Water, Sewage & Effluent January-February 2017 - Page 10

SLOVENIA declares water as ‘ fundamental right ’
Slovenia has become the first European country to add water as a fundamental right to its constitution .
“ Everyone has the right to drinkable water ,” Slovenia ’ s constitution says . “ Water resources represent a public good that is managed by the state . Water resources are primary and durably used to supply citizens with potable water and households with water and , in this sense , are not a market commodity .”
Slovenia is the first EU nation to ratify water as a fundamental right ; though , according to the Permanent World Report on the Right to Water , 15 other countries across the world have already done this .
The law is aimed at the 12 000 Roma people living inside the country , many of whom don ’ t have access to potable water . Addressing this issue , Amnesty International highlighted the conditions in which these people often live .
“ Many Roma are … denied even minimum levels of access to water and sanitation ,” Amnesty International said in a statement . u
USD120-m for Uzbekistan water project
The Asian Development Bank ( ADB ) has approved a USD120-million loan to enhance water supply in Tashkent Province , in Uzbekistan .
The loan will improve access to safe , reliable , sustainable , and affordable water supply services for more than 260 000 inhabitants in the Kibray and Zangiota districts of the province .
Water supply and sanitation systems in Uzbekistan were established during the reign of the Soviet Union , but are now old and need upgrading .
The project will refurbish the Kadirya regional water supply system by upgrading the existing water supply networks , offering potable water treatment services and rehabilitating the water distribution network .
It will also improve the financial , operational and system management of the Tashkent Provincial Suvokova for Kibray and Zangiota district branches .
The two districts Kibray and Zangiota are situated adjacent to Tashkent , the Uzbek capital , and add to the economic development of the capital region . The districts also have huge potential for the establishment of agro-industrial and textile industries . u
South32 opens desalination plant
South32 has opened a desalination plant in KwaZulu-Natal , at its Hillside aluminium smelter in Richards Bay . The smelter plays a significant role in the economic landscape of KwaZulu-Natal , and availability and certainty of critical input variables , such as water and power , are vital for its sustainability .
Speaking at the official opening of the desalination plant , South32 president for the Africa region Mike Fraser said in recognising the issues created by drought in the area , the company had investigated solutions to ensure that consistent water supply to the operation was maintained while reducing reliance on municipal water .
“ The desalination of seawater was identified as the preferred alternative as it would not only supply adequate water to ensure operations are maintained , but it will also be able to supplement the municipal water supply in times of critical shortage .”
Construction of the plant commenced in April 2016 . It is the first desalination plant in the province .
The R74-million plant will remove minerals from seawater extracted from the Richards Bay harbour , enabling the globally diversified metals and mining company to maintain operations during a time of drought . The recent drought has resulted in the implementation of stringent water restrictions in the Richards Bay domestic and industrial sectors .
The desalination plant was built within the Hillside Aluminium Smelter complex . u
South32 has opened the first desalination plant in KwaZulu-Natal .
Blue Scorpions nab water transgressor
The Department of Water and Sanitation ( DWS ), through its Blue Scorpions , has achieved yet another significant milestone in dealing with the water transgressions in the Western Cape province .
In the Breede Valley area , a farmer was recently convicted of contravening the new dam safety regulations by constructing a dam with no authorisation from the department . Following the litigation process , this farmer was fined R20 000 , which was paid directly to Breede- Gouritz Catchment Management Agency to enhance its compliance and monitoring function .
Thanduxolo Thando Stimela , investigating officer from the Blue Scorpions , says , “ The success in this case demonstrates the department ’ s ability to conduct its own criminal investigation in water-related cases .”
The DWS claims this case sends a clear message that farmers should adhere to the 20 % curtailment of all water uses as per notice 1057 , which was carried in Government Gazette number 40279 of 16 September 2016 pertaining to the drought period .
“ Given the water challenges gripping the country , the department cannot afford to turn a blind eye on water transgressions . The department appeals to all water users to act in a responsible manner and respect the use of water during this drought period ,” the DWS says . u
8 Water Sewage & Effluent January / February 2017