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VIEWS: 115 PAGES: 13

6 April 2009

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

WISA is a Southern African voluntary non-profit association of 2 553 members comprising water sector
professionals, interested parties, companies, government departments, educational & research institutions, local
authorities and associated organisations. WISA provides a sector-wide platform in Southern Africa for the promotion,
integration and application of scientific, engineering & management knowledge and skills in the natural & controlled
water cycle. It has 6 regional Branches & 10 Technical Divisions. Visit or for more

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




1.1 WISA President‟s Message No 15

Dear member of WISA,

We have just returned from the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. The WISA team did exceptionally well and
deserve a big Thank You. The South African stand, although modest was one of the busiest stands in the expo centre.
This was South Africa‟s last chance to lobby to host the 6th WWF in Durban in 2012 and our Department of Water
Affairs will now finalise the bid for final submission. We will then have to wait until July 2009 to hear the outcome.
Let‟s hold thumbs!

                                      The 5th WWF was a huge event with 25 000 delegates and is the flagship event of the
                                      World Water Council. The main objective is to place water on the world wide political
                                      agenda. It aims to bring all role players together, politicians, leaders, decision
                                      makers, scientists, engineers, local governments, municipalities and activists.
                                      Something that struck me was the words “water crisis” is not only used in South
                                      Africa. Many international speakers and politicians were referring to acute water
                                      problems related to water security and water quality.
                                      In the last newsletter, I invited WISA members to share ideas on what you think the
                                      role of water professionals and members of WISA is in the debate on the so-called
                                      water crisis? To date, I have received 2 contributions only, both very comprehensive
                                      and thought provoking. There is still a few days left before we publish the next issue
                                      of Water and Sanitation Africa. Please send me your views on the “looming water
                                      crisis” in South Africa in the next week. Send me your views: In your view, is there is
                                      “looming water crisis”? What should WISA‟s role be? I am of the view that we should
                                       mobilise our WISA members to make a difference to affect a positive change in the
 Picture: Courtesy of the
 “International Cartoon Festival on
                                       water sector – our role is to work towards solutions and not to keep focusing on
 Water and Life”                       what the challenges are.

I again invite members to communicate their views and solutions by sending an e-mail to
I will consolidate it into the Presidential Address for the next Water and Sanitation Africa.
Focus on......
The purpose of the “Focus on....” feature is to create an awareness of the activities and disciplines within WISA that
you can become involved in. The Branches and in particular the Western Cape Branch enjoys the “Focus on…” section
in this newsletter.

Focus on: Branches – Western Cape Branch
The WISA Branches, functioning in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape (2 branches)
complement the work of WISA at the national level by the staff at Head Office. This assists the Institute by catering
to needs identified in a regional context as well as enhancing professional interaction in areas remote from the Head
Office of the Institute.

 The next few newsletters will focus on the planned activities of the different Branches, starting with the Western

 The WISA Western Cape Branch is very active and typically offers technical visits, topical workshops and student
 activities every year. Having just completed a workshop on Water Quality Management Workshop, they plan the
 following activities for the rest of 2009:

        29 April 2009 Nereda Wastewater Treatment Process : Gans Bay Case study
        28 May 2009 Groundwater Treatment Workshop
        25 June 2009 Industrial Effluent : Simba Chips Plant, Parow
        27 August 2009 Treated Effluent Re-use benefits : Potsdam WWTW Case study
        September 2009 Zandvliet WWTW Membrane System Workshop
        29 October 2009 Maintenance Backlogs : Status Quo / eWISA update
        26 November 2009 State of readiness : 2010

The Chairperson, Mr Roland M Brown can be contacted at (021) 808-8218 or should you
want to collaborate or participate in this Branches‟s activities.

Thank you to the Branch committee for your hard work and impressive programme and activities.

Many thanks,
Dr Heidi Snyman

Dr Heidi Snyman
WISA President 2008/09

“Keep on keeping on – we have work to do.....”

1.2 Letters to the Editor
Please write to the Editor (Melissa Wheal) at with any comments, views, suggestions etc for
inclusion in the next WISA eNewsletter.

1.3 Patron Members news
This Guest Columns is reserved for news about WISA Patron Members, who are also invited to submit news about
their organisations or their views of/ concerns about the Sector.

CSIR – Introducing the Transboundary Water Opportunity Analysis
SIWI, in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of South Africa (CSIR) and Phillips
Robinson and Associates of Namibia has issued a report „The TWO analysis – Introducing a Methodology for the
Transboundary Waters Opportunity Analysis.‟ The report details an analytical framework for effectively developing
transboundary water resources in a responsible manner and outlines an approach by which transboundary
stakeholders can collaborate on the equitable and sustainable use of their jointly held freshwater resources.
(SIWI Newsletter, Mar 2009)
1.4 Stay in touch!
Stay abreast of WISA activities – e-mail or fax your NEW contact details to or 011 315 1258.

