The document with FSE's comments are attached for download.

8 May 2020 | Author: Theresa Bhowan | Edited by Nadine James

TOO SALTY Additional salinity, owing to the current rate of treatment, creates water security risks

 

With the delay in the long-term treatment or desalination of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the integrated Vaal river system and the delay in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II, interventions are required to reduce the risk of water restrictions, states mining environmental activist organisation Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE).

The FSE’s forecast for the extent of the deficit in terms of water shortages is substantial as the integrated Vaal river system supplies 60% of the economy and 45% of the population.

“If the demand continues to grow at the current levels, the deficit in South Africa between water supply and demand could be at a gap of around 17%,” says FSE CEO Mariette Liefferink.

Interventions are essential to reduce the risk of water restrictions until the LHWP Phase II can deliver water. Such interventions include water conservation and water demand management savings, eradicating the unlawful use of water, the desalination and reuse of mine water in terms of a recalibrated model, as well as the implementation of the Tshwane Reuse Project.

Moreover, there is the immediate and short-term treatment of AMD by means of neutralising the water or using a pH adjustment. “In most cases, metals will precipitate out of the solution if the pH is adjusted upwards. It should be noted that the metals do not simply disappear, but change to a different oxidation state, which change them from a soluble to a solid form. These metals can again be mobilised and solubilised if the water becomes acidic,” notes Liefferink.

Failure to establish a sustainable long-term solution to AMD will result in an increase of the salt load of total dissolved solids in the Vaal river, since the current short-term treatment of AMD contributes 362 t/d of such solids to the Vaal barrage.

“The additional salinity, as a result of the current rate of treatment of AMD, creates water security risks. To comply with the regulatory limit of 600 mg/? of sulphates, good-quality water that is obtained through dilution will have to be released from the Vaal dam to ensure that the water below the Vaal barrage is fit for use,” explains Liefferink.

Further, the projected demand for increased water releases of “expensive Lesotho water” from the Vaal dam will increase the stress upon the water supply.

“The additional volume of water that may have to be released, as a result of the salinity associated with AMD, will result in a considerable reduction of water supply to the Upper Vaal – so much so that the total capacity of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands scheme will be cancelled,” she states, adding that it is for this reason that desalination is of great importance.

 

Link to original article here.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020 19:13

WATER SHOW AFRICA WEBINAR SERIES

The recording of the fourth WATER SHOW AFRICA WEBINAR SERIES this Tuesday, the 12th of May 2020 on the following topic “Next-gen digital monitoring for water consumption in mining” can be accessed right here.

The direct link to the live event video on the 5th of April 2020 with DocLounge is: Swedish Live Premier: Jozi Gold

In response to the hardships imposed upon mining affected communities as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, the FSE in collaboration with the South Deep Mine donated R13 933, 68 to the homeless people of Westonaria, one of the South Deep Mine’s host communities. The donation will be used for the purchase of food items.

The FSE has also contributed R3 000 towards the Non-Profit Organisation, Lukhanyo-Nkanyezi Reg 241-494 for food gardens farming in the Bekkersdal community against a back drop of dwindling local economy and the decline in the gold mining industry.

The FSE has been selected as a finalist in the NSTF-South 32Awards

The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by SET-related professionals and organisations in South Africa. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity builders, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.

The award the FSE has been nominated for is described below.

Award for a contribution to SET and Innovation through an NGO over the last 5 to 10 years 

This award is made to an NGO or a team or an individual working through an NGO registered in South Africa, which has made an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation in South Africa over the last 5 to 10 years.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 17:20

FSE's Report for March 2020

Find the following attached for download:

- FSE's report for March 2020
- notification from the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.

Page 5 of 22

SA NEWS

FSE - DONATION OF TREES AND TREE PLANTING IN SIMUNYE, WEST RAND IN ASSOCIATION WITH SOUTH DEEP MINE

The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine.  The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.   Watch the video here.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.

WATER

How Relevant are the Vaal Barrage's Catchment Corums

Article in North Star - Vereeniging & Midvaal.Author: Johann Tempelhoff Article attached for download.

UNPACKING THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN WATER

PDF article attached for download....

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment’s ongoing role in addressing the sewage pollution in the Vaal River

‘People the same as pigs’ in the VaalBy Sheree Bega | 16 Oct 2020 Foul: Pigs ro...