Michela Marcatelli is a PhD Researcher in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague, The Netherlands. She has carried out research on the right to water in South Africa, and is now studying patterns of access and use of water both in the domestic and productive sectors, with a specific focus on how they may impact the lives of the poor.
Conservancy members recall that at our May 2009 meeting, Paul Oberholster spoke about his research to determine the health of the aquatic ecosystems in the Waterberg. Paul is a limnologist, a scientist who studies the properties of fresh water. The study developed a set of ecological indicators that provide an accurate estimate of the ecological health of aquatic ecosystems in the area.
by Richard Wadley
A popular statement, in these days filled with assertions about climate change and global warming, is that it doesn’t rain as much in the Waterberg as it used to. And who’s to deny that? The very name “Waterberg”, to say nothing of other names like “24 Rivers”, “Sterkstroom” etc., conjure up an image of this enormous spongy aquifer, saturated with limitless supplies of water.
The following article by Yolandi Groenewald and Lynley Donnelly was published as "The Water is Mine" in The Mail & Guardian of 28 June 2009 and is re-printed with permission.
Scientists and environmentalists are worried that burgeoning coal mining in the Waterberg might not be sustainable – or ecologically desirable – with the little water available in the region already exploited to the limit. Mining giant Exxaro – for now, but not for long – the only coal miner in the area, has indicated that the water supply may not be enough to accommodate more mines.