Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

wastewater treatment works Related Abstracts

2 A Case Study of Low Head Hydropower Opportunities at Existing Infrastructure in South Africa

Authors: Marco van Dijk, Ione Loots, Jay Bhagwan

Abstract:

Historically, South Africa had various small-scale hydropower installations in remote areas that were not incorporated in the national electricity grid. Unfortunately, in the 1960s most of these plants were decommissioned when Eskom, the national power utility, rapidly expanded its grid and capability to produce cheap, reliable, coal-fired electricity. This situation persisted until 2008, when rolling power cuts started to affect all citizens. This, together with the rising monetary and environmental cost of coal-based power generation, has sparked new interest in small-scale hydropower development, especially in remote areas or at locations (like wastewater treatment works) that could not afford to be without electricity for long periods at a time. Even though South Africa does not have the same, large-scale, hydropower potential as some other African countries, significant potential for micro- and small-scale hydropower is hidden in various places. As an example, large quantities of raw and potable water are conveyed daily under either pressurized or gravity conditions over large distances and elevations. Due to the relative water scarcity in the country, South Africa also has more than 4900 registered dams of varying capacities. However, institutional capacity and skills have not been maintained in recent years and therefore the identification of hydropower potential, as well as the development of micro- and small-scale hydropower plants has not gained significant momentum. An assessment model and decision support system for low head hydropower development has been developed to assist designers and decision makers with first-order potential analysis. As a result, various potential sites were identified and many of these sites were situated at existing infrastructure like weirs, barrages or pipelines. One reason for the specific interest in existing infrastructure is the fact that capital expenditure could be minimized and another is the reduced negative environmental impact compared to greenfield sites. This paper will explore the case study of retrofitting an unconventional and innovative hydropower plant to the outlet of a wastewater treatment works in South Africa.

Keywords: retrofitting, small-scale hydropower, low head hydropower, wastewater treatment works

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1 Urban Waste Water Governance in South Africa: A Case Study of Stellenbosch

Authors: R. Malisa, E. Schwella, K. I. Theletsane

Abstract:

Due to climate change, population growth and rapid urbanization, the demand for water in South Africa is inevitably surpassing supply. To address similar challenges globally, there has been a paradigm shift from conventional urban waste water management “government” to a “governance” paradigm. From the governance paradigm, Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) principle emerged. This principle emphasizes efficient urban waste water treatment and production of high-quality recyclable effluent. In so doing mimicking natural water systems, in their processes of recycling water efficiently, and averting depletion of natural water resources.  The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of shifting the current urban waste water management approach from a “government” paradigm towards “governance”. The study was conducted through Interactive Management soft systems research methodology which follows a qualitative research design. A case study methodology was employed, guided by realism research philosophy. Qualitative data gathered were analyzed through interpretative structural modelling using Concept Star for Professionals Decision-Making tools (CSPDM) version 3.64.  The constructed model deduced that the main drivers in shifting the Stellenbosch municipal urban waste water management towards IUWM “governance” principles are mainly social elements characterized by overambitious expectations of the public on municipal water service delivery, mis-interpretation of the constitution on access to adequate clean water and sanitation as a human right and perceptions on recycling water by different communities. Inadequate public participation also emerged as a strong driver. However, disruptive events such as draught may play a positive role in raising an awareness on the value of water, resulting in a shift on the perceptions on recycled water. Once the social elements are addressed, the alignment of governance and administration elements towards IUWM are achievable. Hence, the point of departure for the desired paradigm shift is the change of water service authorities and serviced communities’ perceptions and behaviors towards shifting urban waste water management approaches from “government” to “governance” paradigm.

Keywords: Integrated Urban Water Management, Urban Water System, wastewater treatment works, wastewater governance

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