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Water Engineering and Infrastructure

Groundwater a viable water saving initiative

     13th October 2017 South African consulting and engineering firm JG Afrika is working hard to change the mind-set around using South Africa’s groundwater to mitigate water scarcity, despite project failures in the past. JG Afrika technical director Mark Schapers and JG Afrika executive associate Regan Rose agree... 

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance

     13th October 2017 The growing funding gap to keep up with the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of ageing water infrastructure is a global concern, particularly in the current age of austerity, says global engineering firm Aurecon. The firm emphasises that new water systems need to be built to cope with... 

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance
Photo by Bloomberg
FOOD INSECURITY Food is heavily reliant on water supply. Scarce water supply puts crops and livestock at risk

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 Fundamental conformities not being upheld during the manufacturing stages of pipe production has exacerbated South Africa’s current water scarcity, says plastics and polymer testing laboratory P.E.S.C. MD Graham Marsberg. “The basics of pipe manufacturing involves quality workmanship. This... 

Nonconformance of standards exacerbates drought conditions
CONFORMING TO STANDARDS SATAS or SABS accreditation is essential to ensuring reliable water infrastructure that adheres to strict standards

Population increase outstrips water infrastructure

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 With South Africa’s population rapidly increasing in the past 60 years, water scarcity and a lack of adequate infrastructure continue to be of concern, says water components supplier African Pipes, Valves and Fittings director Ben Levitas. In the past, the traditional way of increasing to... 

Population increase outstrips  water infrastructure
BEDFORD DAM The Bedford Dam, constructed in 2011, is one of the few notable water infrastructure projects in the past 20 years

Technology suitable for South African context

By: Nica Schreuder     13th October 2017 In the quest to mitigate water supply difficulties that have been prevalent in South Africa in the past few years, international engineering consultancy and technology provider Royal HaskoningDHV says its range of innovative wastewater treatment and smart water solutions is relevant in the context. 

Western Cape municipality begins master plan to combat water loss

     13th October 2017 The Drakenstein local municipality in Paarl, Western Cape, has begun a 20-year master plan to replace old or ageing asbestos pipes in the region with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, which will achieve significant success in reducing water loss throughout the municipal area. Water leakage... 

Western Cape municipality begins master plan to  combat water loss
MASTER PLANNERS Willem Liebenberg and André Kowalewski (right) of the Drakenstein municipality are at the forefront of the master plan

Strides made in smart solutions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2017 An early flood warning app designed for the city of Accra, in Ghana, will make all the difference to the city’s resilience, its people and their future wellbeing, posits Royal HaskoningDHV global business line director water Anke Mastenbroek. The app is a notable example of a smart water solution... 

New solution available in SA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2017 US-based safe water disinfection company MIOX, a Johnson Matthey company, designs and manufactures on-site chemical generators, which are an alternative solution to using hazardous chemicals, and its many benefits can be applied positively in South Africa, suggests MIOX senior applications... 

New solution available in SA
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION MIOX’s on-site chemical generators are an alternative to using hazardous chemicals for water treatment

Short- and long-term options for ailing supply

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2017 Although South Africa’s current dam infrastructure setup is reliable, sustainable consulting in the built and natural environment provider WSP Africa Structures senior engineer Peter Townshend says there are a number of short- and long-term solutions that South Africa can pursue to augment water... 

Short- and long-term options for ailing supply
Photo by Duane Daws
DAMNING STATE Dams in South Africa are under pressure to meet a growing water demand

Smart water solutions promise improved efficiencies for S Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2017 Smart water solution technology will redefine everything the water and wastewater industries do, the extent of which we cannot begin to fathom, enthuses independent international engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV global business line director water Anke... 

Smart water solutions promise improved efficiencies for S Africa
DATA CRUNCHER Smart solutions combine large amount of raw data with artificial intelligence, in order to convert this into useful information to be used for predicting scenarios

Three-tier approach necessitated to tackle water losses

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th June 2017 A combination of proper water management systems, incentivisation, and solid water infrastructure will enable South Africa to address the prevalent problem of municipal water losses before reaching industrial and residential consumers, suggests smart technology and solutions provider Jasco Group... 

Three-tier approach necessitated  to tackle water losses
Photo by Bloomberg
PIPE DOWN Jasco is using data analysis to detect when a leak or burst occurs in the water system

SBS Tanks

By: Zandile Mavuso     30th June 2017 At this year’s African Utility Week, tank manufacturer SBS Tanks was announced as Gold Sponsors of the event, and were participants for the first time. With a stand that had people talking and lectures that were inspiring, SBS Tanks were integral to the water conversation. 

SBS Tanks

Verni MC

By: Zandile Mavuso     30th June 2017 Germany-based company MC Bauchemie have joined forces with South Africa-based Verni Speciality Construct Products. Verni will be marketing and selling the MC range of concrete crack injection systems for structural reinforcing, concrete repairs, structural waterproofing, sub-soil stabilisation... 

