nd e ective and e cient
to date, it is clear that South Africa has a good   erated through the various processes and                mechanisms to accelerate sanitation and
knowledge base and the competencies                 some of the incidents such as the typhoid               hygiene education coverage. These two
required to face the future challenges. There       outbreak in Delmas (failure of many munici-             components are essential ingredients
is a need to develop greater environmentally        palities in providing basic services), it is clear      for sustainability and achieving public
sound technologies and processes that com-          that the key challenges facing the water                health objectives. Focus areas over the
mand greater integration in the solutions           sector in South Africa as identi ed last year           short term are to develop appropriate
they provide. A more holistic and integrated        remained unchanged and warranted greater                technical solutions, nding ways to
approach is required towards providing              emphasis and support. These being:                      cost-e ectively provide high-impact
sustainable solutions focusing on aspects           • In a changing and dynamic legislative and             hygiene education, nding acceptable
related to the participation of society, impact         strategic environment many solutions                and a ordable service arrangements,

                                                                                                         Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 75 |
Water Use and Waste Management



    models for sanitation delivery and O&M,
    improving the legislation and policies that
    contribute to an enabling environment
    and accelerating sanitation delivery.
    It is evident that new issues in water
    supply (water treatment, distribution,
    etc.) will continue to emerge as new
    contaminants are introduced into the
    water sources. Great challenges also exist
    in providing sustainable and a ordable
    technical solutions for the poor and
    indigent sections of the population.
    In water supply and treatment                          •
                                                               have to be addressed with urgency, as
                                                               many mines are about to close down,
                                                               which may represent lost opportunities to
                                                               introduce pollution-prevention measures.
                                                               Key areas to be addressed include
                                                               the process of acceleration of cleaner
                                                               production and waste minimisation
                                                               technology and the development of
                                                               innovative solutions, to deal with the
                                                               legacy of waste and acid-mine drainage
                                                               potential that has accumulated as a result
                                                               of mining activities.
                                                               There is a need for improving institutional
                                                                                                                involvement in the DWAF workshop on
                                                                                                                the global HIV/AIDS day in 2006. The
                                                                                                                speci c needs of these vulnerable groups
                                                                                                                including the families where children are
                                                                                                                the head of the family regarding water
                                                                                                                quality and the delivery of and/or kind
                                                                                                                of water supply and sanitation services
                                                                                                                needed urgent attention.

                                                                                                             Technological trends
                                                                                                             At an international level there is a continu-
                                                                                                             ous move towards new approaches as to the
                                                                                                             provision of water services and adaptation of
    technology, the needs over the next                        capacity in the management of water
                                                                                                             new approaches to improved domestic wa-
    few years revolve around the supply                        and wastewater problems, as it has
                                                                                                             ter quality and improve availability of water
    of more a ordable water of improved                        become increasingly clear that these
                                                                                                             through alternative advance technologies.
    quality, especially to those people who                    problems cannot (in the South African
                                                                                                             An emerging trend in developing countries is
    do not yet have a reliable drinking water                  context) be solved by technical solutions
                                                                                                             to decentralise the management of services
    supply. Speci c issues and research needs                  alone. Institutional reform and strategic
                                                                                                             to a local level or to a local government level,
    include the reduction in cost of water                     management issues (such as regulation,
                                                                                                             with the national authorities moving into a
    treatment and supply; the removal of                       capacity, competencies, partnerships,
                                                                                                             stronger regulatory environment. This shift
    organic contaminants; the removal of                       tari s, community participation, etc.)
                                                                                                             provides a number of challenges of capac-
    Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other                         all play an equivalent role in meeting
                                                                                                             ity and competency in the delivery of water
    pathogens; safe and e cient water                          an integrated solution. Great strides in
                                                                                                             services, especially in developing countries
      uoridation; improvement in the cost                      information gathering and knowledge
                                                                                                             when there is the need of addressing the
    e ciency and sustainability of small- to                   generation and application are required in
                                                                                                             plight of the poor and indigent who make
    medium- sized water treatment plants;                      this area over a short period
                                                                                                             up a large portion of the customer base. Thus
    dependable and e cient distribution                    •   Over the past few years’ great strides have
                                                                                                             innovative institutional arrangements and
    systems; cost-e ective distribution                        been undertaken in covering water and
                                                                                                             partnership models between public/private/
    systems for rural water supply and                         sanitation backlogs resulting in signi cant
                                                                                                             community are being investigated to provide
    sustainable and low-cost small water                       achievements. This has also resulted in the
                                                                                                             optimum solutions. Speci cally in Africa, the
    treatment systems. Medium- and long-                       expansion and growth in infrastructure
                                                                                                             issue of capacity and competency require-
    term goals are to focus on infrastructure                  in urban and rural areas. More small
                                                                                                             ments, technology choices, institutional
    and asset management.                                      schemes have come into existence and
                                                                                                             arrangements and costs and a ordability
•   Most of the country’s industrial and                       from international and local experience;
                                                                                                             are key areas of activity. Outcomes from the
    mining activities are concentrated in areas                they pose greater challenges in their
                                                                                                             WSSD have highlighted the slow pace of
    where there is a lack of the water resource.               sustainable management.
                                                                                                             water and sanitation delivery, and speci cally
    These sectors generate large amounts                   •   Further, the infrastructure and associated
                                                                                                             sanitation, which is lagging further behind
    of wastes (toxic and non-toxic), which                     resources are the assets of our country
                                                                                                             and the World Summit and World Water
    have a profound impact on the ecology                      and contribute to improving the quality
                                                                                                             Forum 3 impetus on setting water and sani-
    of the receiving water environments.                       of life and this need to be managed
                                                                                                             tation targets, has generated a new urgency
    As urbanisation and industrialisation                      e ectively. Lack of attention over the
                                                                                                             and priority to this area of activity. South
    increase, more and more complex                            past few years on O&M, together with the
                                                                                                             African ambitious declaration of obtaining
    wastewater streams are introduced. It is                   lack of training and capacity is beginning
                                                                                                             full coverage by 2010 has prompted greater
    imperative that solutions are generated to                 to show its weaknesses in the state of
                                                                                                             importance to the provision of water and
    manage these negative impacts. Further,                    our water infrastructure. This valuable
                                                                                                             sanitation. There is a new drive to accelerate
    there is growing recognition for more                      investment if not given due attention
                                                                                                             sanitation and hygiene education delivery
    innovative approaches such as cleaner                      could prove costly for the country.
                                                                                                             and radical new policies and strategies are
    production and waste minimisation. This                •   HIV/AIDS is one of the emerging issues
                                                                                                             being investigated to achieve the millen-
    area requires greater research support for                 that need to be addressed in the sector.
                                                                                                             nium goals. An example of some of the
    knowledge generation and application.                      Through the WRC’s involvement in forums
                                                                                                             processes is that of the WASH campaign. It is
•   The mining industry presents additional                    of the DWAF and DoH it was realized that
                                                                                                             essential that these concepts and ideas be
    needs that emanate from its legacy of                      the WRC could play a role in addressing
                                                                                                             translated at a local level thus requiring the
    water quality-degrading waste that                         HIV/AIDS and its role in the sector. In
                                                                                                             need for developing improved strategies,
    has been accumulating for more than                        future more research will be done in
                                                                                                             policies and mechanisms that create a sus-
    a century, and which could potentially                     collaboration with the two departments
                                                                                                             tainable and enabling environment.
    a ect water quality for future generations.                and the HIV/AIDS mainstreaming core
    In the case of gold mines these needs                      group. This action started with the WRC’s

| 76 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
In water supply, the emphasis is on e cient        all the parties material and energy resources,      Key stakeholders
use of water and managing demand, as well          i.e. money. The consequences are profound:          The following stakeholders continue to be of
as looking at the contributory elements such       co-regulation becomes a meaningful nego-            key importance and important to the WRC
as energy, pipe components and materials,          tiation; value as co-product is extracted from      in general and this KSA in particular. They are
water supply components and behavioural            ‘wastes’ before discharge, thereby further          divided into internal and external stakehold-
aspects. In terms of treatment technology          reducing the waste load requiring treatment;        ers. Over the years, our international partners
the current international trends are toward        technologies for treatment aim at being             and business partners have also proven valu-
the increased removal of more and more             ‘cleaner’, are more focused towards speci c         able to us.
speci c contaminants in the water. In addi-        waste fractions or even constituents and
tion, it is aimed at adding less and less chemi-   include recovery and reuse where technically        The internal stakeholders are the WRC
cals to the treated water product (Improved        and economically justi able; resource-e -           personnel, Executive Management and the
source quality). The removal of pesticides,        cient technologies are not only favoured but        Board.
heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, dis-           even their optimum deployment (‘where’ in
infection by-products and other harmful            the process stream) is critically examined, etc.    The external stakeholders include:
organics is receiving attention. The removal       These trends are predicted to not only con-         • Government departments and the
of Cryptosporidium and Giardia and the             tinue but in fact to accelerate in the future.        Ministers representing them (DWAF, DEAT,
use of membrane ltration in this regard                                                                  DPLG, DoH, Mineral and Energy, etc.)
are receiving much attention – especially          The mining industry has yet to embrace              • Advisory groups
in the USA. There is a strong trend towards        these new realities, and wastewater and             • Bene ciaries (i.e. the users or potential
improving determination techniques of              waste treatment in this sector presently              users of research, development and
these new emerging contaminants. An area           continues to be material- (e.g. chemicals) and        knowledge products produced through
receiving considerable attention is in the use     energy-intensive, although more environ-              WRC funding)
of molecular biology and genetic engineer-         mentally-friendly solutions are increasingly        • SALGA, local government, provincial
ing techniques. In developing countries            favoured, for example biotechnological                government units
the emphasis continues on breaking the             treatment of acid-mine drainage associated          • Development Bank of Southern Africa
transmission of water and faecal-oral related      with potential recovery and reuse of the            • Water boards, water services providers,
diseases, through understanding practices          renovated water for a variety of purposes.            catchment management agencies, water
and behaviours which contribute to the             The cost-e ectiveness of cleaner production           user associations
spread of diseases. Improved education and         technology is increasingly recognised and           • Industrial sectors and industry-
knowledge are central strategies to tackle         will in itself be a strong driving force for the      representative bodies (mining, forestry,
these problems.                                    accelerated introduction of the technology.           water services, etc.)
                                                   Another driving force is the international          • NGOs, CBOs and international aid
In the developed world, there is greater at-       trade sanctions that are increasingly being           agencies
tention and focus being put on managing            applied against manufacturers that do not           • Private consultants
source quality for improved potable water          apply responsible environmental practices.          • Tertiary institutions, primary and
quality, secondly as desalination technologies     In South Africa, it is foreseen that the intro-       secondary education institutions, science
become cheaper we see more use of these            duction of waste discharge charges will be            councils, professional bodies (WISA,
technologies (Singapore/Middle East are            a further powerful driver towards internalis-         SAICE, IMESA, etc.) media agencies
examples). This source of water is also being      ing pollution costs and implementation of           • The public
seriously being considered by some South           cleaner technology.                                 • International coalitions such as GWRC,
African coastal cities. Further with the con-                                                            WSSCC, WUP, ET, UNEP, IRC, WARFSA
cerns of the diminishing levels of fossil fuels,   The contribution of mining-related non-             • Business.
water and waste are being looked at amongst        point sources to water quality degradation
the renewable resources for energy creation.       is increasingly appreciated and has given           Providers
Greater attention is also being given new          rise to a need for improved techniques with         Providers are solicited or unsolicited individu-
promising technologies such as nano-tech-          which to quantify their contribution and im-        als and organisations who generate research,
nologies, membranes etc. as they may greatly       proved technologies to minimise their e ect.        development and knowledge products with
bene t water treatment technology.                                                                     WRC funding. The key providers are tertiary
                                                   The e ect of water quality on HIV/AIDS              institutions, science councils, consultants,
In both the municipal and industrial sectors,      positive individuals are one of the emerging        NGOs, water boards, research units within
the most signi cant trend internationally, na-     issues that needs to be addressed. This will        government departments and local govern-
tionally and at local authority level has been     have an e ect on the current and planned            ment, private companies and individuals.
the growing realisation of recognising e u-        water supply and sanitation schemes.
ent wastewater and wastes as a resource. The       Results of research done in these areas
treatment of wastewaters and wastes that           showed that more care must be taken in
have been generated without application of         planning these schemes to the special needs
cleaner production and waste minimisation          of these families. Education will also play a
principles is a losing game ultimately costing     strong role in addressing the issues.

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 77 |
Water Use and Waste Management

Strategic Initiatives
Undertaken During 2006/07
The following strategic initiatives were un-
dertaken to achieve the objectives of this

National initiatives

• There is an ongoing process within
  the thrusts in updating and identifying
  research needs and strengthening the
  portfolio of strategic research needs to

                                                               coastline, aimed at both municipal
                                                               managers and practitioners in the eld
                                                               A KSA-completed study on creation
                                                               standards for water supply chemicals,
                                                               gave e ect to the development of a
                                                               process to create National Standards.
                                                               The WRC has been instrumental in
                                                               facilitating his process with the SABS
                                                               and DWAF.
                                                               KSA members have made a number of
                                                               presentations on live radio on subjects
                                                               of priority. An area which enjoyed
                                                               media attention during the year was
                                                                                                          The element of customer/ stakeholder rela-
                                                                                                          tionship is further enhanced by WRC and its
                                                                                                          sta representations on a number of impor-
                                                                                                          tant bodies and forums. The WRC and the
                                                                                                          KSA are represented on the following forums:
                                                                                                          • DWAF’s Policy Group and Project Steering
                                                                                                             Committee for the implementation of the
                                                                                                             Waste Discharge Charge System
                                                                                                          • DWAF’s Project Steering Committee
                                                                                                             concerning the development of Best
                                                                                                             Practice Guidelines for the Mining
                                                                                                          • Work Team of DWAF’s Project Steering
  be addressed over the short- to medium-                      that of drinking water quality                Committee for the implementation of the
  term (2 to 5 years). During the year the                 -   In collaboration with DWAF/DST                Waste Discharge Charge System to de ne
  following progress has been made:                            – established the National Sanitation         approaches to deal with non-point source
  - Studies are being concluded to                             Technical Advisory Group. The idea            pollution
      determine the status of stormwater                       was developed and conceptualized by        • DWAF’s Project Steering Committee
      drainage and sewerage, and identify                      the WRC. It aims to support national          concerning the development of a
      research needs. This area has been                       policy with O&M challenges of basic           Comprehensive Framework for Integrated
      identi ed in many strategic exercises                    sanitation provision. (New)                   Water Resource Management in the
      as requiring greater attention and                   -   A further presentation on drinking            Mining Industry
      priority.                                                water quality was made to the              • Chamber of Mine’s Steering Committee to
  - KSA members continue to occupy                             Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for         develop Guidelines for the Vegetation of
      key positions on a variety of strategic                  Water, which included a suggested             Residue Deposits against Water and Wind
      bodies and forums. Examples of these                     strategy for improving the situation          Erosion
      are the Steering Committee – Waste                   -   The KSA hosted 8 workshops. These          • Coaltech 2020’s Surface Environment
      Minimisation, Water Sector Leadership                    are reported under the KPA Learning           Committee
      Group, Water information Network,                        and innovation, and also form the          • DEAT’s Steering Committee to Develop a
      JASWIC, WISA, and ESETA.                                 basis for stakeholder consultation and        National Strategy On Cleaner Production
  - KSA member functions as the Chair                          national initiatives. Note must be taken      and Sustainable Consumption
      of the Minister’s Water Advisory                         of three key national workshops on         • Management Committee of WISA’s Mine
      Committee and the National                               developing action plans for setting up        Water Technical Committee
      Benchmarking Initiative                                  of water quality laboratories, people      • Organising Committee of WISA Biennial
  - KSA is a key partner and driver of the                     a ected with HIV/AIDS, and strategy           Conference 2008
      national component of the Global                         planning workshop on drinking water        • Board of WISA
      Review of Private and Public Sector                      research requirements.                     • NTMP Programme Steering Committee
      Participation, which was formally                    -   The KSA has been in the forefront in       • Management and Steering Committee of
      launched in 2006/07 with secured                         developing a national laboratories            the National Benchmarking Initiative
      funding for a two-year period                            framework for SA. This initiative is       • DWAF Water Services Regulations
  - The KSA continues to facilitate the                        regarded as critical in meeting SA’s          Steering Committee
      National Water Services Benchmarking                     drinking water quality monitoring.         • DWAF Water Services Asset Management
      Initiative in partnership between                        The rst workshop was held during the          Steering Committee
      DWAF and SALGA and the second                            WISA conference in Durban (New)            • DEAT National Strategy for Sustainable
      national conference was held in                      -   The National Health and Hygiene               Development
      February 2007. Participation of local                    Strategy implementation task               • Advisory position on the DWAF -
      authorities during this year increased                   team met on 5 June and the KSA                Sanitation Technical Advisory Group and
      from 40 to 80.                                           contribution as Chair of the Research         The WC/DM Advisory Group
  - On appointment by DWAF, the KSA                            Task Team is to give guidance and          • Appointed by the Minister to the
      undertook a study to determine                           recommendations for research needs            Advisory Committee of the Groot Marico
      the status of wastewater treatment                       for the implementation of the strategy.       Catchment Agency
      plants in South Africa as well as the                -   The KSA will play a key role in the HIV/   • KSA member was elected chairperson
      suggested intervention strategies                        AIDS mainstreaming core group in the          of the WISA Portfolio Committee
  - On a further appointment by DWAF,                          identi cation and excreting research          on Education, Training and Youth
      the KSA was commissioned to have a                       needed to address HIV/AIDS in the             Development
      guideline drafted on the desalination                    sector.
      of seawater along South Africa’s

| 78 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
• The WRC is also presented on the HIV/              enabled universal access to safe water)          - The KSA contributed towards the State
  AIDS mainstreaming core group as well              EU project started in 2006. The project             of Science report on water reuse under
  as on the Health and Hygiene Strategy              aims at rethinking current water supply             another participative project with the
  Implementation steering committee                  options.                                            Global Water Research Coalition and
• The KSA in collaboration with WHO              •   KSA and the WRC is now a member of                  provided information on water reuse
  has funded a research project on the               the WHO International Group for Small               in Southern Africa
  adequacy of water, sanitation and hygiene          Community Water Supply Management                - The KSA is contributing toward GWRC
  services in relation to home-based care        •   KSA in collaboration with WISA assisted in          joint activities in endocrine disruptor
  services for HIV/AIDS infected individuals         the preparation for the SA bid to host 8th          and algal toxin research. Further
  in rural and urban communities in                  ICARD in 2009                                       GWRC initiatives include cooperation
  South Africa. This extensive report will       •   The KSA participated in the Development             in a membrane bioreactor research
  be included in a WHO report and the                of a Global Guide to deal with AMD.                 strategy plan and in a water reuse
  extensive report will be published as a            Contributions included help to develop              project. The KSA also participated
  WRC TT report.                                     a guide about proposed content and                  in the development of the GWRC
                                                     appropriate SA publications.                        International Research Strategy
Another new key initiative is the closer col-    •   The KSA has been invited to present a               to Support Asset Management in
laboration between the KSA and WIN-SA.               special paper entitled ‘Management of               the Water Services Sector. The KSA
During the year through a process of restruc-        Wastewater Sludge in Southern Africa’               research programme will contribute
turing WIN-SA became the responsibility of           as a representative of the WRC at the               and provide inputs into the GWRC
this KSA. Progress and achievements to date          International Water Association Specialist          projects.
through WIN-SA were:                                 Conference: Moving Forward, Wastewater           - A very promising development was
   - WIN-SA took over the support of the             Biosolids Sustainability: Technical,                that the SA laboratories involved in the
       District Water Services Managers              Managerial, and Public Synergy. Moncton,            EDC toolkit project received samples
       Network, which emanated from a WRC            New Brunswick, Canada, 24-27 June 2007              from Frederic Leusch, the Australian
       study                                     •   The WRC, represented by the KSA, joined             project leader, for analyses and
   - WIN-SA produced a series of lessons             the Global Alliance of key regional                 validation of the methods chosen for
       learning and good practices booklets          organisations active in the eld of acid             the EDC toolkit. Two of these methods
   - WIN-SA undertook an exploratory                 mine drainage (AMD), that engages                   used, were innovated and developed
       study to look at sharing of information       with the International Network for Acid             by the UP, through the WRC study.
       and successes within the SADC region          Prevention (INAP). INAP is an international    • The SA Cyanobacteria Management
                                                     grouping of mining companies that                Manual recently developed is one of the
                                                     was established in 1998 to help meet             three manuals that are currently used
International initiatives
                                                     the challenge of e ectively dealing with         to develop the Global Cyanobacterial
• Ten South African presentations on new
                                                     the problem of acid mine drainage. It            Guideline Manual. Two of SA’s researchers
  emerging and innovative developments
                                                     has since become a leader in mobilising          have been appointed to manage and
  addressing drinking water were presented
                                                     international information and experience         compile two of the chapters in the GWRC
  for the Biennial Emerging Technologies
                                                     in research, technology transfer and             manual.
  Forum held in Switzerland in April
  2006. South Africa is one of the leading
  countries regarding new technologies. All
                                                 •   The GWRC partnership is bringing greater       African leadership
                                                     collaboration in research and bene ts.         • The WRC was invited by DEAT to assist
  10 innovations are wholly or partly funded
                                                     To date the KSA’s involvement has been           with their programme ‘Addressing Land-
  under KSA projects.
                                                     rewarding and includes the following:            based Activities in the Western Indian
• The KSA participated in an EU – FP6 bid
                                                     - The KSA made presentations to the              Ocean’ WIO-LaB. The KSA serves on the
  on a sanitation project led by the IRC
                                                         GWRC planning workshop on asset              project’s National Municipal Wastewater
  and forming part of the African partner
                                                         management in the water industry. A          Task Force which feeds into the Regional
  contingent. After the bid passed the rst
                                                         number of collaborative projects were        Municipal Wastewater Task Force.
  round quali cation, it was unsuccessful.
                                                         discussed and agreed upon. The WRC         • The KSA played a key a role in the
• The KSA is a member of a successful bid
                                                         will lead the study on International         organising of international events:
  for a WHO project looking at determining
                                                         Best Practice in Asset Management, for       - AfriWISA-2007
  the impacts of Watsan interventions. Led
                                                         which funding from the GWRC will be          - Dutch Technology Matchmaking
  by the University of Johannesburg, the
                                                         forthcoming.                                    Mission, Feb 2006
  project complements WRC initiatives on
                                                     - Presented the South African status on
  the subject.
                                                         Nanotechnology and Energy Research         With regard to African and International
• KSA is the coordinator for the South
                                                         and Research Needs in the Water Field,     Initiatives, the KSA will continue in line with
  African contributions to a new European
                                                         GWRC Meeting, Cincinnati, USA, 8-9         the WRC key strategic issue of regional and
  Union project - TECHHNEAU (technology
                                                         Nov 2006                                   international relationships, strongly position

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 79 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

itself globally and in Africa, with special em-
phasis on collaboration and sharing of water-
centred knowledge. This will be achieved via
co-operative agreements and partnerships
that will also allow for leverage of funds and
global recognition.

Growing the Knowledge Base
Capacity-building initiatives
At the end of the year 2005/06, 39 proj-
ects were nalised resulting in 34 Masters

                                                           African Water Institute (AWI)

                                                           Arcus Gibb (Pty) Ltd

                                                           Cape Peninsula University of technology

                                                           Chris Swartz Water Utilization Engineers

                                                           Coaltech 2020

                                                           Council for Geoscience
                                                                                                           Students from
                                                                                                           PD Background






                                                                                                                           Total No of







Degrees and 10 Ph.D.s obtained through                     CSIR                                                  9             9
these projects. A further estimate of 50 under-
graduate activities contributed to these                   Digby Wells and Associates                            2             4
projects. In terms of demographics 54 Black
                                                           Durban Institute of Technology                        2             2
males, 26 Black females, 24 White males and
16 White females were involved.                            Emanti Management (Pty) Ltd                           2             3

Progress to date on ongoing projects                       Environmental Business Strategies cc                  1             1
2006/07 indicates that the numbers of stu-
                                                           Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd                    5             8
dents undergoing post-graduate training at
tertiary institutions under WRC-funded proj-               Industrial and Urban Infrastructure (Pty) Ltd         2             2
ects in this KSA was estimated as 189 in total.
Of these, 151 students (about 80%) are from                Mvula Trust                                           2             2
previously disadvantaged groups.
                                                           Partners in Development cc                            2             2

Of the 35 projects nalised to date, 38                     Pulles, Howard & de Lange Inc                         3             3
research reports have been published, 31
popular articles, 89 presentations and 24                  Rand Water                                            8             14
workshops. On the academic level 6 doctor-
                                                           Rhodes University                                    16             20
ates, 21 masters and 20 Honours have been
achieved.                                                  Sustainable Environmental Technologies                1             1

A total of around 32 institutions comprising               TBR Project                                           1             1
consultants, research bodies, industry and
                                                           Tshwane University of Technology                      3             3
academic centres are involved. The table
below highlights the institutions which are                Umgeni Water                                          8             10
actively involved in capacity building proj-
ects for 2006/07:                                          University of Cape Town                               9             15

                                                           University of Fort Hare                               1             1

                                                           University of Johannesburg                            5             6

                                                           University of KwaZulu- Natal                         11             13

                                                           University of Pretoria                                5             10

                                                           University of Stellenbosch                           15             19

                                                           University of the North West                          3             3

                                                           University of the Western Cape                        6             7

                                                           University of the Witwatersrand                       8             8

                                                           Zitholele Consulting (Pty) Ltd                        1             1

                                                           Total                                                151           189

| 80 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Knowledge sharing and leadership                   • In addition many research projects are              ‘Factors that a ect the functionality
Internal learning, innovation and dissemi-           increasingly building technology transfer           of wastewater/sewage treatment
nation are paramount to the KSA meeting              activities as a key objective in their              plants’. Over 400 people from local
its goals. The following are some of the             research methodology. These take form               government attended the summit
achievements to date:                                of popular articles, specialist workshops           and the DM indicated that they
• The majority of research results are               and web-related promotion activities.               appreciated the WRC’s involvement
    published in the form of manuals with          • The following technology transfer actions           and presence
    computer models, guidelines or standard          were undertaken:                               • The following papers have been
    reports. These are disseminated as               - Interview on Radio East Coast on               presented by WRC sta at international
    widely as possible. The number of nal                drinking and bottled water quality in        and local conferences:
    reports published at the end of 2005/06              SA, 15 June                                  - Presentation on Sanitation Options for
    amounted to 46, out of 39 research               - Publications on the concept o                     Peri-Urban Areas, Eskom, 6 June 2006
    contracts nalized. Progress made                     franchising in:                              - Franchising of Water Services at the
    during 2005/06 on completed projects                 • Business Day                                  WISA conference 2006.
    realised 6 popular articles, 67 scienti c            • Top 300 Companies magazine                 - Advances in the Management of Water
    papers, publications and conference                  • Engineering News                              Supply Systems, ETXII, Rapperswil, May
    presentations were made.                             • WASE                                          2006
• KSA related adverts were placed in the                 • IMESA journal                              - Future Concepts for the Urban Water
    IMESA journal, and the South African             - KSA launched the Guideline on                     Cycle, Rapperswil, May 2006
    Local Government Digest highlighting                 the Design and Operation of Water            - Franchising Water Supply and
    the WRC and its contribution to the local            Treatment Plants at WISA, which                 Sanitation, IWA Biennial Conference in
    government sector                                    gained signi cant popularity.                   China
• KSA-speci c exhibitions included :                 - A one-hour 702 & East Coast Radio talk         - First phase of the EDC research
    - WISA launch of the Water Treatment                 show with Lee Benny on bottled water            programme for SA, IWA Biennial
       Manual - Durban                                   and home water treatment devices                Conference, China:
    - IMESA – Soweto                                 - A special press pack for DWAF to               - Status of Wastewater Treatment
• The KSA hosted the following workshops:                e ectively communicate the message              by Water Service - Providers in
    - The KSA arranged around 7 workshops                related to the status of wastewater             South Africa - A Visual Record of
       related to ongoing and completed                  treatment plants in South Africa as             the Challenges, ESETA Conference,
       projects at the WISA Conference,                  well as the suggested intervention              November 2006
       Durban 2006.                                      strategies.                                  - Presentation made on the WRC
    - Workshop held to develop ToRs for              - Water Science & Technology (Volume                project on Productive Use at the MUS
       solicited project on sustainable tailings         54 Number 5, 2006) edited by HG                 Workshop held on 6 October 2006
       facilities                                        Snyman that contains selected papers         - Application of Cleaner Production
    - Strategy planning workshop on                      from the International conference held          Principles in Mining and Minerals
       drinking water research requirements,             in 2005: ‘Sustainable Management of             Processing: Comparing South
       Umgeni Water & DWAF, Durban, 20                   Residues from Water and Wastewater              Africa to the World, Melrose Arch,
       Sept. 2006                                        Treatment’ was published in                     Johannesburg
    - Funded and arranged with WISA                      September 2006. The edition contains         - Presented the South African status on
       – 20 October 2006 – Workshop                      several papers from South African               Nanotechnology and Energy Research
       on challenges with small package                  researchers supported by the WRC                and Research Needs in the Water Field,
       treatment plants                              - A technical debate organized and                  GWRC Meeting, Cincinnati, USA, 8-9
    - New standards for chemicals used in                sponsored by the KSA in association             Nov 2006
       potable water treatment in the thrust             with WISA was held on 5 October              - 1 November 2006 – WISA Appropriate
       Water Treatment and Supply                        2006 at the CSIR. The technical debate          technologies – presented a paper on
    - Sanitation Workshop - Prof D Mara,                 theme was: ‘Is Urine Diversion Feasible         Low-Cost Sewerage Technologies
       May 2006                                          in the Urban Areas Served by Water-          - 29 November 2006 – Presented a
    - To inform stakeholders regarding                   Borne Sewage Systems?’ The debate               paper at the Africa water conference
       the occurrence of the cyanobacterial              was informed by the work done by                on franchising of water
       neurotoxin beta-methyl amino alanine              Dr Jac Wilsenach (CSIR, Stellenbosch)        - Developing Guidelines for Greywater
       (BMAA) in raw potable and drinking                on the treatment of source-separated            Reuse for Small-scale Agriculture
       water supplies in South Africa                    urine and its e ects on wastewater              in South Africa – ICID Conference,
    - GWRC global cyanobacterial guideline               systems.                                        Malaysia, September 2006
       workshop                                      - Presented a paper at the 3 day OR              - INAP’s global initiatives to deal with
    - National Benchmarking Conference,                  Tambo DM Water Services Summit,                 acid mine drainage – WISA Mine Water
       Feb 2007                                          held at the Mzamba Wild Coast Sun               Conference, October 2006
                                                         Hotel, Eastern Cape (17-19 October
                                                         2006). The paper was entitled:

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 81 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

The KSA contributed to WRC open day ses-
sions in Cape Town and Pretoria.
• Presentations were made to the
   Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for
   Water on two occasions.
   - Presentation on Sanitation Technology

   - Presentation of the SA Water Quality
       Situation Seen from a WRC Perspective,
       20 June

As highlighted, the activities of WIN-SA are
                                                           • Core Thrust 4: Creating the capacity to
                                                             assimilate and understand knowledge:
                                                             Key champions trained and capacitated;
                                                             Support to sector training initiatives to
                                                             support accelerated water and Sanitation
                                                             delivery ; KM tools utilised and evaluated
                                                             on a continuous basis.
                                                           • Core Thrust 5: Building the network:
                                                             Strengthening and growing the Network
                                                             - WIN-SA’s role as a value adding network
                                                             for the WS sector entrenched.

