environment sustainability water

Cause for concern: SA’s environment deteriorating

South Africa’s natural environment has, over the past 20 years, deteriorated nearly the fastest of most countries in the world, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday. This was the finding of a group of scientists at the universities of Yale and Columbia, in the US, who measured the state of the environment in 132 countries, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. South Africa was in 128th place, with Iraq last on the list. Using 22 indicators, researchers found the Swiss had managed and conserved their natural environment the best. Swiss air and water quality, biodiversity and the management and conservation of ecosystems were found to be the best in the world.

According to the report, it was clear South Africa’s air and water quality, biodiversity, the functioning of its ecosystems, and its agricultural and fishery systems, had seriously deteriorated. The researchers also measured and compared the current state of human health with that in 1992. The Wildlife and Environment Society of SA said the findings were shocking. Director Garth Barnes said it was clear that environmental laws in South Africa were not being applied, even though the country had some of the best environmental legislation in the world.

The full report is HERE.


environment sustainability water

Anti-fracking Petition to SA Government

We have written briefly about fracking here and here. What are your thoughts on it? Is it a viable energy source? Too much of an environmental risk? So says the reader who sent in this link to an anti-fracking petition… Do you agree with what is written below? mol-d

In South Africa, the government is considering whether to remove the moratorium that prohibits fracking – a practice that destroys our environment by creating greenhouse gases, consuming water in unsustainable volumes, increasing air pollution, putting people at risk of toxic pollution and more. Don’t let fracking endanger South Africa’s environment and people. Keep dangerous fracking out of South Africa.

Fracking is an environmentally dirty process which will:

  • Add significantly to world greenhouse gases.
  • Consume water in unsustainable volumes.
  • Increase damaging air pollution up to 300km downwind.
  • Risk polluting groundwater.
  • Put workers and our people at risk of toxic pollution.
  • Produce wastes that we cannot treat.
  • Industrialise a hauntingly beautiful landscape.
  • Create temporary boom-town conditions.
  • NOT provide long-lived jobs with useful skill sets.
  • Increase the traffic on poor roads a hundred-fold.
  • Cause noise, dust and light pollution.

South Africa has no trained supervisors for fracking operations, which coupled with a low price of gas will mean that companies will cut all the corners they can. A free-for-all will result. That can be avoided by careful use of balanced, renewable energy sources. Tell the President, the Ministers and the Cabinet that removing the Moratorium will harm South Africa and its citizens!

Target: The South African Government
Sponsored by:

sustainability water

Fog harvest

A study is being done to see if Mpumalanga’s poorest communities can harvest fog as a vital water source. The national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform plans to conduct a pilot project next year with the hope of rolling out fog harvesting to communities along the province’s eastern escarpment. “If the pilot project yields positive results, we will consider a large scale roll-out to feed into local water distribution networks,” said department spokesman Eddie Mohoebi on Monday. It is hoped the project will alleviate water shortages in South Africa, which is one of 30 countries with the worst water scarcity in the world. The country’s average annual rainfall of 450mm is nearly half of the global average of 860mm per year. Communities in Cabazane village near Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape and Thohoyandou in Limpopo are already harvesting fog and providing clean water for their basic needs.

Fog is caught by a 40 square metre net made of stainless mesh co-knitted with a poly material attached to six-metre-high wooden poles. Gutters, attached to the bottom of the net, catch the water droplets and lead it down into reservoirs. The pilot project in Mpumalanga aims to produce 5 000 litres

garden water

Watering query


We are garden virgins and we’ve recently cleared our weed garden and planted new kikuyu grass and a small flower garden filled with indigenous and evergreen plants. Our garden is about 60m2 in size and has an automatic irrigation system installed. Please assist in advising on the following:

  • Best time to water? Currently watering @ 19:00 daily. Will this time change during winter?
  • Length of time to water? Currently watering for 15 minutes which appears to be too long. Do we need to water more while the garden is still establishing itself? How long before it is established and reduce the time of watering?

Your guidance and response will be greatly appreciated as information on the web varies significantly.


Paulo and Claudia

environment sustainability water

Boycott Shell?!

Some interesting reading and the opportunity to do something in your daily life if you are so inclined… Do you think it can make enough of an impact?

Anti-fracking Activists call for a National Boycott of Shell !

Plans by oil companies to explore for fossil gas in large parts of the Karoo have begun a firestorm of protest. Tens of thousands of square kilometres of the ecologically fragile, water-scarce Karoo are under threat from being devastated by a dirty, water and energy intensive gas exploration technique called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Several oil and gas companies, most prominently Royal Dutch Shell, are in the process of exploring this unique and beautiful region of South Africa for underground layers of so-called gas shale. If they are successful, we can soon expect to see