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Water Environment

Water Environment
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Characteristics of water 2. Climate
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Fog and humidity in South Africa Overview. Rainfall in South Africa (Overview). Sunshine in South Africa (Overview). Temperature... Wind.

3. Groundwater
3.1 Groundwater flow.......... 3.2 Groundwater Impacts 3.3 Groundwater: Aquifer. 3.4 Groundwater: Boreholes... 3.5 Groundwater: Percolation/Infiltration...

4. Marine and Estuarine Waters


4.1 Marine Ecology...... 4.2 Marine Environment: Coastal Zones... 4.3 Marine Environment: Impacts.. 4.4 Marine Water Quality Guidelines. 4.5 Processes

5. Physiography
5.1 Physiography: Geography. 5.2 Physiography: Geology.

CHAPTER 1 WHAT IS WATER?

EWE/FS/WE/AW1

LEVEL: A: School: Primary

Water
What is water ?

AW1

Water covers about 70% of the earths surface.

About 1% of the water on earth is fresh water and can be used for drinking, and certain industrial processes. Water can be in the following forms: Liquid the most important form for all the various uses of water, of which drinking is the most important use. Solid water freezes at 0 Celsius and becomes ice which is lighter than liquid water. Gas water vapour is present in the air. The amount of vapour determines the degree of humidity. When water is heated to 100 Celsius, the water is converted to vapour and when the vapour cools down, steam is formed. Water is a molecule (H20), which consists of three atoms - an oxygen atom (O) and two hydrogen atoms (H). Billions of water molecules form one drop of water.

Useful links: American Water Works Assoc. www.ci.mesa.az.us

Related Fact Sheets: AW2

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CHAPTER 2 CLIM ATE

eW/WE/

The water environment


Climate: Fog, Frost & Humidity

AB6

Because of the altitude and the 'continental' influence there is a large daily and seasonal range of temperatures so that frost is a frequent occurrence in winter. Frost occurs at high altitudes during cold, clear winter nights, where air is driest over the western interior and plateau. The frost season is longest (from April to October) over the eastern and southern plateau areas bordering on the Escarpment. Frost decreases to the north, while the coast is virtually frost-free. The only area that commonly experiences fog is the mist belt along the eastern foothills of the escarpment. The northwest coast is virtually rain-free, yet fog is frequent. Low stratus clouds and fog frequent over the cool west coast, particularly in summer. The average annual humidity readings indicate that the air is driest over the western interior and the plateau. Coastal humidity is much higher and occasionally may rise to 85%. During summer, low stratus clouds and fog frequently occur over the cool west coast.

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Climate: Overview

AB1

The northeastern corner of South Africa falls within the subtropical belt of high pressure, making it dry, with abundance of sunshine. The climate conditions for the southwestern corner of the country is Mediterranean and temperate conditions occur in the interior plateau. The wide expanses of ocean on three sides of South Africa have a moderating influence on its climate. The warm Agulhas current sweeps down the east coast, transporting huge quantities of warm water and increasing air temperatures and humidity. Along the west coast, the cold Benguela Current opposes this effect by decreasing ambient temperatures and yielding rain. Coastal fog is common, but the inland weather conditions are desertlike, with daytime high temperatures and night time low temperatures. South Africa can be divided into 9 different climate zones:

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Climate: Rainfall

AB2

Average annual rainfall of South Africa = 464mm Average annual rainfall worldwide = 860mm 65% of South Africa has a total annual rainfall of less than 500mm The South African rainfall pattern is unreliable and unpredictable. South Africa is periodically afflicted by drastic and prolonged droughts as well as severe floods. Rainfall in South Africa varies significantly from west to east. In the northwest, annual rainfall often remains below 300 mm, where the eastern Highveld receives 300 mm to 800 mm of rainfall per year. Closer to the eastern coast the annual rainfall normally is more than 800 mm. For most of South Africa, rainfall generally occurs during summer (November through March), although in the southwest, around the Cape of Good Hope, rainfall often occurs in winter (June through August).

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Climate: Sunshine

AB5

South Africa is famous for its sunshine. Along most of the South African coastline, it is beach holiday weather from October to March. The months of April and May are usually the most pleasant months. The rainy season of the summer rainfall region has then ended, while it has not yet really begun in the winter rainfall region. Cloudy conditions are common along the western and eastern coastlines, particularly during summer.

