These are a few of the scientific publications that I have written, either as a member of a team of collaborating scientists, or as an individual. I am also including selected papers from other authors when the topic they have written about overlaps with my own area of professional interest, or has provided a significant input into my own understanding of water resource management issues. I have sorted the papers by topic so please scroll down and look at the bold headings to guide your reading.
For a full Bibliography of my published material, please refer to my CV in the About Me section, which I try to keep current.
MINING LEGISLATION AND INVESTMENT RISK
Now that I am more active in the mining sector I am starting to realize the unintended consequences arising from changes to the legislation when we became a democracy in 1994. I know that the National Water Act
has created an incresed level of investment risk, because of the complexity associated with the application for various water use licenses, and I know of at least one case when a major multi-national corporation decided not to invest into South Africa as a direct result of uncertainty over water licences. My interest was therefore captured when I recently started to work with Advocate Shane Laubscher. His MBL thesis
indicates the extent to which risk arising from the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act
No 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) has also had a negative effect on foreign direct investment into South Africa. This is a classic example of unintended consequences of policy reform, also known as "revenge effects" currently manifesting in South Africa as diminishing capacity to create jobs through our failure to attract investors arising from a loss of international competitiveness.
I co-authored Chapters 5 & 11 of the 2012 World Water Assessment Program report entitled Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk. The link is available here.
WATER AND ENERGY
I was commissioned by the Frederich Ebert Stiftung
and the Institute for Global Dialogue
to write a think piece on Water and Energy
in the context of South Africa. This will be published as part of a book being produced by the IGD. My conclusion is that energy reform will be driven by issues of sustainability emerging from the water sector, and I call for a new public debate that will link the currently independent processes driving the National Water Security
agenda, the National Food Security
agenda and the National Energy Security
agenda, if we are to move to a genuinely sustainable economic future. To download a PDF version of this paper click here
An excellent piece of research from UNESCO-IHE in Delft, links Energy and Water flows at a global scale. This also links to the concept of Virtual Water that is dealt with separately on this page. To download the PDF click here.
While based at the Water Issues Study Group
in London I was closely associated with Prof Tony Allan
and his concept of Virtual Water
(which was the topic of my master's dissertation on the management of the Zambezi River Basin). The first paper
, originally published by the African Water Issues Research Unit
as Occasional Paper No. 33
, is a strategic decision-makers guide to Virtual Water
and it explains both the utilities and limitations of the concept. The second paper
by Anton Earle
, first published as Occasional Paper No 33
by the Water Issues Study Group
in London, goes into considerable detail about Virtual Water
in the SADC context.
This paper is an interesting application of the concept of Virtual Water at a local level of scale in Canada, specifically looking at the water use by golf courses. It represents an excellent integrated use of a number of concepts including Water Footprint, Blue Water, Green Water and Virtual Water. To download the PDF click here.
As water scarcity becomes a constraint to our national economic growth and development, we will need to think out of the box in order to find solutions. One set of solutions lies in the management of Virtual Water trade in order to balance the national water budget. This paper is a think piece about how the Hydrological Cycle can be enhanced by including Virtual Water as an element of this new thinking. It incorporates various concepts such as Virtual Water, Watershed, Problemshed and the Hydrological Cycle. To download the PDF click here.
This report represented a quantum shift in our thinking about Virtual Water when it was first published by UNESCO-IHE in Delft, and is a must read for any student of the topic. To download the PDF click here.
SOUTH AFRICAN WATER SUPPLY DILEMMA
This paper, written for the 4th BRICS Academic Forum in New Delhi, presents my understanding of South Africa's water supply dilemma as we transition into Structural Deficit in a Post Peak Water situation. In this scenario the national economy becomes supply-constrained, which differs fundamentally from a demand-driven economy. I believe this is one of the reasons why we cannot create new jobs despite our best efforts, because strategic decision-makers have not yet grasped the ramifications of this subtle transition.
Is South Africa facing a Water Crisis? Read what the Centre for Development and Enterprise says about this topic by clicking here and here.
The much awaited Green Drop Report paints a dismal picture about our national water resources. To download a PDF file of that report click here. I wish to state my professional opinion on this matter - the government is calling for 23 Billion Rand to repair sewage works that have been mismanaged to the point that they have collapsed. No money must be made available for this task until such time as the Phosphate Standard has been re-negotiated. It is critical that we adopt a new Phosphate Standard before any funding is invested in infrastructural upgrades, so as to ensure that this investement will be made into the best possible technology that is designed to do the job required. To understand more about the Phosphate Standard click here.
The Water Resources Group has just published a valuable report entitled Charting our Water Future that contextualizes the South African water supply dilemma in global terms. To access the PDF file click here. This is a valuable document and it shows that the corporate sector is now starting to regard water as a business risk. This is very encouraging because I believe it will be from the business community that solutions will be generated.
This PowerPoint presentation contextualizes the South African Water Supply Dilemma in the global trend. These maps show human population growth and water availability over time, illustrating how the Orange and Limpopo River Basins both transition into extreme stress as a result of water crowding. To download the PPT press here. One future strategy we have as a nation is to develop appropriate groundwater recharge technology. To see how this is being done in Perth, Western Australia, click here and to see how it is being done in Orange County, California click here. In my capacity as a Professor at the University of Free State it is my intention to develop formal linkages to these projects with a view to introducing the technology into South Africa. It must be noted that Reverse Osmosis plays a role in these recharge systems, so to understand how this technology works click here and here and here. I therefore believe that reverse osmosis technologies are vitally important for South Africa, at all levels of scale ranging from the household to the factory and city, but not all systems are equally well designed so we need to select only from the best.
This paper is one of the most erudite renditions I have ever seen of the South African Water Supply Dilemma. It contains a wealth of useful data, including the conversion of Mean Annual Precipitation (MAP) to Mean Annual Runoff (MAR) (our fundamental developmental constraint) in all four of South Africa's transboundary river basins. If ever there is one paper for a non-specialist to read, then this is it. It is compulsory reading for any student that I ever supervise. It is written in a language and style that non-scientists will easily understand. The data presented in this paper forms a key element of the TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd Business Plan. Note the data on the Water Crowding Index (Table 5) that places the Limpopo Basin 2.5 times above the level that Prof. Malin Falkenmark considers to be "beyond the water barrier" where development is not possible, even with massive investments in technology beyond any level known to exist. Note also the data on the MAP:MAR conversion (rainfall to river flow ratio) and more importantly, the data on Runoff:Storage in the major river basins sustaining the South African economy (Table 3). These data show that the dam building era is over, at least in the major river basins sustaining the South African economy, simply by virtue of the fact that we have more storage capacity than there is actual water in some of the key systems. These are sobering facts that we will need to collectively understand if we are to continue to grow our national economy and thus maintain social stability. To download the PDF click here.
