Talk in Cape Town : Prof Jenny Day on ‘Let there be water for all?’

Sep 05, 2016 No Comments by

Em. Professor Jenny Day  will present a free public talk entitled ‘Let there be water for all?’ on Wednesday, 21st September at 5pm at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory Road, Observatory*

Abstract: South Africa is a dry country. Providing enough water for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes, let alone maintaining ecosystem integrity, is therefore challenging enough. Demographic trajectories and political imperatives require more water than is currently available, however. At the same time, climate change and inept management mean that adequate provision of good-quality water is becoming a dream (or perhaps a nightmare). In this lecture I intend to discuss the 2015/16 drought, and then the major issues of water quality and quantity. What are the root causes of poor quality, and inadequate quantities, of water? What effects do these have on human consumers and aquatic ecosystems? What feedback loops are entrained when water quality is poor, and the amount of water is insufficient? How well does South Africa manage its water resources? Finally, we will look at some suggestions, both conventional and unconventional, for dealing with these issues.

About the speaker: Jenny Day is a freshwater ecologist. She taught in the Zoology Department at UCT for many years, as well as acting as Deputy Dean and Head of Department at various times. She ‘retired’ in 2012 but is still active in teaching and research into South Africa’s rivers and wetlands. She has published numerous papers and research reports on various aspects of freshwater ecosystems, as well as the recent book Freshwater life: a field guide to the plants and animals of southern Africa, and the older Vanishing Waters, a textbook on limnology for southern African students. Jenny’s particular interests include the management and conservation of wetlands, the ecology of temporary wetlands, and the effects of water quality on freshwater invertebrates. She is fortunate enough to live on the banks of Zeekoevlei in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.


*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).

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