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Water Quality in Rural South Africa: Problems & Possible Remedies • Gerhard Offring, Annatjie Water Quality in Rural South Africa: Problems & Possible Remedies • Gerhard Offring, Annatjie Moolman & Innocent Msibi • Presentation to • Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, 20 June 2006

Structure of the presentation • Water Quality and Health • The Water Research Commission Structure of the presentation • Water Quality and Health • The Water Research Commission and its research on water quality • The current situation in the country • Possible remedies to alleviate the problem areas

Why is water quality important? • Drinking • Cooking • Bathing & laundry • Why is water quality important? • Drinking • Cooking • Bathing & laundry • Food production • Hygiene(sanitation) Poor quality=Sickness, morbidity & death

Water Quality and Health Water: Quality Quantity Proximity Knowledge & Education PMG Note: Healthy Water Quality and Health Water: Quality Quantity Proximity Knowledge & Education PMG Note: Healthy person photograph not include, please email info@pmg. org. za

Water Research Commission • Funds research on all aspects of water • Parastatal -funded Water Research Commission • Funds research on all aspects of water • Parastatal -funded mostly by means of a research levy on water use • Report to Parliament through Minister of Water Affairs • Governed by Board appointed by Minister • Research is outsourced

Our Mission The WRC is a dynamic hub for water-centred knowledge, innovation and intellectual Our Mission The WRC is a dynamic hub for water-centred knowledge, innovation and intellectual capital. We provide leadership for research and development through the support of knowledge creation, transfer and application. We engage stakeholders and partners in solving water-related problems which are critical to South Africa’s sustainable development and economic growth, and are committed to promoting a better quality of life for all

Research on Water Quality • WRC funding 39 projects related to water quality in Research on Water Quality • WRC funding 39 projects related to water quality in South Africa • R 9 million/year spent on water quality related projects(=15% of total research budget)

The urban water quality of best in the world … but we have some The urban water quality of best in the world … but we have some problems with water quality in rural areas

The WRC produces • Research reports (information & technology development) • Guidelines & manuals The WRC produces • Research reports (information & technology development) • Guidelines & manuals • Knowledge transfer publications, pamphlets & magazines Some products re. water quality…

Strategic planning for future research Strategic Framework for water-Related Human Health Research Nozi Mjoli Strategic planning for future research Strategic Framework for water-Related Human Health Research Nozi Mjoli & Fanus Venter PMG note: graphics not included, please email info@pmg. org. za

water research commission water research commission

Overview of a Typical Water Purification Plant PMG note: Overview of a Typical Water Overview of a Typical Water Purification Plant PMG note: Overview of a Typical Water Purification Plant picture not included. Email info@pmg. org. za for this]

Cartoon operator’s manual PMG note: photograph not included, please email info@pmg. org. za Cartoon operator’s manual PMG note: photograph not included, please email info@pmg. org. za

… and technologies developed for rural community water supply: … and technologies developed for rural community water supply:

Fog collection system • PMG note: Fog collection system picture not included. Email info@pmg. Fog collection system • PMG note: Fog collection system picture not included. Email info@pmg. org. za for this

Membrane treatment PMG note: graphics not included, please email info@pmg. org. za Membrane treatment PMG note: graphics not included, please email info@pmg. org. za

Bottom line: We have lots of supporting material and technology to treat water properly! Bottom line: We have lots of supporting material and technology to treat water properly! but still we have problems…

A study being funded by the Water Research Commission and executed by a consortium A study being funded by the Water Research Commission and executed by a consortium of researchers under leadership of Fort Hare University, surveyed 181 rural water schemes:

Percentage of rural plants complying with SA potable water standards for turbidity Turbidity = Percentage of rural plants complying with SA potable water standards for turbidity Turbidity = Clarity of the water Province Limpopo (36 plants) Mpumalanga (19) North West (18) Free State (13) Kwa-Zulu Natal (28) Eastern Cape (54) Western Cape (13) (Total: 181) Class 1 Class 2 Fail Cl. 2 40 50 17 73 46 33 50 46 39 55 27 29 27 42 14 11 28 0 25 40 8 SANS 241, 2005: Compliance- Class 1: <1 NTU, Class 2: 1 -5 NTU