This paper authored by Peter Ashton, my mentor and close personal friend, originally appeared as Occasional Paper No. 6 on the African Water Issues Research Unit (AWIRU) website. I include it here because it contains details of future projections of water demand in South Africa (what I call the Thunder Graph that shows our precarious national water balance) that serves as a foundation to our thinking at TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd about the need for New Water if we are to continue developing the South African economy. To download the PDF click here.
This paper was commissioned by Pugwash (click here for their website) in 1999 and was later published by them. It builds on the earlier theoretical work I was doing at the time and it contextualises the water supply dilemma in South Africa defined by Peter Ashton (the so-called Thunder Graph) in a foundational paper presented above, now part of the TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd business plan (click here for their website). This paper therefore represents an important evolutionary step in my own knowledge about water resource management as a strategic issue in South Africa. To download the PDF click here.
I am a strong advocate of the concept of Water as a Flux
. Central to this is the recycling of water as it is cascaded through society, with each new cascade adding economic value. I believe this to be the solution to endemic water scarcity, and it involves technology and a changed awareness by society at large. I therefore become excited when other scientists publish work that delves into this concept of water as a flux. Dr. Amani Alfarra
has done some excellent research into the reuse of effluent in the context of the Middle East. I believe this has great value to the developing world where endemic water scarcity limits economic growth and thus social stability. To download the PhD thesis on the topic click here
and for a short paper explaining this concept click here
HYDROPOLITICS - My Own Work
Of all the books, articles and chapters I have ever produced, I am probably the proudest of the very first edited volume I ever did on my own. It is called Hydropolitics in the Developing World: A Southern African Perspective
and it was co-edited by Roland Henwood of Pretoria University. The reason I am so proud of this book is the fact that it is one of the first books in the genre of hydropolitics that seeks to understand water as a driver of peace rather than water as a driver of conflict. This book has been widely cited and contains a lot of theory, much of it relatively new. It also contains the most cited chapter called Water and HIV/AIDS: Some Strategic Considerations
, written by Peter Ashton and Vasna Ramasar at my request. This was the first time that water quality was linked to the treatment of HIV/AIDS, which was a major breakthrough at the time of AIDS denialism. I am also proud of the fact that this book is made available free of charge, because that is what science in the service of society is about. I am even more proud that it is a product of African scholars, many of whom were published for the very first time in this book, so this is African literatrure of which we can be collectively proud. To download the full PDF of the book please click here
. For some of the many references to other websites that make use of it in one form or another, click here
and here. It is heartening to know that my work has had some impact somewhere in the world.
As a result of the positive response from the book called Hydropolitics in the Developing World: A Southern African Perspective
I embarked on a second volume in the same series, which resulted in Transboundary Rivers, Sovereignty and Development: Hydropolitical Drivers in the Okavango River Basin
, with Peter Ashton and Eugene Cloete as co-editors. My work on the Okavango is referred to here
by Thayer Scudder, a highly respected specialist with deep knowledge of the Okavango River Basin, and by the European Union Water Initiative here
. Other references can be found here
and here. This book is available by clicking here
and here. Click here for: the Table of Contents
, the Foreword by Aaron Wolf, a Special Message from Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of Botswana and a Special Message from Mr Angula, Minister of Water in Namibia; Chapter 1
by Anthony Turton, Peter Ashton and Eugene Cloete; Chapter 2
by Peter Ashton and Marian Neal; Chapter 3
by Joao Gomes Porto and Jenny Clover; Chapter 4
by Anthony Turton; Chapter 5
by Isidro Pinheiro, Gabaake Gabaake and Piet Heyns; Chapter 6
by Larry Swatuk; Chapter 7
by Ruud Jansen and Masego Madzwamuse; Chapter 8
by Alan Nicol; Chapter 9
by Mary Seely, Judith Henderson, Piet Heyns, Peter Jacobson, Tufika Nakale, Komeine Nantanga and Klaudia Schachtschneider; Chapter 10
by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes; Chapter 11
by Anton Earle; Chapter 12
by Bastien Affeltranger and Alexander Otte; Chapter 13
by Heather MacKay and Brian Moloi; Chapter 14
by Petrus Brynard; Chapter 15
by Craig Schultz; and Chapter 16
by Anthony Turton, Peter Ashton and Eugene Cloete. Significantly, it was while pulling this book together, that I first got the idea that water-sharing drives conflict under conditions of endemic water scarcity, whereas benefit-sharing
develops a new paradigm that transcends the dynamics of conflict. I first articulated this idea in Chapter 16
, and it was later developed to a greater level of sophistication for the Swedish Foreign Ministry in the Transboundary Waters Opportunity (TWO) Methodology
by an international team of specialists in which I worked (click here
Funding from Green Cross International
enabled me to put together a book called Water Wars: Enduring Myth or Impending Reality
, which is available by clicking here
. While putting this book together I learned from Hussein Solomon how to publish edited volumes as he has a very successfull track record in this regard. This lesson was put to use when I producted the other edited volumes listed on this page. To download PDF copies of the book click here
My work on the spatial disconnect between rainfall and development as it pertains to South Africa is presented as a chapter in the book Political Ecology: Science, Myth and Power
, edited by Philip Stott and Sian Sullivan. My chapter is called Precipitation, People, Pipelines and Power in Southern Africa
. The book is available by clicking here
. The paper that became my contribution to this book was one of the first I ever produced when I joined the Water Issues Study Group
at SOAS and it was originally published as MEWREW Occasional Paper No. 11,
which can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking here
This paper is the product of my time at the Water Issues Study Group
at SOAS in London working with Prof Tony Allan
. This paper contains a lot of my early theoretical development that has subsequently informed my more recent work. To download the PDF click here
Certain papers represent a quantum leap in thinking. This is so is the following document entitled the Turning of a Screw
by Leif Ohlsson
and myself, because this paper represents my shift in conceptual thinking between first-order
and second-order resource scarcities
and solutions to these conceptually different phenomena. Based on Leif Ohlsson's
PhD research into the drivers of the Rwandan genocide and then fused with my own direct experience in Southern Africa, this paper later evolved into a series of published chapters in books, all of which had the words Turning of the Screw
in their title. It also provides the foundation for my concerns that deteriorating water quality might drive violence if left unmitigated, as well as the solutions that TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd
is developing to the deteriorating sewage treatment works in South Africa. This work also shows why Water Demand Management
on its own is likely to fail, because it does not treat the cause but only the symptom of a more complex and insidious problem. To download the PDF click here
Emerging from my Doctoral research was the notion of second-order resources and the idea that degraded natural resources could be reconstructed. This paper, first published as Occasional Paper No. 41 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, reports on some preliminary findings of a major study conducted in Zambia and Botswana with WARFSA funding. The second paper, first published as Occasional Paper No. 44 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, reports on progress at the end of the project. The rest of the documents are all components of a final report entitled Water Demand Management (WDM), Natural Resource Reconstruction and Adaptive Capacity: Establishing the Linkage Between Variables, that ties all of these concepts together, but in an empirically verifiable manner. This report is ideal for graduate students at their Masters degree or Doctoral level, to use as a point of departure, because it has developed a number of hypotheses that can be applied to other research settings. Click here and here and here and here and here to download the PDF of the final report that is rich in primary data.
