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Durban, South Africa

Mather A.A.,Ethekwini Municipality | Mather A.A.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Stretch D.D.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Water (Switzerland)

Recent coastal storms in southern Africa have highlighted the need for more proactive management of the coastline. Within the southern and eastern African region the availability of coastal information is poor. The greatest gap in information is the likely effects of a combination of severe sea storms and future sea level rise (SLR) on the shoreline. This lack of information creates a barrier to informed decision making. This research outlines a practical localized approach to this problem, which can be applied as a first order assessment within the region. In so doing it provides a cost effective and simple decision support tool for the built environment and disaster professionals in development and disaster assessments. In a South African context the newly promulgated Integrated Coastal Management Act requires that all proposed coastal developments take into consideration future SLR, however such information currently does not exist, despite it being vital for informed planning in the coastal zone. This practical approach has been applied to the coastline of Durban, South Africa as a case study. The outputs are presented in a Geographic Information System (GIS) based freeware viewer tool enabling ease of access to both professionals and laypersons. This demonstrates that a simple approach can provide valuable information about the current and future risk of flooding and coastal erosion under climate change to buildings, infrastructure as well as natural features along the coast. © 2012 by the authors. Source

Smith A.M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Guastella L.A.,University of Cape Town | Botes Z.A.,Geo Dynamic Systems | Bundy S.C.,Sustainable Development Projects CC | Mather A.A.,Ethekwini Municipality
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

Coastal erosion on the southeast African coastline shows an apparent 18 year cycle which last peaked in 2006. It is in phase with the longshore sediment transport cycle. Both these cycles appear to be in phase with the Lunar Nodal Cycle (LNC). However, the dominant tidal erosion driver on this coast appears to be the 4.4 year Lunar Perigean Subharmonic (LPS). We suggest that the apparent 18 year coastal erosion and longshore sediment budget cycle is a response to the 18 year Mean Annual Precipitation Cycle. This cycle is 180° out of phase with the apparent coastal erosion- and longshore sediment transport- cycles. The summer rainfall areas, of southeastern Africa show an 18 year MAP cyclicity, which drives river runoff and hence controls sediment input to the coast and nearshore environment. The MAP cycle dominates the coastal sediment budget during the LNC trough and suppresses the LPS coastal erosion cycle during this time. This explains why LPS coastal erosion occurs close to the LNC peak. Thus although the LPS cycle dominates the coastline, it is masked during the wet portion of the 18 year MAP cycle. It seems very likely that the LNC drives the MAP cycle in some way but this process is not known. Nevertheless, these relationships can be used to predict, in a general way, both cyclic coastal erosion and the longshore sediment volume fluctuation. This can be translated into a vital coastal planning tool which has the potential to forecast cyclic coastal erosion and hence significantly reduce the sea-defense expenditure bill. Based on this, severe cyclic coastal erosion is anticipated in 2023 and 2024. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Leck H.,Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment | Roberts D.,Ethekwini Municipality
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Municipal or local government climate governance has attracted much research attention with a proliferation of literature investigating institutional enablers and barriers to climate action. This paper addresses a gap in this literature through considering critically the role of informal/shadow systems and spaces; the significant inner social workings that constitute what we call the 'invisible aspects' of municipal institutions for learning and decision-making processes. Insights are based on a critical and open reflection of the city of Durban's experience in developing their Municipal Climate Protection Programme (MCPP). We argue that beyond formal institutional requirements or policy, local governments rely considerably on shadow systems and informal spaces of information and knowledge exchange across their operations to introduce and sustain new ideas. This dependence is rarely acknowledged explicitly, however, in research, policy or practice and requires much deeper consideration. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Chunderduri J.,Ethekwini Municipality
Water Policy

Regulation 17 from the Water Services Act 108 (1997) is currently being implemented for the classification of wastewater treatment facilities and process controllers in South Africa. Green Drop Assessments (an incentivebased programme for wastewater treatment works) place a large focus on Regulation 17 compliance, which replaces Regulation 2834. Over the years, a lack of enforcement of Regulation 2834 has resulted in the incorrect appointment of staff. Many municipalities are therefore struggling to meet the Regulation, which requires appointment of the correct skill level staff to corresponding treatment facilities. The purpose of this paper is to identify the common problems experienced by municipalities, more specifically by the eThekwini Metro Municipality, and to identify possible solutions for closing the gaps. The four key problem areas identified were: imbalanced staff allocation, lack of education amongst staff, lack of experience amongst staff and the need for grandparenting assessments. The solution began with the correct classification of plants and staff, and included education drives and training programmes in addition to staff reallocation methods. These initiatives form part of both a short-term gap-closing strategy and a broader long-term sustainable plan for compliance with Regulation 17, enhanced process control at a plant level and ultimately the acquisition of Greens Drops, as part of the Green Drop Assessments. © 2014 IWA Publishing. Source

Rodda N.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Salukazana L.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Jackson S.A.F.,Ethekwini Municipality | Smith M.T.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth

Disposal of greywater presents a problem in areas served with on-site sanitation or in areas with poor service provision. Such areas often also face challenges with respect to food security. Use of greywater for irrigation of food crops represents a possible beneficial use of greywater which can contribute to household food supply and to informal income generation. In this study, an above-ground crop (Swiss chard, Betavulgaris var. cicla) and a below-ground crop (carrot, Daucus carota) were irrigated in pots with mixed greywater sourced from households in an informal settlement. A simple form of sub-surface irrigation was used. Plant growth, crop yield, and levels of macro- and micronutrients in crops and soil were monitored through six growth cycles. Equivalent treatments, irrigated with either tap water or a hydroponic nutrient solution, were conducted for comparison. The same soil was used throughout to allow accumulation of greywater-derived substances in soil to be detected. The results indicated that: (i) irrigation with greywater increased plant growth and yield relative to crops irrigated with tap water only, although crops irrigated with hydroponic nutrient solution yielded the highest growth and yield; (ii) irrigation with greywater improved plant nutrient content relative to crops irrigated with tap water; (iii) soil irrigated with greywater showed increased electrical conductivity and increased concentrations of metals over time, coupled with an increase in sodium and metal concentrations in crops. Thus, provided precautions are taken with regard to salt and metal accumulation, greywater offers a potential source of water for household crop irrigation which additionally shows some fertiliser properties. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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