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Climate: Temperature

AB4

South African temperatures tend to be lower than that of other regions at the same latitude, such as Australia, due to the greater elevation of the continent above sea level. There

There is very little difference in average temperatures from the south to the north, despite the latitudinal span of 13, due to the increase in height towards the equator. There is a mean annual temperature difference of 6C between the east and west coasts, the latter being the colder of the two. Winter temperatures rarely falls below OC. The maximum summer temperatures are often above 35C, sometimes exceeding 38C in the lower Orange River valley and the Mpumalanga Lowveld.

Provincial Capitals Western Cape, Cape Town Eastern Cape, Bisho Northern Cape, Kimberley Free State, Bloemfontein KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg North-West, Mafikeng Gauteng, Johannesburg Mpumalanga, Nelspruit Limpopo, Polekwane

Mean Temperature C January 20.9 22.1 25.3 23.0 22.9 24.1 20.1 24.0 22.6 July 12.2 13.8 10.8 7.7 12.9 12.0 10.4 148 12.2

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Climate: Wind
In Kwa Zulu-Natal, the coast is exposed both to warm water offshore and the southeast trade winds for most of the year. During the winter there is however, virtually no wind along the coast. Gale-force winds are frequent on the coasts, especially in the south western and southern coastal areas.

AB3

In Gauteng, the summer days are warm and wind free (relatively)
and winter days are crisp and clear. The entire South African coastline is fairly windy. Mean annual winds speed along our coastline exceeding 4m/s and in some spots it exceeds even 6m/s. During the winter, South Africa experiences a strong continental high pressure cell over the central plateau. This causes warm north-westerly winds to precede each cold front. The cold fronts develop approximately every 7 days over the cold Atlantic ocean and then shifts towards the east. During the summer, South Africa experiences a low pressure cell over the central plateau, originating from over the tropical oceans northeast of the country. This causes easterly winds along the east coast that often develop in powerful revolving storms.
Left: Many South Afri-can farmers depend on the wind for extraction of groundwater.

Above and left: South Africans have learned to use the windy conditions for all kinds of sport.

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CHAPTER 3 GROUNDWATER

eW/FS/WE/001

The water environment


WATER CYCLE: Groundwater flow

AC3.3

Groundwater is water that has penetrated the earth's surface. Groundwater is found in one of two soil layers. The one nearest the surface is the "zone of aeration", where gaps between soil are filled with both air and water. The amount of water that can be held in the soil is called "porosity". The rate at which water flows through the soil is its "permeability". Different surfaces hold different amounts of water and absorb water at different rates. Water that infiltrates the soil, flows downward until it encounters impermeable rock, and then travels laterally. The locations where water moves laterally are called "aquifers". Groundwater returns to the surface through these aquifers, which empty into lakes, rivers, and the oceans. Under special circumstances, groundwater can even flow upward in artesian wells. The flow of groundwater is much slower than runoff, with speeds usually measured in centimetres per day, meters per year, or even centimetres per year.
(http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/bdgt.rxml)

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WATER RESOURCES: Groundwater Impacts

AD2.3

South African groundwater resources are at risk from the following threats: Groundwater abstraction and de-watering, such as the: depletion or damage to the reserve temporary or permanent loss of the use of aquifers through overabstraction or unnecessary de-watering loss of surface water base flow or damage to wetlands and riverine environments which depend on groundwater deterioration of groundwater quality intrusion of saline or contaminated groundwater into otherwise uncontaminated aquifers. Disturbance of aquifers by mining and related activities e.g. opencast mining and quarrying underground mining land drainage mine de-watering Damage to aquifers by waste disposal and related activities: mining and industrial residue disposal (waste deposits) power generation ash disposal irrigation with waste water, evaporation and storage of mining and industrial effluent and sludges land-based disposal of sewage sludge domestic waste landfills stockpiles of potentially polluting substances hazardous waste landfills animal wastes and feedlots hydrocarbon storage tanks Diffuse sources, such as: urban development farming practices peri-urban development spills and illegal dumping Rapid urbanisation and increasing density of residential development in rural environments pose a significant threat to groundwater quality in terms of: pit latrines, septic tanks and soakaways leaking and overflowing sewers domestic waste inappropriate land use around wellheads PTO
Pollution pressures on groundwater (adapted from Braune 1994)
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ACTIVITY AGRICULTURE - irrigation (return flow) - fertilizer application - pesticide usage - manure application - extensive stock farming (Kraals) - intensive animal feeding units - afforestation - groundwater over-abstraction MINING - discard dumps - return water dams - ash dumps - slimes disposals - stockpiling - dewatering - underground or opencast mining area URBAN SECTOR - sewage effluent - sludge drying beds - landfills and dumps - storm water - leaking sewers - storage tanks and pipes - informal housing (on-site sanitation)