While I was doing research for my Doctorate, I was engaging in a number of parallel processes as I was trying to link various concepts into larger pieces of potentially useful theory. This paper, first published as Occasional Paper No. 38 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, is the foundation of my thinking about Hydropolitical Complexes. The second paper, originally presented at the World Water Week in Stockholm and first published as Occasional Paper No. 39, lays the foundation of my thinking of what was eventually to become the concept of benefit-sharing, as well as the essence of my Doctoral research hypotheses. This earlier thinking evolved rapidly so by the time my Doctorate was complete, I had managed to develop the concept of a Southern African Hydropolitical Complex as a key element of my thesis:
This paper was presented in Zaragoza, Spain at an international conference that sought to evaluate progress in water policy since the Mar del Plata Conference that originally gave rise to the notion of Sustainable Development. The paper makes use of the methodology that I have been developing for presenting complex historic data (see My Family History) and it focuses on South Africa, showing how we were isolated from the international trends during the Armed Struggle phase of our national history, but when we were reintegrated back into the global community of nations, we embraced all of the international trends in one action. This means that we have not had time to make iterative changes to our national water policy and institutions and explains why we have such complex bottlenecks to service delivery today. The paper also deals with some future scenarios that give us choices as a nation. To download the PDF click here.
Today TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd is based on what we call a "new social contract between water, energy and development" (see website). This paper, originally published as Occasional Paper No. 22 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, represents some of my earlier theoretical development of the concept of a hydrosocial contract, specifically noting that this changes over time and in response to different levels of resource scarcity - linking to the Turning of a Screw Model presented elsewhere on this page. This paper contains a lot of useful definitions and reference to the philosophical foundation of modern engineering, which is about controlling nature as defined by Francis Bacon in 1620 and his protégé Rene Descartes in 1637. Within this work is reference to my favourite quotation, "we may become masters and owners of Nature", which is the foundation of the modern Hydraulic Mission of society. TouchStone Resources thinking is thus a current iteration of what has been a long process of conceptual evolution. To download the PDF click here.
As my research work started to gel into more coherent and useful theory, I was commissioned by the IUCN to do a study of Water Demand Management (WDM), specifically with respect to the development of a set of guidelines that might be used to promote the concept of WDM. I used that opportunity to incorporate various elements of my theory development into a more inclusive and hopefully coherent model that would have applications in the real world. Note the incorporation of the Turning of the Screw Model presented elsewhere. The first document, originally published as Occasional Paper No. 43 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, entitled WDM As a Concept and a Policy: Towards the DEvelopment of a Set of Guidelines for Southern Africa, provides some insight into the state of the art as it was at the time of writing. The second paper is a shortened version as it was eventually presented to the IUCN. The third paper is a distillation of the key elements of the overall project as presented to a WARFSA Conference on behalf of the IUCN.
HYDROPOLITICS - Other People's Work All knowledge is constructed and truth ascription is dependent on the reader's understanding of the logic of that construction. This paper, originally published as Occasional Paper No. 35 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, is an earlier attempt of mine to understand how knowldge was constructed in the climate change debate as it was being framed at that time. To download the PDF click here.
This book entitled The Politics of Water in Africa: The Multi-Levelled Nature of Transboundary Cooperation in the Orange-Senqu and Nile Rivers
by Inga Jacobs
is an excellent contribution to the literature. It is available from Continuum
This Doctoral thesis in the field of water water law was recently completed by Marika van der Walt
at the University of North West. The title is "The Concept of 'Beneficial Use' in South African Water Law Reform
" and the copyright belongs to the University. It is carried here with the kind permission of both the University and the author. To download a PDF version click here
This recently published book called Heart of Dryness
by James Workman
is an example of water scarcity and conflicts that arise from that situation. I have worked with James Workman in the past and have always been deeply impressed by his journalistic skills. This book provides good insight into the reality of water scarcity and as such I have no hesitation in recommending it. To read a review click here
; and to order a copy click here
is one of the largest bulk water suppliers in the world. To celebrate the centenary of that organization in 2003, Prof Johann Tempelhoff
was commissioned to write a book that documents a century of the evolution of this amazing water utility and he has kindly granted me permission to post the entire book on this page. For any serious scholar with an interest in water supply and economic development this is a must read. The book has been broken down into six files in order to make it manageable. To download the PDF files please click on the following links: Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
, Part 4
, Part 5
and Part 6
With all the media hype about the notion of a national water crisis, the Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch has just published this useful and factually correct document that deals with the issue in an impartial manner. To download the PDF click here:
One of the pleasures I enjoy in life is working with enthusiastic students. This mini-thesis on Hydropolitics in Southern Africa was written by an Italian student Nicoletta Grita for which she scored high marks I am told. The document makes use of my concept of a Southern African Hydropolitical Complex. To download the paper in PDF click here.
This paper, produced by a team at the African Water Issues Research Unit (AWIRU) for the Nordic Africa Institute’s Conflicting Forms of Citizenship Programme, deals with domestic water provision in the newly democratized South Africa. As such it refers to the debate about the Human Rights to Water and the complex balance between the need for equity and the need for efficiency. To download the PDF click here.
This is a useful paper on Sustainable Water Resource Management from an American perspective. It helps us to compare what we are thinking about in South Africa to current thinking in other parts of the world. To download the PDF click here.
The South African National Water Act is unique globally because it reserves water by legal right for ecological purposes and basic human needs. This thesis was done by Danny Schoch from Wageningen University in the Netherlands while based at the African Water Issues Research Unit: To download the PDF click here.
Traditional knowledge systems are often shunned by managers of transboundary river basins. This paper, first published as Occasional Paper No. 31 by the African Water Issues Research Unit, summarises the PhD research done in Namibia by Steffen Niemann. To download the PDF click here.
