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THE HEALTH OF RIVER CATCHMENTS DR DES PYLE KINGSWOOD COLLEGE GRAHAMSTOWN SOUTH AFRICA kingswoodcollege.com GA ANNUAL.

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Presentation on theme: "THE HEALTH OF RIVER CATCHMENTS DR DES PYLE KINGSWOOD COLLEGE GRAHAMSTOWN SOUTH AFRICA kingswoodcollege.com GA ANNUAL."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE HEALTH OF RIVER CATCHMENTS DR DES PYLE KINGSWOOD COLLEGE GRAHAMSTOWN SOUTH AFRICA kingswoodcollege.com GA ANNUAL CONFERENCE UNIVERSITY OF SURREY GUILDFORD MARCH 2008

2 Grahamstown South Africa

3 Background to the study South Africa is a dry, drought-prone country Many of South Africas rivers and streams are highly degraded and polluted 80% of all disease in Africa is said to be water-borne (esp. diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera) 1 in 2 people in South Africa do not have access to adequate sanitation 1 in 4 people in South Africa do not have a reliable supply of potable water Many small towns have poor quality potable water as a result of the decline in municipal services All forms of development are severely restricted by water availability Our esteemed Minister of Environmental Affairs recently publicly stated that South Africa does not have a water problem!

4 Title and aim of the river study The impacts of land use on water quality in the Kowie River Catchment The aim of the study was to examine how different urban and rural land uses affect the health of the Kowie River catchment in the Grahamstown area, by conducting tests, measurements and observations along the catchment at 5 key sites.

5 Sites chosen for the study at a natural spring on the Port Alfred Road (natural grassland) on open parkland above Graeme College (middle income residential) in the centre of town near the old potteries (transition zone) along the Belmont Valley before the sewage works (rural-urban fringe) along the Belmont Valley shortly after the sewage works (agricultural area)

6 Tests, measurements and observations Description of the test site (nature of the river bed, depth of water, width of river, speed of flow) Other observations (litter, sewage and faeces, waste water from household washing, factory waste, dead animals, soil erosion, etc.) Settlements nearby (urban/rural, formal/informal, etc.) Land uses nearby (residential, agricultural, industrial, etc.) Distance of human activities from the banks Condition and type of riverbank vegetation (indigenous/alien vegetation, etc.) Proximity of landfill/rubbish dumps/sewage disposal works Water colour and smell Water pH (using test strips) Water turbidity (clarity) (using a sighting disk) Presence of bacteria (using a Petrie dish) Water insect and animal life (using a checklist/scorecard)

7 Water quality test kits Developed by Professor Rob ODonogue of Rhodes University Tests the following Chemical balance (pH) BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) E-coli (human faeces) Turbidity/clarity Chemical enrichment (nitrates) (presence of fertilizers) Insect/animal life (score sheet)

8 Pupil requirements and expectations Grade 12 (final senior year) individual research project Preparation/initial research Locating appropriate maps of the area Finding information on the catchment area Developing a recording/observation sheet Field research (groups) Individual report writing (Geographical inquiry method, hypothesis formulation to conclusions and recommendations)

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13 Acknowledgements Professor Rob ODonogue (Rhodes University, ) Ms Di Tipler (Kingswood College) Mr David Arguile (Kingswood College Headmaster)

14 Questions and discussion Is this water really clean?


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