SOURCE TYPE

RISK

CONTROL

diffuse diffuse diffuse diffuse diffuse diffuse diffuse diffuse

low low high low

difficult difficult easy difficult

moderate difficult high low high difficult easy easy

point point point point point diffuse diffuse

high

difficult

moderate easy moderate easy high easy

moderate easy moderate easy high difficult

point point point diffuse diffuse diffuse diffuse

high

easy

moderate easy moderate depends on age

moderate easy moderate easy moderate easy moderate difficult PTO

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INDUSTRIAL SECTOR - industrial effluent - bulk storage of chemicals, etc. - solid waste - abandoned sites - evaporation dams - waste irrigation - air pollution - accidents during transport OTHER ACTIVITIES - borehole construction and abandonment point moderate easy (http://www.ngo.ngrida.no)
point point point high high high easy easy difficult

point point point

moderate high

depends on age depends on age

moderate difficult easy easy

diffuse high diffuse high

Source:

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WATER CYCLE: Physical features - Aquifer
Aquifers are underground geological formations, e.g. rock and cave systems that are able to store and yield water. An aquifer is a porous, water-saturated layer of sand, gravel, or bedrock through which groundwater flows. It can be compared to a large, horizontal sponge that absorbs and transports water along its length. A confined aquifer is one that is bounded above and below by beds of rock or a layer of low permeability e.g. clay, confining the groundwater under pressure. The aquifer will therefore be saturated throughout its full thickness. Because the groundwater is under pressure, water will rise up a borehole drilled into the aquifer above the top of the aquifer.
http://www.auiferwater.tamu.edu

AC2.1

An unconfined aquifer lies underneath a water table or that is exposed at the surface. These aquifers are bounded by the water table and this is the level of water you see in a borehole. The water table has a tendency to mimic the topographic contours of the land surface above but this is not always the case. Aquifers continuously receive more water at recharge areas, areas of land through which groundwater passes downward into the aquifer. This groundwater moves from the recharge area through the aquifer and out into a discharge area. Examples of discharge areas include lakes, geysers, streams, and oceans. Groundwater usually moves from regions of high altitude and air pressure to regions of low altitude and air pressure. It travels at an extremely slow rate, averaging about only a meter per year.

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WATER RESOURCES: Boreholes

AD2.2

Throughout the world groundwater is the most important source of domestic water supply. Nearly 12 million people in South Africa, who do not have a basic water supply, rely on the country's groundwater resources for their domestic water supply. (http://www.worldwaterday.org) Groundwater is a relatively safe source of water, which if properly protected, is safe from pollution except for naturally occurring pollutants from overlying soils and rocks in some areas of the country which may manifest in the form of high levels of nitrates or fluorides. Groundwater is mainly abstracted by means of boreholes and pumps. These borehole pumps can be powered manually, with solar energy or by means of with diesel or electric engines. Like any other mechanical device, a borehole requires maintenance. The basic maintenance comprises chlorinating the borehole against iron bacteria, as well as regular water level and water quality monitoring. Smaller communities in rural areas generally use groundwater. One or two boreholes can service small communities. Larger communities need a well field to supply sufficient water. Boreholes are normally 30m to 300m deep, depending on the need and where it is situated geographically. A borehole is relatively inexpensive to build. It will cost between R5 000 - R60 000, depending on the depth size that you want and the technology and method that you use. The management of the groundwater resource is the responsibility of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. There is an increasing demand for boreholes in South Africa.

