Happy Holidays from WISA!

Happy Holidays from WISA!

WISA wishes all its members and water sector professionals a safe and happy holiday season, with the very best wishes for the New Year! The WISA Head Office will be closed from 16 December 2021 and will be open again on 6 January 2022. We look forward to ‘building back better’ in 2022! Any urgent membership queries can be directed to membership@wisa.org.za
Highlights from the WISA Impact Seminar “Water Reuse, Recycling & Reclamation in South Africa: Where are we, and what does the future hold?”

Highlights from the WISA Impact Seminar “Water Reuse, Recycling & Reclamation in South Africa: Where are we, and what does the future hold?”

The recent 7 October 2021 WISA Impact Seminar “Water Reuse, Recycling & Reclamation in South Africa” provided a current overview on the hot topic of water reuse in South Africa. Thirteen presentations from local and international experts explored different water reuse and recycling applications, cutting edge research and technology development. The seminar highlighted the multiple dimensions of water re-use including water quality and risk management, health risks, public acceptance and support, emerging contaminants and monitoring and technology validation. Water re-use in urban, agricultural, industry and mining applications for both potable and non-potable uses was profiled, emphasizing the breadth of the sector and the range of skills involved. The bright present and promising future of water reuse: seminar insights Chris Swartz kicked off the event by setting the scene of the past, the present and the future of water re-use in South Africa. His presentation tracked the small beginnings of the water re-use sector in the 60s, which centered on research and pilot scale activities, to the increasing attention since 2005 and some current examples in Cape Town and the mining sector. The presentation concluded that the future of water re-use will be rooted in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and will focus on evolving monitoring systems, training of personnel, implementing self-regulating programs and developing public private partnerships, amongst other. Dr Kevin Winter inspired attendees with a vision for how contaminated water from informal settlements could be re-used, with his presentation on work at the site of the Water Hub in Franschhoek. He provided an overview of using nature-based treatment in the form of six large vegetated and unvegetated biofiltration cells constructed…
Water: Life’s most precious and scarce resource

Water: Life’s most precious and scarce resource

COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the vital role of water and sanitation in dealing with various complex societal challenges including pandemics. Access to clean water and proper sanitation is vital during the current pandemic. Lack of clean water for drinking and proper hygienic practices have become a major concern for our society. Among the many consequences of the ongoing pandemic is its dramatic impact on the education sector. The current evolving global pandemic will undeniably have an impact on how we educate and train our water professionals with possible future implications. Water professionals are facing increasing pressure from society to demonstrate clear and tangible results as we continue to face new and more difficult water and sanitation related challenges. Clearly, we need newer, more powerful approaches to water and sanitation – business as usual is not a viable option. IIE qualifications offered at IIE MSA are designed to meet the challenges of such contemporary water and sanitation related issues. The IIE Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management and IIE Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management are targeted at professionals and graduates who wish to strengthen and deepen their interdisciplinary skills and knowledge in water management. These programmes enable students to appreciate an interdisciplinary approach, which is relatively new and unique, to managing water resources and sanitation services. Programme participants are nurtured to become effective water leaders equipped to understand complex societal challenges and to develop practical solutions for water and sanitation problems. A unique feature of the programmes is a special focus on knowledge integration and application through the use of problem-based learning activities. The programmes integrate knowledge and skills…
DWS looking to appoint new Director General: Applications OPEN!

DWS looking to appoint new Director General: Applications OPEN!

DIRECTOR-GENERAL: WATER AND SANITATION REF NO: 081021/01 The Department of Water and Sanitation has put out the call for applications to fill the post of the Director-General. For more details on the position and instructions on how to apply please go to: https://wisa.org.za/job/director-general-department-of-water-and-sanitation-ref-no-081021-01/ In brief the candidate must have an undergraduate qualification as well as an appropriate post-graduate qualification (NQF level 8) as recognised by SAQA, in Science and Engineering with preferred specialization in Water Engineering. At least eight (8) to ten (10) years proven experience in a senior managerial and leadership position of which three (3) years must be with any organ of State as defined in the Constitution, Act 108 of 1996. A pre-entry certificate obtained from the National School of Government (NSG) is required prior to the appointment serving before Cabinet. The contract is for a 5 year period with remuneration of R1 978 533 per annum, An all-inclusive remuneration package, consisting of a basic salary (70% of the total remuneration package), State’s contribution to the Government Employees Pension Fund (13% of basic salary) and a flexible portion that may be structured in terms of applicable rules and guidelines. Applications close: 4 October 2021
WISA Senior Fellow Awards 2021 Announcement

WISA Senior Fellow Awards 2021 Announcement

The WISA Board recently reviewed and approved the nominations received for the prestigious WISA Senior Fellow awards. The Senior Fellow Award is an exceptional honour and is not bestowed lightly. It considers the consistency of support that the nominated member has shown WISA over an extended number of years. It is however not restricted to support for WISA, but also takes note of the contributions the member has made to the enhancement of the Water Sector overall, and the esteem that their actions have brought to the stature of the South African water industry. Senior Fellows are considered ambassadors of WISA. Congratulations to the following members, your contributions to WISA and the sector are highly noted, and we are honoured to have you join the esteemed group of Senior Fellows. Dr Shafick Adams, Mark Bannister, Eustathia Bofilatos, Prof Faizal Bux, Dr Kirsty Carden, Prof Evans Chirwa, Cyril Gamede, Prof Hamanth Kasan, Prof Bhekie Mamba, Dr Mandla Msibi, Dr Valerie Naidoo, Dr Mthokozisi Ncube, Dr Werner Rossle, Dewald van Staden, Mohammed Vawda, Abri Vermeulen and Achim Wurster. For more details on our Senior Fellow award winners please download the announcement: https://wisa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/WISA-Senior-Fellows-2021-Announcement.pdf
WISA welcomes new minister

WISA welcomes new minister

The Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) congratulates Senzo Mchunu on his appointment as the Minister of Water and Sanitation in the South African Government. WISA applauds the separation of the Department of Water and Sanitation from the National Department of Human Settlements and believe it will allow for an increased focus on water and sanitation. We were heartened to hear President Ramaphosa emphasising the importance of water in South Africa, particularly at a time of increased droughts and collapsing water infrastructure. We are fully behind his statement that “water security is fundamental to the lives and health of our people, to the stability of our society and to the growth and sustainability of our economy”. WISA and its water sector partners are ready and willing to support the Minister in his new role. We call on him to consult with the sector and to adopt inclusive decision-making principles as far as possible.
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.