Verni MC

SAPPMA and PPCA’s pipes XI conference

     30th June 2017 More than 35 of South Africa and the world’s top experts on issues relating to plastic piping, water infrastructure and engineering will be presenting at this year’s PIPES XI Conference – an annual event hosted by the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA).  This year’s... 

RamPiping Systems

     14th October 2016 High-density polyethylene (HDPE) piping fabricator, supplier and installation specialist RamPiping Systems has expanded its focus to include piping solutions from US-based supplier NOV Fiber Glass Systems (NOV FGS). Since being established in 2006, RamPiping’s main focus has been on HDPE, but... 

RamPiping Systems

Plastic pipes integral to water infrastructure

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th October 2016 The plastic pipe industry is arguably one of the most important in South Africa as infrastructure such as water distribution, waste disposal, irrigation, telecommunications and a myriad of other services rely on pipe infrastructure to work effectively, says Southern African Plastic Pipe... 

SaaS solutions reduce water loss

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th October 2016 With almost 40% of municipal water supplied in South Africa being lost before it even reaches the public, information and communications technology solutions provider Jasco Group states that there are tools and technologies available, such as big data, analytics and Software as a Service (SaaS),... 

Sewer pipes’ difference key in fitting and installation

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th October 2016 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and high-density polyethylene water reticulation and drainage pipe and fitting systems manufacturer DPI Plastics warns that the South African market needs to be aware of the differences between PVC sewer fittings and polypropylene (PP) sewer fittings, as a fitting... 

Initiative enlightens communities about infrastructure concerns

     7th October 2016 An Umgeni Water team hosted an event in June at the Mhlabatshane dam in KwaZulu-Natal’s Ugu district to inform and educate attendees, as part of a commitment to assist in the protection of communities that live close to bulk water storage and treatment infrastructure. Umgeni Water abstracts,... 

Initiative enlightens  communities about  infrastructure concerns
UMGENI WATER The provision of infrastructure, such as dams, is accompanied by certain risks to people who live close to this infrastructure

Water treatment plant for Limpopo

     7th October 2016 Water technology solutions provider, Veolia Water Technologies South Africa (SA) recently reported that it provided an energy efficient, low maintenance packaged water treatment plant to supply an additional 5 Mℓ/d of potable water to two villages in Limpopo. Veolia was contracted by Lepelle... 

Infrastructure overhaul could boost consumer expenses

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th October 2016 South Africa is in dire need of infrastructure upgrades to better manage available water resources and ensure that water can be distributed to where it is needed. However, to undertake the massive infrastructure overhaul needed, funds for capital investment will be required. Like with... 

Partnerships can provide infrastructure solutions

     7th October 2016 Last month the Parliament of South Africa’s Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation announced that it is distressed that the local government sphere is not fully exploiting the potential available in Public-Private Partnerships in finding solutions to the challenge of provision of water. The... 

Partnerships can provide infrastructure solutions
PRIVATE SECTOR DEPENDENT One of the major challenges that hamper service delivery is the lack of skills at municipal level

Proposed budget raises industry challenges

     7th October 2016 In May the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, delivered a speech to Parliament announcing the proposed budget for water and sanitation in the 2016/17 financial year. Following her speech and debate on her proposed budget, a budget roughly 3.2% smaller than the budget... 

Proposed budget raises  industry challenges
Photo by Duane Daws
NOMVULA MOKONYANE The Minister’s budget speech focuses on the infrastructure needed to deal with water scarcity

Municipalities need to prioritise water infrastructure – KPMG

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th October 2016 With infrastructure being a vehicle for economic development, global consulting firm KPMG says government and municipalities should prioritise infrastructure projects, especially in the water sector where there is a growing demand. “The challenges in the water industry have not changed that much.... 

Infrastructure crucial to water availability

By: Kimberley Smuts     7th October 2016 Global professional services firm WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa says various factors contribute to the operating efficiencies of existing water infrastructure in South Africa, which affects the country’s availability of water resources, including management thereof. WSP environment and energy... 

Wastewater treatment necessary to grow the economy

By: Nadine James     29th July 2016 Consistent and sustainable water supply is necessary to ensure socioeconomic growth; therefore, wastewater treatment, as a comparatively cost-effective solution that reduces strain on available water supply, is vital to economic growth in water-stressed countries, says waste management company... 

Wastewater treatment necessary to grow  the economy
UNDERCOVER OPERATION The underground biological wastewater treatment plant should remain operational for up to 25 years

Phase II update: Polihali dam construction expected in 2019

By: Nadine James     29th July 2016 Construction of the Polihali dam – an integral part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II – is expected to begin in 2019.  The Polihali dam, Polihali-Katse transfer tunnel and other infrastructural aspects of the LHWP Phase II should be completed by 2024. Once Phase II is... 

