Water, Sewage & Effluent May-June 2017 - Page 3

Wastewater kills T he UN’s theme for World Water Day, carried throughout the year and supported by the Department of Water and Sanitation, is wastewater. Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by a variety of factors, such as sewage, stormwater, agricultural activities, and run-off from surface and sewer inflow. The point being that all the wastewater finds its way into the right places and, sadly, due to lack of skills and training, into places that create a potential health risk to humans. Many bodies are discussing water and all other aspects associated with water saving and water loss, and a water event of some sort is probably taking places on every square metre of South Africa and elsewhere. Towards the end of an event recently attended, a delegate asked, “When will we stop talking and start walking the talk?” A fair question, especially when 80% of the world’s water is untreated and killing over 800 000 people each year. The UN World Water Assessment Programme notes that, “About 360 000 children worldwide die annually when consuming dirty water.” We do not knock the efforts of those attempting to resolve the water wastage and wastewater issue, but does it not make sense to have some coordination so we all work to the same goal and pool resources? Rivers and dams are polluted, requiring expensive processes to clean them — an unnecessary expense when such pollution should never have happened in the first place. However, the theme of wastewater must be highlighted, not only for 2017/18 until the next World Water Day takes places on 22 March, but now. In this issue of Water, Sewage & Effluent, we publish the first part of a Water Research Commission guideline to monitoring for municipalities. We continue our series on the National Water Resource Strategy 2, which focuses on water reuse. Also, Dr Tally Palmer from the Institute for Water Research provides good insight into household water around the country. In our networking features, we provide a pictorial overview of the Engineering Ideas seminar together with four of the six scholarship beneficiaries, and then look at what happened at the Unesco IHP symposium. Finally, we introduce Kim Kemp as the new editor of Water, Sewage & Effluent. Kim joins us with a solid journalistic background in the built environment, both locally and beyond South Africa. Contact Kim on +27 (0) 11 579 4940 or at kim@interactmedia.co.za — she would love to hear from you. u Rory Rory Macnamara | Editor Water Sewage & Effluent May/June 2017 1