                                                           It is planned that in the year 2007/08, initia-
                                                                                                             • More emphasis will be placed on water
                                                                                                               and sanitation related HIV/AIDS research
                                                                                                             • Extending the implementation of waste
                                                                                                               minimisation, cleaner production, cleaner
                                                                                                               consumption and clean technologies
                                                                                                             • Investigating the potential and
                                                                                                               technologies required for recovery and
                                                                                                               reuse of water from industrial, mining and
                                                                                                               domestic wastewaters (including grey-
                                                                                                               water and storm- water)
                                                                                                             • Furthering the knowledge and
                                                                                                               technologies for recovery and reuse of
                                                                                                               material and energy resources in water
                                                           tives started on the four thrust areas will be      and wastewater management
very closely associated with that of the KSA,
                                                           further strengthened. These include the           • Enhancing ways to predict pollutants and
and closer collaboration on dissemination
                                                           Bringing in the Harvest Campaign, lessons           their impacts
and other WIN-SA activities will be forged.
                                                           learning, North-South lessons sharing and         • Addressing infrastructure security and
WIN-SA will therefore strive to :
                                                           strengthening the network.                          sustainability
• Set in motion an incremental process to
                                                                                                             • Optimisation of water and wastewater
   improve access to and use of information
                                                                                                               treatment processes.
   and knowledge
• Ensure that users have access to                         Implementation Plan
                                                                                                             Twenty two (22) new projects have been
   appropriate information, such that the
                                                                                                             approved for funding, made up of 13 non-
   water services sector can improve its                   Research portfolio for 2006/07
                                                                                                             solicited and 9 solicited projects. Experience
   performance                                             The KSA’s continuous activities in light of the
                                                                                                             has shown that in this KSA, there is an emer-
• Strengthen the culture of learning and                   results of the strategic needs analysis and
                                                                                                             gence of new and critical issues requiring
   sharing amongst sector stakeholders                     stakeholder engagement, with regard to its
                                                                                                             research. The KSA is reserving an amount of
• Strengthen and support provincial water                  objectives and thrusts, have been well sup-
                                                                                                             R516 320.00 (Reserve Fund), to put the KSA
   services resource centres and maximize                  ported. Feedback from these exercises has
                                                                                                             in a position to respond to these research
   returns on the existing investment in                   rati ed the KSA direction and many valuable
   information and knowledge initiatives.                  inputs assisted in strengthening the portfolio.
                                                           Thus the primary and secondary objectives
                                                                                                             The research portfolio for 2006/07 is pre-
In the year under review signi cant progress               of the KSA remain the same.
                                                                                                             sented in Table 1 which provides an over-
has been achieved by WIN-SA against its set
                                                                                                             view and description of research thrusts and
objectives. All activities under its four core             The primary objective of this KSA is to con-
thrust areas have been established and many                tinue to provide knowledge that ensures
milestones have been achieved:                             reliable, a ordable and e cient services to
• Core Thrust 1: Knowledge                                 enhance the quality of life, and contribute to
    documentation: Bringing in the Harvest                 economic growth. To achieve these objec-
    Campaign - Lessons documented and                      tives, strong internal processes are necessary.
    disseminated widely; the Development of                Strengthening internal processes and capac-
    the WIN eld notes; Analysis and reviews                ity will therefore receive greater attention.
    of key sector activities and processes as
    timely and needed for the sector                       The new portfolio of projects aims at provid-
• Core Thrust 2: Access to information                     ing solutions that support these directions in
    and knowledge: Portal established                      the following ways:
• Core Thrust 3: Strengthening a culture                   • Developing tools, guidelines and
    of learning and sharing: Support to                       appropriate institutional models for
    Sanitation lesson learning - A strategy                   accelerating sustainable delivery of water
    to support Regional Sanitation lesson                     and sanitation services
    learning developed in partnership with                 • Providing information that supports the
    DWAF; Tools and guidelines developed to                   development and application of water
    enhance knowledge sharing practices in                    services legislation
    the sector.                                            • Improving understanding and knowledge
                                                              on sanitation and hygiene education

| 82 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Table 1
Overview and explanation of thrusts and programmes

                                      Thrust 1: Water Services - Institutional and Management Issues

 Scope: The e cient functioning of water service institutions and their viability is key to sustaining water services in rural and urban areas.
 The focus of this thrust is to address strategic research aspects related to policy issues, institutional reform, regulation, infrastructure man-
 agement,, water-related competencies and capacity required to the strengthening of water institutions (water services providers, water ser-
 vices authorities, water boards, national departments) in providing sustainable water services.

 Programme 1:                  The issue of cost-recovery has been identi ed as a critical aspect a ecting sustainable services. In an environ-
 Cost recovery in water        ment where genuine poverty a ects cost-recovery, this program intends to develop innovative strategies and
 services                      processes to tackle the problem. The focus will be on generating in-depth knowledge of the problem and test-
                               ing of new approaches.

 Programme 2:                  Relationships and partnerships between service providers, both external and internal, are a key to sustainable
 Institutional and             water service delivery. This program’s objective is to generate knowledge and processes that would support
 management issues -           this new form of service delivery. Innovative management techniques are a necessity for viable and sustain-
 Water services                able water service provision. This programme intends to nd innovative solutions to critical problems with the
                                nancing and management of essential services such as water supply and sanitation.

 Programme 3:                  The focus of research within this programme is to provide support to water service institutions with special
 Innovative management         reference to sustainable cost-recovery and implementation of the free basic water policy; key performance in-
 arrangements - Rural          dicators for monitoring and evaluation of service delivery; guidelines for sound management of water service
 water supply                  institutions and development of e ective strategies for promoting an integrated approach to rural develop-

 Programme 4:                  Regulation of water services is important for the sector to achieve improved functioning and performance of
 Regulation of water           the delivery of water and sanitation services, to the bene t of the population. Further, it ensures greater e -
 services                      ciency and improved management of the infrastructure and customers. This programme will support through
                               knowledge creation the development of an e ective water regulatory environment.

 Programme 5:                  The programme will address aspects related to determining and quantify the sociological, economic, techni-
 Impact of Water and           cal, health etc. impacts and bene ts of 11 years of water supply and sanitation interventions in South Africa.
 Sanitation interventions      Over the years the government has spent billions of rand to meet the backlogs and substantial progress has
                               been made. However, very little work has been undertaken to quantify the bene ts which improved water
                               and sanitation has brought to the communities and the countries. Thus the time is most appropriate to under-
                               take a study of this nature.

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 83 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

 Scope: The provision and supply of a ordable and reliable water of quality and quantity for drinking (domestic) and economic (industrial/
 commercial and mining) activities, remains continuous challenges. Research support for these activities is the focus of this thrust. The ob-
 jective of this thrust is to develop innovative technologies and processes that address aspects related to bulk water supply, water treatment
 technology, distribution and water quality.

 Programme 1:
 Drinking water
 treatment technology
                                                   Thrust 2: Water Supply and Treatment Technology

                                    The programme aims to acquire adequate understanding of potable water treatment processes and related
                                    activities and to be able to assist in treating our scarce water resources in the most e cient and cost-e ective
                                    way to an acceptable quality for potable and industrial use. Expected outcomes include improved and more
                                    cost-e cient process technologies, increased operational e ciency of treatment plants and an improved
                                    manpower training level and knowledge base.

 Programme 2:                       This programme aims to provide, through research products, adequate quantity and quality water to rural
 Water treatment for rural          communities on a sustainable basis. Expected outcomes required to achieve sustainable water services in-
 communities                        clude community involvement, cost-recovery, e ective operation and maintenance, a ordability and willing-
                                    ness to pay for water services.

 Programme 3:                       The programme aims to protect human health by ensuring that water supplies are of acceptable quality and
 Drinking water quality             standards. Outcomes include improved analytical methodologies, treatment technologies and hygiene prac-

 Programme 4:                       The programme aims to optimise the quality, quantity and reliability of the distribution and supply of treated,
 Water distribution and             potable water to the end-users thereof. The programme has the following expected outcomes: To develop
 distribution systems               reliable processes in the predicting and improving the operational e ciencies in distribution systems, with
                                    the purpose of reducing both capital and operational costs. To ensure that the quality and quantity of water is
                                    maintained in the distribution system - from the water treatment plant to the furthest end user. To develop in-
                                    novative methods, tools and processes that will improve system integrity and reliability.

| 84 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                                 Thrust 3: Wastewater and E uent Treatment and Reuse Technology

Scope: The ongoing provision of sanitation services and expansion of industrial development, both of which are national developmental pri-
orities, continually increase the need to better manage and treat the resultant wastewater and e uent ows, mitigated as far as possible by
reduction-at-source measures, so that the e uent produced not only meets discharge requirements but can also be considered as a resource.
Research in this thrust aims at developing technologies and systems that optimize the wastewater and waste management chain in the mu-
nicipal (domestic), mining and industrial sectors, including also the institutional and infrastructural arrangements operative in these sectors.
From the needs analysis carried out in 2003 and preliminary strategic research planning, the scope, de nition and priorities of some of the
programmes within Thrust 3 will alter from 2005/6, involving both the establishment of new programmes and the consolidation of some of
the existing programmes.

Programme 1:                  This programme addresses the ongoing development of new or modi ed processes and optimisation of es-
Biological sewage             tablished aerobic and anaerobic processes for biological sewage treatment systems. Expected outcomes are
treatment processes           greater cost-e ectiveness, technical and operational control, process e ciency, performance security, a ord-
                              ability and application.

Programme 2:                  This programme deals with the systematic characterisation, quanti cation and categorisation of sludge from
Sludge characterisation,      domestic and industrial sources in the RSA. The overall expected outcome is a greater capability for the devel-
treatment, utilisation        opment of technically-secure, cost-e ective, environmentally acceptable and sustainable treatment process
and disposal                  technologies, utilisation strategies and disposal practices.

Programme 3:                  Addresses the development and piloting through to full-scale implementation of treatment and/or conver-
Treatment and recovery        sion technologies for problematic organic e uents from agro-industry processing including forestry (pulp
of organics from agro-        and paper) and livestock products, particularly in respect of organic components which are too concentrated,
industrial processing         refractory, inhibitory or even toxic for the biological treatment processes normally available at municipal sew-
                              age works.

Programme 4:                  This programme aims to develop a range of processes for e ective treatment and disposal of industrial and
Treatment and recovery        mining e uents containing components such as heavy metals and inorganic salts, which have deleterious
of inorganics (including      bio-inhibitory or bio-toxic e ects on the performance of sewage works, the tness of treated wastewaters for
sulphate, metals) in          reuse, the sludge quality produced and the aquatic environment in general. Expected outcomes include the
                              potential recovery of materials and water for bene cial reuse and fundamental scienti c/engineering support
industrial and mining
                              for process development.
e uents

Programme 5:                  Aims at researching, developing and delivery of appropriate tools, course material, management systems and
Training in wastewater        providing training for wastewater treatment plant operators. The purpose is to strengthen and enhance the
treatment plant               skills base (competency and expertise) necessary for e ective control and management of the diverse needs
operation                     of the water industry in the RSA.

Programme 6:                  The programme objective is to exploit and further develop bene cial applications of biotechnological pro-
Biotechnological co-          cesses for co-treating saline and sewage wastewaters in the sustainable and integrated management of vari-
treatment of industrial       ous water-related communities, industrial, agricultural and environmental needs.
/ mining e uents with
sewage wastewater

Programme 7:                  This programme aims at addressing technical design, operational, maintenance, refurbishment and manage-
Sewerage reticulation         ment aspects of sewerage reticulation systems, which have been identi ed as a concern in the sustainable
                              provision and protection of asset infrastructure in the extended delivery of sanitation services as a national

Programme 8:                  This programme addresses strategic and technical aspects of managing stormwater ows and impacts in
Stormwater                    urban, peri-urban and rural contexts, with their di erent implications for water resources, community health,
management                    environmental impacts, etc.

Programme 9:                  This programme is established to investigate sustainable methods and technologies for generating energy
Energy from waste             from domestic and industrial waste sources.

                                                                                                 Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 85 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

                                                    Thrust 4: Industrial and Mine-water Management

 Scope: The usage of water in the mining and industrial sectors produces high concentrations of wastes and e uents. Some mining activities
 produce wastes that act as non-point sources of water quality degradation and acid mine drainage. This thrust aims to provide appropriate,
 innovative and integrated solutions to water use and waste management in the industrial and mining sectors.

 Programme 1:
 Quanti cation of
 water use and waste
                                    In order to prioritise those facets of industrial and mine-water management that need most urgent attention,
                                    it is important to quantify the water used and waste produced by di erent sectors. The NATSURV investiga-
                                    tion conducted by the WRC provides the benchmark for water use and waste that are produced by the major
                                    South African industries. While the WRC has reported on water use by coal mines and COMRO on water use by
                                    gold mines, no overall assessment of the e ect of mining or industrial waste on water quality is available. The
                                    available information thus needs to be updated and re ned. Furthermore, new information needs to be gath-
                                    ered for those sectors that may present important emerging issues.

 Programme 2:                       The regulatory authorities are responsible for managing the impact of industrial and mining waste on the qual-
 Regulatory mechanisms              ity and quantity of our water resources. Traditionally the resource-intensive command-and-control approach
 to improve industrial              was used almost exclusively to manage water quality. Internationally use is increasingly made of indirect
 and mine-water                     economic or other instruments to supplement or even replace the command-and-control approach to water
                                    quality management. These new approaches are believed to be more cost e ective and to improve equity.
                                    Both the established and new approaches are being investigated and re ned in order to support improve-
                                    ments to the regulatory mechanisms that are used to control and reduce the negative environmental e ects
                                    associated with industrial and mining waste.

 Programme 3:                       South Africa has a large legacy of mining and industrial waste products that impact negatively on the water
 Minimising impact of               environment. In spite of e orts to the contrary, the quantity and range of waste products are expected to
 waste on the water                 increase for the foreseeable future. It is thus necessary to develop cost-e ective techniques and approaches
 environment                        to minimise or reduce the impact that historical and new waste products have on the water environment.
                                    Approaches such as pollution prevention, rehabilitation, waste bene ciation and reuse, are investigated to
                                    assess their application potential and suitability to reduce and minimise the negative impact of industrial and
                                    mining waste on water quality.

 Programme 4:                       There exists a direct link between the quantity of waste produced and its impact on the water environment.
 Minimising waste                   The type of waste that is produced may, however, often be of even greater importance than quantity. In or-
 production                         der to reduce the negative impact of waste production, it is thus important to reduce both the quantity and
                                    toxicity of waste. The international trend towards waste management is therefore to minimise the production
                                    of waste by adopting cleaner production processes. Approaches such as life-cycle analysis are employed to
                                    ensure that the net e ect is positive and does not merely represent the transfer of negative e ects from one
                                    sector or environmental medium to another. This programme investigates and promotes the implementation
                                    of approaches that minimise waste production.

 Programme 5:                       The environmental consequences of waste products are almost always long-term in nature, with impacts
 Improved ability to                that may potentially last for hundreds of years. These long-lasting e ects were often not fully appreciated in
 predict and quantify               the past, and consequently not properly considered when waste was disposed of. In the present regulatory
 e ects                             environment it is increasingly expected of waste producers to quantify the present and future environmental
                                    impact of their operations and to indicate how these will be remedied. This programme is primarily aimed at
                                    establishing and improving pollution prediction capabilities appropriate to the South African situation.

| 86 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
                                           Thrust 5: Sanitation, Health and Hygiene Education

Scope: This thrust addresses the research required to assist the national government to achieve its goal of clearing the sanitation service
backlog by 2010. It also identi es research that is essential to support planning for basic sanitation service delivery (O&M, sustainability etc.)
beyond 2010. The focus is on low cost and a ordable sanitation technologies.

Programme 1:                  The main objective of this programme is to support integration of health and hygiene into the delivery of
Health and hygiene            water and sanitation in order to ensure that these services lead to maximum health bene ts for the bene ciary
education                     communities.

Programme 2:                  The aim of this programme is to provide research support to sanitation in informal and developing urban ar-
Peri-urban sanitation         eas. Until recently the focus of sanitation has been on rural areas, but the situation in urban areas is much more
research                      critical and volatile in terms of public health. Urban sanitation di ers from rural sanitation issues related to in-
                              stitutional arrangements, community dynamics and management of interventions. Due to the high densities,
                              technical choices are more complex where an a ordable and sustainable service is to be provided. Outcomes
                              from this programme will support local authorities in implementing sustainable solutions, which cater for both
                              the user and institutions needs.

Programme 3:                  The overall aim of research under this programme is to improve access to sanitation research information and
Knowledge/information         to develop e ective mechanisms for promoting implementation of best practice by the sector role-players.
management and                The focus would be on ensuring that an enabling environment supports the process of sanitation knowledge
advocacy                      and its uptake, which in turn empowers decision makers in providing sustainable sanitation.

Programme 4:                  The main objective of this research programme is to develop institutional models, tools and guidelines that
Institutional and             will support the improvement of delivery (O&M, sustainability etc.) of sanitation services.
management aspects
of sanitation service

Programme 5: Technical        To develop tools, procedures and guidelines that will guide those responsible for implementing projects in
sustainability of             their selection of appropriate sanitation technologies that are social, environmental and nancial sustainable.
sanitation services

Programme 6.                  The main objective of research under this programme is to develop models, tools and guidelines that will
Financial sustainability      enable managers to provide nancially viable sanitation technology solutions for communities and to make
                              provision for both capital investments and operation and maintenance costs for the di erent sanitation tech-
                              nology choices.

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 87 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

Research Projects for 2006/07
The ndings of projects completed during
the year under review are given, as well as a
summary of current projects and the motiva-
tion and objectives of new projects which
commenced between 01 April 2006 and 31
March 2007.

                                                           • Current ES allocations to water services
                                                             is insu cient
                                                             Using powers and functions and the
                                                             national ES formula as a guide, the current
                                                             allocations to water services within
                                                             municipalities are completely inadequate.
                                                             Funds are being diverted away from
                                                             water services to pay for general
                                                             municipal overheads, and low-capacity
                                                             municipalities divert funds from service
                                                             delivery to general administration costs.

                                                           • Higher ES subsidies for urban consumers
                                                                                                              This study aimed at applying the concepts
                                                                                                              and sustainable development indicators de-
                                                                                                              veloped by the UN and check their relevance
                                                                                                              in a developing country context. 20 SDIs
                                                                                                              were proposed for urban water systems and
                                                                                                              categorized in terms of four environmental
                                                                                                              and technical systems: freshwater, drink-
                                                                                                              ing water, wastewater and sewage sludge.
                                                                                                              Twenty SDIs were tested for urban water sys-
                                                                                                              tems in the Makhado and Thohoyandou mu-
                                                                                                              nicipalities and 16 were found to be useful
                                                                                                              for the current situation in the study area and
                                                                                                              were recommended for future studies. Some
Thrust 1:                                                    Looking purely at ES funds, municipalities       SDIs like raw water withdrawal, drinking
Water Services – Institutional and                           are all over-subsidising urban water             water quality, drinking water consumption,
Management Issues                                            consumers. While one case study                  drinking water quality, waste production
                                                             municipality is currently providing a            loads to receiving waters, access to drinking
Programme 1:                                                 portion of the Equitable Share to cover          water, sanitation and development indicators
Cost-recovery in water services                              energy and repair costs for rural schemes,       were easy to apply in the study areas as data
A study of the sustainability of current                     the application of a more consistent             were easily available. Some of the SDIs like
WSA nancial arrangements, including an                       allocation rule, either per poor household,      access to water and sanitation, water quality
analysis of how the equitable share is being                 or di erentiated by service level, would         and a ordability of services (economic indi-
applied to water services, and the impact of                 result in a substantial shift of current water   cator) were similar to the key performance
the transfer of water schemes on the viability               subsidy funds from urban to rural areas.         indicators of the South African Department
of Water Service Authorities                                                                                  of Water A airs & Forestry. The current situa-
Palmer Dev Group/Cape Town O ce                            • Insu cient subsidies being allocated to          tion for many of the indicators studied for the
No 1609                                                      sanitation services                              water and wastewater systems is not moving
                                                             Of the subsidy funds which are allocated         towards sustainability and some improve-
Due to changes in the water policy envi-                     to water services, too little of it is being     ments are necessary in the operation of the
ronment in recent years, there have been                     allocated to sanitation services. Even           systems to make them sustainable.
signi cant changes in responsibilities in the                with the inclusion of the WSOTS subsidy
water sector. In some cases the responsibility               in the analysis, the ndings indicate that        Cost:    R150 000
for providing rural water services, including                there is an excess of subsidy funds for          Term:    2004 - 2006
sanitation, has been allocated to municipali-                served water consumers, while sanitation
ties, both district and local, which have no                 subsidies remain inadequate. There are           Case study of a district municipality
previous experience in the water services                    insu cient funds to subsidise higher             water services authority experience of
sector. These predominantly rural WSAs are                   service levels if adequate provision is          implementing local government and
characterised by high backlogs, high levels of               made for health and hygiene education.           water services related policy initiatives.
poverty, small urban centres, and very limited               The danger is that funds will only be
                                                                                                              An action-oriented research support
ability to cross-subsidise between di erent                  allocated to the small number of urban
water consumer types. The aim of this study                  poor households with ush sanitation.
                                                                                                              Palmer Development Group
was an investigation of the sustainability of                This will reduce the sustainability of the
                                                                                                              No 1518
current WSA subsidy arrangements.                            service in the longer-term.

