Ricochet News

Water experts meet in Port Elizabeth to discuss water challenges

JULY 11, 2017
Water experts meet in Port Elizabeth to discuss water challenges

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will host the 6th bi-annual International Hydrology Programme Africa National Committees Meeting in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday and Thursday.

"DWS will host this gathering in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Water Research Commission," the Department said in a statement.

The International Hydrology Programme (IHP) was established by United Nations in 1975 as a single intergovernmental cooperative programme devoted to the scientific study of freshwater and to formulate strategies and policies for sustainable management of water resources globally.

"A total of 70 international delegates from different countries are expected to converge to enhance their understanding of the water cycle, thereby increasing their capacities to manage and develop their water resources better," it added.

"Hydrologists play a critical role in the water sector as they measure the properties of bodies of water, such as volume and stream flow and they also analyze data on the environmental impacts of pollution, erosion, drought and other problems."

The IHP is implemented in Phases and the current Phase VIII (2014-2021) is focused on developing appropriate Responses to Local, Regional and Global Challenges to promote Water Security.

"This meeting of Think Tank in the water sector comes at an opportune time when most parts of the country are still recovering from the effects of drought phenomenon which relentlessly caused serious water challenges," the department described.

"Some parts of Eastern Cape in particular, with Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan, Buffalo City Metropolitan and Mnquma Local Municipalities have had serious water challenges in recent months.

"The Department of Water and Sanitation will continue to work with international and local organisations to ensure that water issues are addressed at all levels. We reiterate our call to all water users to work with government to protect our water resources."