1.5 People in the Water Sector
Please send an e-mail to WISA should you know of any promotions, retirements, career changes etc in the water
sector. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated.

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

                                 27         1           24         7           24          16           10          1
             Grade               Apr        Sept        Oct        Nov         Nov         Jan          Feb         Apr
                                 2008       2008        2008       2008        2008        2009         2009        2009
             Affiliate           85         95          96         96          96          96           95          94
             Associate           500        383         408        414         414         402          405         415
             Company             152        159         163        168         169         171          171         176
             Educational         14         16          16         16          16          16           16          17
             Fellow (F)          341        326         326        325         325         362          362         361
             Honorary            11         11          11         11          11          11           11          11
             Media               3          5           5          6           6           6            6           6
             Local Auth          50         52          51         53          53          52           52          53
             Member (M)          441        610         619        624         627         629          623         643
             Patron              32         32          34         34          34          37           37          38
             Prof MA             26         29          30         30          30          30           30          30
             Retired F           45         48          48         49          49          49           49          51
             Retired M           38         38          38         38          38          38           39          40
             Retired SF          8          7           7          7           7           7            9           9
             Senior Fellow       29         34          34         34          34          34           32          32
             Student             508        538         557        560         560         561          551         568
             Water Board         8          8           9          9           9           9            9           9
             TOTAL               2 291      2 391       2 452      2 476       2 480       2510         2497        2553

1.7 – World of water information in Africa

eWisa Municipal AssistantTM– Implementation in the Western Cape
As part of the implementation of the Municipal AssistantTM system in 17 Local Municipalities in the Western Cape,
24 staff members from various Local Municipalities and Overberg Water were trained during 5 master user training
courses which were presented in Stellenbosch. The project team is currently in the process to assist staff members of
Local Municipalities to populate their systems with information on equipment and maintenance schedules to
improve asset maintenance and planning of operational activities to ensure improved service delivery.

  Municipal Assistant™Training_ 1-2 December 2008: Matzikama Municipality: JC Stevens, Neels Arries ; Cederberg Municipality: Alton
  Klaassen, Frans Basson with the project team at WAMTechnology in Stellenbosch.
                                                                          Municipal Assistant™Training_12-13 February 2009:
                                                                          Theewaterskloof Municipality: Johan Armstrong, Denver Damone
                                                                          ; Witzenberg Municipality : Stephanie Farmer and Nathan
                                                                          Jacobs; DWAF: Solomon Mokate with their training instructor,
                                                                          Jenny Ferguson from WAMTechnology in Stellenbosch.

Municipal Assistant™Training_26-27 February 2009: Laingsburg Municipality: Alida Groenewald, Noel Klink; Stellenbosch Municipality:
Christeline Davids, Cyril Hadie with their training instructors, Henry Davids & Jenny Ferguson from WAMTechnology in Stell enbosch

Water History: Did you know? The first mention in the records of the Municipality of Port Elizabeth dealing with
water supply for the town was the receipt of a letter from Mr Coleman, dated 5 July 1848, submitting certain views
on the subject. On 12 July 1848, the Commissioners decided to meet with him. At the same meeting it was decided
to advertise for tenders for sinking a well, 5 feet in diameter to hold not less than 6 feet of water. Only one tender
was received from Mr Joseph Morton and it was decided to sink the well near to Mr Diesel's property. Later, on 28
February 1849 it was decided to sink a well in the kloof (now Whites Road), between the houses of Mr Bird and Mr

To view more interesting water history facts go to:

Arch Chemicals added very interesting case history on eWISA. Go to: - to view their company page.

eWISA PHOTO GALLERY- The eWisa photo gallery already contains more than 11 000 photos. We are steadily adding
more photos. You are very welcome to submit photos to us and we will host it on the eWisa website free of charge.
All photos are fully referenced and credited to the contributor. Use the following link to view our photos.
Visits to the eWISA website during March averaged 290 per day. Visits to eWISA is over 150 568.