                                                                                                              As a motivation to the establishment of the
The study focused on the challenges as-                    Cost:    R207 040
                                                                                                              Forum, it was noted that South African mu-
sociated with both maintaining access and                  Term:    2005 - 2006
                                                                                                              nicipalities have been through a major transi-
targeting the poor, as there is a tendency to                                                                 tion over the last few years with the revised
postpone maintaining assets until the roll-                Programme 2:
                                                                                                              demarcation of municipal boundaries and
out of infrastructure is complete. The study               Institutional and management issues                the related creation of two tier local govern-
focused on how equitable share funds are                   - Water services                                   ment. Further there had been rapid change
currently being applied to water services, in              Sustainable development indicators for             in the policy environment with new legisla-
the context of municipal nances and three                  urban water systems: Case study evaluation         tion introduced governing municipal a airs
WSAs were used as case studies. Findings                   of the Thohoyandou and Makhado (Louis              (Municipal Structures Act, Municipal Systems
from this exercise are as follows:                         Trichardt) municipalities (NS)                     Act, Municipal Finance Management Act),
                                                           University of Venda                                new funding policy (equitable share, mu-
                                                           No 1517                                            nicipal infrastructure grant) and new water

| 88 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
sector policy (The Strategic Framework for       - Consult and formulate shared                       agglomeration of di erent disciplines,
Water Services, free basic water, free basic       perspectives on policy proposals and               consisting of:
sanitation). All this had presented consider-      developments especially in as far as               (a) Implementation of services on the
able challenges to municipalities.                 they a ect service delivery in their                   ground carried out by technical
                                                   environments                                           professionals (in di erent elds such
While there is considerable research in these                                                             as engineering, health, housing etc,
various elds, much of it was not packaged in     The Forum is proving to be an e ective                   often arranged institutionally into
a way which was useful to district municipali-   mechanism of knowledge sharing and les-                  departments along those lines);
ties and those who work with them. Further       sons learning for DM WSAs. It has also grown         (b) Decisions, trade-o s and resource
there was no established way of sharing          in stature within the sector over the past year          allocations (within limited resources,
what learning was taking place. Therefore        and it provides a platform for water services            to meet developmental objectives)
it was proposed that the WRC could have          managers/ practitioners to input in key na-              carried out by politicians; and
a major impact by supporting an action           tional sector initiatives.                               the institutionalisation of this, or
oriented research project aimed at gaining                                                                translation into the bureaucracy.
an understanding of what was needed by           Cost:    R400 000                                  • Decision making in the provision of
districts and then providing the necessary       Term:    2004 - 2006                                 waters services requires three levels
research support to them and ensuring that                                                            of methodical competence, namely,
this information is shared.                      Case study on learning by technical                  numeracy, knowledgeable analysis
                                                 water professionals and decision-                    and problem solving. It is clear from the
Using funding from the WRC, the District         makers for urban developmental service               research that only technical professionals
Water Services Managers’ Forum was es-           provision                                            require high levels of problem solving.
tablished. The idea was for a relatively small   M van Ryneveld                                       As a basic minimum, participants in the
group of high-level water services managers      No 1519                                              sector should at least be numerate. A
from district municipalities, who operate                                                             lack of numeracy can have a signi cant
under the di cult circumstances outlined         The aim of this study was to determine and           impact on the quality of decision making.
above, to get together with some fairly lim-     identify how dissemination and learning by           It appears that most decision makers in
ited research support to have quick access to    water professionals in the sector is taking          the water services sector are numerate.
information which they could use to improve      place and its impact on service provision. The       However, examples of decision makers
their planning and service delivery arrange-     study was a strategic attempt to understand          not understanding why a water reservoir
ments. It was believed that such an initia-      uptake of water knowledge. It will provide           needs to be higher than the housing it
tive would save the water services sector        good methodology for future impact studies           serves are in evidence.
signi cant resources by improving e ciency       and assist in planning appropriate dissemina-
in decision making and service delivery          tion activities. The scope of the project was      Cost:      R180 000
through minimising duplication in terms of       intentionally broad, focusing on breadth           Term:      2004 - 2005
funding similar investigations, bad decisions,   more than depth. The ndings were as
and committing similar mistakes by di erent      follows:
WSAs because of lack of information sharing.     • There is a lot of information readily            Thrust 2:
                                                     available on the provision of water            Water Supply and Treatment
The District Water Services Managers’ Forum          services within a developmental context.       Technology
(the Forum) was formally established on 9th          Much of it is of a technical nature, and
of June 2004. During this period, the Forum          therefore only partial. Nevertheless, the      Programme 1:
has proved to be a good platform for infor-          conventional literature is not in fact         Drinking water treatment technology
mation sharing, learning and action research         exclusively technical. Social and nancial      Membrane fouling and visualisation studies
for managers.                                        aspects, for example, are included.            Dept of Polymer Science, University of
                                                     What appears to be weak or missing is a        Stellenbosch
The Forum provided an important platform             mechanism for the integration, resolution      No 1441
for the managers to:                                 and translation into practice of these
- Learn from each other through sharing of           various elements.                              The aim of the project was to develop non-
    experiences when implementing policy         • What is suggested by this research to be         interfering methods for the early detection,
    and legislation;                                 missing is the combination of political        measurement, characterization and clean-
- Identify research support needs that are           and technical disciplines and functions        ing of fouling on membrane surfaces. The
    of priority to them as they respond to the       into a uni ed approach, suggested as           scope of the project included the further
    challenges facing them;                          ‘developmental water services’, and            development and re ning of an ultrasonic
- Minimise duplication of e ort and the              formalised in the workings of the              method developed earlier at the University
    likelihood of committing the same                bureaucracy. Developmental water               of Stellenbosch, called Ultrasonic Time
    mistakes thereby improving overall               services is suggested to consist of an         Domain Re ectometry (UTDR) hardware and
    e ciency in the use of public resources

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 89 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

software; the development of this technique
on at-sheet membranes and more complex
shapes; characterization of fouling layers
from high natural organic matter (NOM)
synthetic and real waters; and following the
e ect of cleaning protocols in real time.

The researchers succeeded in re ning the
UTDR technique as regards hardware, soft-
ware and data handling and can handle
both dead-end and cross ow continuous
 ow experiments. This has been done using
di erent types of water, oil/water emulsions
                                                           tion in layers, followed by slow sand ltration.
                                                           Guidelines were lastly developed for the
                                                           design, construction and integrated ap-
                                                           plication of the chemical dosing system and
                                                           the roughing ltration – slow sand ltration
                                                           processes, thereby enhancing knowledge
                                                           transfer and the application of these, very ap-
                                                           propriate, processes in practice.

                                                                    R380 000
                                                                    2002 - 2005

                                                           Programme 3:
                                                                                                              The team recommended that this test ap-
                                                                                                              proach should be included as a supplement
                                                                                                              for health-related water-quality testing not
                                                                                                              only to test water for what is in it, but also to
                                                                                                              test such water for what it could cause in a

                                                                                                                        R424 400
                                                                                                                        2003 - 2004

                                                                                                              Generic incident management
                                                                                                              framework for toxic blue-green algal
                                                                                                              blooms, for application by potable
and beer e uents, with the appropriate                     Drinking water quality                             water suppliers
membrane materials. They developed a lo-                   In ammatory potential measurement as               Rand Water
cal ultrasonic fouling index meter and had a               a supplement to health-related microbial           No 1445
more inexpensive model built in Germany, as                water quality assessment
part of a collaborative program. They further              Technikon Witwatersrand                            The proliferation of algae and cyanobacteria
developed an infrasound (low frequency)                    No 1444                                            in the source water causes problems such
device and managed to clean fouled mem-                                                                       as ine ective coagulation, occulation and
branes successfully. The project, therefore,               It became necessary to investigate supple-         sedimentation, penetration of sand lters,
succeeded in developing a fouling indicator,               mentary water-assessment tools that can            clogging of sand lters, increase of organic
which is able to measure fouling layer thick-              link the quality of water (for consumption)        loading and the release of taste and odour
ness in real time, as well as an infrasound                more directly to potential human health ef-        compounds, as well as toxic compounds dur-
membrane cleaning system. These develop-                   fects. The aim was to develop an assessment        ing the treatment of drinking water. Possible
ments will make an important contribution                  methodology that combines measurements             treatment options for the removal of cyano-
to increased use of membranes for water and                of in ammatory potential of, as well as the        bacterial cells and toxins from source and
e uent treatment in the future.                            potential occurrence of bacterial pathogens        drinking water are needed to guide water
                                                           in, water that people consume in order to          treatment plants when such problems occur.
Cost:     R 1 500 000                                      assess whether water has the potential to
Term:     2003 – 2006                                      cause in ammatory reactions in humans.             The overall aim of the project was to de-
                                                                                                              velop a Generic Cyanobacterial Incident
Programme 2:                                               Water samples were collected from the              Management Framework (CIMF) to manage
Water treatment for rural communities                      Nwanedi River Basin in the Vhembe district of      the supply of drinking water when toxic cya-
Full-scale investigation of the application of             Limpopo. In this area, substantial numbers of      nobacteria blooms are present in the source
a simple chemical dosing system (CDS), and                 people in several villages still source untreat-   water.
up ow roughing ltration in layers (URFL)                   ed river water for domestic use; however,
and slow sand ltration (SSF) combination,                  some villages have access to tap water of a        The Incident Management Framework pro-
in small and rural surface water treatment                 good microbiological quality. The common           vides operations managers and operators
plants                                                     risk factor among these villages was contain-      with easily understandable information that
Department of Building and Civil                           ers that people used for collecting water          would enable them to make informed deci-
Engineering, Peninsula Technikon                           from whatever source they accessed and             sions regarding the basic requirements for
No 1396                                                    transporting it to their homes where it was        monitoring and dealing with cyanobacteria
                                                           stored and used over time.                         in source water. This will minimise the risk
The project aimed to develop and evalu-                                                                       of exposure by consumers of drinking water
ate a simple, non-powered, constant-head                   This study showed that most of the waters          to cyanotoxins. The CIMFs accommodate
gravity chemical dosing system and test its                tested were in ammatory. The team, howev-          drinking water utilities with di erent capaci-
application in a combined roughing lter                    er, failed to associate this with the potential    ties and contribute to the knowledge base
- slow sand ltration system. The system was                bacterial pathogenesis of the test waters. This    currently available in South Africa. Whereas
designed and built in-house, and evaluated                 meant that there were some other constitu-         knowledge on how to manage cyanobac-
both on bench scale and on pilot scale in the              ents that caused the in ammatory reactivity.       teria and their associated toxins e ectively
  eld. The project succeeded in developing                                                                    during drinking water puri cation was previ-
a gravity-fed, constant-dose coagulation                   Nevertheless, as a screen for the health-re-       ously con ned to only a few drinking water
system for rural water treatment plants. In                lated quality of water, this test approach did     utilities it is now also available to all the drink-
parallel, design and operational parameters                show potential for use as a robust supple-         ing water utilities.
were established for a rural water ltration                ment to tests traditionally used for monitor-
system, consisting of up- ow roughing ltra-                ing.

| 90 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Two easy-to-use posters were developed              ers enzymes had originated. Protein pro ling      experimental investigations, perform eld
that could be used by the drinking water            and bioinformatics studies, supported by          investigations and develop software that
utilities for easy reference by the plant opera-    literature, con rmed the origin of GAL and        will assist designers in evaluating a pipeline
tors’ laboratory personnel and managers.            GUD as being from E. coli, and not from plant     system over its full life cycle. This study quan-
This document has been reviewed by inter-           or algal origin. After enzyme assay optimisa-     ti ed the contributing factors altering the
national specialists and would be used by           tion, a liquid bioprobe was established. Field    hydraulic capacity of pipelines and re ects
the GWRC cyanobacterial group to develop            evaluation of the bioprobe showed the same        the most appropriate pipe material selection
an international guideline for cyanobacterial       degree of sensitivity as conventional mem-        and lining systems for di erent operating
management.                                         brane ltration methods with a maximum             characteristics and water. Findings identi ed
                                                    detection time of 24 h.                           that the two main contributing factors of
Cost:    R236 300                                                                                     energy losses are:
Term:    2003 -2004                                 To implement real-time assaying, electro-         • Inherent resistance against ow exerted
                                                    chemical detection of the enzyme break-              by the uid (i.e. viscosity)
On-line real-time enzyme diagnostic                 down products was investigated and proof          • The friction losses resulting from the
system for the detection and monitoring             of concept was established.                          interface between the uid and the
of sewage levels in drinking water                                                                       conduit boundary (i.e. shear), as well as
Dept of Biochemistry and Microbiology,              Real time monitoring of faecal pollution             secondary losses resulting from abrupt
Rhodes University                                   proved promising though direct electro-              local changes in the system.
No 1446                                             chemical detection and development of
                                                    a sequential ow injection analysis (SFIA)         Findings from experimental work indicated
Current tests to detect indicator micro-            system.                                           roughness parameters as well as the annual
organisms for the potential presence of                                                               rate of increase in roughness parameter were
pathogens in water intended for drinking            This design constitutes a high priority for       all signi cantly higher than that prescribed
purposes are in place (i.e. total coliform tests,   future research and is based on the proof         in theoretical references. Bio lm exists on all
E. coli, etc.), but these require often laborious   of concept that was established during the        piping surfaces in a potable water distribu-
and time-consuming procedures. During the           course of this study. At this point, a provi-     tion system and that there is an increase of
course of 2000 to 2002, unique enzymatic            sional patent is being applied for, based on      bio lm with time. Bio lm has an e ect on
pro les present in primary sewage sludge            results obtained in this and the follow-on        the hydraulic capacity of a pipe system but
were established by the team, one of the rst        study.                                            the quanti cation thereof is di cult due to
studies of its kind in the world.                                                                     the uctuating growth pattern thereof. The
                                                    Cost:    R 500 000                                roughness parameters that are normally
The ultimate aim of this work was to develop        Term:    2003 – 2006                              quoted by manufacturers tend to be too low.
an on-line real-time enzyme diagnostic
system for the detection and monitoring of          Programme 4:                                      Cost:      R746 000
sewage levels in drinking water, using suit-        Water distribution and distribution               Term:      2001 – 2004
able marker enzymes. Furthermore, proof             systems
of concept was established for the design           Factors in uencing the friction loss in           Country-wide assessment of non-
of a suitable electrochemical biosensor for         pipelines and the relationship between            revenue water throughout South
the rapid detection of faecal matter in water       water quality, operating conditions and the       Africa using latest international water
intended for drinking purpose. One of the           performance of di erent liner systems and         association methodology
most promising alternative approaches to            pipe material                                     WRP Consulting
faecal microbial detection (by performing           Department of Civil Engineering, University       No 1535
direct assays for marker enzymes of these           of Pretoria
indicator micro-organisms) was selected.            No 1269                                           Municipal water use in South Africa has been
Detection via marker enzymes was success-                                                             under investigation for many years and the
fully achieved within 24 h although the aim is      There are various factors that in uence the       Department of Water A airs and Forestry
to reduce this time to less than 9 hours.           hydraulic capacity and pipeline designers         has been trying to establish the levels of
                                                    need to take all of these into consideration      wastage from all water supply systems
A number of stages were involved in con-            during the design. For instance the estima-       countrywide. This has proved a very di cult
 rming that the concept of direct enzyme            tion of roughness parameter for a pipeline        task due to the absence of reliable data in
assays can indeed be applied to the direct          has a signi cant e ect on the hydraulic ca-       many Municipalities as well as confusion
in situ detection of faecal contamination in        pacity and operational costs. An underesti-       regarding how such wastage should be
water samples. Attempts were made to con-           mation of this parameter can be catastrophic      estimated. Until the wastage can be quanti-
centrate the marker enzymes (originally pres-       when the required demand cannot be met.            ed accurately, it is impossible to develop
ent in very low concentrations) in order to         The better quanti cation and identi cation        and prioritise the actions that must be taken
facilitate bio-informatic pro ling and identi -     of these factors required investigation, re-      to ensure that water is used e ectively and
cation of the source from which these mark-         viewing the available literature, conducting      e ciently in this water scarce country. The

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 91 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

project in partnership with DWAF is the
  rst project in which the water balance
methodology has been used to estimate the
magnitude of wastage from water reticula-
tion systems throughout the whole of South
Africa. While many problems have yet to be
resolved, the results from the current study
provide the rst plausible estimate of the
municipal water wastage occurring in South
Africa using the standardised water balance
methodology supported by the International
Water Association (IWA). Based on the results
obtained from the 62 water reticulation
                                                           and rural water requirement for 2000 is 3 471
                                                           million m3/annum. If this value is extrapo-
                                                           lated using an assumed growth of 3%, it
                                                           suggests a total municipal water use in 2005
                                                           of approximately 4 000 million m3/annum.
                                                           The total bulk system input volume gure
                                                           obtained for the 62 systems analysed was
                                                           2 149 million m3/annum which represents
                                                           approximately 54% of the total urban/rural
                                                           water requirement of the country. Based on
                                                           these gures and extrapolations, indications
                                                           were that:
                                                           • The losses (real and apparent) for the 62
                                                                                                             million. In most cases, the data record in-
                                                                                                             cludes actual water meter readings, reading
                                                                                                             dates and estimated monthly consumption
                                                                                                               gures for more than two years. Data for all
                                                                                                             types of users with metered consumption are
                                                                                                             included in the database, including domes-
                                                                                                             tic, commercial, industrial and educational
                                                                                                             users. To ensure the integrity of the data, two
                                                                                                             data cleaning phases were implemented. The
                                                                                                             main ndings on domestic water demand
                                                                                                             were that:
                                                                                                             • Inland stands use signi cantly more water
                                                                                                                  than coastal stands
systems, the following conclusions were                        systems analysed were estimated to be         • Water demand is positively correlated
reached:                                                       623 million m3/annum or 29% of the total           with both stand value or income and
• The density of connections for the South                     water supplied                                     stand size
    African systems ranged from a maximum                  • Based on the above gures, the                   • The current design guidelines
    of approximately 135 connections/km                        extrapolated water losses from water               underestimate the demand for small
    mains to 18 connections/km mains. The                      reticulation systems for the whole of              stands, and overestimate the demand for
    expected density of connections for a                      South Africa are likely to be in the order         large stands
    typical rst-world system is in the order of                of 1 150 million m3/annum (based on the       • Higher income users have both higher
    50 connections per km mains.                               54% sample size)                                   demand and larger variation between
• The average operating pressure for the                   • The potential savings that can be                    summer and winter demand. This is
    South African systems ranged from a                        achieved from the 62 water reticulation            mainly due to garden irrigation.
    minimum of 24 m to 63m. It should                          systems analysed are estimated to be          • Townships and informal settlements have
    be noted that this represents the                          266 million m3/annum based on the                  very little variation in their demands
    weighted average pressure for the whole                    methodology discussed in this report          • The average water consumption per
    reticulation system and pockets of very                    which includes a combination of real and           suburb was calculated and compared
    high or very low pressure may still exist                  apparent losses                                    to the current South African design
    in various systems. These pressures are                • If the above gure is extrapolated to the             guideline as. It was found that 39 % of the
    typical of most normal systems in rst                      whole country (based on the 54% sample             1 188 suburbs fell below the lower and 8
    world conditions.                                          size), the potential savings are estimated         % above the upper envelope curve of the
• The average ILI for the South African water                  to be almost 500 million m3/annum,                 guideline
    reticulation systems was found to be 7.6                   which represents approximately 12.5% of       • The return ow in the sewer system is
    (1.0 being very good and greater than                      the system input.                                  only linked to indoor demand and thus
    10 being very poor). Excluding one or                                                                         does not have much seasonal variation
    two small outlier systems, the ILI ranged              Cost:    R650 000                                 • The result is that the sewer return ow
    from approximately 2 (very good) to                    Term:    2004 - 2006                                   as a percentage of the water demand
    more than 20 (very poor). The average ILI                                                                     shows the reverse behaviour of the water
    value places South Africa in the middle                Benchmarking of domestic water                         demand pattern. The return percentage is
    of the world data set and indicates that               consumption in selected South African                  highest for the lowest income groupings
    the real losses in the country are high                cities                                                 and lowest for the highest income
    with signi cant scope for improvement                  Rand Water                                             groupings. The highest income grouping
    but lower than most other developing                   No 1536                                                has the greatest variation in return ow
    countries.                                                                                                    percentage, and this percentage is
                                                           The study aimed to determine water con-                highest during the winter months and
Unfortunately the information available from               sumption per erf and to relate this to erf             lowest during the summer months.
the various water reticulation systems in the              size, number of consumers, etc. Included               Garden irrigation is the main reason for
country is either not available or of dubious              is calculation of return ows. Forty eight              this behaviour.
quality in many cases with the result that                 municipal treasury databases were collected       • 47 % of the average suburb demands fell
any conclusions made regarding the water                   and extracted for archiving in this study. This        inside the design envelope proposed by
leakage for the country as a whole must be                 includes four metropolitan municipalities              the South African design guidelines
considered as preliminary estimates that will              (Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and            • Inland water demand is signi cantly
be revised in future as more reliable data                 Cape Town) and 151 cities or towns. The total          higher that coastal demand
become available.                                          number of stands in the databases exceeds         • There is strong evidence that domestic
                                                           2.5 million, of which 1.5 million are non-va-          water demand increases with both
The National Water Resources Strategy of                   cant stands. The number of records (i.e. water         increasing stand area and stand value (or
DWAF states that South Africa’s total urban                meter records) in the databases exceeds 2.7            income).

| 92 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Cost:    R250 000                                  request and after signing an indemnity form.      (0.6 kg COD/m3·d). Process engineers, plan-
Term:    2004 - 2005                               Information on the archive and this report        ners and controllers will nd the report useful
                                                   are available from the website         as it contains many practical observations
Development of a national water                    za/wrg/ .                                         and experimental results related to aspects
consumption archive                                                                                  such as sludge production rates, factors that
Rand Afrikaans University                          Cost:    R150 000                                 increased and decreased RBCOD production,
No 1605                                            Term:    2005 – 2006                              appropriate recycle rates, sludge settleability
                                                                                                     issues and operational parameters.
Domestic water consumption is a func-
tion of various factors, including stand size,     Thrust 3:                                         Cost:      R889 000
income, household size, climate, pressure          Wastewater and E uent Treatment                   Term:      1998 - 2001
and water price. However, the overriding           and Reuse Technology
problem with studying water consumption                                                              Characterisation of wastewater from
is that quality data are di cult to get hold of.                                                     low income - high density housing
                                                   Programme 1:
In recent years, a unique software product
                                                   Biological sewage treatment processes             schemes with full water-borne sewerage
called SWIFT (Sewer and Water Interface
                                                   PETRO™ process to provide for biological          and o -site disposal into conventional
from Treasury) was developed, allowing
                                                   nutrient removal                                  wastewater treatment works
access to municipal treasury databases to
                                                   PGJ Meiring Konsult                               Ninham Shand
obtain demographic and water consumption
                                                   No 971                                            No 1449
information of large numbers of users. This is
a very valuable source of information on the
                                                   The PETROTM (Pond Enhanced TReatment              The characteristics of municipal wastewater
topic of water consumption both now and
                                                   and Operation) system is a wastewater treat-      originating from catchments with industrial
in the future. This project aimed to ensure
                                                   ment technology which combines waste              and middle- to high-income residential areas
that this valuable source of information is
                                                   stabilisation ponds as a primary stage and a      could be di erent from areas with a high
not lost. A procedure was developed to col-
                                                   polishing facility as a secondary stage. The      percentage of Low Income High Density
lect existing and future water demand data
                                                   upstream stabilization pond(s) treat up to 60     (LIHD) developments. This study aimed to
from the di erent municipalities in South
                                                   % of incoming organic load which decreases        provide new knowledge on characteristics of
Africa and installing the data in an archive
                                                   the size of a secondary facility. The standard    wastewater from South African LIHD hous-
that is accessible to researchers and other
                                                   PETRO process was typically not designed          ing schemes with full water-borne sewer
interested parties in South Africa. Forty
                                                   for biological phosphorus removal. This           reticulation and the social aspects that a ect
eight municipal treasury databases were
                                                   project aimed to establish the technological      the characteristics of these wastewaters. The
archived in this study. This includes four
                                                   feasibility of biological phosphorus removal      study focused on two LIHD areas near Cape
metros (Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni
                                                   using the PETRO process. If this is feasible,     Town with full water-borne sewer reticula-
and Cape Town) and 151 cities or towns.
                                                   existing municipal wastewater treatment           tion. The extent of the study was not su -
The total number of stands in the databases
                                                   plants which employ ‘older’ low-cost tech-        cient to determine any relationship between
exceeds 2.5 million, of which 1.5 million are
                                                   nologies, such as waste stabilisation ponds       social circumstances and wastewater charac-
non-vacant stands. The number of records
                                                   and bio- lter plants (incorporating ponds         teristics apart from volume estimates. Daily
(water meter records) in the databases
                                                   for maturation), could be adapted to remove       samples were analysed for various param-
exceeds 2.7 million. In most cases, the data
                                                   phosphorus as well as meet the more strin-        eters and the various COD fractions deter-
for each non-vacant record include actual
                                                   gent carbon and nitrogen requirements.            mined. This short-term study demonstrated
water meter readings, reading dates and
                                                   Observations made at a number of full-scale       that the wastewater compositions and char-
estimated monthly consumption gures for
                                                   plants strongly suggest that the primary          acteristics from LIHD residential areas gave
more than two years. Data for all types of us-
                                                   pond used in a particular regime of opera-        wastewater characteristics that fall within the
ers with metered consumption are included
                                                   tion is capable of the RBCOD production at        range (although on the upper end) of typical
in the database, including domestic, com-
                                                   the rates required for biological P removal.      domestic wastewaters (middle- to high-in-
mercial, industrial and educational users. A
                                                   The recirculation rate appears to be at least     come areas) in South Africa. The un-biode-
method was developed and documented
                                                   one of the key factors in the enhancement         gradable particulate COD fraction could not
for the sustained archiving of future Swift
                                                   of the RBCOD production. The tentative data       be accurately estimated. The research results
databases. Methods for making the data ac-
                                                   obtained suggest that the enhancement             are not su cient to serve as a national guide-
cessible to researchers and other interested
                                                   is e ected through inhibition of extremely        line on the wastewater characteristics in LIHD
parties in South Africa were investigated.
                                                   oxygen-sensitive methanogens. High-rate           residential areas, and follow-up research is
Because of the very detailed and sensitive na-
                                                   recirculation appears to provide an opportu-      required especially on ow-compensated
ture of the data in the archive, legal opinion
                                                   nity to signi cantly increase RBCOD produc-       composite samples.
has expressed that used in the wrong way,
                                                   tion in an open primary pond. Under these
the developers of the archives can be held
                                                   conditions a speci c organic loading can be       Cost:      R 500 000
responsible. It is therefore recommended
                                                   safely increased well beyond the value rec-       Term:      2003 – 2005
that the archive be held by the University of
                                                   ommended for ponds without recirculation
Johannesburg and sent to applicants only on

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 93 |
Water Use and Waste Management

Evaluation of sewage treatment
package plants for rural, peri-urban and
community use
Umgeni Water
No 1539

Localised prefabricated small-scale sewage
treatment plants, or package plants, are used
widely as an alternative to conventional
centralized wastewater treatment plants.
The study was commissioned to gain an
understanding of sewage package plant
technologies and to test the performance of
                                                           The available South African and international
                                                           data on the di erent properties of WTS were
                                                           sourced to get an indication of the constitu-
                                                           ents of concern that may be present in WTS.
                                                           Nine receptors were identi ed that could
                                                           be impacted by the application of WTS to
                                                           land. The nine receptors could be impacted
                                                           through 36 di erent pathways ranging from
                                                           direct impact to there being multiple barriers
                                                           between the WTS and the end receptor. A
                                                           risk ranking matrix was developed to system-
                                                           atically evaluate the signi cance of di erent
                                                           aspects and identify matters that will need
                                                                                                               the biomass to adapt to the test material and
                                                                                                               therefore to overcome the initial inhibition.
                                                                                                               A second method that was considered is the
                                                                                                               pH-stat titrimetric method that consists of
                                                                                                               compensating the change in pH caused by a
                                                                                                               physico-chemical or biological process with-
                                                                                                               in a suspension, by the controlled addition
                                                                                                               of an appropriate solution which neutralises
                                                                                                               the excess acidity or alkalinity produced or

