2016 Water Stress
2016 Water Stress
Five SA provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and Free State – have been declared water disaster areas. SA Weather has warned that South Africa is expected to be drier and warmer this year, due to a strong El-Niño episode. They forecast that rain will only fall in autumn and early winter, well below the normal rainfall figures for the country. A continual increase in sea temperatures is making the situation worse. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 012 367 6008.
Fix your leaks
Fix those leaks at home, down to the last dripping tap! Report municipal leaks and keep following up to make sure Makana resolves the problem. Contact 046 603 6063/6068 or 082 495 5829 or 073 762 2019
You can report leaks on any of the following numbers;
080 111 6134 Toll Free
046 603 6111
046 603 6063
046 603 6000
After hours 080 111 4444
New regulations on alien invasive plants: home owners are liable
You might think that just because our beautiful part of the country had reasonable rain in 2015, you won’t be affected by drought conditions. Think again. Crop failures mean less food and food price increases – this affects us all.
Most property owners don’t realise that their gardens can make drought worse. Dr Ralph Clark, Rhodes Botany Department researcher, points out that every year, alien invasive plants rob us of 3 300 million m3 (7%) of our surface freshwater. That's the equivalent of the Vaal Dam plus 144 Settlers Dams.
Plants such as Australian wattles, gum trees, bugweed, lantana and many others push in aggressively and take over soil and water resources with serious consequences for downstream users.
There are legal implications for landowners who have alien invasive plants on their properties.
It’s not only rural areas. Urban areas are also to blame for the heavy invasions in Eastern Cape river catchments. Dr Clark explains how urban areas in upper catchment areas – like Grahamstown – supply a constant seed source for invasions downstream (like the Bloukrans and Kowie rivers) as well as in surrounding farmland. Garden plant choices of individual property owners affect the hydrological balance of the entire catchment.
The recently published Alien Invasive Species (AIS) Regulations – affecting both sellers and buyers – require property owners to take responsibility for any alien invasive species on their land.
While we might be frustrated with poor leadership at various levels in SA right now, we can certainly do something on our own properties to improve water security. And there are many people who would be grateful for that 7% extra water.
For definitive information – and to ask questions – come to a free talk by Dr Ralph Clark (hosted by Kowie Catchment Campaign) on 28 January at 5.15pm at the Bowling Club (Cawood Street).
For more information contact the Kowie Catchment Campaign Secretary 046 603 7205 or email@example.com
Groundwater in trouble
Recent water resources research at the University of California Irvine has shown that some of the largest groundwater basins on this planet are being rapidly depleted. This is already causing significant ecological damage: rivers are lower, water quality is declining and land subsidence is evident. The most vulnerable is the Arabian Aquifer System (supporting 60 million people), followed by the Indus Basin aquifer (northwestern India and Pakistan) and the Murzuk-Djado Basin (northern Africa).
California's Central Valley is also “highly stressed”. So-called “human civilisation” is consuming groundwater fast without knowing when it might run out.
Even with more than 16 000 universities in the world, nobody has come up with info on how much groundwater remains. Read more at http://universityofcalifornia.edu/news/third-worlds-biggest-groundwater-basins-are-distress
Government deaf to fracking threats
Despite the grave warnings worldwide about water security, South Africa’s government seems to be hell-bent on allowing hydraulic fracturing – aka fracking – which threatens the health of groundwater. For updates, go to www.treasurethekaroo.co.za/news/press-statements.
Find us Online: www.grocotts.co.za/environews
Contacts for Makana Enviro-News:
046 603 7205
046 622 5822
082 575 9781
046 603 8635
046 622 6044,
076 289 5122;
046 603 7123.