Windhoek, Namibia

How Windhoek taps water from sewage

For obvious reasons, sewage is unappealing and drinking it, completely unfathomable. Yet, while most of the world is still debating if you should even try to treat household sewage to drinkable standards, Windhoek has been tapping water from it for decades. In 2018, Namibians marked the 50th anniversary of the first direct potable (drinking-quality standard) reuse plant in the world, …

San Francisco, water demand managment experts

San Francisco embraces wastewater for bright future

In San Francisco, all water is seen to be of value; as little as possible should be wasted. So much so that, in 2012, San Francisco became the first municipality in the country to adopt groundbreaking legislation to allow onsite non-potable water systems. Tapping from alternative water sources The Non-potable Water Ordinance allows for the use of alternative water sources …

Wastewater management in cities

Wastewater management – the blessing in the curse

Nowadays, cities seem to be the places to be for more and more people. For one, they can get access to better services, like water and sewage. In fact, the United Nations says that, between 1998 and 2008 alone, 1 052 million people accessed better drinking water in cities. A whopping 813 million accessed better sanitation, and the numbers are …

Gough Island by Tom ScSherry

Gough: The remote island that brings the weather close to home

Every October, a small crowd gathers at the East Pier Quay at Cape Town to welcome the SA Agulhas II home. On-board is a small group of people that just spent a year at one of the most remote places on Earth with a constant human presence. It’s called Gough Island. The Subantarctic and Antarctic are extreme regions both in …

Growing_cities

One thing cities that need water MUST do

While reports of cities running out of water worldwide are streaming in, some cities are learning to cope. Somewhat perplexing, these places often also suffer from drought, have to cope with more people and manage with old and creaky pipes. Yet sometimes, without having to immediately find more water, the people that live there don’t suffer for it. These places …

Too little, too dirty, too much, at the wrong time and place: South Africa’s water crisis

South Africa’s ‘looming’ water crisis crashed onto international front pages that day when Cape Town announced it might run out of water. However, many would say a major catastrophe has been hiding in clear sight for decades. We are running out of water. Digging into the details, it’s clear the crisis hasn’t been looming for a long time already. South …

What is a water resilient city?

Have you noticed that as we built ourselves closer to necessities like roads, we have detached ourselves from water? It’s not uncommon for cities that suffer from water shortages, to also suffer from floods. People might see rain fall outside their windows, but not have enough coming from their taps. Often, people are surrounded by water, but are unable to …