1.8 Coronation Double Century 2008
On the 22nd of November 2008, the first ever WISA cycling team took part in the Coronation Double Century cycling
event traversing the landscapes of the Overberg region. The race was a 205 km marathon, which started at 145 m
above sea level in Swellendam and peaked at 725 m above sea level at the Op de Tradouw Pass. The race then
descended through to Montagu and then on to Bonnievale where some nourishment was grabbed, before traversing
various ups and downs along the foothills of the mountainous Swellendam district. The cut off time for the
competitors of this gruelling race was 11 hours. The WISA team, consisting of 7 members, completed the course in
7h51min. This was more than 2 hours adrift of the winners, but was considered to be very respectable in view of the
8h aim set prior to the start. The event was won by Daikin GU in 05h29 (air conditioning obviously being a huge
advantage). As a matter of interest, the team time is taken as the time of the 6 th member to cross the finish line.
Teams of between 6 and 12 riders may enter and the 6th rider in a team must finish within one minute of the first.
The WISA team, organised by Heinz Jacobs and Bertu Bester at the Institute for Water and Environmental
Engineering, Stellenbosch University, would like to thank WISA for sponsoring the cycling shirts. The team (and the
spectators) responded positively to the creative design – the WISA team really looked great! The design of the shirt is
available from Melissa Wheal at WISA.

                                        The WISA Cycling Team – 22 Nov 2008


2.1 South Africa

2.2.1 Ask For Tap Water
The next time you find yourself reaching for bottled water, consider the implications of your actions. Purchasing and
drinking bottled water is not only pricey for your pocket; it affects the sustainability of our planet and undermines the
right to water as a public good.
Unless you find yourself in a rural outpost with dubious water infrastructure or in an industrial town where the 'big
factory' is pissing its by-products into rivers and streams, there is little basis for the argument that bottled water is
safer than tap water in South Africa.
Nevertheless, South Africans and millions more around the world are duped into accepting the perversion that
bottled water is safer and even healthier than tap water.
(SACSIS Newsletter, 27 Mar 09)

2.2.2 Umgeni to study new water treatment plant in northern KZN
KwaZulu-Natal bulk-water supplier Umgeni Water will study the feasibility of a new water treatment plant, near
Sundumbili, to increase supply to the North Coast region of the province. The treatment plant forms part of the
supply infrastructure of the Lower Thukela bulk water supply scheme, which Umgeni Water is implementing on
behalf of the Ilembe District Municipality. Umgeni Water plans to initially construct a water treatment plant with a
capacity of around 55-million litres a day, but that the plant would ultimately need to be able to treat 110-million
litres a day, which was the maximum water available for abstraction from the Thukela River.
(Engineering News, 24 Mar 09)
2.2.3 SAB Ltd Water Measures Help Global Reduction Targets
The South African Breweries (SAB) Ltd has set itself a target to reduce water consumption by at least 10% in the
coming few years. In so doing, it aims to support the SABMiller plc objective of reducing water consumption across
the group by 25%. SABMiller, one of the world's leading brewers, recently announced a major new commitment to
reduce water consumption across its global operations. The group has set itself the target of reducing its average
water use per litre of beer by 25% by 2015. This initiative will save around 20 billion litres of water globally every year
by 2015 - enough to fill eight thousand Olympic-sized swimming pools. Water quality and availability is a key priority
for the South African beverage industry, which is heavily reliant on water-intensive raw materials, while operating in a
water-stressed country.
(Gauteng Business News, 17 Mar 09)

2.2.4 Misgivings linger about government's capacity to avert water crisis
While it would be unhelpful to superimpose the energy reality onto the water milieu, it appears that the challenges in
South Africa‟s water sector are beginning to bear a resemblance to those that sounded the initial alarm bells of the
current energy crisis. Water-management areas face a water deficit, ecosystems and water resources are already
being placed under pressure by various users in the sectors, and available resources and appropriate water resources
are being affected by decreasing water quality, which, in turn, affects net availability. Adding to this is the ageing
water and wastewater infrastructure, a severe lack of skilled human resources, pollution, climate-change scenarios,
as well as the illegal use of water and the inappropriate use of funds by different spheres of local government.
(Engineering News, 20 Mar 09)

2.2.5 More mentoring, skills development required in water industry
There is a declining focus on the mentoring and skills development of young, black engineering professionals in the
engineering industry. This decline is affecting the water industry at large. There is a growing group of established
professionals who are not putting back any of the required skills and training that the industry has a critical need for.
(Engineering News, 27 Mar 09)

2.2.6 Ruling on free water to Soweto welcomed
The Coalition against Water Privatisation has welcomed the Supreme Court of Appeal‟s ruling, ordering the City of
Johannesburg to review the supply of free water to residents in Phiri, Soweto. The court ruled on Wednesday the city
was obliged to provide 42 litres of free water per day to people who could not afford to pay but it said this was
subject to the extent of resources available. The city, together with Joburg Water and the Water Affairs Ministry, tried
to appeal a decision by the South Gauteng High Court last year, declaring prepaid water meters illegal and
(Eyewitness News, 26 Mar 09)