GOVERNANCE - An Assortment of Material
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
recently published a paper of mine entitled New Thinking on the Governance of Water and River Basins in Africa: Lessons from the SADC Region
. This summarises years of my own professional work into one concise package and it is available online from the SAIIA
website by clicking here
A different type of book that I was involved in, from conceptualization to final publication, is Governance as a Trialogue: Government - Society - Science in Transition
, of which Hanlie Hattingh, Gillian Maree, Dirk Roux, Marius Claassen and Wilma Strydom were co-editors. This is not available as a PDF for reasons of copyright and contract with the publisher Springer Verlag, on whose editorial board for the water resource management series I sit. It is available as a commercial product by clicking here
and here. For a review of this book by Karin Bencala of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin please click here
I believe that science has a major role to play in deeping democracy in countries emerging from protracted periods of endemic conflict. This belief of mine is spelt out in a paper entitled The Role of Science in Deepening Democracy: The Case of Water in Post-Apartheid South Africa
, which has just been published in Volume 5, No. 1 of the Journal of Transdisciplinary Research
and is posted here with permission from the editor. For a PDF copy please click here
. This paper explores two possible paradigms for science in South Africa. The one is pure science, divorced from the day-to-day needs of society, practiced in isolation as an elite process. The alternative is world class science that is embedded in the constitution of the country, thereby recognizing the needs of society as we engage in legacy issues arising from our specific historic background. The latter is messy because of these legacy issues, but also more appropriate to society and thus crucial in deepening democracy by using science to inform society as they engage with government comensurate with the Trialogue Model of Governance
noted above. I believe that this issue ought to be debated in public as part of our nation-building.
This paper deals with the Trialogue Model of Ecosystem Governance that was developed by a team that I led at the CSIR. The book in which this work was originally published is referenced as; Turton, A.R., Hattingh, H.J., Maree, G., Roux, D.J., Claassen, M. & Strydom, W.F. (Eds). 2007. Governance as a Trialogue: Government – Society – Science in Transition. Berlin: Springer Verlag; and the journal in which this work was originally published is referenced as Hattingh, J., Maree, G.A., Ashton, P.J., Leaner, J., Rascher, J. & Turton, A.R. 2007. A Trialogue Model for Ecosystem Governance. Water Policy (9)2; Pp 11-18. The following paper was originally published by the Universities Council on Water Resources in the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education. To download the PDF file click here:
During the launch of the book Turton, A.R., Hattingh, H.J., Maree, G., Roux, D.J., Claassen, M. & Strydom, W.F. (Eds). 2007. Governance as a Trialogue: Government – Society – Science in Transition. Berlin: Springer Verlag, this speech was made by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Honourable Lindiwe Hendriks. To download the PDF file click here:
The Trialogue Model was introduced to SADC Member States in the context of IWRM in Transboundary River Basin Management at a regional workshop held in Maputo, Mozambique during May 2007. Significantly this paper refers to Water Quality issues in South Africa as Basin Closure occurs and the country starts the transition from Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) to Integrated Salts Management. The first document is a report from the Maputo event, and the second document is a piece I wrote on Integrated Salts Management. To download the PDF file click here:
Overlapping with the Trialogue Model of Ecosystem Governance
is the approach being championed by these American researchers. Originally published by the Ecological Society of America
for their website), this paper is an innovative approach to a New Management Paradigm
in which scientists, managers and other stakeholders collaborate where water resources are stressed and existing approaches are reaching their limitations. To download the PDF file click here
My views on the Soft Path
approach to water resource management are encapsulated in my contribution to the book entitled Making the Most of the Water We Have: The Soft Path Approach to Water Management
edited by David Brooks, O.M. Brandes and S. Gurman. To order a copy of this book please click here
and for a promotional flyer please click here
The issue of Corruption in the water sector is always a difficult one to research. This paper called No Duck No Dinner, while only a draft, has subsequently been presented in a number of international symposia dealing with corruption, so it is in wide circulation. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is a significant infrastructural development project of great strategic significance to both the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. A world first was achieved when the Government of Lesotho, decided to prosecute a major multi-national over allegations of corruption. The authors have dealt with this sensitive topic by sticking only to the evidence available from this litigation, but the reader is urged to verify all facts for themselves before drawing any final conclusions. The authors apologize for any errors that might be present in the paper and will gladly rectify them if their attention is drawn to the deviation from the truth. To download the PDF click here.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
recently published a paper of mine entitled New Thinking on the Governance of Water and River Basins in Africa: Lessons from the SADC Region
. This summarises years of my own professional work into one concise package and it is available online from the SAIIA
website by clicking here
This is a useful resource from the IUCN
for those interested in understanding the processes of Negotiation
underpinning Transboundary River Basins
. To access the website click here
When I first became interested in the management of transboundary river basins I was taken by the fact that no scholars had ever considered sovereignty as an issue
. This paper represents my early thinking on this complex issue, which later evolved into the book Transboundary Rivers, Sovereignty and Development: Hydropolitical Drivers in the Okavango River Basin
. This paper, first published as Occasional Paper No. 28
by the African Water Issues Research Unit
, was later republished as (Turton, A.R.
2002. Water and State Sovereignty: The Hydropolitical Challenge for States in Arid Regions. In Wolf, A.
(Ed.) Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Water Systems. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. (Pages 516-533)). To download the PDF click here.
My work on transboundary river basins in the SADC region, specifically as it pertains to the Basins at Risk
as defined by Aaron Wolf and his team; and the Southern African Hydropolitical Complex
, is presented as a chapter in this book entitled the Management of Transboundary Rivers and Lakes
. My work in the Okavango River Basin
is also dealt with here in the chapter by Thayer Scudder
. It is available as a commercial product by clicking here
My work on the evolution of river basin management in South Africa during the Cold War is published in a book entitled Water: A Source of Conflict or Cooperation
, edited by Velma Grover. The book is available by clicking here
This is the Transboundary Water Opportunity Analysis Methodology currently under development. To download the PDF file click here:
This is the Des Midgley Memorial Lecture that I was invited to deliver in 2007 in which I explain why we cannot use today's science based on yesterday's experiences to solve tomorrow's problems. To download the PDF file click here.
I was invited to deliver a Keynote Paper at the CSIR Conference in 2008. This paper led to my suspension, allegedly because of "unsubstantiated facts" and the "use of disturbing images". My intention was never to be controversial, but merely to do my job as a Fellow by providing leadership and forewarning of things to come if we do not change our approach to the management of our national water resources. The National Water Quality Program that I proposed was the product of a high level of consensus that had been achieved after months of liaison with various key stakeholders, which was in fact endorsed by the National Council of Provinces (and is now an official part of Hansard). I include the paper here so that you can be the judge. To download the PDF click here. For an insight into the public reaction to this suspension click here and here and here and here and here and here and here.
Running parallel to the CSIR Keynote Address referred to above, was a Parliamentary Briefing on the need for a National Water Quality Program. This briefing document gives details of the implications of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), Acid Mine Drainage and Microcystins arising from Cyanobacterial Blooms in highly Eutrophic River Systems downstream of our many dysfunctional sewage treatment works. To download the PDF file click here and to access testing facilities for such toxins click here.
