The yellow presba. Photo: John P Simaika

John Simaika’s fascination with dragonflies

Stellenbosch University water ecologist Dr John Simaika has spent lots of time around dragonflies since one serendipitously landed on his dinner plate while he was discussing his honours degree project. Along with his former postgraduate supervisor, the renowned insect conservationist Prof Michael Samways of the SU Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, he has recently…

SKAHack participants produced a number of apps to save water in different ways. Image credit: Fronne.

Eight water data projects from last weekend’s SKAHack

While the past week may have seen massive downpours, it doesn’tmean the drought and water shortages are over. This is why Geekulcha hosted its most recent hackathon – the SKAHack – to encourage developers to help find solutions for problems in their community. Named after the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), SKAHack was held in the Eastern Cape…


Can beer brewing help solve our water crisis?

This week’s show is about South Africa’s water crisis. The show starts with how the joys of brewing beer can solve a water crisis. From there we chat to Professor Anthony Turton about why we are on the brink of chaos and Senta Berner about how angry people can become when their water is cut…

World Economic Forum on Africa 2009

SciBraai’s #SONA2015 round-up

Science plays a crucial role in improving the state of the nation. Here’s our twitter round-up from Zuma’s #SONA2015, focusing on energy & water, developing our ocean economy, agriculture, broadband access, health (HIV & TB) and rhino poaching. Zuma’s 9 steps: Science will be key to 9 steps for boosting SA economy, esp energy crisis, agro-processing, infrastructure & operation phakisa!…

Residents of the North West town of Mabeskraal  are amond the one third of South Africans who do not have regularly-flowing water. Image by Delwyn Verasamy.

Eight ways to fix our water woes

The South African water crisis is a complex series of interlocking problems that preclude a silver-bullet solution. Each water system is unique, with different geographies, weather, populations and quirks, such as an unwillingness to reuse treated waste water. Some short-term interventions are obvious, if expensive, such as reducing demand by cutting losses from leaking pipes.…


The splash of dignity

In episode 12 of The Science Inside, we looked at what it takes to bring water and sanitation services to the people of South Africa. One can only patch up the pipes so many times, and safety concerns often prevents water getting to those who need it most.