Percentage of water treatment plants complying with DWAF standards for bacteria Province Limpopo (36 Percentage of water treatment plants complying with DWAF standards for bacteria Province Limpopo (36 plants) Mpumalanga (19) North West (18) Free State (13) Kwazulu Natal (28) Eastern Cape (54) Western Cape (13) Total coliforms Faecal coliforms 67 95 78 100 67 49 50 72 74 94 100 94 30 67 DWAF(1996) Compliance: Total coliforms = 0 -10 cfu/100 ml; Faecal coliforms= 0 cfu/100 ml

Why is this? Why is this?

Some problems experienced: • Little interest from councillors & management • Poor salaries &working Some problems experienced: • Little interest from councillors & management • Poor salaries &working conditions • Operators not skilled & chemical dosing not understood • Few structured training programmes • Little money to buy equipment & chemicals • C

 • Chlorine not dosed at times(shortage) • Analysis laboratories & skills inadequate • Chlorine not dosed at times(shortage) • Analysis laboratories & skills inadequate

More problems experienced • • • Plants normally overloaded No spare parts &long delivery More problems experienced • • • Plants normally overloaded No spare parts &long delivery times No funds for maintenance Suppliers in urban centres and not interested Poor access roads & poor facilities at plant Minimal cost recovery

More problems experienced • • Minimal costs recovery Plants over-sophisticated No constant supply of More problems experienced • • Minimal costs recovery Plants over-sophisticated No constant supply of electricity Lack of community involvement (seen as a Government responsibility) • Etc. . .

They all boil down to : • Insufficient management skills & motivation • Insufficient They all boil down to : • Insufficient management skills & motivation • Insufficient operations staff skills & motivation • Insufficient funding for water treatment and supply

Remember that a water treatment plant is a food production unit! Remember that a water treatment plant is a food production unit!

Our first defence to ensure safe drinking water = THE OPERATOR Our first defence to ensure safe drinking water = THE OPERATOR

Operator qualification & experience Operator qualification Years Experience Std 8 (%) Matric (%) Post Operator qualification & experience Operator qualification Years Experience Std 8 (%) Matric (%) Post Matric (%) Limpopo 28 56 22 32 34 34 Mpumalanga 23 51 20 31 38 31 N-West 19 61 20 38 34 28 Free State 39 61 0 27 37 36 KZ-Natal 6 80 14 32 26 42 E-Cape 46 43 11 31 24 45 W-Cape 11 37 52 29 38 33 Province <5 (%) 5 -10 (%) 11+ (%)

Operator qualification & experience Monthly Salary Training Province R 1000 R 2000 (%) R Operator qualification & experience Monthly Salary Training Province R 1000 R 2000 (%) R 3000 R 4000 (%) R 5000+ (%) Yes (%) No (%) Limpopo 32 41 16 53 47 Mpumalanga 30 44 14 56 44 N-West 37 49 15 50 50 Free State 36 57 7 75 25 KZ-Natal 30 48 22 37 63 E-Cape 26 66 8 37 63 W-Cape 13 50 38 92 8

What should we do? Immediately • Organise expert teams in every province as is What should we do? Immediately • Organise expert teams in every province as is done in the Free State (to assist both Management & Staff)

Short to Medium term • Establish Management and Technical Assistance Centres in every province Short to Medium term • Establish Management and Technical Assistance Centres in every province • Improve the training, salaries and working conditions of operations staff • Implement the excellent Drinking Water Quality Management System of the DWAF +support adequate training

Medium to long term • Ensure that an enforced % of Municipal funding goes Medium to long term • Ensure that an enforced % of Municipal funding goes for safe water provision • Twin plants with Universities • Support with research

… to summarise: Adequate Funding Adequate Equipment Empowered Municipality Clean, Safe Water Technical Assistance … to summarise: Adequate Funding Adequate Equipment Empowered Municipality Clean, Safe Water Technical Assistance Skills improvement Empowered Operators

Thank you for your attention! Thank you for your attention!