The Habitiat Council (click here and here) gave me an award in recognition of the work I have done in raising awareness about our national water constraints. The citation reads partially as follows: "The Habitat Council takes great pleasure in presenting its 2009 Habitat Conservation Award (Individual Category) to Dr. Anthony Richard Turton in recognition of the courage which he displayed in publishing the state of our regions water resources, thereby refusing to compromise his scientific integrity, and for his principled stance in defence of the right of the public to be informed about the truth. ... Dr. Turton has, at great personal cost, stood up for the public's right to know basic and crucial truths about the issue of water security that so directly affects the daily lives of our citizens. For his courage and unwavering integrity in doing so, we salute him". (To download the full citation in PDF format click here). Given that this award was presented at a time when I was out of the country, I wrote a formal acceptance speech that was presented on my behalf by David Gadd-Claxton, CEO of TouchStone Resources (Pty) Ltd. This speech gives an overview of the major challenges in South Africa at present and cites different examples of the range of problems we are facing, using different river basins as reference points. The title is Crisis in our Rivers! What Crisis? To download the PDF file click here. The media picked up on this story - see here and here and here and mostly decided to focus on the DDT angle. My main source of data on the presence of urogenital defects is this peer-reviewed paper (click here) that reports on a study of 2086 neonates conducted in 2004 in the Limpopo Province, which is an area that is treated with DDT, of which 76 babies had abnormalities (3.65% of the sample) and 18 (0.86% of the sample) were found to have "ambiguous genitalia", leading the authors to conclude that, "the concordant high prevalence of urogenital birth defects and the DDE concentrations in cord blood in neonates from a DDT-sprayed area should be regarded as a matter of extreme international concern (Bornman et al., 2005)". This paper refers to the occurance of what are known as Hypospadias (see here and here) and Cryptorchidism (see here and here), which are conditions that have a normal occurance, but in which Endocrine Disruption plays a contributory role. For a PDF file of a robust bibliography on DDT, DDE and DDD, click here. For a useful report on species strain stock and Endocrine Disruption click here and for an insight into the complexity of extrapolating results from one species to another click here. New research by Prof. Frank Winde has shown that Uranium toxicity associated with Acid Mine Drainage also displays some Endocrine Disruption characteristics (to download the PDF click here). To know more about Endocrine Disruptors click here. My professional view is that in the absence of more robust data on this sensitive and emotive subject, the Precautionary Principle should prevail (click here and here to know more) and we should thus make a decision about the continued use of DDT by developing a better understanding of the ramifications of its use, which would be a key element of the National Water Quality Program that I proposed. To understand more of the complexity associated with DDT for malaria control, specifically with respect to its potential Endocrine Disrupting Capacity and the resultant ethical considerations, please click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. In essence the trade-off boils down to reducing the impact of malaria in a population that is ravaged by the disease in the short-term, versus a range of endocrine disprupting complications, including the possibility of androgeny, that are manifest in the long-term. While these risks can be managed, they need to be fully understood in the first place, in order for an effective and defendable management plan to be developed. Central to this is the mitigation of what is known as a Revenge Effect (click here and here and here and here) arising from the unintended consequence of a given action. As an ethical scientist I ask whether this decision has been informed by sufficient research of the correct type, and whether the trade-off is a reasonable one to make? There is no easy answer to these perplexing issues, but I believe that science should serve society and that the public has the right to be part of that debate. To access testing facilities for DDT and its derivitives please click here.
I was a keynote speaker and I also facilitated a number of panel discussions at the Water Investment World conference that was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 2 - 6 November 2009. To download a copy of the PPT entitled Is Water the New Oil?, that I presented, click here. To download a PDF file of the abstract of my keynote speech, click here.
To download the PowerPoint presentation of my keynote address to the 2nd Annual Symposium of the Research Niche for the Cultural Dynamics of Water held at the North-West University on 20 November 2009 entitled What Water Problem? Multidimensional Perspectives on Critical Issues in the Upper Vaal Catchment, please click here. I used the occasion to state the reason for my opposition to the proposed Western Utilities Corporation plan to take mine effluent contaminated with heavy metals and radioactivity and "treat" it for onward sale to 11 million consumers of water in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. For details of this plan please click here and here. My opposition to this plan is based on one simple truth - no water treatment process can remove 100% of the contamination 100% of the time, so it is improper to use feedstock that is known to be contaminated with radioactivity and heavy metals for human consumption. This is a position of principle for me, because I believe that science has a moral conscience, and it is impossible for me as a man of conscience to remain silent on this issue. I therefore believe that this mine effluent must be treated for industrial use only, and NOT for human consumption: until such time as the service providers give a public guarantee that 100% of the contaminants will be removed 100% of the time, which I know existing technology is incapable of doing; or until such time as they are able to produce high confidence toxicological test results. I wish to place on record that my only point of concern is the fact that the treated waste water will become drinking water in terms of the current plan, and I would gladly give my full support to the project if this one matter was changed (because all of my other concerns are easy to take care of without derailing the overall project). If the management team would consider changing this one small aspect, then I would give my full and unwavering support to the project, because it is of great importance to us as a nation that we prevent the uncontrolled decant that will take place shortly.
The keynote lecture I gave to the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) 2009 Biennial Conference held at Cape Town on 16 November is entitled Pushing the Limits. This presentation makes a case for artificial recharge of groundwater aquifers as a strategic management tool to overcome the constraints imposed on our national economic development by the high evaporative losses found in the SADC region. This would generate New Water by reducing evaporation losses, which in the case of the Orange and Limpopo River Basins are around 95% of the Mean Annual Precipitatrion (MAP). It makes reference to the Groundwater Replenishment Trial currently being tested by the Water Utilities Corporation of Perth in West Australia (click here for their website) that takes sewage effluent, and then treats it to a high standard of purity, after which it is stored in an aquifer for later use. The presentation then makes a case for Geothermal Energy as a viable sub-set of hydrogeology, given the need to map geothermal heat gradients. The existence of the newly created Geothermal Energy Association of Southern Africa (click here for their website) is also announced. To download the PPT, please click here.
WATER and CONFLICT
One of the most insightful pieces of research I have recently seen in the field of Water and Conflict
at the sub-national level is a report done by Dr. Sandy Johnston
and Anne Bernstein
. Published by the Centre for Development and Enterprise
(see their website
), the report entitled Voices of Anger
, offers a deep insight into the mindset of the people involved in the violence that broke out in Khutsong
) and Phumelela
in post-Apartheid South Africa. This report made a lot of sense to me, because it reflected many of my own experiences in the cauldron of the unrest areas of South Africa during the final days of Apartheid (see My Family History
for more details), specifically in light of the unexpected Xenophobic Violence
that broke out in South Africa in 2008, that I used it as a significant input into the CSIR Keynote Address
that got me suspended in December 2008. I believe that Voices of Anger
is an extremely useful report and I regularly recommend all of my government-related clients to read it and internalize the lessons it provides. To download the PDF click here
For those who insist that water is a driver of war, this is a very useful document as it presents a Chronology of Known Incidents Involving Both War and Water prepared by Dr. Peter Gleick, a highly credible scientist from the Pacific Institute in California. It is a must read for any water and conflict enthusiast and is regularly updated, so please refer to the Pacific Institute website for the latest version. To download the PDF click here.