2.2 Africa

2.2.1 Mozambique: Water Pumps for Schools
Mozambique's Public Works Ministry and the South African company Roundabout Water Solutions signed a
Memorandum of Understanding in the capital, Maputo, for the installation of 400 pumps at wells in Mozambican
schools. The pumps are known as "playpumps" because they are built like a playground roundabout. The kinetic
energy generated by children playing on a roundabout is able to pump 1400 liters of water per hour. The pumps will
be assembled in primary schools across the country and should benefit around a quarter of a million students.
(SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.2.2 Zambia: Communities Benefit From Biosand Filters
In Zambia, biosand filters have been introduced to help reduce the risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Seeds of
Hope International Partnerships (SHIP), a U.S. non-governmental organization, is responsible for the introduction of
the filters in Ndola, Copperbelt Province, and Lusaka, Lusaka Province. The biosand filter, invented at Calgary
University in Calgary, Alberta Province, Canada, is made out of concrete and consists of a layer of gravel and specially
prepared sand contained within a filter box. SHIP country director Francis Feruka said that the filters were suited to
areas with shallow wells built near pit latrines. According to project coordinator Tauzeni Tembo, the filter removes up
to 97% of waterborne pathogens, including cholera, without using chlorine. Each month, Tembo and his team
manufacture up to 30 filters that are distributed to communities at no cost, asking only that recipient families take
responsibility for maintaining them. So far, over 1000 filters have been distributed to various communities in Ndola
and Lusaka. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.2.3 Darfur: fears of crisis if aid agencies leave
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir expelled international humanitarian workers from the Darfur Region after a
warrant for his arrest for war crimes was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Al-Bashir and the head of
the government agency that oversees Sudan's humanitarian affairs, Hasabo Abdel Rahman, accused the aid groups
of giving the ICC false testimony. The move will leave at least 1.1 million refugees in Darfur camps without medical
services, emergency food aid, or clean drinking water, and aid groups warned that waterborne diseases, such as
diarrhea, would rapidly grow out of control. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations said that the
expulsion of 13 major aid organizations will cause "irrevocable damage" to humanitarian operations in Darfur and
called upon the government to reconsider its decision. (SAHRA Newsletter, 8 Mar 09)

2.2.4 Botswana: CDC Acts to Curb Water Shortages
Several long-term plans are in place to address the problem of water shortages in Botswana's Central District, District
Council chairman Lesego Raditanka announced. Boreholes are drying up as a result of inadequate rains, over-
extraction of groundwater, inadequate and unreliable groundwater sources, poor water quality, and old water supply
systems. (SAHRA Newsletter, 8 Mar 09)

2.2.5 Gambia: Clean Water and Sanitation Save Lives
Water is necessary for the survival of living things. In fact, dehydration - the lack of water - will kill an organism faster
than starvation - the lack of food. Since the plants and animals that many humans and other animals eat also
depend on water, lack of it could lead to starvation as well as dehydration. In addition to sustaining life, clean
freshwater is needed by humans for personal hygiene, irrigation, industry, and recreation. Humans bath with it, brush
their teeth with it, use it to make crops grow and to cool industrial reactors, and swim, boat, and fish in. Despite the
significance of water, research has unveiled that one in every five people in the world do not have access to clean
water. And half of the world's population lack access to proper sanitation. This leads to constant ill health - millions of
children still die from diarrhoea. Lack of portable water also means hours of toil for women and girls who are
constantly weary, walking miles to fetch water. Most of these girls often miss out on school.
(All Africa, 24 Mar 09)

2.2.6 Water pipe sparks Ethiopian conflict
Some 70,000 people have fled their homes along the Kenyan border in southern Ethiopia since violence broke out
between the Borana and Gherri people over the construction of a new borehole. The Borana are herders who hoped
for a more reliable water supply when the government of Oromia Region finished work on the borehole, but at the
beginning of February, they were attacked by what they believe to be Gherri people from neighboring Somali Region,
who destroyed the drilling rig. Three people died and the rest became refugees. The boundary between the Oromia
and Somali regions has never been properly demarcated, and while the Oromia government thought that it was
drilling the borehole on its own territory, residents of Somali insisted that it was on their side.
(SAHRA Newsletter, 15 Mar 09)

2.3 Europe

2.3.1 Canons and Cannons: World Water Forum Disperses Policies, People in Turkey
                                                          Unfurl a banner against privatized water and get a return
                                                          flight home, compliments of the Turkish government. As
                                                          water experts, activists, researchers and businesspeople
                                                          convene for the third day of the 5th World Water Forum,
                                                          protests and deportations dominate media coverage of
                                                          the event. Simmering steadily for the past several years,
                                                          the conversation around whether water is a private good
                                                          or a public resource seems to have boiled over. According
                                                          to Al Jezeera Europe, when 300 people gathered to
                                                          protest what they believe constitutes the forum‟s
                                                          privileging of private interests over public concerns, riot-
                                                          police released tear gas and water cannons on the crowd.
                                                          Two protesters from International Rivers were sent home,
                                                          deported from the forum in Turkey after displaying
                                                          banners rejecting the construction of new dams.
(Circle of Blue, 19 Mar 09)