                                                                                                               Toxicity and biodegradability tests on the
                                                                                                               land ll leachates and textile e uents were
the selected technologies under controlled                 to be managed through guidelines. This pro-         conducted. The quality of the experimental
conditions. The study identi ed two major                  cess also highlighted knowledge gaps which          data was only su cient to draw qualitative
shortcomings: the inability of plants to nitrify           would make it di cult to develop appropri-          conclusions to develop an improved ex-
to remove ammonia and disinfect the nal                    ate guidelines for land disposal/treatment of       perimental protocol that was applied in the
e uent. Being a global problem, failure can                WTS at present.                                     several tests.
be attributed to poor design and construc-
tion, lack of maintenance and mechanical                   Cost:    R250 000                                   Cost:    R1 260 000
breakdowns. The project team concluded                     Term:    2005 – 2006                                Term:    2000 – 2005
that addressing the issues of the legislative
framework and technology development                       Programme 3:                                        Hydrophilisation of hydrophobic
may assist in managing the problems relat-                 Treatment and recovery of organics                  ultra ltration membranes
ing to dispersed sewage treatment in South                 from agro-industrial processing                     Institute for Polymer Science, University of
Africa. The application of such plants is a con-           Co-digestion of high-strength / toxic               Stellenbosch
tentious issue and the WRC added value to                  organic e uents in anaerobic digesters at a         No 1268
the study outcomes by facilitating dialogue                wastewater treatment works
among the manufacturers, practitioners and                 Department of Chemical Engineering,                 Membranes foul as result of the ltration op-
municipalities via a series of workshops and               University of KwaZulu-Natal                         eration and by nature of the membrane ma-
seminars.                                                  No 1074                                             terial of construction. The greatest barrier to
                                                                                                               increased use of membranes is this tendency
Cost:     R380 000                                         A need was identi ed for a method to assess         toward fouling. Polysulphone (PSU) is the
Term:     2004 - 2006                                      whether an industrial e uent can be safely          material of choice for the manufacture of var-
                                                           treated in an anaerobic digester; or whether        ious types of ultra ltration (UF) membranes
Programme 2:                                               it requires mixing with another readily             because of its robustness and chemical
Sludge characterisation, treatment,                        biodegradable e uent in order to be simul-          stability. Unfortunately PSU is a hydrophobic
utilisation and disposal                                   taneously digested (co-digestion); or else          material, which is vulnerable to fouling. In
Scoping assessment for land disposal of                    whether it is not amenable to be anaerobi-          order to capitalize on the usefulness of PSU
sludges from potable water treatment                       cally digested at all. A screening protocol was     membranes in ltration operations, chemical
University of KwaZulu-Natal/                               established investigating two quick simple          modi cation of this material to make it less
Pietermaritzburg                                           reliable analytical and technical methods           hydrophobic and fouling was at the core of
No 1601                                                    that are relatively inexpensive so that it is af-   this study. The methodology followed was
                                                           fordable to small companies.                        to impart a more permanent hydrophilic,
It is estimated that over 5 million m3/a of wet                                                                non-fouling character to the membranes by
water treatment sludge (WTS) are produced                  The researchers studied the serum bottle            synthesizing a polymeric compound which is
in South Africa. Traditionally, WTS disposal               method which is based on the determination          compatible with the membrane polymer in
has been to land ll. An option gaining ac-                 of the volume of gas produced in a sealed           solution, but which is not soluble in water.
ceptance internationally is application of                 vial, as a measure of the activity of the an-
WTS directly to land wherein the physical,                 aerobic sludge. Two assays, originally devel-       Synthesis of a suitable material, a copolymer
chemical and biological properties of the                  oped to separately address the toxicity and         of poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO) and polysul-
soil are used to digest the applied waste                  the biodegradability have been combined in          phone (PSU) was accomplished with success.
without creating negative e ects on soil                   a single test termed AAT (Anaerobic Activity        The PEO segments of the polymer are polar
quality, groundwater or plant growth. This                 Test), which enables the simultaneous assess-       and impart hydrophilicity to the membrane.
study found that although few guidelines on                ment of the inhibitory e ect on the metha-          All analytical techniques used to study treat-
the topic exist internationally, land applica-             nogenic biomass and the biodegradability            ed membranes showed greater hydrophilic-
tion is generally viewed in a positive light.              of the test material as well as the ability of      ity compared to control membranes that did

| 94 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
not contain the modifying material. Scale-up       Development of a combined activated               Mine in a collaborative research venture
of the synthesis reaction was also successful      carbon / micro ltration (ACMF) process            involving the WRC (Project No. 869), ERWAT
and quantities of up to 5kg were synthesized       for the treatment of industrial e uents           and Grootvlei Mine, with detailed study of
at a time. In this project, the rst concept of     Department of Chemical Engineering,               the basic process mechanisms being under-
a new, high- ux capillary UF membrane was          Durban Institute of Technology                    taken in WRC Project No.972.
developed. Although further optimization           No 1374
studies are still required, it is clear that the                                                     In Project No. 1078 the outstanding com-
membrane developed will have merit for use         This project concerned the development of         ponents of the pilot plant were constructed
in drinking water applications and in protein      a novel combined activated carbon/micro-          to enable evaluation of the complete in-
separation.                                          ltration (ACMF) process that can remove all     tegrated process over an appropriate time
                                                   suspended and colloidal solids as well as sig-    period. Speci c aims were to complete pilot-
Cost:    R650 000                                  ni cantly reduce the organic content of an        scale evaluation of sewage as an example of
Term:    2001 – 2005                               e uent in a single step. The ACMF process is      a complex carbon source used as an electron
                                                   a very promising one-step process for organ-      donor in the integrated biodesalination
Dual-stage ceramic membrane                        ics reduction and the removal of suspended        process; to complete construction, opera-
bioreactor for the treatment of high-              solids. The performance is superior to a          tional development and optimisation of the
strength industrial wastewaters                    micro- lter without a pre-coat or a micro-        integrated BioSURE® pilot plant at Grootvlei
School of Environmental Sciences and                 lter with an ‘inactive’ pre-coat, both from     Mine; and to operate the nal con guration
Development, UP for CHE                            the point of view of rejection and permeate       as a demonstration plant for an appropriate
No 1371                                              uxes. The removal of organics is seemingly      period for technology transfer, for process
                                                   superior to conventional PAC processes, due       decision-making relating to the full-scale
The project entailed a new approach to the         to the formation of a secondary dynamic           engineering of the process and to provide
operation of solid-liquid separation bioreac-      separation layer. As such, the process holds      specialist support to WRC research partners
tors for the treatment of e uents containing       great potential in the treatment/pretreat-        in their implementation of process scale-up.
recalcitrant pollutants. This involved the use     ment of ‘di cult’ industrial e uents. This        The nal report on this Project No. 1078,
of a dual-stage membrane bioreactor, which         project developed the ACMF process further,       along with the nal report on Project No.
uses ceramic membranes for cell recycle. It        evaluated it on selected industrial e uents,      1336(not yet nalised), is to be published as
was found that the dual-stage hybrid mem-          and determined the overall economics of the       Report 11 in the series Salinity, Sanitation
brane bioreactor enabled the intermittent          process.                                          and Sustainability (ISBN series 1-86845-853-
transfer of acclimated retained bio lm de-                                                           9, Volume 4, Part 3 Sulphur Production and
veloped in a seeding reactor to a hydrolysis       Cost:   R397 000                                  Metal Removal Unit Operations). The report
reactor. This facilitated signi cant improve-      Term:   2002 – 2005                               will include early results from the full-scale
ments in the enhancement of microbial                                                                plant currently being built and commis-
population adaptability and performance            Programme 4:                                      sioned at Ancor Sewage Works.
e ciency as well as drastically decreasing         Treatment and recovery of inorganics
the usual acclimation time necessary by                                                              Cost:      R1 700 000
                                                   (including sulphate and metals) in
75% when compared with activated sludge                                                              Term:      999 – 2002
                                                   industrial and mining e uents
wastewater treatment processes. The system         Development and piloting of the integrated
of solid-liquid retention membrane bioreac-                                                          Heavy metal removal from water with
                                                   bio-desalination process for sulphate and
tors was shown to be a highly e cient ap-                                                            electrosorption using zeolite adsorbents
                                                   heavy metal removal from mine drainage
plication for the treatment of high-strength       water incorporating co-disposal of industrial     made from co-disposal residues
industrial e uents containing recalcitrant         and domestic e uents                              University of the Western Cape
pollutants. In comparison to activated sludge      Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology,        No 1546
systems, the long-term operation of this           Rhodes University
membrane bioreactor process treating high-         No 1078                                           This project aimed to develop adsorbents for
strength e uents was characterised by more                                                           toxic element removal, develop a method
stable microbial populations, signi cantly         The development of suitable biological            to synthesise zeolites from the solid waste
less susceptible to deleterious shifts in the      treatment processes for acid mine drainage        residues that is produced during the neutral-
community dynamics, resulting in enhanced          (AMD) has to date been constrained by reac-       ization of acid mine drainage with y ash and
process e ciency due to less process vari-         tor design appropriate to the large volume        to demonstrate the feasibility of using this
ability. This, membrane-based system could           ows and the availability of cost-e ective       synthesised material with or without electro-
therefore present a viable alternative to an       carbon sources. The Rhodes BioSURE® pro-          sorption for removal of toxic elements from
activated sludge process in the treatment of       cess uses sewage solids as the carbon source      contaminated water. The results demonstrat-
‘di cult’ industrial e uents.                      for sulphate reduction and algal activity for     ed the opportunity to use zeolites prepared
                                                   precipitating heavy metals and neutralising       at both high and low temperatures from sol-
Cost:    R885 000                                  acidic drainage streams. A pilot plant was        id waste residues to treat and remove toxic
Term:    2002 - 2005                               constructed and commissioned at Grootvlei         elements from neutral mine waters or brines

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 95 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

containing high levels of mono and divalent
cations. Zeolites prepared at low tempera-
ture was somewhat less e ective at toxic
element removal than those synthesized at
high temperatures, but generally performed
equivalent to commercial faujasite (zeolite
mineral of the sodalite group) . Overall, better
removal was achieved using the synthesized
zeolites than standard commercial resins for
most contaminants. A partial bene t was
observed in the application of adsorbents
in an electrosorption system under an ap-
plied electric eld. Removal of toxic elements
                                                           information is provided on the legal require-
                                                           ments, waste management principles and
                                                           best practices in South Africa for the han-
                                                           dling, storage, transportation and disposal
                                                           of wastes. The guidance document contains
                                                           information on the following topics:
                                                           • Waste generation processes / industrial
                                                           • Background information
                                                           • Classi cation and rating
                                                           • Environmental and health concerns
                                                           • Unacceptable disposal options
                                                           • Acceptable disposal options
                                                                                                               supports the proposition that soils available in
                                                                                                               Mpumalanga may be used for store-and-re-
                                                                                                               lease covers and that the results of the experi-
                                                                                                               mental work conducted in KwaZulu-Natal can
                                                                                                               be used to calibrate designs conducted for
                                                                                                               other soil types and climatic regions.

                                                                                                                        R667 100
                                                                                                                        2002 - 2005

                                                                                                               Stability and neutralisation capacity of
                                                                                                               potential mine back ll material formed
                                                                                                               by co-disposal of y ash and acid mine
was enhanced slightly in the case of a few                 • Industry trends and other information             drainage
speci c elements. However, the additional                  • Illustrative pictures.                            Coaltech 2020
partial bene t of an electrosorption system                                                                    No 1458
was outweighed by its energy costs and by                  Cost:    R325 000
the observed leaching that may derive from                 Term:    2004 – 2006                                WRC Project No. 1242 demonstrated the
components of the electrosorption system                                                                       feasibility of using y-ash (FA) to neutralise
during the application of an electrical eld.               Programme 3:                                        acid mine drainage (AMD) and to produce
                                                           Minimising the impact of waste on the               zeolites. This follow-on project evaluated
Cost:     R300 000                                         water environment                                   the feasibility of the process on a bigger
Term:     2004 - 2006                                      Improving the performance of covers for the         scale and for a larger range of FA-AMD
                                                           rehabilitation of coal-mine residues                combinations, and also investigated other
                                                           Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd                  applications for FA and the residual solids
Thrust 4:                                                  No 1350                                             that remain after the FA-AMD reaction. Much
Industrial and Mine-water                                                                                      attention was devoted to develop a better
Management                                                 A previous joint WRC-Coaltech project utilis-       understanding of the chemistry involved
                                                           ing an experimental set-up built by DWAF in         in the neutralisation of AMD with FA. The
Programme 2:                                               KwaZulu-Natal, proved that soil cover design,       feasibility of using FA as mine back ll was
Regulatory mechanisms to improve                           and speci cally cover thickness, had a major        evaluated in simulated passive and active
                                                           e ect on limiting the ow of water through           treatment systems. AMD water quality
industrial and mine-water management
                                                           the cover (thereby reducing the volume of           signi cantly improved during permeation
Development of guidelines and
                                                           potential acid mine drainage – AMD). Soil           through FA, and changed the FA mineralogy.
recommendation towards the classi cation,
                                                           cover also had a major e ect on the ingress         Experiments were conducted to determine
rating and disposal of common industrial
                                                           of air, thereby limiting one of the essential       how the di erent back ll materials would
hazardous waste streams for the purpose of
                                                           elements for the formation of AMD. Most             behave when pumped and placed in simu-
general authorisation for waste disposal
                                                           of the rehabilitated coal discard dumps in          lated mine environments. Tests aimed to
Environmental Business Strategies
                                                           Mpumalanga that were assessed during the            determine mixtures with appropriate slurry
No 1548
                                                           current study were found to exhibit erosion,        densities, strength development, slurry ow
                                                           indicating that the covers are becoming pro-        and density parameters. Solid residues per-
It is estimated that approximately 90% of
                                                           gressively thinner with time. Future covers will    formed similarly to residual solid/ y ash com-
hazardous waste streams (by number) are
                                                           thus need to be designed to prevent erosion         binations and considerably better than the
common to most industries Instead of every
                                                           by means other than vegetation. The current         Portland cement amended blend. However,
waste generator performing a separate
                                                           study also illustrated the importance of select-    none of the materials were able to neutralise
waste classi cation for these common waste
                                                           ing soils with the appropriate characteristics      AMD over the long term. This study further
streams, this project aimed to develop a ge-
                                                           in terms of moisture retention and volumetric       demonstrated the potential to use FA in ash
neric classi cation for them. Having obtained
                                                           stability. Lightly compacted soil was found         walling and to neutralise AMD and the use of
more detailed information on the common
                                                           to provide better storage capacity and less         the residual residue (or FA itself ) to prepare
waste streams, the generator would be able
                                                           through- ow than better compacted soil of           highly adsorbent zeolites, or as back ll in
to concentrate resources on their speci c
                                                           the same type. The simulation of a range of         underground mines. The feasibility of these
waste streams, which typically constitute
                                                           cover con gurations based on laboratory-            applications needs to be further investigated
more than 80% of the total waste (by mass)
                                                           derived parameters showed that a cover              at pilot scale, as part of an integrated waste
produced by the generator. The study de-
                                                           thickness of between 0.5m and 1.0m will be          management approach.
veloped a user-friendly guidance document
                                                           optimum for the Mpumulanga coal- elds
and recommendations for the classi cation
                                                           region. Laboratory tests also indicated that        Cost:    R 420 000
and disposal of 20 common industrial haz-
                                                           cracking of soil increases the amount of water      Term:    2003 – 2005
ardous wastes. In addition to the guidance
                                                           that in ltrates into the soil cover. The research
documents of each waste stream, further

| 96 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Impact of microbiology on y ash/acid             area. The life cycle impact assessment (LCIA)       used by service providers on rural sanitation
mine drainage (AMD) co-disposal and              framework for South Africa has been used to         projects in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo
remediation systems                              determine the extent of di erent environ-           Provinces in relation to the developed model.
University of the Western Cape                   mental impacts. It was concluded that the           An integrated livelihood and Knowledge
No 1549                                          extraction of the required water from nature        Attitude and Practices (KAP) assessment was
                                                 to supply potable water is the most impor-          also carried out in Lushinton, a rural com-
The use of FA as a more economic alterna-        tant consideration, while water losses in the       munity in the Eastern Cape Province of South
tive for the neutralization of AMD is under      supply system must receive attention, espe-         Africa and a report produced.
active consideration, both within SA and in-     cially in the municipal-controlled part. Water
ternationally. Studies conducted at the UWC      quality impacts and electricity generation are      The study ndings indicate that there are sig-
were su ciently positive that a pilot-scale      also important. The boosting requirements           ni cant impacts reducing gaps at all stages
neutralization system is under consideration.    (pumping) contribute most to the electric-          of the health and hygiene programmes as
The main aim with this project was to inves-     ity dependency of the life cycle system. A          currently carried out by the 12 service pro-
tigate the possibility of microbial community    number of data gaps were identi ed and rec-         viders. The study results indicate that health
development in solids derived from the           ommendations were made to improve such              and hygiene budgets are only 2% of sanita-
admixture of AMD and FA. As expected, they       future studies in South Africa. This study thus     tion project budgets (the house-to-house
found fresh FA to be sterile and fresh AMD to    identi ed key environmental aspects that            method of health and hygiene promotion is
contain a substantial and diverse population     should be considered where water is used            used in only 33.9% of cases) and community-
of acidophilic micro-organisms. During the       in the manufacturing sector, and identi ed          based workers (CBWs) are paid R80 per toilet
process of mixing, microbial viability is lost   speci c shortcomings in the present LCIA            whilst project agents and consultants earn
within a matter of minutes, almost certainly     methodology that needs further develop-             R273 and R172/hour respectively.
due to the rapid rise in pH of the system.       ment for the speci c conditions encountered
While the development of microbial commu-        in South Africa. These are often di erent           Relatively fewer consultants measured the
nities in mixtures of the FA-AMD solid phase     to the conditions in Northern Hemisphere            impact of health and hygiene programmes
and soil was slow, no microbial activity was     countries where the LCIA methodology was            when compared to those that carried out pre
observed in the uncontaminated incubated         developed                                           intervention surveys ( 8 or 66.7% ; 11 or 91.7%
solid phase during the 6-month period of                                                             respectively) , and less money was spent on
the experiment. In the context of ash-walling    Cost:    R160 000                                   post intervention surveys in comparison with
or back- lling processes (where neutraliza-      Term:    2004 – 2005                                pre-intervention surveys R34, 231.65 and
tion solids may be used undiluted), it is thus                                                       R101, 347.02 respectively.
expected that the development of microbial
communities would be limited. Although the       Thrust 5:                                           Recommendations are made to policy mak-
short-term toxicity of neutralisation solids     Sanitation and Hygiene Education                    ers for the use of livelihood approaches in
was found to be low, the possible long-term                                                          community water and sanitation delivery
toxicity of such solids suggests that caution                                                        to ensure that projects are better able to
                                                 Programme 1: Rural sanitation and
must be exercised in use of this material for                                                        identify, target and impact maximally on the
                                                 hygiene education
the amendment of agricultural soils.                                                                 livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable, thus
                                                 Increasing the pace of sanitation delivery
                                                                                                     ultimately increasing their ability to pay for
                                                 by methodologically integrating health,
Cost:   R559 000                                                                                     services and enhancing the sustainability
                                                 sanitation and income generation
Term:   2004 - 2006                                                                                  of such projects. There is a critical need to
                                                 Mvula Trust
                                                                                                     institutionalize and promote the CBHHM.
                                                 No 1380
Programme 4:                                                                                         Pertinent stakeholders should fund projects
                                                                                                     which make use of the CBHHM on sanita-
Minimising waste production                      The study explored the hypothesis that a
                                                                                                     tion projects in a bid to demonstrate the
Environmental life-cycle impact assessment       methodical approach to health and hygiene
                                                                                                     strengths of the model.
of water use in selected industrial areas of     implementation on rural sanitation projects
South Africa                                     can potentially address current gaps in meth-
                                                                                                     Cost:      R204 694
University of Pretoria                           ods of health and hygiene delivery by sanita-
                                                                                                     Term:      2002 – 2003
No 1552                                          tion service providers. It also began a pre-
                                                 liminary exploration of the hypothesis that a
This life cycle assessment (LCA) study was                                                           Development of a child-centred
                                                 livelihoods approach to water and sanitation
undertaken to identify key environmental as-     delivery can potentially enhance the direct
                                                                                                     course for teachers to promote basic
pects that should be considered where water      and indirect impact of water and sanitation         health and hygiene awareness in rural
is used in the South African manufacturing       on livelihoods and the recipient communi-           communities
sector, and to identify possible shortcomings    ties’ ability to pay, thus ultimately increasing    Lenehan Engineering and Environmental
in the LCA tool. The study has compiled a        the pace of services delivery. The study            Consulting
comprehensive life cycle inventory of water      developed a Community Based Health and              No 1400C
supply to the Rosslyn industrial area, north     Hygiene Model (CBHHM) with an attendant
of Pretoria in the Tswhane metropolitan          implementation kit and evaluated methods

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 97 |
KSA 3                        (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

Children have the capacity to actively pro-
mote health and hygiene campaigns within
their communities. With this in view, it would
seem that any programmes which target
children as change agents in rural communi-
ties must involve schools and the community
at large.

This research project aimed to facilitate the
development and implementation of health
and hygiene programmes on a local level in
rural communities and included the develop-
ment of child centred course materials that
                                                           which should be addressed in both the plan-
                                                           ning and implementation stages of any proj-
                                                           ect with the full participation of community
                                                           members. However, the current framework
                                                           for delivery does not allow for the facilitation
                                                           and promotion of economic development.
                                                           This is particularly problematic given the cur-
                                                           rent context of unemployment and poverty
                                                           in rural areas. This study endeavoured to
                                                           identify the factors that both facilitate and
                                                           impact on local economic development
                                                           (LED) both during and after the implementa-
                                                           tion of water services projects, in an attempt
                                                                                                               as irrigation of a backyard or community veg-
                                                                                                               etable garden or for micro-enterprises such
                                                                                                               as hair salons or brick manufacture. Indirect
                                                                                                               gains may sometimes be even more impor-
                                                                                                               tant than direct bene ts in that they can
                                                                                                               apply to both water-based and non-water-
                                                                                                               based activities where saved time and mon-
                                                                                                               ey can be invested in activities that bring
                                                                                                               positive returns to capital or labour. It is clear
                                                                                                               that without speci c training being provided
                                                                                                               to rural communities on LED there is unlikely
                                                                                                               to be a signi cant shift in the understanding
                                                                                                               of LED and the improvement of rural econo-
can be re-used by educators and adapted                    to address poverty and underdevelopment             mies. It is recommended that community
for other rural schools. The creation of these             in rural areas.                                     members are exposed to awareness raising
resources is necessary as they are often                                                                       and training on the importance and mean-
scarce in rural areas and they may also lack               The term ‘local economic development’ gen-          ing of LED. In addition, community members
local context.                                             erally refers to a process of creating wealth       should be capacitated to understand the IDP
                                                           through the mobilisation of human, nancial,         process and their roles and responsibilities in
The Health and Hygiene Awareness                           social, physical and natural resources or           relation to the development of the IDP.
Programme developed in this research                       capitals. The core issue in LED is about the
project is based on the lesson plan format                 creation of wealth and jobs. The aim of lo-         Cost:    R 300 000
and is ready for use for by rural school edu-              cal economic development ultimately is to           Term:    2003 – 2005
cators. It consists of 10 lesson plans and is              produce higher standards of living, improve
designed for learners aged from 6-8 years.                 the quality of life, alleviate poverty, create      Involving traditional healers and myths
The aims of these lesson plans are to provide              more and better jobs, advance skills and            and stories in hand-washing/hygiene
an appropriate format for successful health                build capacity for sustained development in         education / sanitation promotion
and hygiene programme for lower primary                    the future.                                         initiatives
school learners.                                                                                               Sigodi Marah Martin
                                                           An analysis of both the desk research and the       No 1521
The chosen resources to support the lessons                  eld research has revealed a number of factors
are typically available in rural schools or rela-          that both facilitate and impact on LED in wa-       In South Africa nearly 80% of the popula-
tively easy to substitute, acquire or replicate            ter services. The facilitating factors identi ed    tion rely on the services of Traditional Health
(e.g. paper, pencils, crayons, plastic bottles).           relate primarily to an understanding of the         Practitioners (THPs) in matters of health
The resource sheet Germs was designed to                   concept of LED, supportive and accountable          and well-being, often prior to engaging the
be easily photocopied and intentionally in-                local government and access to su cient             formal health service sector, making them
cluded images acquired in the internet pub-                water, land and credit. The main factors that       potentially a key partner and stakeholder in
lic domain to avoid copyright infringement.                impact on LED are the lack of understanding         community health education. Despite this
                                                           of the concept of LED, and the fact that there      being the case there seemed little evidence
Cost:     R 167 000                                        are no linkages between water related institu-      of the potential role that THPs could play
Term:     2003-2004                                        tions and LED institutions both within and          in sanitation, health and hygiene being ex-
                                                           outside the community. Clearly, the lack of         plored or promoted.
An identi cation and review of the                         access to land, water and credit are also factors
factors in rural water services that                       that impact on LED in water services.               The speci c objectives of this project were:
facilitate and impact on local economic                                                                        • To investigate if there are myths or
development in the Eastern Cape                            The ndings from this research project rein-            traditional practices that can assist with
Rural Support Services                                     force a number of the key issues raised in the         encouraging positive hand-washing
No 1437                                                    literature and provide further information             behaviour and how can these be
                                                           in support of the positive impacts that can            practically incorporated into hand-
There has been ongoing debate in the water                 be expected if water services projects were            washing promotion, hygiene and
and sanitation sector regarding the impor-                 viewed as part of an integrated development            sanitation education and sanitation
tance of viewing water services projects                   programme rather than as one-o proj-                   promotion initiatives
as part of an integrated development pro-                  ects that are seen as an end in themselves.         • What is the potential for engaging
gramme rather than as one-o projects that                  Improved water supplies can lead to both di-           traditional healers in South Africa to assist
are seen as an end in themselves. One of the               rect and indirect opportunities for improved           with carrying messages related to this?
main issues related to this is the importance              productivity. More water, of better quality         • Could a similar model be used as was
of, and ongoing need for local economic                    and provided more reliably, can provide the            utilised for involving them in initiatives to
development in rural areas. This is an aspect              water needed for productive activities such            combat HIV/AIDS?

| 98 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
The results showed that there is de nitely po-      The aims of the project were to isolate and        VIP toilets, correctly engineered and imple-
tential for THPs to be involved in HH&S pro-        identify bacterial enteropathogens from            mented, are a good means of providing a dry
motion due to their de nitive in uence on           stool samples of HIV positive individuals with     sanitation service, but these systems are not
the daily life of communities in South Africa.      and without diarrhoea and controls and to          without their problems. If a dry toilet (i.e. not
In order to maximise this potential role there      establish any epidemiologic linkage between        requiring water for its operation) is designed
are a number of challenges that need to be          bacterial enteropathogens from HIV/AIDS            and constructed in such a way that the
addressed. These include, but are not limited       patients with diarrhoea and their household        faeces vault can be quickly, easily and safely
to, the paradigmatic di erences between the         drinking water and to determine the anti-          emptied, then one of the biggest mainte-
biomedical and traditional health disciplines       microbial susceptibility pro les of enteric        nance problems will be obviated. If the pro-
as well as the historical relationship of THPs      isolates from water in comparison with diar-       cessed excreta can also be productively and
to the legislative context and formal health        rhoeagenic pathogens                               safely used for agriculture, the technology
care infrastructure.                                                                                   will become even more attractive. In South
                                                    The ndings of the team were the following:         Africa, where many rural communities rely on
In terms of speci c recommendations the             • The high rate of isolation of various enteric    subsistence agriculture, often in poor soils,
research ndings point out that there should            pathogens from HIV positive individuals         and with urban agriculture becoming more
be active encouragement of the participa-              with diarrhoea strongly incriminated            common, this is an important aspect.
tion of THPs in any HH&S initiative. A par-            them in the aetiology of diarrhoeal             Urine-diversion ecological sanitation
ticipatory approach will be most e ective              diseases in HIV/AIDS patients. Age and          (Ecosan) systems address the above prob-
when engaging THPs and the development                 sex distributions of HIV seropositive           lems. They have been successfully imple-
of speci c materials about engaging THPs in            individuals accentuate the feminization         mented in many countries, including South
HH&S issues should build on those utilised             of the epidemic. The presence of enteric        Africa, where about 3 000 of these toilets are
in this research project and others in the             bacterial pathogens and the high rates of       already in existence. However, despite much
water services sector. Deliberate strategies           multiple antibiotic resistances of isolates     research having been carried out interna-
are also required to create processes that al-         from stool and water samples could be           tionally and locally, various questions still
low for new paradigmatic health services to            potential public health threats.                remain, particularly on the health aspects of
emerge which will integrate the strengths of        • The study also revealed the usefulness           operation, maintenance, and excreta reuse or
the disciplines of biomedical and traditional          of some antibiotics such as meropenem,          disposal. Not enough is currently understood
health. From the literature review, it also            imipenem, gentamicin, cipro oxacin,             about the processes taking place inside the
became clear that taking into account tradi-           piperacillin-tazobactam, amikacin and           faeces vault, and there is still disagreement
tional values and integrating them in e orts           nalidixic acid in the empiric management        on safe retention periods and stability of
geared towards HH&S promotion initiatives is           of diarrhoeal cases. The demonstrated           the nal product. The roles of dryness, pH,
imperative in a cultural context. It is therefore      correlation of enteric bacterial pathogens      temperature and time in pathogen destruc-
important to explore how this integration of           from HIV-positive individuals and their         tion need to be further clari ed. Furthermore,
traditional and cultural ways of thinking and          household drinking water by polymerase          institutional aspects associated with wide-
living can happen at a level which practically         chain reaction unravelled the impact of         spread implementation and management
impacts the way that communities live.                 water quality on HIV/AIDS and warrant           of Ecosan are largely un-researched in South
                                                       some risk assessment studies. The               Africa, and this will be a handicap to large-
Cost:     R326 000                                     most prevalent enteropathogens were             scale implementation unless e orts are
Term:     2004 - 2006                                  Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and          made to address the matter.
                                                       Aeromonas species.
Molecular relatedness of enteric                                                                       A need was identi ed to create further com-
pathogens isolated from water sources               The team recommended that intervention             petence in this area of sanitation in South
and HIV/AIDS patients with diarrhoea in             studies should be undertaken including             Africa, and to increase knowledge concern-
rural communities in the Limpopo and                strategies to ensure the sustainability of         ing the technology. Ecosan technology is still
                                                    water quality in child headed households, in-      at a conceptual and development stage, yet
Eastern Cape Provinces
                                                    stitutionalised orphanages and home based          all indications are that it has the potential to
                                                    care settings.                                     provide bene ts in the provision of sanita-
No 1633
                                                                                                       tion. The technology is increasingly being
                                                    Cost:    R300 000                                  introduced in a manner which consists of
Water services are limited in communities
                                                    Term:    2005-2007                                 faulty design, poor implementation and im-
with high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Immune
                                                                                                       proper use. This study developed strategies
systems of HIV positive individuals are prone
to a wider range of common illnesses and            Programme 2:                                       and guidelines which provide fundamental
                                                    Peri-urban sanitation research                     answers in the sustainable management of
diseases than individuals whose immune sys-
                                                    Strategy for the furtherance of knowledge          this technology.
tems are not compromised by HIV/AIDS. HIV
infected individuals therefore have greater         and good practice of ecological sanitation
                                                    (Ecosan) technology in South Africa                Cost:      R 820 000
requirements for potable water than un-in-
                                                    Boutek, CSIR                                       Term:      2003 - 2006
fected individuals.
                                                    No 1439

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 99 |
Water Use and Waste Management

Understanding the disposal and use of
grey-water in the non-sewered areas in
South Africa
University of Cape Town
No 1524

There is a strong drive from the South African
government to attain basic water and sanita-
tion coverage. The level of service to meet
this requirement being applied by the major-
ity of authorities in urban and rural areas re-
late in most cases to on-site dry latrines (VIPs
or equivalent) and 25 ℓ/cap d of drinking
                                                        the amount of water consumed per house-
                                                        hold. The total volume of greywater that is
                                                        generated on a daily basis in the non-sew-
                                                        ered areas of SA (based on an average 75%
                                                        return factor) can therefore be estimated at
                                                        just over 500 000m3 /d. This amounts to ap-
                                                        proximately 185 million m3/year – equivalent
                                                        in volume to a medium-sized dam such as
                                                        Voëlvlei near Cape Town, or approximately
                                                        50% of the current water demand of that city.
                                                        These gures highlight the fact that grey-
                                                        water disposal in dense non-sewered areas
                                                        is likely to result in signi cant health and
                                                                                                              greywater that is generated in higher-
                                                                                                              income sewered areas in that there is a
                                                                                                              greater variation in the concentration
                                                                                                              of the various pollutants and at its most
                                                                                                              concentrated it should be considered
                                                                                                              hazardous. There is therefore signi cant
                                                                                                              risk involved with the on-site disposal of
                                                                                                              greywater in non-sewered areas.