The policy brief on Water and Peace
gives some insight into global trends in the debate over water and conflict. To download the PDF file click here
This is a website
put together by Geography students at the University of Wisconsin
in the USA on the issue of water and conflict. It has useful maps and linkages.
This newspaper article from the Mail and Guardian reports the findings of a recent Scenario Planning exercise in which South Africa's potential ecological futures are laid out in considerable detail, using language a layperson can understand. I find this extremely useful, because much of the current work on Water Quality by most South African scientists, reflects elements of these scenarios. To download the PDF file click here:
WATER AND BUSINESS RISK
I was commissioned in 2008 to do some research on the Business Risks
associated with water. While this work was specifically about the beverage industry, the risks that have been identified are applicable to a number of different business settings. To download a PDF file of my presentation click here
and to download the report dealing with the outcome of the meeting click here
An element of Business Risk is driven by Global Climate Change. This paper captures some of these linkages using language that the layperson can understand. The most significant component of this paper is the linkage between Acid Mine Drainage and Global Climate Change when it comes to the unknown matter of how radioactivity, currently trapped in sediment of streams downstream of some gold mining operations, will react to desiccation. This paper also makes the case for Africa's development constraint being the poor conversion of Mean Annual Precipitation (MAP) to Mean Annual Runoff (MAR), specifically illustrating the tipping point when it comes to Ground Water Recharge. To download the PDF file click here.
This paper, originally published by the Centre for International Political Studies (CIPS) at the University of Pretoria, gives some detail of the role of water in the evolution of our fledgling democracy in South Africa. In particular it isolates two specific Risks - Political Instability as demands exceed the capacity of the state to deliver and Financial Risks as investor confidence becomes affected by the policies of the state to redistribute water and associated priviledges arising from access to the resource - that need to be understood if they are to be properly managed. To download the PDF click here.
For business risks associated with the need to upgrade sewage treatment works in South Africa, please refer to the text and link to the Phosphate Standard below.
WATER AND HUMAN HEALTH
As a result of my involvement with the University of Free State, I am pleased to announce that a highly sophisticated Mass Spectrometer has been aquired by NanoTech and will be made availble for the testing of water for a range of toxins including Microcystin, DDT and EDC's. This is an important new development in our young democracy, because for the first time high technology apparatus is being made accessible to ordinary citizens, consistent with our national Constitution and Bill of Rights that gives all the right to an environment that is safe and free from harm. Should you wish to make use of this facility, please click here and follow the instructions further. I wish to thank the University of Free State for responding to this need. NanoTech is a campus company that has been created to service the needs of society.
A) EUTROPHICATION and CYANOBACTERIA (Blue Green Algae)
To access testing facilities for Microcystin, please click here.
Central to any attempt at combatting eutrophication in South Africa is the Phosphate Standard. In essence the Phosphate Standard we currently have is the cause of the problem, because it fails to attenuate the Phosphate load entering our heavily utilized rivers.The approach that needs to be followed in future is that the assimilable load of the receiving water needs to be weighed against the sum of all loads being generated in the catchment, and the individual loads trimmed to ensure that no overloading occurs. This is more complex to understand, but also necessary if we are to reverse the impacts of eutrophication. An expert on this issue is Dr. Bill Harding who is giving a lecture on this topic. His argument is eloquently captured in an abstract that can be downloaded in PDF fomat by clicking here. In my professional opinion no investment should be made into the upgrading of sewage treatment plant until such time as this new Phosphate Standard has been negotiated and agreed upon, because that investment would be throwing good money after bad, so it does not make good business sense. This is my position on this issue and I will be articulating it to all major stakeholders until the Phosphate Standard has been changed. This means that all existing sewage treatment works will need to be upgraded, so the Phosphate Standard becomes a key element in the business case for all new technology providers wishing to enter this market.
In 2010 Turkey will host the 8th International Conference on Toxic Cyanobacteria. This will bring together world experts, so it will be an excellent source of state-of-the-art science and information. To know more about this event click here.
To see how developed countries deal with human health issues arising from Eutrophication, specifically with resepct to public warnings about areas known to be at risk, see this example from New Zealand (click here).
Closely related to this issue of Business Risk and Human Health Risk is the complex problem of Eutrophication of which Cyanobacteria that produce Microcystin toxin is a significant component. These two papers give a robust background to this family of issues. To download a PDF copy click here and here.
Dr. Bill Harding is one of the leading authorities on toxic blue-green algae, having worked in the field for a number of decades. His website contains a wide range of authoritative and useful scientific publications on the issue of Eutrophication and Microcystin. To access this click here.
This paper, originally published in the African Journal of Microbiology and available from their website gives an easy to read insight and understanding of Microcystin toxins arising from Eutrophic systems that have blooms of the Cyanobacteria Microcystis Aeruginosa. As such it is excellent background reading for any person interested in understanding Human Health Risks associated with Eutrophication, because it explains the range of health impacts arising from phosphate and nitrate enriched water, such as we have in South Africa downstream of our many dysfunctional sewage treatment works. This paper shows that certain Microcystin toxins have a similar chemical toxicity to organophosphate nerve agents and it makes a strong case for the need to resuscitate our defunct National Eutrophication Program, which is a component of the Proposed National Water Quality Program already endorsed by the National Council of Provinces. To download the PDF click here.
This paper, originally published in the journal Biokemistri and available online gives an easy to understand discussion of the range of toxins found under the broader heading of Microcystin (produced by Cyanobacteria in Eutrophic Aquatic Systems). This will empower the reader to better understand Human Health Risks that they might be exposed to when drinking water originally derived from Eutrophic rivers and dams, such as those occurring in South Africa downstream of the many dysfunctional sewage treatment works. This paper makes a strong case for the notion that Microcystin in drinking water supplies poses a distinct health risk. To download the PDF file click here.
This report by UNESCO summarizes the activities of CYANONET, giving specific insights into the status of Microcystin contamination globally as of 2005. To download the PDF file click here.
This report published in 2009 by the Global Water Research Coalition and edited by Dr. Gayle Newcombe of the South Australia Water Corporation is entitled International Guideline Manual for the Management of Toxic Cyanobacteria. It represents the current state-of-the-art in my view. Each chapter is written by a different internationally recognized expert and deals with a specific aspect in the management chain such as incident management and toxicity. It is easy to read and contains a range of information from the highly technical, to the type of material that a high school teacher could use in educating our next generation of responsible citizens. The report comes in various chapters and appendices. For a PDF version of the respective chapters click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.
B) ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS (EDCs)
To access testing facilities for EDC's, please click here.
This is a useful report that helps the non-scientist to understand some of the Human Health Risks associated with Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). Particular attention is drawn to the reference about sewage effluent that has the capacity to de-masculinise humans under certain conditions, even when those sewage works are deemed to be functioning normally, because of the Oestrogenicity associated with inter alia the elevated use of oral birth control prophylactics in modern society. This has direct relevance to South Africa, which has an abnormally large number of dysfunctional sewage treatment works at this moment in time, raising the whole issue of the unintended consequences of partially metabolized medications (such as ARV's) in a country that has reached the limits of its available water supplies and has therefore lost the natural Dilution Capacity of its river systems. To download the PDF report click here.
For a full list of all diseases related to the endocrine system, click here and to know more about EDCs in general click here.
I have a strong professional interest in the issue of Water and Human Health particularly among the poor. This paper deals with the linkages between water and HIV-AIDS and was presented at the International Centre for Water in Zaragoza, Spain in 2006. To download the PDF file click here.
This paper is, to the best of my knowledge, the first ever systematic review of the linkages between water and HIV-AIDS
and it represents my early interest in Water and Human Health
. I commissioned the paper as a chapter in the book Turton, A.R. & Henwood, R.
(Eds.) 2002. Hydropolitics in the Developing World: A Southern African Perspective
. Pp 217-235. Pretoria: African Water Issues Research Unit (AWIRU). It remains the most heavily cited chapter from that book. To download the PDF file click here
ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY AND RIVER BASINS
Some of my work has been focussed on the issue of Environmental Security. This article is written in a non-scientific style and was published by the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies. It gives some insight into two environmental security hotspots in Africa - the Lake Chad Basin and the Lake Victoria Basin. To download the PDF click here.
This paper gives an insight into Environmental Security as it pertains to the Okavango River Basin in Southern Africa and the Lempa River Basin in Central America. To download the PDF file click here.
Related to the issue of Environmental Security, this paper gives some insight to emerging concepts as they apply to the management of transboundary river basins in Africa, with specific mention of the Southern African Hydropolitical Complex that was first defined in my Doctoral dissertation. Comparisons are made to the Tigris and Euphrates River Basin where a Security Complex has emerged. To download the PDF file click here.
This document, the SADC Barometer, contains an overview of the Southern African Hydropolitical Complex along with a number of other regional issues that were relevant at the time (2003). To download the PDF click here.
These papers distil out some of my Doctoral work on the Southern African Hydropolitical Complex, which is a sub-set of the Regional Security Complex and might be of interest to International Relations scholars. It must be noted however, that my thinking on this concept has evolved somewhat since these early papers so there will be deviations between this early research and my current writing. This paper was produced for Cambridge University (click here) and this paper dealt with institutional development in post-Apartheid South Africa (click here).
One of my greatest professional pleasures has been the mentoring of bright young post-graduate students as they find their professional niche. In this case Frederic Julien came from Canada, travelling at his own expense, to specifically work with me. I gave him a home at the CSIR as a visiting scientist and he just blossomed as I invested time into his intellectual development. This paper, written after his return to Canada, applies elements of my earlier work on Hydropolitical Complexes to the many transboundary rivers of West Africa. To download the PDF file click here.
Peter Ashton and I were commissioned by the World Water Council to write a paper on how to deal with the linkages between politics and water resource management. This paper deals with the Southern African Hydropolitical Complex as well as Parallel National Action. To download the PDF click here.
ACID MINE DRAINAGE (and related issues)
To understand the complexity of the groundwater system being impacted by the current decant of AMD, please click here. This refers to the South African Transvaal Aquifer (SATVLA), which is comparable to the Edwards Aquifer in the USA, potentially making it one of the largest transboundary sedimentary karst systems in the world, according to the author, Mike Buchanan. Also known as the Transvaal Supergroup, it was deposited between 2,800 and 2,500 million years ago and is now highly fractured. The decant from the Western Basin void is flowing into portions of this system via the Swartkrans Aquifer downstream of the Tweeloopies Spruit. Click here to view a photo of the Western Basin decant point taken on 12 January 2011 when it was flowing at about 30 - 50 Ml/d. The Central Basin decant is scheduled for the first quarter of 2012 into the wetland downstream from South East Vertical Shaft at Cinderella Lake in Boksburg and the volume is likely to be about four times greater than the Western Basin decant. Click here for a photo of that wetland, which will start to resemble the Western Basin wetland in the previous photo after the decant starts. For a physical loctaion of the Central Basin decant point click here for a Google Earth map.
To access testing facilities for AMD-related toxins, please click here.
To read a compelling article by Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science laureate, in which he identifies the need to deal with negative externalities such as those produced by acid rain and AMD, click here.
Most of the focus on AMD remediation has been on active measures, but there is an emerging literature on passive measures using natural processes found in wetlands. These passive processes have a lot of potential in my view, because they work with nature rather than against nature. Engineered Wetlands
have a future in our thinking about how to attenuate AMD decant from defunct mines where no revenue stream is available to pay the cost of treatment. For more information click here
This chapter of mine entitled South African Water and Mining Policy: A Study of Strategies for Transition Management
describes the evolution of the relationship between the gold mining industry and the government in South Africa over a century. It thus contextualizes the current oversight situation regarding AMD
. The book is entitled Water Policy Entrepreneurs
and it is edited by Dave Huitema
and Sander Meijerink
of the Netherlands. To obtain a copy of the book click here
. An interesting finding in this book, after examining a number of case studies from across the globe, is that change agents - people who drive change in the water policy field - often become victims of the change they initiate, seldom surviving the final transition into new policy. This makes policy entrepreneurship a risky business for those who believe that change in policy is necessary.
