Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Search results for: freshwater resources

3 The South African Polycentric Water Resource Governance-Management Nexus: Parlaying an Institutional Agent and Structured Social Engagement

Authors: J. H. Boonzaaier, A. C. Brent

Abstract:

South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.

Keywords: Institutional agent, water governance, polycentric water resource management, water resource management.

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2 Effects of Reclaimed Agro-Industrial Wastewater for Long-Term Irrigation of Herbaceous Crops on Soil Chemical Properties

Authors: E. Tarantino, G. Disciglio, G. Gatta, L. Frabboni, A. Libutti, A. Tarantino

Abstract:

Worldwide, about two-thirds of industrial and domestic wastewater effluent is discharged without treatment, which can cause contamination and eutrophication of the water. In particular, for Mediterranean countries, irrigation with treated wastewater would mitigate the water stress and support the agricultural sector. Changing global weather patterns will make the situation worse, due to increased susceptibility to drought, which can cause major environmental, social, and economic problems. The study was carried out in open field in an intensive agricultural area of the Apulian region in Southern Italy where freshwater resources are often scarce. As well as providing a water resource, irrigation with treated wastewater represents a significant source of nutrients for soil–plant systems. However, the use of wastewater might have further effects on soil. This study thus investigated the long-term impact of irrigation with reclaimed agro-industrial wastewater on the chemical characteristics of the soil. Two crops (processing tomato and broccoli) were cultivated in succession in Stornarella (Foggia) over four years from 2012 to 2016 using two types of irrigation water: groundwater and tertiary treated agro-industrial wastewater that had undergone an activated sludge process, sedimentation filtration, and UV radiation. Chemical analyses were performed on the irrigation waters and soil samples. The treated wastewater was characterised by high levels of several chemical parameters including TSS, EC, COD, BOD5, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4-N, PO4-P, K+, SAR and CaCO3, as compared with the groundwater. However, despite these higher levels, the mean content of several chemical parameters in the soil did not show relevant differences between the irrigation treatments, in terms of the chemical features of the soil.

Keywords: Agro-industrial wastewater, broccoli, long-term re-use, tomato.

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1 Invasion of Pectinatella magnifica in Freshwater Resources of the Czech Republic

Authors: J. Pazourek, K. Šmejkal, P. Kollár, J. Rajchard, J. Šinko, Z. Balounová, E. Vlková, H. Salmonová

Abstract:

Pectinatella magnifica (Leidy, 1851) is an invasive freshwater animal that lives in colonies. A colony of Pectinatella magnifica (a gelatinous blob) can be up to several feet in diameter large and under favorable conditions it exhibits an extreme growth rate. Recently European countries around rivers of Elbe, Oder, Danube, Rhine and Vltava have confirmed invasion of Pectinatella magnifica, including freshwater reservoirs in South Bohemia (Czech Republic). Our project (Czech Science Foundation, GAČR P503/12/0337) is focused onto biology and chemistry of Pectinatella magnifica. We monitor the organism occurrence in selected South Bohemia ponds and sandpits during the last years, collecting information about physical properties of surrounding water, and sampling the colonies for various analyses (classification, maps of secondary metabolites, toxicity tests). Because the gelatinous matrix is during the colony lifetime also a host for algae, bacteria and cyanobacteria (co-habitants), in this contribution, we also applied a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for determination of potentially present cyanobacterial toxins (microcystin-LR, microcystin-RR, nodularin). Results from the last 3-year monitoring show that these toxins are under limit of detection (LOD), so that they do not represent a danger yet. The final goal of our study is to assess toxicity risks related to fresh water resources invaded by Pectinatella magnifica, and to understand the process of invasion, which can enable to control it.

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, freshwater resources, Pectinatella magnifica invasion, toxicity monitoring.

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