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WATER CYCLE: Percolation/Infiltration

AC3.4

Infiltration is the absorption of water by soil. Water soaks into the ground (called infiltration) moving downward, then it moves laterally and finally seeps into lakes, streams, or directly into the ocean. (Earth An Introduction To Physical Geology, Sixth Edition, International Edition Tarbuch & Lutgens) Infiltration rate is the rate at which water can be absorbed (taken up by) into a specific soil. Every soil has a different capacity to absorb water depending on organic matter content, size of soil particles (sand, silt or clay), amount of soil animal activity, presence of dead root channels, etc.

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CHAPTER 4 MARINE & ESTUARINE WATERS

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WATER RESOURCES: Marine Water - Ecology

AD3.2

South Africa has unique oceanographic conditions. Nowhere else in the world are there such contrasts in currents and physical conditions. This leads to an extraordinary biological diversity. The South African coast has a large number (over 10,000) of species of plants and animals. It comprises almost 15 % of global coastal species and 12 % of these are endemic, that is they occur nowhere else (DEA&T 1997). South Africas inshore coastline is divided into 5 bioregions:
(http://www.botany.uwc.ac.za/sancor)

Above: Gannet colonies at Lamberts Bay. Left: Fishing boats at Laaiplek.

Namaqua bioregion: This is a cool, temperate region, dominated by the cold Benguela current, with intensive upwelling. The nutrient rich coastal water has low oxygen levels. This productive bioregion is characterised by extensive mud banks. It supports a significant proportion of the commercial linefish effort. Large colonies of sea birds occur along this region. South-western Cape bioregion: From Cape Columbine southward, the geology changes from mud banks to granite. The biological characteristic of this region is prominent in the seaweed population. South of Cape Columbine the oxygen deficient bottom water extend inshore, causing hypoxic (oxygen deficiency) conditions and subsequently crayfish emerge on the beach. Fishing in this bioregion comprises of trawling and longline fishing. Agulhas bioregion:
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Right: West Coast crayfish , Jasus lalandii

This warm, temperate region constitutes an overlay zone with a mixing area of two currents. The continental shelf is at its broadest here (240 km). This region hosts the greatest number of endemics, sparid reef fish, octocorals and algae. It is the spawning and nursery ground for many species, including squid. Pilchard and anchovy spawn on the Agulhas bank and are transported along the west coast via the Benguela jet. This region supports pelagic fishing, trawl fisheries for hake and sole, trap fishery for the indigenous rock lobster and abalone and squid fisheries. The horse-mackerel stock is the mainstay of the mid-water fishery in South Africa. Natal bioregion: The narrow continental shelf ranges from less than 5 to 50km off the Tugela Bank. This area has high riverine input. It is strongly influenced by the southward flow of the Agulhas current. South of Cape St. Lucia a dynamic upwelling exists, providing an important source of nutrients for the Tugela Bank. The commercial line fishery is one of the most important fisheries in this bioregion. Reef habitat is limited and major reef complexes include the Aliwal Shoal and Protea banks. The Natal bioregion supports endemic soft corals. Annually the sardine run is a feature of the southern portion of the Natal bioregion.

Above and right: Fishing trawlers and rock lobster.

Above: Baby turtle. Right: Sardine run.

Delagoa bioregion: This region is characterised by a narrow continental margin, a shallow, steep shelf break and the highest density of submarine canyons. The strong, warm, south-flowing Agulhas current is the dominant oceanographic feature. The water is clear, with little riverine input. Offshore reefs are colonised by corals. Sub-aqueous dunes occur on the shelf. Leatherback and loggerhead turtle nesting occurs only on this regions beaches. There are no commercial fisheries in the South African component of this bioregion. Rock shore habitats changes dramatically at Cape Vidal.

Above: Reef habitat.