This paper by Prof. Frank Winde entitled "Uranium Pollution of Water Resources in Mined-out and Active Goldfields of South Africa - A Case Study in the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment on Extent and Sources of U-Contamination and Associated Health Risks
" was presented at the International Minewater Conference
held in Pretoria, South Africa, on 19 to 23 October 2009. It is an excellent piece of research in my view. It raises the issue that I have been concerned about, namely environmental risk associated with heavy metal and radionuclide contamination downstream of gold mining activities in South Africa. Specifically it makes the case that Uranium levels in the water resource has increased markedly since 1997, even though uranium loads from the mines have been reduced. Significantly, this paper raises the issue of carcinogens associated with contaminated water, of which our knowledge is limited. In my professional opinion this paper is highly significant and is a must read for any person interested in this topic. I am grateful to Prof. Winde and Cilla Taylor (the conference organizer) for permission to post this paper. To download the PDF click here
This thesis was done by a student named Rebecca Adler
at the California Institute of Technology
. It is very well researched and it gives an excellent insight into the way that policy and science interfaces (or does not). In particular it shows that scientists seeking to influence policy face considerable personal risks as I later discovered in my own case, when I was suspended from the CSIR when my work became focussed on human health issues arising from deteriorating water quality, particularly downstream of gold mining activities. I have been inspired by this thesis, because it is based on the life and work of Professor Clair Patterson
, who like myself, believed that good science leaves plenty of room for a robust moral conscience
. Rebecca later worked under me at the CSIR as a visiting scientist where she was part of the team that did a lot of ground-breaking work into the issue of Acid Mine Drainage
, specifically leading to the development of the Externalization of Costs Model
that enabled us to explain how gold mines in South Africa have managed to accumulate massive profits by externalizing their environmental impacts onto society. Rebecca later became lead author in our paper entitled Adler, R., Claassen, M., Godfrey, L. & Turton, A.R. 2007. Water, Mining and Waste: A Historical and Economic Perspective on Conflict Management in South Africa. In The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2007), Pp 32 – 41, which is presented as the second and third links below. To download the original thesis click here. To download the PDF of the externalization of costs model click here and here.
As we were thinking about the Externalization of Costs Model, we were taken by the conclusion of this paper that in the case of coal combustion (on which the entire South African economy is based), the externalized social costs represent approximately double the actual market value of coal. It was the contents of this document that triggered my own thinking about the whole notion of externalized costs associated with the mining industry in South Africa. To download the PDF file click here.
When I was a Fellow at the CSIR, I was responsible for giving leadership in science. One of the projects I developed was designed to yield a high confidence study of human health impacts associated with the gold mining industry. Based on a highly successful study in the USA known as the St Louis Baby Tooth Survey (see their website), my proposed study was designed to harvest human deciduous teeth from a statistically relevant population that had a potential chronic exposure to heavy metals and radionuclides arising from Acid Mine Drainage. The proposed project was based on work done bt Dr. Louise Reiss who died recently. Known in brief as the Tooth Fairy Project, this was designed to become the first high confidence study of the impacts of gold mining in South Africa and as such was a component of the Externalization of Costs Model referred to elsewhere on this page. The project was never given any financial support and so it failed, leaving us in the dark as to the exact human impact associated with heavy metal and radionuclide contamination downstream of gold mining activities. This project was instrumental in my eventual demise at the CSIR - possibly because I was starting to ask questions that some people in powerful positions would prefer to leave unanswered. This is where my connection to the work done by Professor Clair Patterson referred to above becomes relevant, because like Patterson, I believe strongly that robust science is needed to inform policy in areas that affect human health. To download the PDF file click here.
Closely associated with the Tooth Fairy Project, was work that I was doing into the evolution of policy for the management of mine water in the gold mining industry. Some of this work was presented to the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences in Amsterdam and elements of this have been published in a University text book called Water Policy Entrepreneurs. To download the original paper in PDF format click here, and to order the book in which it finally appeared click here.
The issue of Acid Mine Drainage is, in my professional opinion, one of the most significant direct threats to water quality and human health in the gold mining areas of South Africa. I have learnt much of what I know about the geohydrology and geochemistry of Acid Mine Drainage from Phil Hobbs, a karst specialist at the CSIR and close friend and colleague of mine. This paper, co-authored with Jude Cobbing, is an excellent rendition of the Acid Mine Drainage situation in the Krugersdorp area of the west Witwatersrand in South Africa. I personally believe that what we are learning about the (mis)management of Acid Mine Drainage in the Krugersdorp area, will be invaluable when the rest of the mine void underlying the Witwatersrand rewaters as mining ceases in the near future and decant starts to occur into rivers feeding our national water supply in the Vaal River Basin. To download a PDF file of this paper click here.
This paper, commissioned by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), was written by a colleague Dr. Suzan Oelofse, a waste management specialist at the CSIR. It gives an excellent overview of the issue of Acid Mine Drainage and it presents a number of facts that are not found elsewhere in the readily accessible literature on the subject. Significantly it calls for a high confidence study of the fate and pathway of radionuclide and heavy metals arising from mine water, and is thus consistent with the Tooth Fairy Project presented elsewhere on this page. To download the PDF file click here.
This paper gives an excellent explanation of how Acid Mine Drainage works, and more specifically, provides some useful data about actual current water quality standards associated with the decant on the West Rand: To download the PDF click here.
This paper entitled Legal Issues Concerning Mine Closure and Social Responsibility on the West Rand
by Elize van Eeden, Mariette Liefferink and Francois Durand was recently published in the Journal of Transdisciplinary Studies
. It provides an excellent overview of the complex issue of Acid Mine Drainage
and I consider it to be an essential read for any person interested in this topic. To download the PDF file please click here
My interest in water and development is best represented by this paper entitled Gold, Scorched Earth and Water: The Hydropolitics of Development in Johannesburg, which I was invited to present at the Seminar on Water Management in Megacities in Stockholm in 2004. This paper explains some of the issues arising from water supply management in Johannesburg, including Acid Mine Drainage, Eutrophication and the complex issue of managing sewage treatment plant to a level where the impact of Phosphate can be effectively mitigated. To download the PDF click here.
To access testing facilities for Groundwater-related toxins, please click here.
In terms of the overall quantification of the total Groundwater potential in South Africa, this paper is useful. This paper should be read in conjunction with the Thunder Graph presented above under the heading South African Water Supply Dilemma, because that graph indicates that groundwater is a resource on which our national future will depend. To download the PDF click here.
This short policy brief deals with the whole problem of Groundwater in Africa. It is significant because it contains a useful matrix of known Transboundary Aquifer Systems in the SADC Region not published elsewhere to the best of my knowledge (click here to download the PDF). The pre-edited text is also provided, which is more robust than the final text used in the Groundwater Policy Brief, given the limited space available for diagrams and text in the chosen format (click here to download the PDF). Specifically, this pre-edited version contains a useful diagram showing the linkages between surface transboundary river basins and sub-surface ground water aquifers in the SADC region - something that does not exist elsewhere to the best of my knowledge.
The Olifants River Basin is extremely important economically, socially and politically. The basin is now in a state of severe decline, mostly because of Acid Mine Drainage from the energy sector. This paper was written by John Aston and was first published as Occasional Paper No. 20 by the African Water Issues Research Unit and it focusses on groundwater. It is offered here as part of the literature on the Olifants system. To download the PDF click here.
This is some of my earlier work on Legal Pluralism, specifically regarding the Afrikaner nation and its quest for self-determination. To download the PDF click here.