2.3.2 Turkey hopes to use water to build peace, minister Eroglu says
Turkey's Minister of Environment and Forestry and a former professor of environmental engineering, Veysel Eroglu,
announced that Turkey wanted to use water to build peace with neighboring Syria and Iraq rather than allowing it to
become a source of conflict. The Euphrates and Tigris rivers, which originate in Turkey, have a combined average
annual flow of about 87.7 billion cubic meters, enough to meet the needs of all three countries. Recently, technical
experts from the three countries have been meeting to exchange information and experience, and several
cooperative projects are in the works. One is a Turkish-Syrian dam on the Asi River (also known as the Orontes). The
sale of water from the Manavgat River to other nations is still a possibility. Eroglu firmly resists privatizing water
services, saying, "We use private companies for building these [hydroelectric] power stations, but the water in the
reservoirs cannot be sold."
(SAHRA Newsletter, 29 Mar 09)

2.3.3 Asi River overflows farmland submerged
The Asi (Orontes) River, overcharged by heavy rainfall, overflowed in Turkey's Hatay Province. Over 10,000 acres of
fields were submerged in Ziyaret, Keskincik, Kiyigoren, Yarseli, Boynuyogun, Hacipasa, Bosin, Apaydin, Atcana, and
Demirkopru, along the Syrian border. Hatay farmers complain that Syrian dams deprive the Amik Plain of water
during the summer because Syria closes the floodgates, while the opening of the floodgates in the winter often
causes flooding. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.3.4 Aluminium, silica in water affect Alzheimer's risk
Higher levels of aluminium in drinking water appear to increase people's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease,
whereas higher levels of silica appear to decrease the risk, according to investigator Dr. Virginie Rondeau. She and
colleagues at the Institute National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in Bordeaux, Department of Gironde,
France, examined the links between exposure to aluminium or silica from drinking water and the risk of cognitive
decline, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease among elderly subjects over a period of 15 years. An intake of at least
0.1 milligram of aluminium per day was associated with greater cognitive decline, whereas for every 10 mg per day
of silica, the odds of developing dementia dropped by 11%. The results of some studies suggest that silica may
reduce the body's capability to absorb aluminium or increase the excretion rate. (SAHRA Newsletter, 8 Mar 09)

2.4 North America

2.4.1 Southern Governors Wage Water War Over Rights to Lake Lanier
The governors of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia are still locked in legal combat over the water in Lake Lanier, a
Federal reservoir near Atlanta, Georgia. At issue is who controls the water: Congress or the US Army Corps of
Engineers. The lake not only supplies the city of Atlanta but feeds the Chattahoochee River, which flows into river
systems in Florida and Alabama that support wildlife farther downstream and provide water for power plants and
other industries. A record-setting drought has caused Lanier's level to drop sharply, and Georgia tried to limit the
amount of water released downstream last year. The US Supreme Court ruled in January, however, that only
Congress could change an interstate water treaty. Now the dispute is heading back to a Federal court in Jacksonville,
(SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09),2933,500452,00.html

2.4.2 New Mexico to get stimulus money for water projects
The state of New Mexico is set to receive nearly $40 million in Federal stimulus money to improve water quality,
drinking water infrastructure, and sewage treatment systems. The money will be available through the Clean Water
and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. The New Mexico Environment Department is reviewing applications and
will prepare a list of ready-to-go projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NMED spokeswoman Marissa
Stone said that the most urgent needs will be met first and that the department also wants to make sure that
funding is evenly distributed across the state to large and small water systems. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.4.3 California's water system at risk from a major Bay Area earthquake
A major earthquake (magnitude 6.7 or higher) could flood numerous islands in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin
River Delta, cripple the state's water system for at least 18 months, and cost up to $2.3 billion in emergency repairs,
according to a report from the Department of Water Resources. There is a 40% probability of such an earthquake in
the next 25 years. Dave Mraz, chief of the DWR's Delta-Suisun Marsh office, and former state assemblyman John
Laird have been pressing for a study of the effect of natural disasters upon the Delta levees since early 2005.
(SAHRA Newsletter, 29 Mar 09),0,2527038.story?track=rss