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WATER RESOURCES: Marine Water - Coastal Zones

AD3.1

South Africa has a coastline of some 3000km. It stretches from the Mozambique border on the sub-tropical east coast to the cold temperate west coast at the Namibian border. This includes a large number of sandy beaches, rocky shores and sub-tidal reefs interrupted by estuaries and river mouths some of which are permanently open to the sea while others are closed periodically. Climate: Large-scale atmospheric systems over southern Africa and the Atlantic, Indian and Southern Oceans control the patterns of weather and climate. The west coast is characterised by southerly winds and low rainfall. Along the west coast, rainfall decreases as one moves north from Cape Town to Namibia (greater than 700 mm to less than 100 mm). The south-west coast is subject to southerly winds in summer and rain-bearing westerly winds in winter. The South coast rainfall is moderate and variable (400 to 1 000 mm), with a maximum in the Garden Route area, which experiences year-round rainfall. The east coast experiences good, summer rainfall, generally increasing towards Mozambique (800 to 1 300 mm) in the north. Ocean Currents: The oceanic setting of South Africa is strongly influenced by the Agulhas Current and the Benguela Current System. The east-west contrast is seen in the 7C difference between the average annual temperature of Port Nolloth and Durban both located at similar latitudes. The eastern shores are washed by the warm, nutrient-poor waters of the Agulhas Current that flows south from tropical latitudes off Mozambique and Madagascar. The western shores are washed by cold, nutrient-rich waters drawn up (referred to as upwelling) from deeper layers in the sea. This upwelling results from southerly winds, blowing parallel to the coastline and support highly productive marine systems forming the centre of South Africas fishing industry.

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Wave Energy Most of our coast has a moderate (1-2 m) to high (2-3 m) wave energy environment and experiences a predominantly south-westerly swell direction. The result is an overall northwards drift along the shores of both the west and east coasts. This drift transports between one and two million tons of sediment past any given point on either coast each year. About 1 700 km of our coast is made up of sandy beaches and 1 300 km are either rocky, or mixed rock-andsand shores. Rivers Our coast is also strongly influenced by rivers that bring water, sediments, nutrients and pollutants to the coast. Along the east coast, short, strong and fast-flowing rivers drain the steep slopes. East of Port Elizabeth, these rivers carry large silt loads, in excess of 400 tons of sediment per km per year. West of Port Elizabeth, most rivers drain sandstone catchments and carry much smaller silt loads, typically about 150 tons per km per year (note that some larger catchments, such as the Sundays and Gamtoos, have sediment yields similar to those of KwaZuluNatal). Along the west coast, the low rainfall and flat land result in few rivers that flow all year round. The largest river, the Orange, drains half of the country, including the mining and industrial heartland of the Gauteng area, and enters the sea at the border of Namibia. There are no large rivers flowing south into South Africa from neighbouring states. But there are a few large rivers that flow from South Africa to enter the sea in Mozambique (e.g. Nkomati and Limpopo). Human settlement patterns South Africas coast supports about 30% of its population, and our coast has one of the highest coastal population densities in Africa about 81/km2, compared to the average African density of 55/km2.

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Estuaries Our coast has 343 estuaries. Estuaries are river systems that have, or can have, contact with the sea. The total area of estuaries in South Africa is about 600 km2, of which about 400 km2 is along the 570 km Kwa-ZuluNatal coast. Variations in climate, topography and catchment geology give rise to a wide variety of estuary types in South Africa.

COASTAL AREA
Namibia to Olifants River (407km) Olifants River to Berg River (137km) Berg River to Cape Agulhas (635km) Cape Agulhas to Cape Padrone (815km) Cape Padrone to Mtunzini (745 km) Mtunzini to Mozambique (267km) TOTAL

NUMBER OF ESTUARIES
9 estuaries 5 estuaries 36 estuaries 62 estuaries 225 estuaries 6 estuaries 343 estuaries (After Heydorn 1989)

Ecology The South African coast also has a large number (over 10,000) of species of plants and animals. This comprises almost 15 % of global coastal species and 12% of these are endemic, that is they occur nowhere else (DEA&T 1997).

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WATER RESOURCES: Marine Water - Impacts

AD3.3

The South African marine environment is showing symptoms of overexploitation and degradation. The major threats are: Fishing: Impacts of trawls and dredges on the benthic habitat include scraping, ploughing and resuspension of substratum (Jennings & Kaiser, 1998). Apart from overfishing, fisheries are size and species selective, and have altered community structures substantially (Russ & Alcala, 1989; Bohnsack & Ault, 1996), resulting in the depletion of large top predators first and then successively targeting the next largest species as previous targets become depleted. Mariculture: The decline in the availability of wild fish and the increase in the demand for sea-food products, has promoted the practice of mariculture. Negative impacts include mangrove deforestation, loss of native habitat, eutrophication, invasion of introduced species, and the spread of disease organisms (National Research Council, 1995; Cowley et al., 1998). Mining:
Right: Offshore oil drill.

