World Water Week focus on water quality progress

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pretoria - Progress in efforts to improve water quality as a response to challenges facing the global water sector will be in the spotlight when delegates meet for this year's World Water Week (WWW) in Sweden.

Water and Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi will on Friday depart to Stockholm, where she will be representing South Africa.

The World Water Week, which will take place from 5 to 10 September, is a meeting of experts, practitioners, decision makers and leaders from around the globe to exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions. It is organised by Stockholm International Water Institute.

The discussions at this year's event are expected to cover various water and related issues with the purpose to increase awareness and stimulate action on human daily activities that impacts on the environment including water, land and air.

The 2010 WWW will be held under the theme "Water Quality Challenges- prevention, wise use and abatement".

Mabudafhasi will be accompanied by the 2010 South African Youth Water Prize winners, Nomfundo Zondi and Mduduzi Dlamini, learners from MehlokaZulu High School in KwaZulu Natal, who will be competing with learners from 31 countries in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

The South African Youth Water Prize commences at provincial and then national level where the national winner is selected.

Through South African Youth Water Prizes, the department encourages high school learners to identify water and sanitation related problems, conduct research and come up with innovative solutions to the identified problems.

An adjudication panel composed of representatives from the water sector and tertiary institutions guided by the criteria set by the international adjudication panel from Sweden is established to evaluate proposals developed by the learners.

The two learners' research project titled "Solar powered Waste Management System" started from the desire to address a problem of high water bills and electricity bills incurred by their school, when water supply was suspended for a period of three weeks due to mismanagement of water.

The project is about filtration of water using sterilization and pasteurization of water and also promoting re-use of water and addresses various environmental issues.