Prof Chris Buckley Obituary

Prof Chris Buckley Obituary

Professor Chris Buckley 5th July 1949 to 27th May 2021 In loving memory of Prof Chris Buckley – a true legend and pioneer who dedicated his life to providing water and sanitation services to the unserved. It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you that our dearest professor, colleague and friend passed away peacefully on the 27th May 2021 after a hard and brave fight against cancer. Chris was a well-known, iconic figure in the international Water and Sanitation field, and touched the lives of so many, both personally and professionally. He was one of those unique people that always managed to inspire everyone with his astonishing general knowledge, and deep understanding of science and engineering. Chris’s compassion, patience and dedication to students and young researchers resulted in the completion of over 100 Masters and PhD graduates, the majority of whom are now well-established professionals in the water and sanitation sector. Each one of them carries a piece of Chris’s passion, determination to solve problems, and his love for life and learning. His charismatic personality, radiant smile and mischievous sense of humour will forever be remembered. Chris’s career in the water and sanitation field began in the 1970s as a post graduate student in Chemical Engineering at the then University of Natal. He joined the Pollution Research Group (PRG) in 1972 – a small group of three or four people that had been formed in 1971. He took over the leadership of the PRG in 1985 and was appointed as the full-time head in 1987. Under his guidance, the PRG has delivered ground breaking research in the water and…
Generous donation makes breathing easier for South African asthma patients

Generous donation makes breathing easier for South African asthma patients

At the height of lockdown in 2020, the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) did something that at first glance, was unusual but on reflection was in keeping with the mandate of an NPO whose 2500 members’ primary concern is the safe and efficient use of water – a substance without which life is not possible. “We all knew about the shortage of personal protective equipment at the beginning of the pandemic. N95 masks were in particular short supply,” WISA CEO Dr Lester Goldman explains. PPE companies were just not geared up to provide their products in the volumes needed, but the 3D printing hobbyist groups had a solution. They could print PPE, but they were not an NPO and were not equipped to manage fund donations. “I’m a 3D printing enthusiast myself,” explains WISA Events Manager Jaco Seaman. “So the Board agreed that WISA could use its platforms and connections to call for donations for filament so that PPE equipment could be printed, and to transparently manage any funds that were donated.” The hobbyists were not in a position to manage the donations, so WISA stepped in and provided its administrative support so that the funds could be disbursed. The result was a reusable 3D printed mask with space for a filter that could be made from a small piece of an N95 mask. The project was a success with thousands of masks made and distributed. And, as it turns out, there was an additional unexpected result. For big organisations such as WISA Patron Member Grundfos, there is a certain inertia between the intent to help, and the go-ahead…
Happy Easter from WISA!

Happy Easter from WISA!

To those WISA members, staff and families who celebrate, we wish you a blessed and peaceful Easter. Travel safely, be Covid safe, and we will see you soon.
WISA supports the President’s call for a professional public service

WISA supports the President’s call for a professional public service

Twenty-seven years into democracy, it can be said of the public service that while several pockets of excellence exist, we have serious challenges in many government departments with regards to skills, competence and professionalism. These were the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa in his March 1, 2021 letter to the people of South Africa. The Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) recognises the importance of a highly competent and professional water sector. In response to a request from the National School of Government (NSG) for submissions, WISA has proposed the development of a set of professional designations that should be made mandatory for senior local and national government officials. These would ensure that government had the competences in place to ensure safe, potable water available when needed as well as wastewater treated so that it can be safely discharged into the environment. “We know that government, and small municipalities in particular, often appoint individuals who do not have the necessary competencies to manage water and wastewater treatment works as well as the associated reticulation systems,” said Lester Goldman, WISA CEO. “Often they do not have even minimal technical competence, let alone a broader understanding of the services they are supposed to provide.” Within the water sector, academic knowledge alone is not enough to ensure competency. Services fail, and public health and the environment suffer because those tasked with managing the water system lack not only understanding of technical (engineering, chemistry, and health), financial, legal and administrative issues, but also lack the general management capabilities needed to ensure a safe water system. “In our submission to the NSG, we indicated WISA’s…
EWSETA RFQ: Appointment of Service Provider or Independent Water Specialist

EWSETA RFQ: Appointment of Service Provider or Independent Water Specialist

The EWSETA is looking for a short-term consultant in the water sector to assist with specialised knowledge of the sector and its role-players, to develop a partnership strategy, as well as design knowledge management system. The consultant will join a dynamic team who is looking to make an impact in the sector. For more information on this opportunity please download the RFQ: EWSETA-RFQ-46-2020 WATER SPECIALIST SERVICES Closing date for submissions is 12 March 2021 at 13h00. Enquiries can be sent to: scmadmin@ewseta.org.za
Enviro Metsi (Pty) Ltd Celebrating 25 years of commitment to helping you protect our most precious resource