2.5 South America

2.5.1 The Most Polluted River in South America
Riachuelo Basin is home to more than 5 million people. Most of them are immigrants or children of immigrants who
came from the provinces in search of work. 75 percent of this population suffers from a disease related to pollution.
Nitrates affect children resulting in an illness that is a deadly type of cyanosis or „blue baby syndrome.‟ For starters,
the river is oily. It reeks of the stench of feces and chemicals. It is not uncommon to find the floating carcass of a dog
covered with flies, for instance. Plastic containers fill the river.
The Riachuelo is the most polluted water channel in South America, in its entire stretch of 65 miles as it winds
through the most populated areas of Greater Buenos Aires. On a daily basis, the river ejects 125,000 cubic meters of
water, as well as heavy metals such as lead, mercury, copper, and cadmium.
The river particularly has high concentrations of nitrates and mercury. These compounds permeate the water table
from the banks. They seep into the wells from which people draw their drinking water.
There are about 400 slum colonies located on the banks of the Riachuelo. These slums are built on piles of garbage.
With 375,000 cubic meters of domestic sewage that the Riachuelo absorbs each day, it is the largest open pit toilet
in the world. (Trend Updates, 2 Mar 09)

2.6 Australia

2.6.1 Flooded rivers 'pushing herbicides out to sea'
The Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research found huge quantities of the herbicides atrazine and diuron
flowing down several north Queensland rivers, including the Fitzroy, the Pioneer, and the Burdekin. Principal
researcher Jon Brodie explained that the state's recent floods have carried about half a tonne of herbicides out to sea
in just a few days. He said that a new enzyme designed by the Commonwealth Industrial and Scientific Research
Organisation (CSIRO) to break down atrazine may be Queensland farmers' last hope to continue using the chemicals.
(SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.4.3 Stormwater recycling 'very expensive', parliament told
Water Commissioner Robyn McLeod of the state of South Australia told the state Parliament in Adelaide that piping
stormwater into Adelaide homes for re-use would cost about $5000 Aus per household and piping would need to be
laid in every street to accomplish the task. Recycling stormwater was a good idea in new developments, she
explained, but retrofitting older neighborhoods was "a very expensive exercise." (SAHRA Newsletter, 8 Mar 09)

2.7 Asia

2.7.1 'Algae-eating fish' used to clean up Chinese lake
Chinese authorities have turned to algae-eating fish to clean up a toxic algal bloom in one of the country's most
famous and scenic bodies of water, Tai Lake (Taihu) near Wuxi in Jiangsu Province. Tai has been heavily polluted by
sewage, industrial effluent, and farm runoff before, despite 5 billion yuan being invested in diversion drains, and
algae remain a major problem. Lin Jianhua, head of the Taihu Fishing Administration, announced that around 10
million carp will be released into the lake. He said that one carp could consume 50 kg of algae and other plankton
while gaining only 1 kg in weight. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.7.2 Afghans face environmental disaster
Afghanistan's major cities, especially the national capital of Kabul, face an environmental disaster unless measures
are taken soon, warned Jarullah Mansoori, deputy head of the National Environmental Protection Agency. Three
decades of invasions and civil war, along with severe drought, have already caused widespread desertification,
deforestation, and loss of wildlife. Now, the return of millions of refugees is rapidly expanding urban populations,
stressing inadequate sewer systems and waste-management services. Mansoori's agency recently formed an
emergency body, with the aid of international donors, to equip and train government departments to tackle the crisis
in the short term, as well as to launch a public awareness campaign. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.7.3 China shuts chemical plant after water polluted
Chinese authorities closed a chemical plant in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province for contaminating 1.5 million people's
water supplies and arrested the owners. A phenol compound used to manufacture air fresheners, medical ointments,
cosmetics, and sunscreens leaked from the Biaoxin Chemical Company, forcing two out of the city's three water
treatment plants to shut down for hours. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.8 Middle East

2.8.1 No drinking water scarcity this summer, says minister
Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen of Saudi Arabia reassured the inhabitants of Jeddah in Jeddah
Province that they would not face any water shortages this summer. Two more floating desalination plants will arrive
in Jeddah within a few days, he announced, to add to the water already provided by a mobile unit at Shuaiba. Al-
Hussayen also said that besides the new branch of the National Water Company in Jeddah, three more customer
service centers would be opened in Makkah (Mecca), Madinah, and Taif. The Ministry has already established one in
Riyadh. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.8.2 Jordan's fossil water source has high radiation levels
Ancient groundwater being tapped by the desert kingdom of Jordan contains concentrations of two radioactive
isotopes, 228 radium and 226 radium, that are up to 2000% higher than international safety standards. The
discovery was made by a team of researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA; Israel; the
Palestinian Authority; and Jordan itself. Principal investigator Professor Avner Vengosh of Duke University tested
water from wells in the Disi Aquifer's Rum group, located along the Saudi Arabian border. That water is extracted
from sandstone, which absorbs less radium than aquifers with a high content of clay and oxides. The radioactivity
from the Disi Aquifer could be reduced by diluting the water with low-radium water from other sources, Vengosh said,
or by treating it with ion exchange, reverse-osmosis desalination, or lime softening technologies. (SAHRA Newsletter,
1 Mar 09)

