Sep-2015 Briefing: Dr Anthony Turton

Event date: 15 September 2015

Dr Anthony Turton delivered a passionate presentation on the future risks posed by South Africa’s current water status and the long term effects thereof. He delved deeper into Uranium contamination, Yellow Boy and Cyanobacteria Bloom with ease of explanations for members.

By making reference to and showing figures on South Africa’s total national resources of water and the full supply capacity of dam storage, Dr Turton highlighted the relevance of water shortage. He continued to state that geologically South Africa no longer has the capacity to build dams for house water as the effects of climate change and increased temperatures mean water is evaporating at a cumulative speed and alternative plans must be implemented for the contingency of future generations. Many inconvenient facts were placed before chamber members to show a holistic outlook of the situation that will be in effect for the future of South Africa.

South Africa’s current water treatment system and sewage works are at a substandard rate thus posing serious water limitations for the future. Covering the negative effects of acid mine drainage, microcystin and saline level build ups, requires interventions to be made to salvage the current situation. The drought in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and illegal sand minding, available water in the province sights a steady decline and requires effective monitoring. In Closing, Dr Turton stated the solutions to water shortage: Recycling, harvesting of sewage water, technologies and skills will be needed to assist with the contamination of this natural resource to ensure sustainability in generations to come.

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