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Is freshwater supply more dependent on good governance than geography?

Scientists have analyzed 19 different characteristics critical to water supply management in 119 low per capita income countries and found that vulnerability is pervasive and commonly arises from relatively weak institutional controls.

The study, conducted by researchers based at Washington State University (WSU), USA, and Stanford University, USA, sought to identify freshwater supply vulnerabilities using four broad categories; endowment (availability of source water), demand, infrastructure and institutions (e.g. government regulations).

The results are published today, 23rd October 2015, in the journal Environmental Research Letters. “We’ve spent years developing this framework that addresses water vulnerability beyond just endowment and demand” explains Julie Padowski, the lead author, now at WSU. “Our team’s expertise spanned hydrology, law, chemistry and economics, and this gave us a very interdisciplinary view of water supply issues.”

Purifying Water with Nanotech

Members are working on ways to make water potable

By Kathy Pretz

When water molecules red and white and sodium and chlorine ions green andWhen water molecules [red and white] and sodium and chlorine ions [green and purple] in saltwater encounter a sheet of graphene with holes of the right size [center], the water passes through from right to left, but the sodium and chlorine from the salt are blocked. Image: David Cohen-TanugiAbout 1 of every 6 people around the world has no adequate access to water, and more than twice that number lack basic sanitation, for which water is essential, according to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. One of the Grand Challenges for Engineering set forth by the academy aims to develop technology that will make polluted water potable.

It’s not that the world doesn’t have enough water. Globally, water is abundant, but most of it is in the oceans, where it’s unsuitable for drinking without expensive desalination. Another problem for some developing countries is that contaminated drinking water contains bacteria and other pollutants. The application of nanotechnology to purify water is the focus of many papers presented at IEEE conferences and published in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library. Two are described here.

South Africa: Water Sector 2011 Report On water quality and availability, water supply and sanitation

The United Nations General Assembly declared access to clean water and sanitation a human right in July 2010, thus, there is an urgent need to improve how water resources are developed and managed as a way to promote growth and lessen poverty while, at the same time, ensuring environmental sustainability.
Implementing this right will be a particular challenge in Africa where a large percentage of the population live in water-deprived areas. In South Africa, water-management areas are already experiencing water deficits, such as those in the Western Cape; ecosystems and water resources are under pressure by various users; and available resources and appropriate water resources are being affected by decreasing water quality, which, in turn, affects net availability.
This report looks at the issues facing South Africa’s water sector, such as water quality and availability, water supply and sanitation and water infrastructure, besides others.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene November - December 2017 Vol.12 No.6