2.8.3 UNDP to help protect Jeddah's environment
Mayor Adel Fakieh of Jeddah, Jeddah Province, in Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the United Nations
Development Program for a major project to manage and preserve the city's environment. Jeddah lacks any
organized mechanism to deal with the environmental challenges that are expected to grow along with urban
development. One of these is sewage disposal. A sewage lake about 15 km outside the city is only contained by a
sand levee, and if that breaks, eastern Jeddah will be flooded with 10 million litres of raw sewage. The municipality is
trying to bring down the lake's level by building extension pipelines and additional purification plants.
(SAHRA Newsletter, 29 Mar 09)

2.9 World

2.9.1 World forum on water crisis heads into final strait
A seven-day focus on the world's water crunch was winding up in Istanbul on Sunday with an expected pledge to work
harder to provide access to clean water and sanitation and tackle worsening scarcity. The declaration was to be
published at the end of the fifth World Water Forum by more than 100 ministers or their stand-ins, although activists
on Saturday attacked the non-binding document as worthless. "The world is facing rapid and unprecedented global
changes, including population growth, migration, urbanisation, climate change, desertification, drought, degradation
and land use, economic and diet changes," a draft of the statement said.
It sets out a roster of recommendations for action, including greater cooperation to ease disputes over water,
measures to address floods and drought, curbing pollution and better management of rivers, lakes and aquifers.

2.9.2 NASA global warming satellite crashes after launch
A NASA satellite designed to monitor carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas implicated in global warming,
crashed into the ocean near Antarctica only minutes after being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa
Barbara County, California on 24 February. The nose cone protecting the satellite failed to come off as designed and
the extra weight caused the rocket to dive back to Earth, said crestfallen officials. The $280 million project was nine
years in the making and was expected to improve climate models and help researchers determine where carbon
dioxide originates and how much is being absorbed by forests and oceans. (SAHRA Newsletter, 1 Mar 09)

2.9.3 Global Water Resources Threatened by Climate Change and Population Growth
According to a report issued jointly by Ceres -- a coalition of investors, environmental groups, and public interest
groups based in Boston, Massachusetts -- and the non-profit research group the Pacific Institute in Oakland,
California, few businesses or their stockholders are paying attention to the financial threat presented by water
scarcity. "Water Scarcity & Climate Change: Growing Risks for Businesses and Investors" asserts that climate change
is likely to exacerbate shortages in eight key industries, including electric power, high-tech, beverage, and agriculture.
It also warns that contaminated water supplies may require additional investment and operational costs. According
to Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, "Only 20% of corporations. . .look at real risks of water scarcity
and contamination. Almost none of the companies address the risks of climate change." The report recommends
that investors ask more questions about a company's "water footprint" and the associated business risks. (SAHRA
Newsletter, 8 Mar 09)

2.9.4 After Istanbul: Bridges Built and Burned Over Scarce Water
The United Arab Emirates might be rolling in oil and natural gas, but it could bring grist to its mill from water-scarce
Australia. As the 5th World Water Forum and World Water Day wound up earlier this month, stakeholders called for
more cooperation among sectors and countries in the face of a growing global water crisis. While a European report
presented at the forum in Istanbul urged more cooperation to avoid conflict over increasingly scarce water, World
Water Day emphasized transboundary water management. The Istanbul Ministerial Statement vowed to develop
“cross-cutting coordination and policies” that transcend national borders.
(Circle of Blue, 30 Mar 09)


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

3.2 Publications available from Australian Water Association (AWA)
         Back in stock - GHD Book of WATER TREATMENT. One of the best written, easiest books to read and use
         with simple explanations of the chemistry of water treatment, explains disinfection, how treatment plants
         are designed, how best to maintain them and basic trouble shooting. WaterAid receives a proportion of all
         sales. Member price $121 plus p.& h. Email:

3.3 IWA Publishing announces that the following titles are available

         3.5.1 Groundwater Management in Large River Basins
         Editors: Milan Dimkic, Heinz-Jurgen Brauch and Michael Kavanaugh
         Publication Date: November 2008 • ISBN: 9781843391906 • Pages: 728 • Hardback
         Non IWA Members Price: £ 100.00 / US$ 200.00 / € 150.00 IWA Members Price: £ 75.00 / US$ 150.00 /
         € 112.50

         3.5.2 Environmental Hydrogeology: Second Edition
         Authors: Philip E. LaMoreaux, Mostafa M. Soliman, Bashir A. Memon, James W. LaMoreaux & Fakhry A.
         Publication Date: November 2008 • ISBN: 9781843392286 • Pages: 374 • Hardback
         Non IWA Members Price: £ 60.00 / US$ 120.00 / € 90.00 IWA Members Price: £ 45.00 / US$ 90.00 / €

