Freshwater Challenges of South Africa and its Upper Vaal by Anja du Plessis

By Anja du Plessis

This e-book promotes higher figuring out and know-how of South Africa' major water difficulties by means of describing the country's and particularly the higher Vaal River’s water assets. it's a “go-to” e-book for college students, pros and general voters while info is needed concerning the country's and extra particularly the higher Vaal River’s freshwater assets. It highlights the foremost difficulties and dangers which must be addressed and provides a pragmatic and precise illustration of the present water affairs.

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3 Main Contaminants and Problems 29 residents of the City of Redding is also situated downstream of the site and could potentially threaten the quality of the drinking water supply. Acidification of water bodies can therefore have detrimental widespread environmental consequences such as the loss of biodiversity as well as the overall degradation of ecological health and possible human health impacts. South Africa as well as some areas within the Upper Vaal WMA are also increasingly affected by the acidification of waterbodies and will be discussed in more detail in Chap.

Vaporised mercury can cause developmental disorders and affects the central nervous system of people in the surrounding area through contaminated water and soil. • Lead Smelting—Lead smelting sites release toxic chemicals, primarily iron, limestone, pyrite and zinc during the smelting process aimed at removing impurities from lead ores. 5 million people at risk around the world. • Pesticides pollution from Agriculture and Storage—Approximately two million metric tonnes of pesticides are used annually to destroy targeted pests and unfortunately also has effects on human health from skin irritations to causing cancer.

5 Salinity The plants and animals in freshwater systems do not tolerate high salinity levels very well. Anthropogenic processes such as agricultural runoff, groundwater discharge from oil and gas drilling fields or other pumping operations, may cause the build-up of salts in the water body. The type of salt that is introduced by these activities is not necessarily the same as that which occurs naturally. The ratio of potassium build-up could be higher than that for sodium salts which would result in raised stress levels to the aquatic organisms by affecting their metabolic functions and their oxygen saturation levels.

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