Enviro Metsi (Pty) Ltd Celebrating 25 years of commitment to helping you protect our most precious resource

Enviro Metsi (Pty) Ltd has, since its founding in 1995, been dedicated to contribute towards the protection and improvement of our environment through the Management, Operation & Maintenance of Water- and Wastewater Treatment Plants. Today, 25 years on, this commitment continues as we provide a wide variety of Water and Wastewater-related services to help manage South Africa’s precious water resources. These include the Management, Operation and Maintenance of Water and Wastewater Works, Process Monitoring as well as Plant & Process Assessments, Training of personnel involved in these processes and Assistance with any of the Blue Drop / Green Drop Assessment Criteria. Contact us today on 073 163 4302 or email us on admin@metsi.co.za to find out more about the ways in which we can help you protect our most precious resource.
Call for Contributions: STEMulator e-learning platform

Call for Contributions: STEMulator e-learning platform

The proSET (Professionals in Science, Engineering and Technology) Committee is proud to announce that the STEMulator e-learning platform has been launched and is now freely available on the internet to attract students/youngsters into the exciting STEM world and provide guidance on fields of study and careers. The STEMulator is a virtual world, full of animated content, from beating hearts to powerful jet engines, where youngsters/children can Explore > Discover > Learn, “The Hidden World Revealed”. The STEMulator is a proudly South African platform, unique in the world as far as we know. It is an initiative and flagship project of proSET, developed under the leadership of the proSET Committee. Now we are inviting you to join in and make a difference. Send us content/contributions for the STEMulator and stand a chance to win one of several cash prizes! You are also invited to find a place for your organisation on the STEMulator platform where we will include hyperlinks through to your own website. For more information on this amazing initiative and on how to take part please download the document provided: Call for Contributions: STEMulator
Water management is about peace and cooperation not threats of violence

Water management is about peace and cooperation not threats of violence

Water management is about peace and cooperation not threats of violence- WISA & SAICE on inflammatory comments by US President about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam South Africans water professionals are deeply concerned by the irresponsible comments made by the US President Donald Trump about the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over the latter’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. In particular, references to ‘blowing up the dam’ have no place in such important and complex matters and could increase instability on the continent. Many South African water scientists and engineers have worked diligently and productively to encourage cooperation between countries that share rivers. Our own experience has showed that cooperation with our neighbours on shared water has contributed to peace and prosperity in our region. We have also worked with many US experts who have helped to strengthen this message and who we know will be shocked by the US President’s statement. After decades of interaction with many international experts, including from the USA’s famous TVA scheme, the Ethiopians developed the GERD project on the basis of ensuring that there would be shared benefits. Ethiopia will share the electricity generated with Sudan and the control of the annual floods will allow Sudan to expand its irrigated agriculture and protect its population from flooding. The regular flow from the GERD will also help Egypt to manage its water better, by reducing evaporation losses in Lake Nasser and encouraging its farmers to use their water more efficiently. So we call on all professionals who work in this field to raise their voices and call for cooperation not conflict on the Nile. Water Institute…
WISA Western Cape Branch supports the Cape Peninsula Paddle

WISA Western Cape Branch supports the Cape Peninsula Paddle

The Peninsula Paddle took place on 4 October 2020.This year, UCT’s Future Water Institute, in partnership with Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET), Friends of the Liesbeek, Khayelitsha Canoe Club, Zandvlei Trust, WISA and the City of Cape Town, continued to raise awareness of the plight of the Cape’s waterways calling citizens of Cape Town to take notice and change their habits. Founded in 2010, the Peninsula Paddle began as a challenge between four friends to see if they could paddle from Muizenberg to Milnerton through the city’s urban waterways. This proved to be a difficult task as they often found their way blocked by solid waste or overgrown weeds. Through this initial paddle, they coined the phrase “the health of the city is seen in its waterways”. There are major challenges at the heart of the litter problem which will not be solved overnight, or even by a decade long paddle, but it’s a start. With such a disconnect between citizens of Cape Town and their environment little thought is given to the consequences of litter and other waste, and therein lies the problem. It is hoped that with raising awareness around the Peninsula Paddle and spreading the message, we can really show people what beautiful assets urban rivers can be and how they can benefit every single citizen of Cape Town and not just be a conduit for waste and pollution. Dr Kevin Winter has a dream, “Imagine a city where citizens could safely traverse its waterways in clean water and where the surrounding rivers and canalised banks offer safe, pleasant public spaces”. The route for the Peninsula…