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

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

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

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

         3.5.7 Environmental Technologies to Treat Nitrogen Pollution: Principles and Engineering *
         Editor: Francisco J. Cervantes
         Environmental Technologies to Treat Nitrogen Pollution will provide a thorough understanding of the
         principles and applications of environmental technologies to treat nitrogen contamination. The main focus
         will be on water and wastewater treatment, with additional coverage of leachates and off-gasses... More at:
         Publication Date: May 2009 • ISBN: 9781843392224 • Pages: 300 • Hardback
         IWA Members Price: £ 66.75 / US$ 133.50 / € 100.13 Non Members Price: £ 89.00 / US$ 178.00 / €

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


4.1 Thinking about water
IBM unveiled its smart water portfolio of services and technologies at the World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. The
smart water portfolio forms part of IBM‟s larger Smarter Planet strategy in which the company intends to encourage
the development of more intelligence driven societies by more effectively using instrumented and interconnected
devices. IBM also announced a water filtration breakthrough with the development of a new membrane which can
more effectively remove salts and toxins from water supplies.
(Techsmart, 16 Mar 09)


5.1 BSc in Water and Sanitation Graduate seeking Employment
Charlotte Monareng has a BSc in Water and Sanitation Services. This includes modules such as financial
management, water care, human resource management, implementation and planning of water and sanitation
services, Research Methodologies. She obtained her degree during the year 2007 from the University of Limpopo.
She has worked voluntary service as a vice-secretary for a year. She also worked for the company Signzandgraphix
city cc for three months as a Receptionist
Currently she is working as an Office Administrator at Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre. She has
communication, listening, computer administration, time managing, report writing, financial managing skills. She
can be contacted on 076 859 6244

5.2 BSc in Community Water Services and Sanitation Graduate seeking Employment
Suzan Mothiba has informed WISA that she is seeking employment. She has a BSC in Community Water Services
and Sanitation from the University of Limpopo. Should you be interested please contact Ms Mothiba on 072 750
1695/ 083 392 2243 or at

5.3 BSc Honours in Applied Sciences in Water Utilisation Graduate seeking Employment
Ms PJ Mtimunye has a BSc (Honours) in Applied Sciences in water utilisation from University of Pretoria. She is
currently looking for the employment/Internship opportunity in any environmental, chemical, and water related field.
She can be contacted on 072 950 6897

5.4 Seeking internship
My name is Dudley Mattheus currently busy with S3 at Cape Peninsula University Technology .I am applying to be
given the opportunity , to do my in service training. This will enable me to gain experience, knowledge of industry.
This opportunity wil enable to finish my ND Chemical Engineering Diploma. You can contact Dudley on 073 2699465
(Mobile) or

6.1 2009-2010 WASH Media Awards seek Best Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Journalism
SIWI and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)welcome entries for the third edition of the
WASH Media Awards competition open to journalists who publish or broadcast original investigative reports between
March 2009 and April 2010 on water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues in their countries.
Journalists can submit one piece of work such as an article from traditional print or recognized online newspapers,
magazines or journals; a radio broadcast; or a television documentary or report.
To be eligible, entries must be published or broadcast between 1 March 2009 and 1 April 2010. Articles or
broadcasts can be submitted in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. Works not originally published or
broadcast in one of these languages must be translated into one of the five competition languages.
Seven prizes will be awarded:
     One in each of the five competition languages for developing country journalists
     One for the best entry focusing on gender (women and WASH) for developing country journalists
     One for the best entry from a developed country journalist
The winners will receive a cash prize and participate in the World Water Week in Stockholm in August 2010 as
special guests of WSSCC and SIWI.
(SIWI Newsletter, Mar 09)


       1. Only about 3% of surface water is fresh water.
       2. Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface, but one fifth of the world‟s population lacks access
           to clean drinking water.
       3. The Earth's oceans are the most important carbon sink on the planet along with rainforests.
       4. Floods are the most frequent disaster worldwide.
       5. Waterborne diseases affect about four billion people every year.
       6. In 2007, Greenland‟s ice sheet lost nearly 19 billion tons more ice than in 2006.
       7. It is expected that the demand for water will double during the next 30 years.
       8. A kilo of industrially produced meat needs about 10,000 liters of water to produce.
       9. People in rich countries use ten times more water than people in poor countries.
       10. Agriculture takes up 70% of the water we use.
       11. The United States have the highest water consumption per capita in the world. With 600
           liters a day, the average American uses more water than anyone else in the world

Contributions to newsletter:
National Branches, Divisions, Members etc are welcome/ invited to comment and/or send news, vacancies etc to the
Editor (contact details below).

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

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