Phase II update: Polihali dam construction expected in 2019
ONTO PHASE II To date, five contracts have been awarded for various elements of the advance infrastructure works

Rainwater harvesting key for drought-stricken SA

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 Owing to constant water supply not being guaranteed, aggravated by the prolonged drought, South Africans have become more proactive in saving water by creating emergency back-up systems and systems that can collect rainwater, says water systems provider Sinvac Plastics, which is based in Pretoria... 

Rainwater harvesting key for drought-stricken SA
ROTOMOULDED TANKS Sinvac has been supplying the South African market since 1962 with rotomoulded products such as water tank

Radar offers robust solutions

     27th May 2016 International instrumentation engineering enterprise Kobold Messring has introduced its Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) technology to its Kobold NGR components. The components, which use microwave or guided radar, offer a robust and low-maintenance solution for level measurement and monitoring.... 

Radar offers  robust solutions
TIME DOMAIN REFLECTOMETRY Unlike older technologies, the TDR technology offers measurement readings that are independent of chemicals or physical properties of the process media

eThekwini digestion pilot plant in trial

     27th May 2016 Resource management company Veolia Water Technologies completed the installation of an anaerobic digestion pilot plant, which was erected at eThekwini Water and Sanitation’s Southern Wastewater Treatment Plant in Merebank, Durban in the first quarter of this year. The trial project, which was... 

eThekwini digestion pilot plant in trial
ANAEROBIC DIGESTION PILOT The trial project, which was commissioned and optimised by Veolia, aims to generate biogas from the current waste water feeds at the plant

Calls to reuse water treatment waste take centre stage at WISA 2016

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 While the cost-effective and environmentally compliant disposal of water treatment residue (WTR) is a challenge for water treatment practitioners worldwide, WTR management has taken centre stage in the local water industry amid increasing water demands, deteriorating raw water quality aggravated... 

Calls to reuse water  treatment waste take  centre stage at WISA 2016
MEGAN SCHALKWYK Findings suggest that there has to be a change in mind-set across the water industry value chain, with stakeholders treating WTR as a reusable commodity rather than waste

Piano key weir solutions investigated at ICOLD 2016

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 The investigation into the structural behaviour of piano key weirs was put under the spotlight at the 2016 annual International Commission on Large Dams Meeting (ICOLD), which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from May 15 to 20. Speaking at the eighty-fourth edition of the meeting,... 

Piano key weir  solutions investigated  at ICOLD 2016
PIANO KEY WEIRS The rectangular keys are made with sloped bases, which guide flow over and away from the crest of the weir

New submersible motor pumps launched

     27th May 2016 German pump and valves producer KSB has broadened its local series of pumps with the introduction of the Amarex KRT submersible motor pumps range for handling municipal and industrial waste water in a cost effective manner. The company notes that KSB engineers have further improved on the... 

New submersible motor pumps launched
KSB engineers have further improved on the operating reliability and hydraulic efficiency of previous pumps

Tricky hydro scheme checks completed

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 Difficult-to-complete inspections, high up at a water-storage scheme, in KwaZulu-Natal, were easily completed within the allotted time using  rope access.  Rope access solutions provider Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn notes that the operation – which took place after the conclusion of one... 

Tricky hydro scheme checks completed
ROPE ACCESS The shafts inspected at a KZN hydro scheme were over 700 m long, 6 m in diameter and with 25˚ slopes

Water footprinting integral to water management systems

     27th May 2016 Professional services firm WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa have shifted focus to advising clients within the private sector to focus on their water strategies in order to sustainably manage water resources while lowering operational costs. WSP have assisted companies such as private hospital... 

Water and sanitation priority at WISA 2016

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 African cities are developing rapidly and existing water management systems cannot keep up, leading to a projected quadrupling in demand for water over the next 25 years, said ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability - Africa professional officer Tarryn Quayle during the Water Institute of... 

Water and sanitation  priority at WISA 2016
WATER SHORTAGE ICLEI cited figures which suggested 565-million people are still using unimproved sanitation and 330-million using unimproved drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa.

KZN water pipeline project to be completed by mid-2017

By: Kimberley Smuts     11th December 2015 Plans are on track for Phase 2 of Durban’s Western Aqueduct project, the city’s biggest-ever bulk water pipeline project, with completion expected by mid-2017, confirms eThekwini municipality water and sanitation unit head Ednick Msweli. Phase 1 of the project, which spans 20 km from the Umlaas... 

KZN water pipeline  project to be completed by mid-2017
PLANS ON TRACK Completing Phase 2 of Durban’s Western Aqueduct project will ensure that the eThekwini region has some of the best bulk water infrastructure

KZN water project provides multipurpose economic benefits 

     11th December 2015 The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is currently moving ahead with the implementation of the proposed conjunctive Ntabelanga–Lalini scheme, an important component of the  KwaZulu-Natal-based Mzimvubu water project. Engineering and environmental consulting company Jeffares and Green (J&G)... 

KZN water project provides  multipurpose economic benefits
CONJUNCTIVE NTABELANGA–LALINI SCHEME Two multipurpose dams will be built on the Tsitsa river, a major tributary to the Mzimvubu river
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