                                                                                                                    R800 000
                                                                                                                    2004 - 2006

water. As water and sanitation services are at-         environmental impacts, particularly in dense       Current
tained and improved, the potential for prob-            urban environments where large volumes of
                                                        greywater are generated.
lems related to the disposal and manage-                                                                   Thrust 1:
ment of grey-water will emerge. Solutions
                                                        This study has provided a general overview
                                                                                                           Water Services – Institutional and
are required to circumvent or minimise these
                                                        of the large variety of conditions that occur in   Management Issues
problems. The study aims to undertake a
complete scoping exercise to identify current           the non-sewered settlements in SA, and has
                                                        highlighted the implications of certain settle-    Programme 1:
and historic grey-water management initia-
tives in urban and rural areas, and to identify         ment characteristics (speci cally settlement       Cost-recovery in water services
problem areas / challenges. Determine and               density) on greywater management in these          The development of models to facilitate
assess existing management and disposal                 areas. In addressing the original objectives of     nancial sustainability of water services
practices within South Africa.                          this research the following conclusions have       provision by Water Services Authorities in
                                                        been made:                                         rural areas, based on an investigation of full
There is currently a strong drive from                  • There is a noticeable gap between                costs and income
the South African government to attain                      Government policy on water provision           Mvula Trust
adequate water and sanitation coverage                      and the long-term sustainable water            No 1614
throughout the country and the basic level                  management challenges for the country
of service to meet this requirement being ap-               – whilst the water supply interventions        This project aims to establish the real costs
plied to the majority of authorities in urban               are aimed at improving the health of           and income for providing water services in
and rural areas relates in most cases to on-                individuals, no attention has been given       rural areas, using learning and applied re-
site dry latrines (VIPs or similar) and 25 litres           to the resultant longer-term impacts on        search methodology of engaging and men-
of potable water per capita per day (ℓ/cap·d)               environmental health in non-sewered            toring ve WSAs. The identi cation of the
within 200m cartage distance. The connec-                   areas. At a local government level there       costs and the model will further assist with
tion of low-income settlements to municipal                 is still debate as to whether greywater is     good budgeting from all tiers in government
water sources has subsequently occurred on                  a stormwater (drainage) or a sanitation        and will contribute to some standardization.
a massive scale, frequently without giving                  issue. Further National policies and
adequate attention to greywater man-                        programmes do very little to promote           Estimated cost: R370 000
agement in those areas that are non-sew-                    greywater management in water and              Expected term: 2005 – 2007
ered. In the absence of suitable conveyance                 sanitation improvements.
systems, greywater is generally disposed of             • Social dynamics and behavioural patterns         Programme 2:
onto the ground outside the dwellings and                   have a signi cant impact on the way            Institutional and management issues
the resulting total pollution load, particularly            that communities deal with water supply        - Water services
from densely populated settlements, has the                 and wastewater management issues,              Water services franchising: An innovative
potential to create a host of environmental                 particularly with respect to greywater         approach to water services delivery in rural
and health impacts. It is likely that the prob-             disposal. These behavioural patterns (and      and peri-urban areas
lems related to the disposal and manage-                    the drivers associated with them) must         Umgeni Water
ment of greywater will increase as basic                    be taken into account when assessing           No 1610
water and sanitation services are attained                  speci c greywater management
and improved, and solutions are therefore                   options for individual settlements. This is    The project aims to assess water franchising
required to manage these impacts.                           particularly relevant when considering         for delivery of services in peri-urban and rural
                                                            greywater use options in certain areas         areas. The concept proposed is a very new
This study found that the total volume of                   where potable water resources are              and innovative subject area. The study builds
greywater currently being generated in the                  limited.                                       on outputs from a completed scoping exer-
non-sewered areas of South Africa has been              • The quality of greywater in non-                 cise, which recommended that the principles
estimated ranging between 65% and 85%, to                   sewered areas di ers signi cantly to the       and concepts be further established and

| 100 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
proven, which would then allow piloting and      The state of community consultation in                 turbidity standards. However, in some cases
implementation much more attractive. The         the provision of water services                        it is found that existing lters operating at
concepts will contribute to wider participa-     Sigodi Marah Martin                                    conventional rates can tolerate higher rates
tion of small scale entrepreneurs in the man-    No 1616                                                without any upgrades or changes in chemi-
agement of water services                                                                               cal pretreatment.
                                                 It is imperative that in a changing institution-
Estimated cost: R600 000                         al environment the concepts of community               Sand lters contribute a substantial part of
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                       involvement are not lost. As water services            the total capital costs of water treatment
                                                 authorities take the helm of service delivery,         plants. Upgrading existing lters to high-
Interactive mechanisms for WRC                   it needs to be ensured that the community              rate ltration as opposed to building new
research to support municipal water              aspects are not lost. This study will look at the       lters could potentially minimise or totally
services knowledge management                    level and status of community consultation             eliminate the need for capital expenditure
Sigodi Marah Martin                              on a range of water services issues. It will           on upgrading existing plant capacity. This in
No 1611                                          aim to identify typical problems areas and             turn would have a direct impact on the water
                                                 successes and come up with recommenda-                 tari being paid by the consumer. Once the
The project aims to assess the extent to         tion for improving community participation             maximum feasible ltration rate for various
which WSAs access, integrate and apply           in the sector. This will be of importance to            lters designs is determined, the potential for
knowledge to determine the current capac-        the sustainability of projects, but also to the        and costs of upgrading existing conventional
ity of WSAs to access, integrate and apply in-   regulation of water services. This study will           lters to high-rate lters can be assessed.
formation. The aim is to establish a roadmap     undertake a qualitative and quantitative sur-
for customer driven dimension to knowledge       vey to determine the level or status of com-           Estimated cost: R208 000
transfer and management at WSA level. This       munity consultation.                                   Expected term: 2002 - 2004
project is fresh and innovative, and tackles
the subject of what is the uptake and level of   Estimated cost: R700 000                               An investigation into alternative
transfer of knowledge at LG level.               Expected term: 2005 – 2007                             methods to clean lter media in rapid
                                                                                                        gravity sand lters to ensure optimal
Estimated cost: R622 000                                                                                performance and quality of the ltrate
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                       Thrust 2:                                              Umgeni Water
                                                 Water Supply and Treatment                             No 1525
Programme 3:                                     Technology
Innovative management arrangements                                                                      The project will establish a reliable procedure
- Rural water supply                             Programme 1:                                           and protocol to measure cleanliness of the
Best practice institutional and project                                                                   lter media, the behaviour of lter media,
                                                 Drinking water treatment technology
guidelines based on national and                                                                        changes in head- loss, air and water scour
                                                 Evaluating the potential for upgrading
international experience to manage the                                                                  rates and ltrate quality. The nature of depos-
                                                 existing SA ltration plants to high-rate lters
impact of gender in the South African rural                                                             its on the media will be determined in order
                                                 Umgeni Water
water sector                                                                                            to identify the mechanisms that cause media
                                                 No 1395
Council for Geoscience                                                                                  deterioration and extra-cellular microbial
No 1612                                                                                                 compounds present in the deposit on the
                                                 International experience indicates that grav-
                                                                                                          lter media rendering the medial sticky and
                                                 ity sand lters can be operated at ltration
Over the past 10 years a lot of emphasis has                                                            di cult to clean will be determined. During
                                                 rates of up to 30 m/h. Standard practice in
been a orded to the aspect of gender in the                                                             the project, a representative survey of the SA
                                                 South Africa has been to design and oper-
provision of water and sanitation services                                                              water treatment plants will be conducted to
                                                 ate lters at ltration rates of between 7 and
both at a local level and international level.                                                          benchmark the e ciency of backwash pro-
                                                 10 m/h. These are conservative ltration
In fact, it has become a requirement in many                                                            cedures and media cleanliness, to determine
                                                 rates and are based on historical English and
initiatives and has become part of policy and                                                           the leading causes of media deterioration.
                                                 French design criteria.
legislation. Yet, with all these requirements                                                           It will also be attempted to quantify the
is progress being made. This project aims                                                               potential savings that could be made by
                                                 The maximum ltration rate achievable in a
to understand the impact of gender on the                                                               implementing the multi-cycle sequential and
                                                   lter is determined by its hydraulic design.
management of rural water supply and the                                                                chemical lter cleaning procedures.
                                                 However, the maximum rate which can be
e ects of decentralization of services. Are      achieved before deterioration of ltrate qual-
these new arrangements supporting gender                                                                Estimated cost: R413 000
                                                 ity or unacceptably short run times occur
mainstreaming? This is what the study will be                                                           Expected term: 2004 - 2005
                                                 depends on the oc strength and lter media
highlighting.                                    design (size and depth). High-rate ltration
                                                 typically requires deeper beds and coarser             Biological ltration of iron and
Estimated cost: R600 000                         media sizes than conventional rapid ltration           manganese from groundwater
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                       and lter aid is often required to meet ltrate          Umgeni Water
                                                                                                        No 1526

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 101 |
KSA 3                       (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

It is aimed to develop criteria for the design
of biological ltration systems that will
remove iron and manganese from ground-
water in rural areas in an economical and
sustainable fashion. The e ectiveness of such
systems will further be demonstrated by the
operation of a small water treatment system
in a rural area in KwaZulu-Natal.

Estimated cost: R750 000
Expected term: 2004 - 2007

Development of enhanced oating
                                                        The defouling of membranes by moving
                                                        magnetic dipole polymer beads,
                                                        containing nano magnetic particles, in
                                                        a scouring motion across the membrane
                                                        using external magnetic elds
                                                        University of Stellenbosch
                                                        No 1592

                                                        Fouling of membranes remains the main
                                                        problem preventing the large-scale and
                                                        economic use of membranes in more appli-
                                                        cations internationally. Various chemical, hy-
                                                                                                         The generation of design parameters
                                                                                                         for the use of the limestone teeter-bed
                                                                                                         reactor for potable water stabilisation
                                                                                                         and the treatment of Cape coloured
                                                                                                         RG Batson
                                                                                                         No 1594

                                                                                                         The project entails the further development
                                                                                                         and assessment of an improved limestone
                                                                                                         reactor for the treatment and stabilisation
                                                                                                         of coloured surface water. A uidised bed
                                                        draulic and ultrasonic membrane-defouling        reactor is required when using limestone,
media separation for drinking water                     methods have been investigated, with vary-       since colour and metals in surface water tend
production and pretreatment in rural                    ing success. This project aims to investigate    to coat the surface of limestone particles,
water supply                                            nano-technology for the in situ defouling of     rendering the reactor ine cient after a rela-
University of Stellenbosch                              membranes. Nano-magnets will be incor-           tively short operating time. This patented
No 1527                                                 porated into small polymer beads and the         system aims to overcome the disadvantage
                                                        magnetic elds in all of the nano-magnets         of uidised bed reactors in terms of unac-
The project proposes to further develop a l-            inside the beads will be aligned. Movement       ceptably high energy consumption, while
ter with oating plastic media for the supply            of the polymer beads on the surface of the       still ensuring the required scouring action of
of water for rural communities. Performance             membrane will then be induced in order to        the limestone particles in order to keep them
of the lter both on its own, and as a pre-              scour the surface, which will hopefully clean    from becoming coated. The technology will
treatment system for ultra ltration mem-                and prevent fouling on the membrane sur-         be evaluated and demonstrated on a typical
branes will be evaluated and the operability            face. The resulting system will be evaluated     soft, corrosive, Cape Province coloured water.
of the system will be compared to that of a             on a typical coloured surface water puri ca-
conventional coagulation, sedimentation                 tion application.                                Estimated cost: R390 000
and sand ltration plant. This system should                                                              Expected term: 2005 – 2007
be a more e cient and cost-e ective alter-              Estimated cost: R794 000
native to sand lters if the research is suc-            Expected term: 2005 – 2008                       Operational strategies for the cost-
cessfully executed. It is also simple to operate                                                         e ective use of ozone in water treatment
and requires less head for back-washing than            Development of improved local anti-              Umgeni Water
conventional sand lters. A successful project           fouling spiral wrap membranes                    No 1596
can ensure that more small communities                  University of Stellenbosch
will have the bene t of membrane-treated                No 1593                                          The aim of this project is to study the factors
potable water supply.                                                                                    that a ect ozone demand with a view to
                                                        This work will build onto the ongoing re-        optimise ozone dose and determine the im-
Estimated cost: R914 000                                search in innovative defouling methods           pact of ozone on downstream processes and
Expected term: 2004 - 2007                              investigated at the Institute for Polymer        downstream water quality. Suitable determi-
                                                        Research at the University of Stellenbosch.      nants will be used to optimise ozone dose
Polyelectrolyte determination in                        These local innovations, as well as appropri-    on three chosen full-scale plants currently
drinking water                                          ate international developments, will be in-      using ozone treatment. An analytical test kit
Umgeni Water                                            corporated into a locally manufactured spiral    for optimizing ozone dose will then be tested
No 1528                                                 wrap membrane. A number of trial mem-            in each of the three plants with a view of
                                                        branes will be produced and bench-marked         adapting the procedure for each of the three
The project aims to develop a new analyti-              against existing membranes. Guidelines for       situations. Control strategies for ozone dose
cal technique, or improve on the existing               the manufacture of these improved spiral         optimization for changing raw water qualities
technique, for the determination of residual            membranes will be provided to the South          including ows and other operational issues
polyelectrolyte levels remaining in drinking            African membrane industry.                       will be developed so that it can be integrated
water after treatment of the water.                                                                      into the general waterworks control system.
                                                        Estimated cost:   R720 000
Estimated cost: R300 000                                Expected term:      2005 – 2008                  Estimated cost: R651 500
Expected term: 2004 - 2006                                                                               Expected term: 2005 – 2007

| 102 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Programme 2:                                       A large number of small water treatment               Enabling water uoridation in small
Water treatment for rural communities              systems supply water to small and rural com-          drinking water treatment plants
Technical and social acceptance evaluation         munities from surface- and groundwater                Umgeni Water
of a novel micro ltration and ultra ltration       sources. The decision maker selecting a small         No 1530
membrane system for potable water supply           water treatment plant has a large number of
to rural and remote communities                    local and international designs and systems           The project aims to investigate and suggest
Chris Swartz Water Utilization Engineers           to choose from. The project aims are to iden-         ways to ensure that the implementation and
No 1227                                            tify new and suitable small water treatment           operation of uoridation in small and rural
                                                   systems being marketed for application to             plants may be done in a safe and sustainable
The project entails the evaluation of locally      small communities and to provide techni-              fashion. Available equipment and instru-
developed membrane systems for the pro-            cal and socio-economic guidelines to assist           mentation will be evaluated and guidelines
duction of potable water for small communi-        with the selection of such small systems.             provided for the choice and operation of
ties from a variety of surface water qualities     Promising new systems which have not been             suitable equipment. Suggestions will be
found in South Africa. The evaluation will         used locally yet will be evaluated on pilot           made on the optimal ways to install and op-
be performed using both ultra ltration and         scale if required. The guidelines document            erate such equipment and instrumentation.
micro ltration mobile treatment systems.           will incorporate a database on technical              Innovative ways will further be suggested
Guidelines for the application of these            and economic information on these small               in which to implement and operate such
membrane systems to speci c surface water          systems, as well as an operation manual for           equipment and instrumentation in order to
qualities will be drafted. The project scope       each system.                                          ensure safe and sustainable uoridation on
includes operational guidelines for potential                                                            small and rural water treatment plants.
users as well as the establishment of social       Estimated cost:    R 1 200 000
acceptance factors of the technology with          Expected term:     2003 – 2006                        Estimated cost: R1 200 000
rural communities.                                                                                       Expected term: 2004 - 2007
                                                   The testing of a membrane technology
Estimated cost:    R556 000                        unit for the removal of nitrate, chloride,            Improving the e ciency of disinfection
Expected term:     2001 - 2004                     phosphate and sulphate pollutants                     in small drinking water treatment plants
                                                   from groundwater (NS)                                 University of Fort Hare
Development of appropriate brine                   University of the North West                          No 1531
electrolysers for disinfection of rural            No 1529
water supplies                                                                                           Ine cient disinfection was shown to be a
Dept of Chemistry, University of the Western       The project aims to evaluate a number of              major weak point in the provision of safe
Cape                                               di erent membranes for the removal of salts           water on small and rural drinking water treat-
No 1442                                            and speci c pollutants from groundwater               ment plants. The project aims to investigate
                                                   sources in the Northwest Province. The proj-          the reasons for these existing problems and
Chlorine disinfection is required for rural wa-    ect also aims to assist in the training of local      suggest both technical and social remedies
ter treatment since it has residual disinfecting   people (technicians) to operate and main-             to overcome the problems and to ensure the
powers after water has been carried into the       tain the water processing installation and            provision of e ciently disinfected and safe
homes. This project will further develop a         monitor impurities on-site with eld testing           drinking water to these communities.
novel system for the generation of chlorine        equipment. The consumers’ understanding
from common table salt. The unit to be de-         of the implementation of a water puri cation          Estimated cost: R1 000 000
veloped will not produce toxic chlorates as        system through examining the following:               Expected term: 2004 - 2006
side-products – as can easily happen when          • The knowledge of consumers regarding
employing currently available salt chlorina-           puri ed water and the puri cation system          Assessment of the occurrence and key
tors. The unit will further allow pH control       • Their attitudes towards puri ed water               causes of drinking-water quality failures
of the dosed chlorine liquid, allowing much            and a puri cation system will further be          within non-metropolitan distribution
more e cient disinfection and is a main ad-            determined.                                       networks in South Africa, and guidelines
vantage over the current systems.                  Such membrane systems established in the
                                                                                                         for the practical management thereof
                                                   rural areas will contribute to a healthier life,
                                                                                                         Emanti Management
Estimated cost:    R 480 000                       especially for people living in high nitrate
                                                                                                         No 1597
Expected term:     2003 - 2005                     groundwater areas.
                                                                                                         Small water service providers are having
The evaluation and selection of small              Estimated cost: R499 600
                                                                                                         problems in proactively managing drink-
water treatment systems for potable                Expected term: 2004 - 2006
                                                                                                         ing water quality within their distribution
water supply                                                                                             networks. This project aims to analyse the
Chris Swartz Water Utilisation Engineers
No 1443

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 103 |
KSA 3                       (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

relatively high percentage of water quality
failure in two provinces of South Africa and
in particular contrast the water quality at the
water treatment plant with that at point of
use. Guidelines will then be developed for
the management of drinking-water quality in
non-metropolitan distribution systems. The
guidelines will include legislative compliance
requirements, technical inputs (e.g. optimum
free chlorine residual levels), best practices
(e.g. pro-active maintenance requirements),
monitoring and management protocols and
reporting protocols to consumers, provincial
                                                        Guidelines for the Upgrading of Small Water
                                                        Treatment Plants) it was found that most lo-
                                                        cal small water treatment plants experience
                                                        problems in operating on a sustainable basis.
                                                        This was due to a number of both technical
                                                        and human factors. However, due to the
                                                        wide and encompassing nature of this inves-
                                                        tigation, it was not possible to identify and
                                                        characterise the operation and maintenance-
                                                        related problems fully. This project, therefore,
                                                        aims to survey current management prac-
                                                        tices, determine optimal small plant opera-
                                                        tion and management methodologies for
                                                                                                           Estimated cost: R403 600
                                                                                                           Expected term: 2004 - 2006

                                                                                                           New detection methods for EDCs
                                                                                                           University of Stellenbosch
                                                                                                           No 1534

                                                                                                           The project will aim to produce and test an
                                                                                                           endocrine disrupting compound (EDC) indi-
                                                                                                           cator system. This will be achieved by execu-
                                                                                                           tion of the following objectives:
                                                                                                           • Clone cDNA for the human oestrogen
                                                                                                              receptor ligand binding domain (LBDER)
and national government. These guidelines               South Africa and compile a user friendly op-          into a suitable yeast (Pichia pastorus)
will then be used in a ‘road show’ to make the          eration and maintenance manual. Based on              expression vector for large-scale
appropriate o cials aware of the need for ef-           the manual, training aids will be developed           expression
fective monitoring and management.                      and this knowledge will be disseminated by         • Production of antibodies against LBDER-
                                                        means of a ‘road show’, demonstrating the             EDC complexes
Estimated cost: R452 300                                training aids.                                     • Prepare LBDER by large-scale
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                                                                                    fermentation expression and protein
                                                        Estimated cost: R1 500 000                            puri cation
The development of immersed                             Expected term: 2005 – 2008                         • Biotynilation of LBDER and preparation
membrane micro ltration systems                                                                               of biotynilated pluronic acid needed
for the treatment of rural waters and                   Programme 3:                                          for non-covalent attachment of LBDER
industrial waters                                       Drinking water quality                                to polysulphone membranes or
Durban Institute of Technology                          Occurrence and fate of EDCs in drinking               hydrophobic contactors
No 1598                                                 water CSIR                                         • Development of specialised polysulphone
                                                        No 1532                                               contactors for the non-covalent
This proposed project will focus on de-                                                                       immobilisation of the LBDER via pluronic
veloping the local woven bre immersed                   It is of high priority that the fate of EDCs be       biotin/avidin technology
membrane micro- lter into systems for the               determined to minimize the e ect thereof on        • Development of the ELISA indicator
pretreatment of high turbidity surface waters           humans and animals. The project aims to in-           system for EDC detection.
as well as the gravity-fed treatment of water           vestigate the occurrence and fate of EDCs in
in remote regions. The project will comple-             raw and treated drinking water using biologi-      Estimated cost: R647 500
ment and enhance the applicability of other             cal/biochemical techniques and chemical            Expected term: 2004 - 2007
local technological developments in rural               tests. Recommendations will be made on the
water treatment, e.g. the locally developed             most e ective water treatment technologies         National standards for water and
capillary ultra ltration system. The project            for the removal of EDCs and the most appro-        wastewater treatment chemicals
will develop a standard membrane pack for               priate combination of tests for the detection      Umgeni Water
immersed micro ltration membrane applica-               of EDCs in drinking water.                         No 1600
tions. Di erent con gurations and operating
protocols will be evaluated so as to minimize           Estimated cost: R830 000                           The national standards for many water treat-
fouling and maximize ease of cleaning. A                Expected term: 2004 - 2006                         ment chemicals in everyday use are out-
simple, gravity fed water treatment system                                                                 dated and describe analytical procedures
for water provision in remote areas will be             Methods manual for monitoring                      which are in some cases obsolete and very
demonstrated.                                           phytoplankton and cyanobacteria Rand               time consuming. In addition to this, there are
                                                        Water                                              many water treatment chemicals for which
Estimated cost: R765 000                                No 1533                                            no national standards exist, in spite of the
Expected term: 2005 – 2008                                                                                 fact that some of these are used extensively
                                                        The project will compile a comprehensive           in the water and wastewater treatment
A manual and training aids for                          methods manual for the analysis of phyto-          industry. Therefore, this project aims to evalu-
operation and maintenance on small                      plankton, cyanobacterial toxins, Geosmin           ate current South African standards and
water treatment plants                                  and MIB for South African freshwaters              international standards for water and waste-
                                                        Current methods used for phytoplankton             water treatment chemicals; assess the needs
CD Swartz
                                                        identi cation and enumeration, cyanobacte-         of the industry in terms of national standards
No 1599
                                                        rial toxin analysis, as well as for Geosmin and    for water and wastewater treatment chemi-
                                                        MIB analysis will be synthesized and a sum-        cals; and produce a report containing recom-
In a study of 20 small water treatment
                                                        marized reference document compiled.               mendations which will serve as the basis for
plants (WRC Report No. 738/1/00 entitled

