The Stellenbosch University (SU) Water Institute, an initiative aimed at strengthening the work being done in the field of water research, was launched on Tuesday, which marked World Water Day.
Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, who attended the launch, said it was vital for policy makers to follow a model such as that of the SU Water Institute, which ensured that new knowledge was created and applied to tackle current water challenges. She also urged stronger links between scientists and policy makers.
The Minister asked for the commitment of researchers to do multidisciplinary research not only with partners in South Africa, but also at institutions throughout Africa, to ensure necessary skills development in the water sector.
SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Russel Botman said the positive attitude with which researchers tackle water-related challenges would help find solutions to “seemingly intractable problems in society”.
Dean of the SU Faculty of Science and chair of the Water Institute advisory board Professor Eugene Cloete added that they had created a national asset that actively contributes towards solving South Africa and the continent’s water related challenges.
The Water Institute united established water research groups in five SU faculties under one umbrella. Current research projects already being undertaken by its affiliates, in collaboration with government and industry, focused on health, agriculture and food, a sustainable environment, nanotechnology and filtration, effluent treatment and social aspects surrounding water.
Affiliated researchers who worked on various water-related topics included microbiologists, polymer scientists, soil scientists, geologists and invasion biologists, as well as engineers, zoologists, food scientists, biochemists, agricultural economists and a philosopher.
The researched topics included the ethics of freshwater management, ownership of water, the safety of agricultural produce, biofouling and biocorrosion control, community health and financial-economic planning of water use.
Other topics, such as endocrine disruptors, hydrodynamics, water engineering, catchment and resource management and invasion biology, as well as the geochemical evolution of water and waste waters, and water governance and management, were tackled.
Source: Engineering News (Petronel Smit)
Educational institutions have a major role to play in South Africa’s future water security. As the minister stated, it is very important for research results and recommendations to be incorporated into national water policies otherwise it is a wasted effort. Hopefully the Water Institute will become a model for other learning institutions and that communication and information sharing between these institutions and government will be well coordinated.
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems and Yes Solar Mpumalanga offer eco-friendly rainwater collection systems, rainwater tanks, grey water recycling, swimming pool backwash recycling, water-saving toilet flush mechanisms and high quality Solsquare solar water geysers.
Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water heater, rainwater harvesting system (see rainwater FAQ), gray water recycling system or water tank (we are authorized South African JoJo Water Tanks dealers and supply the full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands). Our water tank prices are hard to beat in the Mpumalanga & Limpopo Lowveld.
Water conservation and renewable energy such as solar energy are two issues that affect the global community; make a difference and start conserving water and switch to renewable energy today. Another way of reducing your carbon footprint is to switch to eco-friendly insurance.