news in brief

South Africa: Cape Town calls for information on desalination solutions a mid drought

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Cape Town has issued a request for information (RfI) about possible solutions to the city’s lack of water through desalination or other advanced water treatment. The RfI says that the city “seeks to gauge the interest of for-profit and non-profit entities in forming possible partnerships install and operate temporary reverse osmosis (RO) plants at various locations along its sea shore, and certain inland locations, and to inject the potable water into the water distribution network for a period”.

The aim is to produce 100,000 to 500,000 m3/d of potable water from seawater, other surface water, or run-off water, through a string of small (5,000 m3/d or less), medium (5,001 to 30,000 m3/d), and large (30,001 to 500,000) facilities along Cape Town’s shoreline and at certain inland locations. “These RO plants could be either modular, containerized, mounted on a barge, or mounted on a seagoing vessel,” the RfI says. The aim is to commission the first plants by August 2017.


Tanzania: Water Bill Dodgers Face Magufuli Wrath

Magufuli IndiaIn what can be termed as a replica of a directive he issued to the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) three months ago, President John Magufuli has ordered the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Company (Dawasco) to disconnect water from all government institutions with outstanding bills amounting to Tsh. 40billion.In the same vein, the President directed Dawasco to seal loopholes that result in loss of water, denying availability of the precious liquid to people, revenue loss, and insisted on equal performance between Dawasco and the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (Dawasa). Addressing a well-attended rally in Mlandizi on his second leg of a three-day working tour of the Coast Region, Dr Magufuli remarked: “I am always very open, all long-term defaulters should no longer be tolerated, even if it is my office - State House, disconnect them.” He spoke few minutes before inaugurating a multi-billion project for expansion of the Upper Ruvu Water Treatment Plant.

The visibly annoyed Head of State insisted that there wasno time for business as usual, hinting that all government institutions had enough budget as well as votes for other charges (OCs), meaning, they were capable of settling their outstanding debts that according to the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Engineer Gerson Lwenge, had ballooned to 40bn/-. “Some will challenge me if we should even cut water from hospitals and my answer is yes, because I know that they have money for that,” he said. He warned Regional Commissioners, District Commissioners and District Executive Directors that should electricity be cut in their duty stations, they risk losing their jobs for negligence. 

Improving Resilience

Improving Reliance

Water companies spend billions each year to protect and enhance the environment and to make sure they can provide water and wastewater services now and in the future. The water sector, and the UK overall, is facing a wide range of enormous and complex challenges and is working to secure the long-term resilience of water and sewerage supplies and services. Climate change is bringing more volatile and extreme weather patterns. In just the past few years we have seen severe droughts, floods, and extremes of rainfall and cold weather. This has led to shortages and to too much water, sometimes both at once.

At the same time, environmental standards are getting even tougher, particularly around the quality of our rivers and bathing waters. This requires, for example, the highest standards of water treatment and well-maintained sewer networks. Another big challenge facing many water companies is dealing with growth in population and housing. The UK’s population is expected to rise by 10 million by the 2030s
and another 10 million by around 2050. Water UK has united industry knowledge in two key sector-wide projects, the Long Term Water Resources Planning Framework and the 21st Century Drainage Programme. These projects are helping the water sector to resolutely tackle these issues, and looking to ensure our industry protects our future environment by helping the sector to provide cleaner rivers, lakes and coastal waters, as well as fewer emissions for the benefit of people, wildlife and the wider environment. Water UK is working across many different areas to ensurethe UK water sector continues to work hard to ensure we are resilient against the future challenges.

Trump rescinds transgender bathroom rules from Obama era

32Donald Trump’s government has revoked guidance to US public schools that allowed transgender students to use toilets matching their gender identity.

The guidance, issued by his predecessor Barack Obama, had been hailed by as a victory for transgender rights. But critics said it threatened other students’ privacy and safety, and should be decided at state level.

Mr Obama’s directive had sparked a backlash across the country, with legal challenges from 13 states. The latest change will have no immediate impact, because Mr Obama’s directive has already been temporarily blocked by a judge in Texas since August.

20 Years of Feces-Contaminated Water Leads to Lawsuit

31By Sara Jerome

Thousands of South American water consumers filed a class action lawsuit against government agencies in November after a study revealed that they had been drinking water contaminated by human feces for over two decades.

The lawsuit was filed by residents of El Pinar and Manantiales in Colombia, UPI reported. “The study by the environmental laboratory at the University of Antioquia revealed those residents had been drinking water contaminated with E. coli and human feces for more than 20 years,” the report said.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene December 2018 Vol.13 No.6