| 104 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
the up-dating and re-issuing of current stan-    The unique enzymatic pro les present in              South African water legislation supports and
dards and for the creation of new standards      primary sewage sludge during were investi-           recommends the use of water conservation
where these do not currently exist.              gated in 2000/03, one of the rst studies of its      and savings devices, towards meeting future
                                                 kind in the world and results from this study        goals of water assurance. Yet, in the seven
Estimated cost: R241 800                         have already been presented and accepted             years of existence of the new Act and despite
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                       in internationally peer-reviewed journals.           the development of water conservation strat-
                                                 Subsequently, another two-year project was           egies, very little progress has been made in
Determination of the speci c                     funded for the establishment of a suitable           term of a water responsibility ethic amongst
origin of contaminating bacteria in              bio-probe and biosensor system for the rapid         water users and providers. There are number
drinking water of rural households by            enzymatic detection and enumeration of               of areas that may inhibit the promotion of
elucidating the contamination pathway            indicators of faecal contamination in water.         water conservation ethics. These include lack
                                                 This project is a follow-up and the key out-         of implementation of policy, lack of commit-
using ampli ed fragment length
                                                 puts of the current study will be the design of      ment by service providers and the lack of use
polymorphism (AFLP)
                                                 a suitable bio-probe strip for the rapid detec-      and availability of a ordable technologies.
                                                 tion of faecal contamination. A provisional          The study intends to investigate the status
No 1602
                                                 patent is currently being secured to protect         quo on the use of e cient devices in the do-
                                                 this innovation. Results from the current            mestic and commercial (schools, churches,
Method development at the DNA level has
                                                 study have shown proof of concept, paving            sports elds, garages, hotels, restaurants,
made the identi cation of the exact origin of
                                                 the way for the nalisation of the improved           terminuses, etc.) environments through
speci c contaminating and other organisms
                                                 development and construction of a novel              auditing exercises. Recommendations and
possible. This ability may have a profound im-
                                                 enzyme based biosensor for the rapid detec-          strategies to enhance the use of water-ef-
pact on our understanding of exactly where
                                                 tion of faecal contamination via the presence          cient devices at domestic and commercial
contaminating organisms originate from
                                                 of indicator micro-organisms and their meta-         level will be developed and a nancial cost
and where in the contamination pathway in-
                                                 bolic enzymes.                                       assigned to introducing water savings and
troduction of these organisms into drinking
                                                                                                      the concomitant bene ts.
water supplies takes place. Understanding
                                                 Estimated cost: R700 000
the latter will in turn allow identi cation of
                                                 Expected term: 2005-2007                             Estimated cost: R700 000
the speci c human behaviours and practices
                                                                                                      Expected term: 2005 – 2007
that contribute to contamination of drinking
                                                 Programme 4:
water. The information will enable the design
of preventative measures aimed at the very
                                                 Water distribution and distribution
core of the problem and in doing so mini-        systems                                              Thrust 3:
mize health impacts and direct resources         Grouted lining systems for the renovation            Wastewater and E uent Treatment
optimally. Using the ampli ed fragment           of old steel pipelines and the design of new         and Reuse Technology
length polymorphism (AFLP) methodology,          pipelines
the project therefore aims to identify those     Rand Water                                           Programme 1:
human behavioural factors and practices          No 1448                                              Biological sewage treatment processes
that are directly associated with the identi-    Steel pipes are used extensively in SA and           Practical implementation of external
  ed contamination pathway and identify the      need to be protected against corrosion,              nitri cation in biological nutrient removal
exact point where bacterial contamination        hence the need for internal linings and              activated sludge systems
of drinking water takes place in rural house-    external coatings. In pressure pipes there           Division of Water Quality Engineering,
holds without access to in-house piped           are many problems associated with the use            University of Cape Town
water. Recommendations will be made that         of grouted-viscous-elastic linings at joints,        No 1262
would address those behaviours or practices      bends and ttings, etc. This study aims,
associated with the identi ed pathway so         through laboratory trials and investigations,        In this project, full-scale trials are being run
that contamination can be prevented or           to provide solutions to this unresolved              on external nitri cation in biological nutrient
minimized in future                              problem experienced by water suppliers,              removal activated sludge (BNRAS) systems
                                                 which costs them large sums of money due             to test the fundamental, laboratory-scale
Estimated cost: R371 320                         to failures.                                         and economic studies done to date by this
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                                                                            research group, which have shown that
                                                 Estimated cost: R 736 300                            external nitri cation in BNRAS systems can
                                                 Expected term: 2003 - 2006
On-line real-time enzymatic biosensor                                                                 be a more e cient and cheaper (20 to 25%
system for the rapid detection of faecal                                                              lower) alternative compared to other BNRAS
                                                 The status and use of drinking water                 systems covering both green- elds and ret-
contamination of water intended for
                                                 conservation and savings devices in the              ro- tting situations. In this collaborative ex-
drinking purposes
Rhodes University
                                                 domestic and commercial environments                 ercise between UCT, the Cape Metropolitan
No 1603                                          in South Africa                                      Council, and Water & Sanitation Services SA
                                                 Partners in Development                              (Pty) Ltd (the local agent for CIRSEE/Suez
                                                 No 1606                                              Lyonnaise-des-Eaux), the cash contributions

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 105 |
KSA 3                       (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

by others (excluding contributions in kind)
amount to about 40% of the total budget.

Estimated cost: R1 280 000
Expected term: 2001 - 2005

Bio oc modi cations for sludge
settleability improvements from
selected BNR process conditions and
con gurations, pilot- and full-scale
based settling behaviour evaluations for
 nal clari cation enhancement
                                                        Estimated cost: R 327 800
                                                        Expected term: 2003 – 2006

                                                        To investigate the performance and
                                                        kinetics of biological nitrogen and
                                                        phosphorus removal with ultra ltration
                                                        membranes for solid-liquid separation
                                                        University Cape Town
                                                        No 1537

                                                        This project is a follow-on to WRC
                                                        Consultancy No. 514 which was speci -
                                                        cally commissioned as a one-year feasibil-
                                                                                                            ci c industrial sources, loads, sewage works
                                                                                                            capacity and costs (capital and running) for
                                                                                                            operating the scheme. These results will be
                                                                                                            drawn together into a multi-stakeholder
                                                                                                            business plan aimed at meeting the needs of
                                                                                                            industry, regulators and sewage treatment
                                                                                                            plant operators. It is signi cant that previous
                                                                                                            WRC research, regulator buy-in and progress
                                                                                                            made with industry with regard to cleaner
                                                                                                            production have come together to create
                                                                                                            this window of opportunity.

                                                                                                            Estimated cost: R150 000
                                                                                                            Expected term: 2004 - 2005
No 1340                                                 ity study in 2003 to test whether nutrient
                                                        removal could be accomplished in this type
                                                        of robust, low-cost sewage treatment system         IAPS algal biomass and treated
Recent new DWAF legislative standards
include lower permissible suspended solids              which is independent of the sludge bulking          e uent utilisation as a key strategy in
and nitrate concentrations in e uents.                  problems which in turn often compromise             sustainable and low-cost sanitation
Limited research has been done to deter-                the e ective performance of activated               Rhodes University (Centre for
mine the optimum levels of aeration neces-              sludge processes. The low pressure-drop             Entrepreneurship in collaboration with
sary to keep solids in aerated suspension and           ultra ltration (UF) membranes being used            Sustainable Environmental Technologies)
produce the required occulation. Alongside              are supplied and funded for this purpose            No 1619
this, current biomass settling models are em-           by the suppliers (MembraTech, UK). Recent
pirically based, the mechanisms postulated              information (November 2003) indicates that          Historically, the focus in sewage treatment in
are not supported by representative plant               the process is operating satisfactorily. On the     the RSA (in line with much of the ‘developed’
data, and the settling process is very sensitive        basis that the preliminary promise has been         world) has been to seek ‘e cient’ end-of-pipe
to variable process conditions and environ-             delivered, a fuller investigation is therefore      processes for converting the organic and
mental factors. In this project a pilot plant           required to provide a rigorous and de nitive        inorganic residuals of human diets to end-
will be operated to generate benchmark                  examination of this type of system. A parallel      products that are (super cially) more envi-
data which will be used to con gure a com-              ‘next step’, which is already in hand, will be to   ronmentally neutral – carbon to CO2/CH4, nu-
prehensive mathematical model describing                investigate whether UF membranes of simi-           trients (e.g. N & P) to non-eutrophying com-
both sludge settleability and settling behav-           lar or superior performance can be locally          pounds, etc.). Simultaneously, as global food
iour. The pilot-scale tests will be conducted           sourced, and/or designed and manufactured.          demands increase, these same compounds
in parallel with full-scale veri cation trials at                                                           constitute valuable agricultural resources.
various ERWAT wastewater works.                         Estimated cost: R1 132 400                          This project targets this strategic niche, by
                                                        Expected term: 2004 - 2006                            rstly capturing sewage nutrient-values in
Estimated cost: R298 330                                                                                    algal form and then applying the product as
Expected term: 2002 – 2004                              Development of a commercially viable                a fertilizer for food production. This approach
                                                        implementation model for anaerobic                  creates a barrier between sewage treatment
                                                                                                            and crop production to control the potential
The production of aerobic granular                      co-digestion of toxic and high strength
                                                                                                            health risk (the major problem with direct
activated sludge for enhanced settling                  organic waters
                                                                                                            reuse of sewage wastewaters), but without
in sewage treatment                                     University of KwaZulu-Natal
                                                                                                            seeking to ‘destroy’ the nutrient) values in
BKS (Pty) Ltd                                           No 1538
                                                                                                            the wastewater stream. The speci c aims of
No 1451
                                                                                                            the project are to investigate uses of algal
                                                        This project builds on two previous WRC
                                                                                                            biomass from integrated algal ponding sys-
Building on previous work carried out by                projects, namely No. 762 which assessed the
                                                                                                            tems (IAPS) in value-chain crop production
the group on a synthetic (acetate) substrate,           viability of using anaerobic digestion to treat
                                                                                                            and horticultural applications, to determine
this project aims at the systematic selection           refractory textile wastewater and No. 1074
                                                                                                            the role and mechanisms of IAPS algae in
of granulated aerobic sludge in a sequenc-              which investigated co-digestion of these
                                                                                                            plant growth stimulation, to evaluate dif-
ing batch reactor process treating sewage.              wastes with domestic sewage on a regional
                                                                                                            ferent methods for e cient harvesting and
If successful, the overall process e ciency             basis. The outcomes of these base studies
                                                                                                            recovery of algal biomass from IAPS, and to
would be signi cantly enhanced by improv-               were positive and the present project seeks
                                                                                                            carry out a preliminary economic feasibility
ing the sludge settleability. Some similar              to extend the technical success achieved
                                                                                                            study and business plan development for
work has been carried out overseas and the              into a practical technology-application
                                                                                                            implementation of such schemes at IAPS
innovation level is relatively modest but               scheme. In collaboration with Durban Metro
                                                                                                            treatment works. The project thus also has
equally the risk is reduced.                            (Water and Waste), a commercially-orientat-
                                                                                                            strong elements of interventions for e ective
                                                        ed survey will be carried out to quantify spe-
                                                                                                            and practical poverty alleviation.

| 106 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Estimated cost: R395 200                          tablished at Ancor Sewage Works (Springs)           This project aims to determine the in uence
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                        will be operated, monitored and optimised,          of sludge conditioners used during sewage
                                                  and the facility will be extended to include        treatment processes on the soil conditioning
Materials mass balances modelling of              sulphide bio-oxidation and sulphur recov-           properties of sewage sludge.
wastewater treatment systems                      ery. A smaller pilot plant at Makana Sewage
University of Cape Town (Department of Civil      Works (Grahamstown) will be operated and            Estimated cost: R101 000
Engineering)                                      monitored to study process variables in ner         Expected term: 2004 - 2006
No 1620                                           detail, to identify and investigate areas of
                                                  sulphidogenic sewage sludge solubilisation          Development of the South African
This project follows on WRC Project No.           that require further development for scale-         wastewater sludge disposal guidelines
K5/1338 in which the novel and far-reaching       up.                                                 dealing with land and ocean disposal,
integrated chemical / physical / biological                                                           bene cial use, use in commercial
process modelling approach for biological         Estimated cost: R1 510 900
                                                                                                      products and thermal treatment
waste treatment processes was developed           Expected term: 2002 - 2005
                                                                                                      Zitholele Consulting Pty Ltd
and con rmed. In the new project, the over-                                                           No 1622
all aims are:                                     Survey and methodology for analysing
• To develop a mass-balance-based steady          organic pollutants in South African                 Soon after the publication of the 1st edi-
    state model for wastewater treatment          sewage sludges                                      tion of the guidelines on the Permissible
    plants (WWTP) for preliminary design and      School of Chemical and Physical Sciences,           Utilisation and Disposal of Sewage Sludge in
    operations overview                           University of KwaZulu-Natal                         1997, the WRC embarked on a process to re-
• To develop a kinetic simulation model           No 1339                                             vise these guidelines. A research programme
    that integrates the mixed weak-acid/                                                              was initiated to characterise South African
    base chemical, physical and biological        Sewage sludges are contaminated with a              wastewater sludge and better understand
    processes for detailed design, dynamic        wide array of organic compounds. Out of             sludge disposal practices in order to develop
    simulation, process operation and             the 127 compounds listed by the United              a local knowledge base and a better ap-
    optimization.                                 States Environmental Protection Agency as           preciation of the issues that should form
                                                  having the greatest potential to harm human         the basis for a comprehensive revision of
These two aims represent high-end long-           health or to be detrimental to the environ-         the 1997 Guidelines. An Addendum to the
term objectives that require closing of several   ment, 111 are organic compounds. While              1997 Guidelines was published in 2001 to
important knowledge gaps with experimen-          the South African Sludge Guidelines of 1991         clarify and elaborate on certain issues where
tal research at laboratory and full-scale sup-    stipulated limits for organic pollutants, no        this was required. A start with the develop-
ported by theoretical modelling. The project      mention is made of why these compounds              ment of the 2nd edition of the South African
has far-reaching implications with signi cant     were selected and how the recommended               Sludge Guidelines was made in 2003. This
spin-o bene ts for other WRC research proj-       limits were arrived at. The limits of the same      initiative saw the publication of the rst two
ects, as already demonstrated in the previous     compounds were revised in 1997. The new             volumes (a general overview document and
Project No. 1338 which is delivering model-       limits were once again not tested for compli-       guidelines for bene cial agricultural use)
ling of activated sludge, algal ponding, and      ance or the status quo in South Africa. The         of the new guidelines in 2006. The current
methanogenic and sulphidogenic anaerobic          maximum concentration limits as stipulated in       project, which is being co-funded by DWAF,
digestion processes                               the document are based on LC50 calculations         will complete the process and produce a
                                                  and not on experimental values. This project        further three documents, which will give
Estimated cost: R720 000                          will determine and quantify the composition         guidance for:
Expected term: 2005 – 2007                        of organic pollutants in sewage sludges. The        • The non-bene cial disposal of wastewater
                                                  investigation will also test and suggest the            sludge by employing options such as
Programme 2:                                      best method(s) of handling and determining              dedicated land disposal, land lls, lagoons
Sludge characterisation, treatment,               these pollutants, so that uniformity can be             and ocean discharge
utilisation and disposal                          introduced among the various producers and          • The bene cial use of wastewater sludge
Scale-up development of the Rhodes                government laboratories. It is intended to use          at high loading rates in agriculturally
BioSURE™ process for sewage sludge                the same sludge samples that are being used             related practices, such as mine tailing
solubilisation and disposal                       in WRC Project No 1283 so as to reduce cost.            rehabilitation, nursery growth material
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology                                                                  and land ll capping
and Biotechnology, Rhodes University              Estimated cost: R580 000                            • The production of commercial products
No 1336                                           Expected term: 2002 - 2005                              such as bricks, cement and fertilisers as
                                                                                                          well as thermal treatment of wastewater
The overall aim is to derive process design       In uence of sludge conditioners on the                  sludge.
criteria for full-scale implementation of         soil conditioning properties of sewage
the Rhodes BioSURE™ process for sewage            sludge                                              Estimated cost: R1 428 800
sludge solubilisation. To achieve this, the       University of Pretoria                              Expected term: 2005 – 2008
demonstration-scale BioSURE™ plant es-            No 1540

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 107 |
KSA 3                       (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

Programme 3:
Treatment and recovery of organics
from agro-industrial processing
Assessment of a ba ed (compartmentalised)
anaerobic digester for the treatment of high-
strength and toxic organic industrial e uents
Pollution Research Group, University of
No 853

Organic e uents from the agro-industrial
sector are generally problematic in terms of
their concentrated, variable, intermittent and
                                                        Estimated cost: R990 000
                                                        Expected term: 2002 - 2005

                                                        To investigate and commercialise
                                                        production of a cocktail of hydrolytic
                                                        enzymes from anaerobic sulphidogenic
                                                        bioreactor fed with sulphate reducing
                                                        bacteria and municipal sewage sludge
                                                        for the treatment of biological and
                                                        industrial wastewater
                                                        Rhodes University
                                                        No 1541
                                                                                                         Industrial wastewater remediation via
                                                                                                         wet air oxidation using immobilised
                                                                                                         transition metal catalysts
                                                                                                         University of the Western Cape
                                                                                                         No 1543

                                                                                                         Aqueous e uents from the chemical and re-
                                                                                                         lated industries contain various organic pollut-
                                                                                                         ants which are toxic and refractory and occur
                                                                                                         in concentrations too low for economical re-
                                                                                                         covery but too high for conventional biologi-
                                                                                                         cal treatment. This project aims to investigate
                                                                                                         and develop catalytic wet air oxidation as a
sometimes toxic nature. Many streams would                                                               technology for treating such e uents.
                                                        This project for creating enzyme ‘cocktails’,
be amenable to treatment by anaerobic
                                                        based initially on a sulphidogenic system and
digestion if the toxicities of particular com-                                                           Estimated cost: R600 000
                                                        applied then to the treatment of domestic
ponents are identi ed at an early stage so                                                               Expected term: 2004 - 2006
                                                        and industrial wastewaters, has novel aspects
that the microbial populations in a suitable
                                                        of technical interest. The concept of generat-
reactor can be acclimated to the constituents
                                                        ing enzymes to treat wastes is not new but is    Integrated research to identify
concerned. The anaerobic ba ed reac-                                                                     indigenous ora and micro ora for
                                                        a relatively fresh approach compared to the
tor (ABR) o ers good separation between                                                                  use in constructed wetlands for agro-
                                                        conventional biological reactor.
hydraulic and solids retention times, good                                                               industry e uent treatment, especially
solids retention, and the potential for select-
                                                        Estimated cost: R216 000                         winery wastewater
ing acclimated microbial biomass fractions
                                                        Expected term: 2004 - 2005                       University of Cape Town
in a series con guration. This project aims to
                                                                                                         No 1544
develop and apply an ABR for treating dyeing
                                                        The removal of reactive dyes from dye
e uents from the textile industry.
                                                        liquor for the reuse of salt, water and          The wine industry generates problematic
                                                        energy                                           wastewaters from cellars and distilleries, par-
Estimated cost: R1 218 000
                                                        Pollution Research Group, University of          ticularly when these occur in rural and semi-
Expected term: 1998 – 2001
                                                        KwaZulu-Natal                                    rural locations. Wetlands are known to be of
                                                        No 1542                                          value and to work, but not particularly well
Development of a hybrid immersed-                                                                        for the high-strength organic wastes. The re-
membrane bioreactor                                                                                      search programme is to design a constructed
                                                        The textile industry needs cost e ective, low
Institute for Polymer Science, University of                                                             wetland for winery e uent treatment based
                                                        environmental-impact processes to remove
Stellenbosch                                                                                             on existing constructed wetland mathemati-
                                                        colour and salt from their e uent. The proj-
No 1369                                                                                                  cal modelling but optimised by using indig-
                                                        ect is for the treatment of concentrated reac-
                                                        tive dye e uents from the textile processing     enous e uent-tolerant plants and optimum
The project is aimed at producing an innova-                                                             soil pro les to enhance desirable microbial
                                                        industry at source using activated carbon.
tive immersed membrane bioreactor for po-                                                                activity. This application of phylogenetic
                                                        The high salt concentration shifts the equi-
tential use in the treatment of wastewaters                                                              classi cation and evaluation of indigenous
                                                        librium towards the carbon, resulting in very
as well as for potable water production from                                                             species for wetlands construction and opti-
                                                        high removal e ciencies. The project will
dirty surface water sources. This technology                                                             mization has innovative aspects.
                                                        combine life cycle assessment (LCA), chem-
has particular potential for smaller systems.
                                                        istry and process engineering considerations
This project will take development to pro-                                                               Estimated cost: R500 000
                                                        to develop an important recycle technique
totype stage. The product will combine the                                                               Expected term: 2004 - 2006
                                                        for the textile industry, in order to recover
advantages of the newly developed im-
                                                        and recycle chemicals and consequently
mersed membranes with a novel cleaning,
                                                        reduce the waste loads generated. This is a      Programme 4:
bio lm control and oxygen supply method.
                                                        good reduction-at-source approach towards        Treatment and recovery of inorganics
This technology has great potential in South
                                                        developing a solution to the problem.            (including sulphate and metals) in
Africa and elsewhere in the world, because
it is expected to improve signi cantly on the
                                                                                                         industrial and mining e uents
                                                        Estimated cost: R272 600                         Investigation into sulphur chemistry with
current immersed membrane e ciencies,
                                                        Expected term: 2004 - 2006                       speci c application to biological sulphate
coupled with a lower potential for fouling
                                                                                                         removal processes
and lower maintenance and general atten-
                                                                                                         Department of Civil Engineering, University
tion requirements.
                                                                                                         of Cape Town
                                                                                                         No 1079

| 108 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
This project complements current WRC             The WRC has invested substantially in the de-         degrading packed bed reactor that is a
research e orts into biological processes        velopment of sustainable management tech-             world leader in volumetric sulphate removal
for treating acid mine drainage and other        nologies for saline wastewaters from a range          rates from mine-waters, by almost an order of
metalliferous sulphate-containing e uents.       of sources including industry and mining.             magnitude compared to other international
The aims are to apply fundamental aque-          One speci c innovation involves the use of            technologies. A key feature of the technology
ous chemistry to model metal precipitation       ponding systems for the treatment of mine             is that it will generally be required to operate
and recovery, simulate the e ects of pH and      drainage wastewaters in the Algal Sulphate            for a number of years, typically decades, and
temperature on sulphur speciation and solu-      Reducing Ponding Process for Acidic Metal             continue to perform in accordance with its
bility along with active stripping of hydrogen   Wastewater Treatment (ASPAM®) which was               speci ed duty. A strategic concern of the
sulphide (H2S), and explore the extent of        preliminarily investigated at bench-scale and         mining industry and the regulatory authori-
conversion, reaction kinetics and control of     reported on (Report No. TT 192/02). The min-          ties relates to the con dence that can be
a process to recover elemental sulphur by        ing industry has identi ed the importance             placed in the long-term performance of such
chemical oxidation of soluble sulphides.         of the general approach and has requested             units and their eventual fate. As a logical nal
                                                 evaluation of the process at pilot-scale with a       stage in developing and evaluating passive
Estimated cost: R280 000                         view towards full-scale implementation. The           treatment processes, this project will extend
Expected term: 1999 - 2000                       aims of this project are accordingly to under-        and intensify the monitoring of existing pas-
                                                 take pilot-scale process development of the           sive AMD treatment plants while at the same
Investigation and development of the             WRC-patented ASPAM® system using algal                time de-commissioning and autopsying
biotechnology of sulphur bio lms in              ponding for low-cost sustainable treatment            other similar long-running units.
the bene ciation and treatment of                of metal-contaminated acidic sulphate-saline
wastewaters                                      wastewaters, including investigating factors          Estimated cost: R400 000
                                                 relating to the linkage and integration of the        Expected term: 2005 – 2006
University Rhodes
                                                 various unit operations of the process, deter-
No 1545
                                                 mining kinetic values and design parameters           Programme 5:
                                                 required for full-scale implementation,               Training in wastewater treatment plant
The WRC has made a substantial investment
                                                 undertaking a fundamental investigation of            operation
in sulphur systems biotechnology for the
                                                 the algal proton-absorption capacity of the           Development of a diagnostics-based
treatment (active and passive) of acid mine
                                                 ASPAM® system underpinning the metal pre-             knowledge management system for the
drainage AMD and certain industrial waste-
                                                 cipitation and neutralisation unit, characteris-      e cient operation and training of sta
waters. Biodesalination of these wastewaters
                                                 ing fundamentally the sulphur bio lm forma-           associated with municipal sewage treatment
requires that sulphur-derived TDS be nally
                                                 tion operation, and developing a descriptive          facilities
removed from the treated stream, but e ec-
                                                 model for the system.                                 Department of Biochemistry and
tive sulphur removal remains a technological
bottleneck in these processes. This project                                                            Microbiology, Rhodes University
                                                 Estimated cost: R1 139 700                            No 1337
seeks to further develop a sulphur-removal
                                                 Expected term: 2005 – 2007
system based on sulphide bio-oxidation
carried out in oating bio lms. This is a core                                                          Pressures of rapid urbanisation and the provi-
technology in overall AMD bio-treatment          Continued evaluation of the integrated                sion of sanitation services have resulted in
processes and the project supports and           managed passive water treatment                       sewage treatment plants operating sub-op-
extends current work being carried out in        system (IMPI), long-term monitoring                   timally for a variety of reasons including not
Project No. 1456.                                of VCC passive treatment plant and                    only installed hardware capacity but also in-
                                                 three-dimensional characterisation of                 su cient operator training and expertise for
Estimated cost: R924 810                         decommissioned sulphate reducing                      consistent management of the facilities. This
Expected term: 2004 - 2006                       units                                                 project aims to support and strengthen the
                                                                                                       human resource base by generating a knowl-
                                                 Pulles, Howard and de Lange Inc.
Development of sustainable low-cost                                                                    edge management database for capturing
                                                 No 1623
management for saline sewage and                                                                       the experience of operators and engineers in
saline mine drainage wastewaters using                                                                 running sewage treatment facilities; develop-
                                                 In the RSA a sustained 9-year research pro-
                                                                                                       ing and applying a system for implementa-
integrated algal ponding systems                 gramme with a 2004 value of around R21m.
                                                                                                       tion of the database; and testing the system
Rhodes University (Environmental                 (from various funding sources) has aimed at
                                                                                                       initially at a sewage treatment facility in the
Biotechnology Research Unit)                     developing passive water treatment technol-
                                                                                                       Port Elizabeth Municipality.
No 1621                                          ogy that can reliably remove sulphates, acidi-
                                                 ty and metals from AMD waters. This research
                                                                                                       Estimated cost: R329 200
                                                 e ort has resulted in the development of a
                                                                                                       Expected term: 2002 - 2004

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 109 |
Water Use and Waste Management

Thrust 3:

Wastewater and E uent Treatment
and Reuse Technology

Programme 6:
Biotechnological co-treatment of saline
and sewage wastewaters
Biotechnological co-treatment of saline
and sewage wastewaters with integrated
recovery and reuse of water and organic
and inorganic components for sustainable
                                                        Estimated cost: R 3 000 000
                                                        Expected term: 2003 – 2005

                                                        Thrust 4:
                                                        Industrial and Mine-water

                                                        Programme 1:
                                                        Quanti cation of water use and waste
                                                        A rst-order inventory of water use and waste
                                                                                                          It is increasingly recognised that non-point
                                                                                                          source (NPS) pollution plays a major role in
                                                                                                          the degradation of water quality; speci -
                                                                                                          cally with respect to salinity, eutrophication
                                                                                                          (nutrient enrichment), sediments, pathogens,
                                                                                                          pesticides and some heavy metals. It is fur-
                                                                                                          thermore, increasingly accepted that it is not
                                                                                                          feasible to properly manage water quality
                                                                                                          without addressing the contribution from
                                                                                                          non-point sources. Consequently, attention
                                                                                                          is increasingly devoted to the quanti ca-
                                                                                                          tion of NPS pollution and to identify means
                                                                                                          to control it cost-e ectively at source. This
Part 1: Saline sewage treatment                         production by the South African industrial,       project will determine at a scoping level, the
Part 2: Biosulphidogenic sewage treatment               mining and power generation sectors               quantity and quality of NPS pollution that
Part 3: Hybrid systems for treating acid                Arcus Gibb                                        originate from the mining, industrial and
         mine drainage                                  No 1547                                           power generation sectors. This information
Part 4: Integrated community bene t                                                                       will inter alia be used at a strategic level, to
         Dept of Biochemistry and                       The aim with this project is to compile a rst-    determine whether the present investment
         Microbiology, Rhodes University                order inventory of the amount of water used       in research in this KSA and more speci cally
No 1456                                                 and waste produced by the South African           the thrust on industrial and mine-water man-
                                                        industrial, mining and power generation           agement, re ect the need in this regard.
The overall objective is to exploit and further         sectors, and to assess the impact these have
develop bene cial applications of biotech-              on water quality. Information in this regard      Estimated cost: R 1 000 000
nological processes for co-treating saline and          is required to judge whether the present in-      Expected term: 2005 – 2007
sewage wastewaters in the sustainable and               vestment in research has the right mix and to
integrated management of various water-                 provide strategic direction to research initia-   Programme 2:
related community, industrial, agricultural             tives. The investigation will make optimal use
                                                                                                          Regulatory mechanisms to improve
and environmental needs. The speci c                    of existing information such as the NATSURV
                                                                                                          industrial and mine-water management
research objectives are to determine the                investigation that provides a benchmark for
                                                                                                          Valuing water for South African industries: A
economic, social, technical and technological           water use and waste production by major
                                                                                                          production function approach
feasibility of a biological process for treating        South African industries, the COMRO report
                                                                                                          Environmentek, CSIR
sewage reticulated in saline water, including           on water use by gold-mines, a WRC report
                                                                                                          No 1366
nutrient removal and disinfection, for urban            on water use by coal-mines, a CSIR report on
and rural communities (the ‘Saline Sewage               national waste production and DWAF’s Water
                                                                                                          The industrial sector in South Africa is one of
Treatment’ component); develop, test and                Resource Strategy on water requirements by
                                                                                                          the fastest growing sectors and relies to vary-
demonstrate processes for biological treat-             di erent sectors. The available information
                                                                                                          ing degrees (ranging from wet to essentially
ment of e uents from the bio-sulphidogenic              will where necessary be supplemented by
                                                                                                          dry industries) on water resources as an input
co-treatment of mine-water and sewage                   targeted eld investigations and compiled
                                                                                                          to many production processes. Industrial wa-
sludge to standards suitable for a range of             into a consolidated overview that presents
                                                                                                          ter use currently comprises about 10 % of the
subsequent bene cial uses, and biotechno-               the total picture. The data on water use and
                                                                                                          total water use in South Africa (WSAM 2000)
logical oxidation and recovery of sulphur               waste production will furthermore be inter-
                                                                                                          and is therefore a signi cant water-using
from such systems (the ‘Bio-sulphidogenic               preted for the e ect they can be expected
                                                                                                          (and e uent-generating) sector. Very little is,
Sewage Treatment’ component); develop,                  to have on receiving water quality. In order
                                                                                                          however, currently known about the respon-
test and demonstrate hybrid active-passive              to ensure credibility of the ndings, they will
                                                                                                          siveness to water pricing within the industrial
systems for sustainable treatment of acid               be veri ed through a workshop with practi-
                                                                                                          sector in South Africa, probably because of
mine drainage before and after mine-closure             tioners.
                                                                                                          historically low pricing structures and the
(the ‘Hybrid Systems for Treating Acid Mine
                                                                                                          perception that industrial water use is better
Drainage’ component) and develop integrat-              Estimated cost: R600 000
                                                                                                          suited to engineering rather than economic
ed social responsibility / community com-               Expected term: 2004 - 2005
                                                                                                          analysis. International literature o ers mixed
ponents for employment opportunities, job
                                                                                                          results, with industrial price elasticities rang-
creation, and other community upliftment                A rst order assessment of the quantity
                                                                                                          ing from very inelastic to more elastic. In
bene ts derived from the biotechnologi-                 and quality of non-point sources of               the context of the National Water Act and
cal applications envisaged (the ‘Integrated             pollution associated with the industrial,         its emphasis on economic pricing, and the
Community Bene t’ component).                           mining and power generation sectors               signi cance of industrial water use in South
                                                        Pulles, Howard and de Lange                       Africa, it is necessary to provide econometric
                                                        No 1627                                           tools to decision-makers. The project aims

| 110 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
to quantify and characterise the role that        dicted mine drainage quality as a function of       The mining of South Africa’s gold, platinum
water plays in various local industries and       sample representivity. Existing mineralogical       and base metal resources gave rise to hun-
their responsiveness to price changes; and        and geochemical data for the Wits Basin, that       dreds of tailings disposal facilities covering
to develop a set of indicators and judgement      are available from previous studies, will be        an area of more than 200 km2. These tailings
criteria for policy-makers, decision-takers and   used to demonstrate the application of the          contain signi cant proportions of sulphide
other stakeholders to use economic analysis       methodology that will be developed.                 minerals, which upon weathering give rise to
for appropriate water resource management.                                                            a range of potential pollutants. Seepage to
The project’s overall aim is to determine the     Estimated cost: R 562 000                           ground- or surface water gives rise to various
marginal value of industrial water in South       Expected term: 2005 – 2008                          levels of water pollution over large tracts of
Africa, in keeping with the National Water                                                            land. In addition to their potential to degrade
Act’s objectives to price water correctly. The    Programme 3:                                        water quality chemically, tailings disposal fa-
speci c sub-goals are listed below:               Minimising the impact of waste on the               cilities are often physically unstable and sus-
• To assess the role that industries play in      water environment                                   ceptible to collapse and erosion. They thus
    the overall water demand for South Africa,    Closure planning in the minerals extraction         represent a long-term liability to the country.
    and to determine which industries are         industry: The role of e ective waste                This project will provide a rst order decision
    the most water-intensive industries and       characterisation and water-related impact           making tool that can be used by regulators,
    which industries are relatively water ‘dry’   predictions for solid mineral wastes                industry and consultants for the design and
• To determine price elasticities of demand       University of Cape Town                             construction of tailings facilities that have
    for water for the respective industrial       No 1550                                             ‘surfaces that last’ and where the potential for
    sectors within South Africa, and develop                                                          contamination of surface and groundwater
    a set of indicators that can be used          The mineral extraction industry is renowned         resources are practically eliminated. The
    in existing models or assist existing         for the contaminants that can emanate               envisaged decision support system (DSS)
    techniques to ensure sustainable and          from their operations. Despite the fact that        will cater for the life cycle of tailings facilities
    equitable conservation of water resources     the quantitative prediction of environmen-          and thus be applicable not only to Green eld
• To demonstrate through practical                tal impacts associated with solid mineral           developments but also to the large legacy of
    application how economics can be              wastes has been researched over the years,          existing operational and non-operational tail-
    used to value water resources, and to         the bounds of uncertainty associated with           ings facilities. Gaps in our present knowledge
    document this application so that it may      currently available impact prediction meth-         base will be identi ed for potential follow-on
    be applied across sectors                     odologies remain high, and the ultimate fate        projects.
• To provide a value judgement for water          of contaminants following waste disposal
    resource management and policy based          is still largely unknown. This project aims to      Estimated cost: R600 000
    on the results and an extended analysis of    assist with closure planning for the mineral        Expected term: 2004 - 2006
    the data                                      processing industry by enhancing our ability
• To build capacity in all stakeholders and       to predict water related impacts associated         Programme 4:
    parties participating in the research         with solid mineral waste and integrating            Minimising waste production
    project, through the transfer of              that ability with decision making processes         Promotion of biodegradable chemicals in the
    knowledge.                                    concerning water resource management. It            textile industry using the score system: Phase
                                                  is anticipated that a better understanding of       1 – Pilot study
Estimated cost: R549 600                          the physico-chemical compositions, as well          School of Chemical Engineering, University of
Expected term: 2002 - 2005                        as the kinetic and metabolic behaviour of           KwaZulu-Natal
                                                  constituent components, will allow for more         No 1363
Geochemical sampling and analyses for             e ective waste characterisation procedures,
environmental risk assessments using              better assessment of the time-dependent             The score system is a management tool, de-
the Wits Basin as a case study                    leachate generation behaviour of waste              veloped in Europe, for monitoring the envi-
Pulles, Howard and de Lange Inc                   materials, and ultimately in more realistic         ronmental pollution potential of a company
No 1624                                           quantitative impact predictions.                    based on the characteristics of the chemicals
                                                                                                      used and which could report to the e uent.
Each environmental risk assessment (ERA)          Estimated cost: R655 000                            The parameters assessed are the amount of
study is faced with questions regarding the       Expected term: 2004 - 2006                          substance used and its biodegradability, bio-
location, number, size and type of samples                                                            accumulability and toxicity, each of which is
that need to be collected for a proper as-        Development of a rst-order decision                 given a logarithmic score of between 1 (low
sessment. Answers to these questions are          support system for the sustainable                  environmental burden) and 4 (substantial
partially dependent on the predictions that       design, operation and closure of                    negative environmental impact) to derive a
need to be made, the available material and                                                           composite ‘score’. In this project the system
                                                  metalliferous tailings disposal
costs. This project will establish a method-                                                          is being tested for its applicability to the RSA,
                                                  facilities (S)
ology to guide users of an ERA process to                                                             using textile companies as the initial pilot
                                                  Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd
quantify the uncertainty associated with pre-                                                         study. The objective is to reduce the environ-
                                                  No 1551
                                                                                                      mental impact of a company, as measured

                                                                                                   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 111 |
KSA 3                       (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

by its ‘score’, by minimisation of the chemicals
used and/or their substitution in favour of
less environmentally aggressive choices. If
successful, the concept could be advanced
for other industrial sectors as a generic envi-
ronmental management protocol.

Estimated cost: R700 000
Expected term: 2002 - 2005

Water conservation through energy
Pollution Research Group, University of
                                                        of workers. Management of the water system
                                                        thus becomes one of the most important
                                                        constraints to reducing water consumption
                                                        in a paper mill. This project aims to develop
                                                        understanding of which organisms develop
                                                        under di erent conditions in a paper ma-
                                                        chine water system that will play a major role
                                                        in the development of better management
                                                        systems and, thereby, enable a reduction in
                                                        water consumption and the release of waste

                                                        Estimated cost: R 686 050
                                                                                                         alleviated by cleaner production technolo-
                                                                                                         gies. Opportunities will be created to imple-
                                                                                                         ment these and establish cleaner production
                                                                                                         forums (waste minimization clubs) so that
                                                                                                         success stories can be generated which, in
                                                                                                         turn, can be used in an awareness campaign.

                                                                                                         Estimated cost: R3 295 000
                                                                                                         Expected term: 2004 - 2007

                                                                                                         Development of a complete process
                                                                                                         integration framework for wastewater
                                                                                                         minimisation in multipurpose batch
KwaZulu-Natal                                           Expected term: 2003 – 2006                       plants
No 1368                                                                                                  University of Pretoria
                                                        The introduction of cleaner production           No 1625
To meet the needs for increased thermal ef-             technologies in the mining industry
  ciency (because of rstly the rst ‘energy cri-         Digby Wells & Associates                         This project aims to minimize the wastewater
sis’ in the 1970s and subsequently the global           No 1553                                          production and pollution emanating from
warming/carbon dioxide issues of the 1990s)                                                              batch processes where equipment is shared
and for reduced water consumption (initially            While the mining industry has played a major     in the production of high value / low vol-
as water intake in water-rich regions), two             role in the development of South Africa (and     ume specialty chemicals. For this purpose a
separate but similar process integration tech-          is still continuing to do so) it has also been   mathematical optimization model that oper-
niques (thermal pinch and water pinch) were             identi ed as the largest producer of waste       ates on a continuous timing interval, will be
developed to optimise the thermal/energy                and as a major contributor to water quality      developed and tested by using the General
and water e ciencies in industrial complexes            degradation in many of our important catch-      Algebraic Modelling System (GAMS) soft-
(improved thermal/energy e ciency also                  ments. It is recognised that the long-term so-   ware. The model will be designed to optimize
implies reduced water use at the power-gen-             lution to waste management is to minimise        for both maximum pro ts and minimum
erating stage). Thermal pinch is a mature               waste production and introduce cleaner           e uent. The development of this product
technique, while water pinch is evolving                production technologies. An analysis of the      is important because of the extremely high
rapidly. This research group has successfully           WRC’s past and present project portfolio         toxicity of e uents produced by these pro-
applied and adapted water-pinch techniques              indicated that most of the research e ort to     cesses and the ever tightening environmen-
to the water-scarce situation in South Africa.          address water and waste management in the        tal requirements.
This project aims to combine these two                  mining industry was devoted to minimizing
techniques and apply them to South African              the impact of waste on the environment, to       Estimated cost: R 198 000
industry.                                               improve our ability to predict and quantify      Expected term: 2005 – 2006
                                                        e ects and to develop technologies to treat
Estimated cost: R740 000                                polluted waters. No projects devoted spe-        Cleaner production evaluation system
Expected term: 2002 - 2004                              ci cally to waste minimization and cleaner       and optimization for metal nishing
                                                        production technologies were undertaken.         Durban Institute of Technology
Characterisation of microbial                           Although cleaner production is an essential      No 1626
populations and identi cation of                        backdrop against which to do environmen-
dominant micro-organisms in di erent                    tal management and the mining industry           The metal nishing industry is notorious for
paper mill water systems                                has launched initiatives such as the mining,     its polluting activities. Cleaner production
                                                        minerals and sustainable development
Dept of Microbial, Biochemical and Food                                                                  audits to benchmark a company’s operations
                                                        project, it does not appear as if the industry
Biotechnology, University of the Free State                                                              and identify room for improvement, require a
                                                        has embraced cleaner production, as yet.
No 1459                                                                                                  level of detailed information that is normally
                                                        This project is aimed at introducing cleaner     not recorded by smaller companies. This
                                                        production to the mining industry and en-
The water quality in a paper mill deteriorates                                                           project aims to develop a tool that can be
                                                        trench its concepts where it is already being
as the overall water consumption of the                                                                  used to readily conduct a systematic environ-
                                                        practiced. For this purpose multi-facetted
mill decreases. This is due to an increasing                                                             mental evaluation of electroplating plants
                                                        initiatives will be undertaken to raise the
amount of recycling of the water and less                                                                and which will provide a comprehensive au-
                                                        awareness of the mining industry concerning
purging of contaminants. The water quality                                                               dit, with limited data, in a consistent way
                                                        the bene ts and need for adopting cleaner
can deteriorate to the extent that paper mak-
                                                        production approaches. The project will start
ing becomes ine ective and paper quality                                                                 Estimated cost: R 492 000
                                                        by assessing the level of awareness in the
su ers. Odours can also develop and the                                                                  Expected term: 2005 – 2007
                                                        industry and identifying threats that could be
water can become threatening to the health

| 112 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
Programme 5:                                       balance of tailings and rock dump facilities is       Coal-mining in the Mpumalanga coal- eld is
Improved ability to predict and quantify           not very well understood at present, both lo-         a mature activity. Many mines have already
e ects                                             cally and internationally. This seriously limits      closed and several more are heading for clo-
Evaluation and validation of geochemical           our ability to make reliable predictions of           sure during the next 20 years. The acid mine
prediction techniques for underground coal-        post-closure pollution potential and to prop-         drainage (AMD) that emanates from closed
mines in the Witbank / Highveld region             erly evaluate environmental management /              and operating mines have a huge impact
Pulles, Howard & de Lange                          rehabilitation strategies. This project aims to       on the water quality of the area. Because of
No 1249                                            develop a procedure and methodology that              the lag e ect, it is likely that this impact will
                                                   can be used in developing water balances for          increase in future. Several investigations over
The Witbank/Highveld coal- eld in                  gold-mine waste residue deposits. These wa-           the last decade were aimed at obtaining
Mpumalanga is the most important coal-             ter balances play a critical role in geochemi-        an improved understanding of how di er-
mining area in South Africa. While this coal-      cal modelling of such deposits.                       ent management options would a ect the
  eld makes a signi cant contribution to the                                                             quantity and quality of AMD emanating from
economic development of the country it is          Estimated cost: R 913 500                             mines. This project will build on mainly avail-
also the source of potentially the most seri-      Expected term: 2003 – 2006                            able information to predict how the quantity
ous water quality problem facing the region                                                              and quality of acid mine drainage emanat-
over the longer term. There is thus an urgent      Study of the kinetic development of                   ing from coal mines in the Mpumalanga
need to develop and test tools with which to       oxidation zones of tailings dams with                 Highveld will change over the next 40 years
predict the progression of acid mine drain-        speci c reference to the Witwatersrand                for a range of di erent management sce-
age (AMD) over time, and to develop, test          gold mine tailings dams                               narios.
and apply management options that will             Pulles Howard & de Lange
alleviate the situation. This project, together    No 1554                                               Estimated cost: R 1 500 000
with Project Nos. 1263 and 1264 will inves-                                                              Expected term: 2005 – 2007
tigate the management of groundwater ow            (Project No. 1347) aimed to determine and
in collieries at various stages of closure with    predict the depth and rate of weathering
an aim to minimise the salt load emanating         on gold tailings dams, and to develop rapid           Thrust 5:
from them, evaluate alternative geochemical        procedures to assess the risk for a speci c           Sanitation and Hygiene Education
prediction techniques to use in the longer         tailings dam to produce AMD. This project
term, comparison of alternative manage-            will complement and extend the earlier                Programme 1:
ment options, and the mapping of modal             investigation by building on its ndings and           Rural sanitation and hygiene education
proportions of primary and secondary miner-        extending them. The large-scale reclamation           Education, awareness and behaviour change
als. The contribution of this project will be to   of dams, ranging from 10 to 100 years in age,         requirements to improve safe water practices
evaluate alternative geochemical prediction        provides a perfect opportunity to study tail-         Human Sciences Research Council
techniques for the prediction of water qual-       ings dam pro les and characterise their oxi-          No 1522
ity at underground coal-mines, based on            dation pro les. The project aims to advance
on-site investigations and predictions, and        our knowledge and ability to practically              The main aim of this study is to determine
to develop the ability to provide a long-term      implement improved prediction capacity in             or identify the water handling practices and
prediction of water quality and the e ect of       the following areas:                                  behaviours which have a negative impact on
alternative management strategies on this          • Establishment of validated kinetic                  users. Then use this as the basis to develop
water quality.                                         variation of oxidation zones                      a framework for action and guidelines on
                                                   • Increasing the accuracy of predicting the           improving hygiene behaviour. The study
Estimated cost: R1 416 100                             depth of oxidation zones                          could break new ground and lead to new ap-
Expected term: 2001 – 2003                         • Increasing the accuracy of predicting the           proaches which will lead to bene ts in better
                                                       phreatic surface                                  health and hygiene promotion.
Development of water balances for                  • Applications to any other similar
operational and post-closure situations                environment, e.g. platinum group metals           Estimated cost: R1 266 000
for gold-mine residue deposits to be                   (PGM) and copper mine tailings                    Expected term: 2004 – 2007
used as input to pollution prediction
studies for such facilities                        Estimated cost: R360 000                              Health and hygiene education
Pulles Howard and de Lange                         Expected term: 2004 – 2005                            Mvula Trust
No 1460                                                                                                  No 1634
                                                   Prediction of how di erent
The area covered by slimes dams is in the          management options will a ect                         The main objective of this programme is to
order of 400 km2. Previous research has            drainage water quality and quantity in                support integration of health and hygiene
indicated a varying but signi cant potential       the Mpumalanga coal mines up to 2040                  into the delivery of water and sanitation in
for pollution underneath these dumps. The          Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd                    order to ensure that these services lead to
overall water balance of a dump is the main        No 1628                                               maximum health bene ts for the bene ciary
driving force behind this pollution. The water                                                           communities.

                                                                                                      Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 113 |
Water Use and Waste Management

The following research topics will be ad-
dressed under this programme:
• Investigation of the linkage between poor
   sanitation and HIV/AIDS and also possible
   linkage between the high incidence of
   cholera outbreaks and prevalence of HIV/
   AIDS infection

• Investigate modes for the spread of
   cholera in South Africa and recurrence of
   cholera outbreaks
• Development of indicators for measuring
   health improvement and assessing
   the use of proxy indicators; this should
                                                        Estimated cost: R 520 000
                                                        Expected term: 2003 – 2005

                                                        Programme 3:
                                                        Knowledge/information management
                                                        and advocacy
                                                        Knowledge/information management and
                                                        Hlathi Development cc.
                                                        No 1635

                                                        The overall aim of this programme is to im-
                                                        prove access to sanitation research informa-
                                                                                                          hosted by Ethekweni and WRC. The fate of
                                                                                                          pathogens in UD toilets is not clear, that is
                                                                                                          what happens to pathogens in a dehydration
                                                                                                          process that is the basis of the operation of
                                                                                                          UD systems. This lack of understanding is an
                                                                                                          inhibitory factor in the use of pit contents, as
                                                                                                          well safe handling of faecal sludge. Thus, the
                                                                                                          management and operation of the UD pro-
                                                                                                          vide greater challenges than just the sanita-
                                                                                                          tion convenience. The study intends to nd
                                                                                                          answers to these challenges which would
                                                                                                          make the option of UD more acceptable and
                                                                                                          improve the management aspects.
   include evaluation of the impact of health           tion and to develop e ective mechanisms for
   and hygiene in the creation of a demand              promoting implementation of best practice         Estimated cost: R 600 000
   for sanitation                                       by the sector role-players. The study will        Expected term: 2005 –2007
• Guideline: Education and Awareness                    investigate:
   Building on the Detrimental E ects of                • Development of a sanitation knowledge/          Scienti c support for the design and
   Pollution                                               information dissemination strategy             operation of ventilated improved pit-
                                                           including appropriate distribution             latrines (VIPs)
Estimated cost: R 800 000                                  channels, for example, the concept of          University of KwaZulu-Natal
Expected term: 2005 –2007                                  sanitation resource centres                    No 1630
                                                        • Preparation of sanitation best practice
Programme 2:                                               guidelines                                     The project aims to investigate and deter-
Peri-urban sanitation research                                                                            mine the fate of di erent pit-latrine additives
Drainage in rural and peri-urban townships              Development of a strategy for promoting           and their performance, using newly devel-
Water Systems Research Group, University of             application of research, this research should     oped testing procedures in wastewater treat-
the Witwatersrand                                       address the whole process from research           ment. The project is very important in light
No 1440                                                 topic identi cation to dissemination, advo-       of previous attempts by the WRC to evaluate
                                                        cacy, and the integration of new knowledge        pit additives that did not live up to promise.
It is well known that drainage in low-income            into human resource development initiatives       The sector is continuously in demand for this
areas is lacking, leading to increased risks of         within the sanitation sector.                     information.
  ooding and environmental health. South
Africa su ers from a backlog and inadequacy             Estimated cost: R 300 000                         Estimated cost: R 600 000
in drainage services, particularly in peri-urban        Expected term: 2005 –2006                         Expected term: 2005 –2007
and rural areas. The di erentiation between
sewage, grey water or sullage and stormwa-              Programme 5:                                      Programme 6:
ter is often unclear. In fact, in low-income            Technical sustainability of sanitation            Financial sustainability of sanitation
areas, the paths are often merged. Sewage               services                                          services
and solid waste enter surface drains, and               Research into urine diversion toilets in          Financial sustainability of sanitation services
pose health threats, are not aesthetic and              eThekwini                                         Partners in Development
degrade the environment. In high density,               University of KwaZulu-Natal                       No 1632
informal settlements, these services are often          No 1629
non-existent or at the most are inadequate                                                                This programme addresses capital invest-
and dangerous. Stormwater runo from low                 The study aims to provide a scienti c basis       ments in infrastructure for households with-
cost townships is polluted by waste and                 for the design and operation of urine diver-      out access to basic sanitation services and
over ows from toilets and goes untreated                sion (UD) toilets, evaluate their e ectiveness      nancial requirements for ongoing operation
to watercourses. In some cases, the water               and determine the fate of Ascaris eggs in         and maintenance including future infrastruc-
is re-used posing a health hazard. There is             the toilets. The study puts forward a problem     ture replacement costs. The main objective
no separate disposal mechanism for sullage.             that is emerging around service delivery          of research under this programme is to de-
Even where pit latrines or chemical closets             issues related to the use of urine diversion      velop models, tools and guidelines that will
are provided, the sullage is discharged onto            toilets. Ethekweni has taken on the champi-       enable managers to provide nancially viable
the surface. This study aims to investigate             oning of the technology and has modi ed           sanitation technology solutions for commu-
and pilot alternative methods of drainage               its design. Success of Etheweni’s initiative      nities and to make provision for both capital
systems for low-income areas. The output                will be of relevance to the rest of the country   investments and operation and maintenance
will be a user guide and software that would            in the use of the technology. This research       costs for the di erent sanitation technology
assist decision makers in the eld.                      is a direct outcome of a strategy workshop        choices:

| 114 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
• Financial models for free basic sanitation    water is used for many other productive              • Exploration of the feasibility of using
  service provision and operation and           uses. It is also not understood whether these          incentives to regulate the water services
  maintenance costs of on-site sanitation       improvements in water supplies accelerate              sector
  services focusing on technology choice,       community development or actually inhibit            • Investigate international best practice on
  funding arrangements, institutional           development. The fundamental answer                    proper regulation, identifying institutional,
  requirements and household contribution       which this study aims to seek is whether cur-            nancial and operating procedures of
• Development of an overall cost strategy       rent levels of basic water supply are adequate         relevance to South Africa
  for meeting the 2010 target of eradication    to cover the productive use of communities           • Investigating and evaluating case
  of the sanitation backlog                     and establish the levels of supply that will be        studies of independent regulation and
• Analysis of nancial resources of              adequate. Secondly, it seeks to determine              central regulation, capturing lessons and
  municipalities and their ability to comply    whether it would be a ordable and econom-              experiences of relevance to the South
  with the legislative requirements             ically viable to supply water for productive           African situation
• Assessment of the real costs of sanitation    use through water distribution systems               • Investigate water sector and consumer
  subsidy                                                                                              opinion on independent vs. central
• Investigation of di erent models for          Estimated cost: R700 000                               regulation and aspects that should be
  subsidy allocation and best-practice case     Expected term: 2006-2008                               addressed
  studies                                                                                            • Determine the scope of water services
• Exploration of credit nance options           Programme 4:                                           regulation and the linkage/integration
  for household sanitation improvement          Regulation in the water services sector                with water resource management
  programmes                                    Review of regulatory aspects of the water            • Identify the capacity and competency
                                                services sector                                        requirements to facilitate regulation
Estimated cost: R 600 000                       AWI                                                    across the sector
Expected term: 2005 –2007                       No 1667                                              • Evaluation of the cost implication of water
                                                                                                       sector regulation and its impact on tari s/
Herewith a list of the new projects which       The changing water services institutional and          chain of costs
commenced between 1 April 2006 and 31           legislative environment in South Africa has          • Exploration of the feasibility of using
March 2007.                                     indicated the need for a strong and compe-             incentives to regulate the water services
                                                tent regulatory component to oversee the               sector.
                                                activities of the sector, such that objectives
New Projects                                    of sustainability, equity and e ciency are           Estimated cost: R 800 000
                                                achieved and maintained. There had been              Expected term: 2006-2008
                                                many debates and discussions on this topic
Thrust 1:                                       area, as to whether the regulatory func-             Programme 5:
Water Services – Institutional and              tion should be an independent function or            Impact of water and sanitation
Management Issues                               whether the sector can a ord a regulatory            interventions
                                                function and who will nance such an initia-          Toolkit to measure sociological, economic,
Programme 3:                                    tive, etc. DWAF has commissioned a number            technical and health impacts and bene ts
Innovative management arrangements-             of studies in this regard, to address many           of 10 years of water supply and sanitation
Rural water supply                              of these queries and questions which have            interventions in South Africa
Productive use of domestic water for            emerged. However, the subject area is very           Johannesburg University of Technology
sustainable livelihoods                         new to the sector and there is a great deal of       No 1700
Nemai Consulting                                information requirements to support deci-
No 1666                                         sion making and input to support this regula-        Over the years, the government has spent
                                                tory function. The area also poses many chal-        billions of rand to meet the backlogs
Poor communities both in rural and urban        lenges in its implementation. The study aims         and substantial progress has been made.
areas use water for various purposes, other     to support and build on national initiatives to      However, very little work has been under-
than just for domestic purposes. The source       nd optimum models and mechanisms for               taken to quantify the bene ts that improved
of this supply can vary from traditional        e ective regulation of the water services sec-       water and sanitation has brought to the
sources to improved water supplies and the      tor. The study will cover:                           communities and the countries. Over the
requirements in terms of quality and quantity   • Review of international models for water           years the WHO has undertaken a number
are not well understood. Current approaches         services sector regulation and highlight         of case studies at an international level to
to providing piped water supplies to poor           pros and cons of the di erent regulatory         quantify the bene ts of improved water
communities do not factor these additional          models                                           services and has recently completed a new
requirements of water for poor communi-         • Assessment of institutional and human              initiative. The methodologies used are based
ties to be able to sustain their livelihood.        capacity required to implement sector            on a wide range of assumptions, which have
Further the general approach and thinking           regulation                                       not been tested. There is a need at a national
to productive uses is limited to small-scale    • Evaluation of the cost implication of              level to build on these processes towards
agriculture; however in many cases domestic         sector regulation on municipalities              development of a standard methodology

                                                                                                  Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 115 |
Water Use and Waste Management

to quantify the bene ts (social, technical,
health, economic and environmental). Thus,
the time is most appropriate for a study of
this nature.

Estimated cost: R 1 200 000
Expected term: 2006-2008

Thrust 2:
Water Supply and Treatment

                                                        product performance standards for showers,
                                                        aerators, ow restrictors, dual ush toilets,
                                                        low ush systems, etc.; condition of retro t-
                                                        ted products and the e ect and suitability of
                                                        high-pressure domestic plumbing systems
                                                        on product life performance and system life,
                                                        water wastage and system performance.

                                                        Estimated cost: R 600 000
                                                        Expected term: 2006-2008

                                                        Assessment of the feasibility of using
                                                        a dual water reticulation system in
                                                                                                          and have generally been e ective in limit-
                                                                                                          ing environmental pollution and associated
                                                                                                          health impacts. In a preliminary study of
                                                                                                          waste-stabilization ponds recently commis-
                                                                                                          sioned by the Free State DWAF o ce, the
                                                                                                          current status of waste-stabilization ponds
                                                                                                          in the Free State was documented. Some of
                                                                                                          the key ndings from the study were that the
                                                                                                          pond systems were generally well-designed
                                                                                                          and showed good operational performance,
                                                                                                          but scored very poorly in terms of mainte-
                                                                                                          nance, safety and supervision/management.
                                                                                                          A simple strategic decision-support tool was
                                                        South Africa                                      accordingly developed to guide future inter-
Programme 2:                                            University of Johannesburg                        ventions. Considering that the above situa-
Water treatment for rural communities                   No 1702                                           tion is not only limited to the Free State but is
Compliance of non-metropolitan South                                                                      commonplace throughout the RSA, there is
African potable water providers with                    The option of dual reticulation, that is supply   a need to document the occurrence of pond
accepted drinking water quality and                     of di erent qualities of water, for drinking      systems throughout the RSA, investigate
management guidelines and norms                         and ushing/gardening, continues to receive        their current operational status and practices
University of Fort Hare                                 a great deal of queries from a high political     followed, identify in what instances the tech-
No 1668                                                 level to a local level. Much work has been        nology is applicable or whether alternative
                                                        done on this subject at an international level,   technologies should be considered, identify
The project aims to establish the compli-               and at a local level the option has been in-      how operation and maintenance (O&M) of
ance of a representative cross-section of               vestigated in the past. The verdict was that      these systems can be improved (through
South African potable water providers with              it was not a favourable option due to costs       capacity building, technical guidelines,
drinking-water quality related requirements             and management constraints. However, the          monitoring, etc.), and assess the potential for
(including SANS 241 guidelines) and a set of            technology has evolved since then and great       reusing treated e uent from pond systems.
other, operational and management norms.                strides have been made on the subject. With       These aims are addressed in this project, us-
It will further determine key reasons for non-          the current and future challenges facing          ing the Free State and the Eastern Cape as
compliance, suggest solutions to the barriers           South Africa the opportunity exists to revisit    case-study areas. Guidelines will be prepared
that are preventing compliance to these                 the subject area and determine the state          highlighting O&M procedures, common is-
guidelines and norms, and communicate                   of knowledge and its applicability to South       sues of concern, best practice techniques,
these solutions to the municipal manage-                Africa.                                           criteria for selection of treated e uent for
ment authorities. The accent will be on the                                                               reuse purposes and criteria for selection of
smaller and non-metropolitan water supplier,            Estimated cost: R 600 000                         alternative technologies (if applicable). The
and includes the whole water supply chain,              Expected term: 2006-2008                          existing MS Excel-based strategic support
from source to tap.                                                                                       tool will be updated and further developed
                                                                                                          to a web-based format, allowing easy access
Estimated cost: R1 200 000
Expected term: 2006-2009
                                                        Thrust 3:                                         to pond system information for all relevant
                                                        Wastewater and E uent Treatment                   stakeholders.

Investigate the state of plumbing used                  Reuse Technology
                                                                                                          Estimated cost: R700 000
in South Africa                                                                                           Expected term: 2006-2008
University of the Witwatersrand                         Programme 1:
No 1701                                                 Biological sewage treatment processes             Evaluation of a South African clinoptilolite for
                                                        A status quo assessment of the e ectiveness       ammonia-nitrogen removal from secondary
The project will investigate the state of               of wastewater pond systems for containment        sewage e uent for pollution control
plumbing used in South Africa and provide               and treatment of wastewaters, and the             Univ.Pretoria/ Dept. of Chemical Engineering
guidelines for the appropriate use of plumb-            development of practical operating                No 1658
ing and components to ensure correct ap-                guidelines
plication and optimum cost-bene t values,               Emanti Management (Pty) Ltd                       Ammonia discharged into the water environ-
also in the long term. The investigation will           No 1657                                           ment accelerates eutrophication of dams
include the e ect of not using plumbing ma-                                                               and depletes dissolved oxygen in receiving
terial components complying with minimum                In various parts of the RSA, algal ponding        waters, and, in its undissociated form, is also
national standards, nor installed according             systems constitute a signi cant proportion of     toxic to sh even at low concentrations (0.5
to installation and design codes of practice;           the installed capacity for sewage treatment       mg N/ℓ). The current discharge limit for am-

| 116 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
monia-nitrogen (NH3-N) in treated sewage         practices used in the RSA and internationally         Estimated cost: R 693 280
e uent is 10 mg/ℓ (likely to be reduced to       for small sewage treatment plants, produce a          Expected term: 2006-2008
6 mg/ℓ in the near future). At many waste-       design manual for such plants, and conduct
water works in the RSA, particularly in winter   workshops to disseminate the information              Programme 2:
when biological activity slows down because      included in the manual as part of capacity            Sludge characterisation, treatment,
of lower temperatures, it is di cult to pro-     building                                              utilisation and disposal
duce treated e uent containing less than                                                               Adopting internationally acceptable
10 mg/ℓ NH3-N by the usual biological nitri-     Estimated cost: R250 000                              methods and building capacity to measure
  cation process, with consequent negative       Expected term: 2006-2008                              helminth ova in wastewater and sludge
environmental and ecological impacts. As an                                                            samples
alternative or stand-by process, absorption      Support to EU - EUROMBRA project                      Zitholele Consulting (Pty) Ltd
of NH3-N by clinoptilolites (naturally occur-    Development of an anaerobic                           No 1662
ring zeolites) has potential as an e ective      membrane bioreactor
low-cost means for nal polishing of treated      University of Natal/Pollution Research Group          The WRC has funded the development of the
sewage to reduce NH3-N to acceptable levels.     No 1661                                               South African Wastewater Sludge Guidelines
Previous work in this regard has been car-                                                             Volume 1 (Selection of Management Options).
ried out using imported clinoptilolites, with    The highest development priority in the RSA           These Guidelines detail a new classi cation
cost and forex implications, and knowledge       water sector at present is the provision of           system according to the microbiological
is needed in the RSA on the performance of       a ordable but safe community wastewater               class, stability class and pollutant class and
the locally-mined clinoptilolite for removing    treatment (MDGs, etc.) and particularly also          total viable helminth ova have been added
NH3-N from treated sewage. The aims of this      to provide a barrier against the transmis-            in the microbiology class. The Guidelines
project are to determine the performance of      sion of water-borne diseases in the context           do not specify the analytical methods and
local clinoptilolite for removing NH3-N from     of a population which is immunologically              as a result, di erent laboratories adopted
treated sewage e uent on laboratory- and         challenged and under-nourished. Aerobic               di erent methods in South Africa. This proj-
pilot-scale, to determine the e ciency of am-    treatment systems, other than algal pond-             ect aims to validate a new EPA method for
monia recovery from the spent regenerant,        ing systems (which however have a land                measuring helminth ova in wastewater and
to develop appropriate process design crite-     footprint not suitable for urban or peri-urban        wastewater sludge. The method and related
ria and costs, and to develop an operational     situations) require a signi cant and probably         literature with su cient visual material will
and maintenance manual for the process.          unsustainable energy and/or chemical input            be documented and used to build capacity
                                                 to be e ective in terms of the treated water          in South African water and wastewater labo-
Estimated cost: R317 000                         quality achieved. Anaerobic systems have a            ratories to measure all helminth ova in waste-
Expected term: 2006-2008                         signi cantly lower resource requirement, but          water sludge and wastewater samples.
                                                 to date have not been able to produce the
Design Manual for Small Sewage                   microbiological water quality required for            Estimated cost: R273 000
Treatment Works                                  community health safety and concomitant               Expected term: 2006-2007
Waterscience cc                                  quality-of-life. This project targets this prob-
No 1660                                          lem, using an innovative approach based on            Programme 7:
                                                 established anaerobic treatment technology            Sewerage reticulation
Many of the 1 500 (approximately) sewage         enhanced by the use of membranes (which               A rst-order national audit of sewerage
treatment plants in the RSA are classi ed        over the past few years have become sus-              reticulation issues
as ‘small’ works. The existing manual for the    tainably a ordable and increasingly robust            Industrial and Urban Infrastructure (Pty) Ltd
Design of Small Sewage Treatment Works was       in their performance, with the major and              No 1671
prepared by the Institute of Water Pollution     strategic bene t of providing a physical bar-
Control (IWPC) some 20 years ago and is in       rier to microbial passage). The research issues       According to research needs analyses a
need of updating as several new processes        addressed are the basic system performance            range of issues relating to stormwater control
are available and the understanding of the       and the requirement to limit membrane foul-           and management require to be researched.
activated sludge process, in particular, has     ing and/or to develop a membrane-cleaning             The issues concerned range from strategic
advanced signi cantly since then. The man-       regime that does not require external energy          aspects such as norms and standards for
ual also does not consider processes used        inputs. If successful, the system would have          stormwater management for informal and/or
in small plants of the package plant type as     an immediate and major impact on the                  temporary settlements to more speci c tech-
are commonly used in housing complexes.          provision of low-cost and safe sanitation to a        nical issues such as the need or otherwise
With technological advances and a number         range of communities in the RSA. This project         for stormwater treatment before discharge,
of changes in the procedures used in plant       supports an EU programme, and the poten-              associated health concerns, the potential for
operation, a new manual covering these           tial for roll-out to a wider base, e.g. SADC/         stormwater reuse, e.g. for selected industrial
changes is required. The aims of this project    Africa/developing world, is thus strong.              uses, ood peak-to-average ratios, etc. This
are to evaluate current wastewater treatment                                                           solicited project will aim at identifying, char-

                                                                                                    Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 117 |
Water Use and Waste Management

acterizing and prioritizing stormwater man-
agement issues requiring attention in human
settlements, and developing strategic guide-
lines for dealing with these.

Estimated cost: R 400 000
Expected term: 2006-2007

Programme 8:

Development of guidelines for
stormwater management strategies
within integrated urban water
                                                        Thrust 4:
                                                        Industrial and mine-water

                                                        Programme 3:
                                                        Minimising Impact of Waste on the
                                                        Water Environment
                                                        Arsenate resistance in microbial communities
                                                        developing in maturing FA-AMD solids
                                                        University of the Western Cape/ Department
                                                        of Microbiology
                                                        No 1655
                                                                                                          Estimated cost: R 501 300
                                                                                                          Expected term: 2006-2008

                                                                                                          Programme 4:
                                                                                                          Minimising waste production
                                                                                                          An investigation of innovative approaches to
                                                                                                          brine handling
                                                                                                          No 1669

                                                                                                          The problems associated with the manage-
                                                                                                          ment of inorganic waste products, (sludges
                                                                                                          and brines) that are being produced as a re-
Biotechnological co-treatment of industrial /                                                             sult of water treatment and recycling, present
                                                        The WRC and the mining industry are inves-
mining e uents with sewage wastewaters                                                                    a major stumbling block to improved waste-
                                                        tigating the use of y ash to neutralize AMD
SRK Consulting                                                                                            water management. Available technologies
                                                        and produce useful by-products, such as
No 1670                                                                                                   are either prohibitively expensive or unsat-
                                                        zeolites. The use of y ash- AMD substrate         isfactory because of the long-term liabilities
                                                        as back ll in underground mines is under
Sewerage reticulation systems represent a                                                                 and associated risks to water resources. This
                                                        consideration. However, the potential mo-
considerable capital investment in the overall                                                            project will develop management solutions
                                                        bilisation of undesirable metals and other
provision of waterborne sanitation. Apart                                                                 appropriate for the South African situation by
                                                        contaminants by microbial activity, give rise
from recent research into developing techni-                                                              assessing the current situation, establishing
                                                        to concern. A recently completed project
cal alternatives to the conventional gravity                                                              the present state of the art, developing a fun-
                                                        (No. 1549) found that while microbial popu-
sewer such as small bore (‘solids-free’) sewers,                                                          damental understanding of brine chemistry
                                                        lations are slow to develop in the substrates,
shallow sewers and vacuum systems, the                                                                    and the identi cation and proof of concept
                                                        they are readily sustained once they are
sewerage systems responsible for receiving                                                                testing of promising innovative solutions.
                                                        introduced. This project will continue with
and reticulating sewage ows have received                                                                 Promising solutions, which pass the proof of
                                                        the current research and study speci cally ar-
less attention than other sanitation issues. In                                                           concept test, will be further evaluated in fol-
                                                        senate reactions, as proxy for other contami-
this context the sanitation system employed                                                               low-on projects
                                                        nants that are subject to redox reactions.
is of obvious relevance, e.g. whether conven-
tional waterborne, low- ush waterborne, or                                                                Estimated cost: R 1 290 000
                                                        Estimated cost: R 220 000
urine-diversion types, etc. From interactions                                                             Expected term: 2006-2008
                                                        Expected term: 2006-2008
over a period of time with a number of key
stakeholders, it appears that the state of cur-                                                           A pilot study into upstream cleaner
                                                        Reclamation of water from ooded
rent, up-to-date knowledge is inadequate                                                                  production technologies for the petroleum
                                                        Witwatersrand gold mines by selective
around a range of issues regarding sewerage                                                               re ning industry to meet the requirements
                                                        dewatering of key underground
reticulation in the RSA. This solicited project                                                           of the waste discharge charge system (WDCS)
is being commissioned by WRC to provide a                                                                 Process Optimization and Resource
                                                        Pulles, Howard and de Lange
  rst-order assessment of the sewerage situa-                                                             Management
                                                        No 1659
tion in the RSA, with the aims of identifying,                                                            No 1673
characterizing and prioritizing the sewerage            Defunct gold mines on the East and West
reticulation issues requiring attention, and                                                              The main objectives of the Waste Discharge
                                                        Rand are rapidly lling up with contaminated
developing strategic guidelines for dealing                                                               Charge System (WDCS), imminently due for
                                                        water that will decant into the Vaal River
with these. The ndings of this project will                                                               implementation by DWAF, are to reduce
                                                        system. Previous studies focused on either
form the framework for and lead to a future                                                               water pollution by encouraging e cient
                                                        reducing in ow to the underground or on
roll-out of focused research projects dealing                                                             resource utilization (incentive objective),
                                                        diverting decant water to preferred locations
with speci c topics.                                                                                      recovering the costs of activities aimed at
                                                        for treatment. This project will identify loca-   pollution abatement and damage caused
                                                        tions within the ooded basin where water
Estimated cost: R 400 000                                                                                 by pollution ( nancial objective), discourag-
                                                        quality is relatively good and which are also
Expected term: 2006-2007                                                                                  ing excessive pollution (deterrent objective)
                                                        major recharge points (and therefore decant       and promoting sustainable water use (social
                                                        drivers). It is proposed to dewater the basins    objective). This project aims to develop an
                                                        from these points. If found feasible, the         understanding of the treatment processes,
                                                        extraction of water from such points, would       applicable to various industries, which could
                                                        serve as a source of water for Gauteng and        be used to meet the requirements of the
                                                        at the same time reduce the magnitude of          WDCS. The project will use a petroleum

| 118 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
re nery as a case study to investigate the -       The spread of the human immunode -                   Currently the services of environmental
nancial impact of the WDCS on industry and         ciency virus (HIV), which causes Acquired            health workers are usually not directed at
to investigate source-reduction cleaner-pro-       Immunode ciency Syndrome (AIDS) is taking            sanitation related health & hygiene pro-
duction (upstream) options as opposed to an        place at an alarming rate. The situation for         motion. Very few WSAs have a sanitation
end-of-pipe treatment approach, exploiting         HIV/AIDS infected individuals is exacerbated         department/unit that deals with low-cost
a current real-life opportunity where these        by the fact that a large proportion has no           sanitation. Even fewer WSAs have sanitation
approaches to pollution prevention can be          access to safe water or adequate sanitation.         managers. Where such sanitation depart-
quantitatively compared. The speci c aims          The lack of safe water compound health risks         ments/units exist, and there are sanitation
of the project are to develop a prioritized list   to HIV/AIDS individuals leading to increased         managers, there are limited numbers of sani-
of upstream treatment technologies for the         vulnerability, decline in productivity and           tation services managers who understand
petroleum re ning industry, and to quantify        income and consequently a general decline            the speci c requirements (and institutional
the nancial implications to the petroleum          in their socio-economic status. HIV/AIDS is          demands) posed by alternative sanitation de-
re ning industry of meeting the WDCS re-           not a water-borne disease therefore there            livery. Ultimately, where there are such units,
quirements.                                        appears to be little relation to each other but      and they are managed, they do not have the
                                                   a poor microbiological quality of their drink-       human resources to address the technical,
Estimated cost: R229 200                           ing water could have detrimental impacts on          DRA and H&H requirements related to the
Expected term: 2006-2008                           the health of HIV/AIDS infected individuals.         provision of non-waterborne sanitation.
                                                   This project aims to do a health impact as-
Programme 5:                                       sessment study based on the microbiologi-            This study is a small step in assisting water
Improved ability to predict and                    cal quality of drinking water used by rural          services to engage with informal areas in the
quantify e ects                                    households that have at least one HIV/AIDS           promotion of HHE and sanitation. The tool
Origin of sodium and its applications to           infected individual. The presence of selected        to be developed is aimed at empowering
water quality prediction in the South African      pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria and            them on how to address the situation and
coal mine environment                              viruses in drinking water with those present         provide a sustainable service. The current
University of Fort Hare/Department of              in stool samples of both people living with          typhoid outbreak is a good example of the
Geology                                            HIV/AIDS and healthy individuals will be cor-        lack of education in informal areas, alleviated
No 1663                                            related to identify the relationship between         by poor management of water and sanita-
                                                   point-of use drinking water quality and              tion services.
In addition to experiencing an AMD problem,        health indicators (such as diarrhoeal morbid-
the Mpumalanga coal elds also experience           ity and mortality)                                   Estimated cost: R 570 000
an increase in the sodium concentration                                                                 Expected term: 2006-2008
of mine drainage from north to south. This         Estimated cost: R 800 360
phenomenon adds to the unacceptability of          Expected term: 2006-2008                             Develop the guideline: Management of
mine drainage. This project aims at nding an                                                            Microbial Water-Borne Diseases Vol 5: What
explanation for the phenomenon and, to a           A guideline document for the                         We and Our Children Ought to Know
lesser degree, to propose treatment, preven-       implementation of sanitation, health and             University of Venda
tion and management strategies to address          hygiene education (HHE) programmes in                No 1672
the problem.                                       informal settlements
                                                   Nemai Consulting                                     This volume will include home hygiene and
Estimated cost: R 337 600                          No 1656                                              a link to sanitation, di erent water sources
Expected term: 2006-2008                                                                                and handling of water from the sources.
                                                   The provision of a guideline/tool for pro-           Disinfection and its side e ects, the boiling of
                                                   motion of HHE in informal areas is a gap             water and when not to boil, danger of burn
                                                   identi ed by current research. The attention         wounds, etc. The origin and transmission of
Thrust 5:                                          and priority given to ‘informal settlements’ is      diarrhoeal diseases, prevention and care, will
Sanitation and Hygiene Education                   generally lacking with the notion that people        be included, as well as emergency treatment
                                                   do not belong there. Also, current planning          of diarrhoeal cases and special care of the im-
Programme 1:                                       approaches neglect the situation and chal-           muno-compromised. Handling of containers
Rural sanitation and hygiene education             lenges in these settlements resulting in a           in households, storage, contamination, etc.
Assessment of the e ect of drinking water          burden of poverty and diseases. This has a           will also be included.
quality on the health of people living with        negative impact on the wider society and
HIV/AIDS                                           approaches need to be introduced to ensure            All of these need to be described in a simple
University of Venda/Department of                  that informal settlement are a orded the             demonstrative way taking into account the
Microbiology                                       knowledge of basic health issues which af-           already available posters, pamphlets and
No 1653                                            fect their environment.                              reports available at the WRC, DoH, DWAF and

                                                                                                     Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007   | 119 |
KSA 3                       (continued)
Water Use and Waste Management

other such documents developed by water
suppliers, NGO, DoE (school curricula), etc. to
get the most suitable and e ective method
of transferring the message to the com-
munity. Cultural di erences and preferences
have to be taken into consideration.

Estimated cost: R 400 000
Expected term: 2006-2008

Programme 2:
Peri-urban sanitation research
E ective demand for alternative sanitation
                                                        in uences the way grey-water is managed
                                                        and disposed. This study will investigate ways
                                                        of overcoming social and related obstacles in
                                                        order to create sustainable management op-
                                                        tions relevant to the local communities and
                                                        identify ways of mitigating environmental
                                                        impacts. It is anticipated that the output in
                                                        the form of a sociological model will be pos-
                                                        sible for extension to the rest of South Africa.
                                                        This will be supported by preparation of edu-
                                                        cation material for community level training
                                                        concerning grey-water management options
                                                        and techniques.
options in peri-urban settlements
Sigodi Marah Martin (Pty) Ltd                           Estimated cost: R 750 000
No 1664                                                 Expected term: 2006-2009

This project o ers an innovative approach
of using tried and tested approaches of con-                Contact persons
tingent evaluation approaches that aim to
improve the science and understanding of
                                                            Thrust 1: Mr JN Bhagwan
sanitation demand by exploring and apply-
ing existing and tried and tested approaches
                                                            Tel: +2712 330 9042
to sanitation. Through this process, it aims
to provide knowledge and information as to
                                                            Thrust 2: Dr G O ringa
what people in low-income areas are willing
to pay for sanitation. This kind of knowledge
                                                            Tel: +2712 3309039
and information is lacking. The lack of this
information results in unpopular decisions
                                                            Thrust 3: Dr H Snyman
and programmes being made on behalf of
recipients. Further, this information could be
                                                            Tel: +2712 330 9038
relevant to informing policy at a national lev-
el and local level towards better programmes
that are sustainable.                                       Thrust 4: Mr HM du Plessis
Estimated cost:      R710 000                               Tel: +2712 330 9037
Expected term:       2006-2008
                                                            Thrust 5: Ms A Moolman
Programme 4:                                                E-mail:
                                                            Tel: +2712 330 9042
Institutional and management aspects
of sanitation service delivery
Sustainable options for community level
management of grey-water in settlements
without on-site waterborne sanitation
University of Cape Town/Department of
Civil Engineering
No 1654

This study builds on a current WRC study
aimed at quantifying the amount of grey-
water generated in non-sewered areas. This
study identi es the quantities and quality
of grey-water generated, and also identi es
some of the technical challenges. From this
study it has been identi ed that there are
strong social and behavioural aspects, which

| 120 |   Water Research Commission Knowledge Review 2007
KSA 4 Water Utilisation in Agriculture
                                                  The secondary objectives are to:
                                                  • Increase biological, technical and
                                                     economic e ciency of water use
                                                  • Reduce poverty through water-based
                                                     agricultural activities
                                                  • Increase pro tability of water-based
                                                     farming systems
                                                  • Ensure sustainable water resource use
                                                     through protection and reclamation

                                                  Portfolios of current projects have been
                                                  grouped into strategic thrusts and pro-
                                                                                                      This thrust includes two programmes:
                                                                                                      • Water-e cient production methods in
                                                                                                         relation to soils, crops and technology in
                                                                                                         rain-fed and irrigated agriculture
                                                                                                      • Fitness-for-use of water for crop
                                                                                                         production, livestock watering and

                                                                                                      Thrust 2:
                                                                                                      Water Utilisation for Fuelwood and
                                                                                                      Timber Production
                                                  grammes which directly address the above-
                                                                                                      Scope: The direction and driving force
                                                  mentioned objectives and are summarised
                                                                                                      for research activities and outputs are
                                                  as follows:
                                                                                                      determined by the strategic focus to
Dr Gerhard Backeberg: Director
                                                                                                      improve the knowledge of the processes of
                                                                                                      production of trees in woodlands, plantation
Scope                                             Thrusts and programmes                              forestry and trees planted in combination
                                                                                                      with food and forage crops.
The strategic focus in this KSA, as described     Thrust 1:
in previous years, is on increasing the ef-       Water Utilisation for Food and Fibre                In catchment areas where trees are a
  cient use of water for production of food, -                                                        prominent feature of land use, runo and
bre, fuel-wood and timber; ensuring sustain-                                                          deep percolation of water can be reduced.
able water resource use; reducing poverty                                                             Management of these so-called stream ow
                                                  Scope: The direction and driving force
and increasing the wealth of people depen-                                                            reduction activities necessitates an under-
                                                  for research activities and outputs are
dent on water-based agriculture. The needs                                                            standing of the water use by trees and the
                                                  determined by the strategic focus to
and requirements of present and future                                                                competitive or complementary relationship
                                                  improve the knowledge of the processes
generations of subsistence, emergent and                                                              of water use by trees and water use by staple
                                                  of production of eld, horticultural and
commercial farmers is addressed through                                                               food and forage crops. Due to research
                                                  industrial crops.
creation and application of water-e cient                                                             specialisation, separate attention is given in
production technologies, models and infor-                                                            this programme to increase the e ciency of
                                                  Water productivity can be increased by
mation systems within the following interre-                                                          water use by trees i