Above: Mariculture buoys.

South Africas marine and coastal environment is mined for: Titanium is mined from coastal dunes in the north-east and possibly from the sea-bed in the near future. Fossil fuel is mined offshore in the south, from the Agulhas Bank. Diamonds are mined from the sea bed in the north-west, disrupting the benthos, re-suspending sediment in a tail-plume and causing under-sea noise (Lane & Carter, 1999). There is also exploration for phosphate in progress along the southern and western coasts. An unavoidable consequence of mining is the disruption of the sediment, and the complete removal of the biological community. Pollution:
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Pollution originates from land-based sources (industrial, municipal, agricultural and run-off), shipping activity (accidental and deliberate discharges, garbage and dumping) and atmospheric gases (soluble gases). Pollutants can take on many forms, and might affect marine biodiversity in several ways:

Offshore wastewater outlet.

Municipal Waste site. Toxicity. Industrial wastes, such as heavy metals, petroleum products, halogenated hydrocarbons and radioactive waste can lead to an increase in infections, tumours and diseases in marine fish (Vethaak & Rheinaldt, 1992). Heavy metals accumulate in food chains, poison top predators and render seafood unsafe for human consumption.

Eutrophication. Effluent from sewage systems or food processing, leads to excessive organic loading, which causes eutrophication and anoxia. Increased nutrient levels promote primary production, but often lead to a reduction in local diversity and an increased frequency, duration and intensity of noxious red tides (National Research Council, 1995). Sediment loading. Increased erosion of soil can lead to increased levels of particulate matter in the water, which increases turbidity, reduces plant growth and clogs the filtering appendages of many organisms low down in the food chain.

Plastic pollution. In South Africa, plastics contribute about 90% of marine litter (Ryan, 1990). Marine organisms may ingest or become entangled in plastic waste. Oil pollution. Marine crude oil physically smothers intertidal organisms and fouls feathers and fur. The survival of the endemic African penguin Spheniscus demersus is threatened by oil spills (Crawford, 1998).
Below: Oil polluted penguins, in the process of being cleaned.

Erosion and sediments entering the sea through river mouth.

Above: The endemic African penguin Spheniscus demersus

Aesthetic pollution. Effluents may discolour coastal water and impact on recreational usage. Garbage and plastics are also unsightly.

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Invasion of alien species: South Africa has fortunately very few alien species in our marine environment, however, there is the European mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis that has invaded the west coast (Grant & Cherry, 1996), where it has restructured intertidal communities. The invasion of the European shore crab Carcinus meanis has the potential to devastate populations of molluscs (Le Roux et al., 1990). Climate change: Pollution of the atmosphere is resulting in increased levels of UV radiation and a reduction in back-radiation from the earth. The former directly damages tissues of plants and animals. The latter is leading to a change in the heat balance of the globe, causing shifts in weather patterns and temperature regimes. Artificial reefs: Artificial reefs have been created legally and illegally in South Africa. The structures themselves may present a pollution threat. Human pressure on the coastal zone: The underlying cause of most problems related to biodiversity is human population growth and the attendant pressure on natural resources. Increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the shore is causing damage to dune plants and threatening the breeding success of coastal birds, like the African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini (Hockey, 1997).

African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini

The major cause of estuarine degradation is through land-use changes and the anthropogenic manipulation of riverine flow, but residential, industrial and agricultural pollution is rapidly becoming a major problem (Whitfield, 1997). Scientific and commercial specimen collecting and bioprospecting: A potential threat to rare species is caused by collections for scientific investigations and the aquarium trade. The rarer the organism, the more valuable it is and hence its vulnerability increases. Organisms are screened for compounds that may be of use in medicine (e.g. the cure for cancer), traditional healing (e.g. fertility enhancers) and industrial applications (e.g. bio-adhesives). The marine bio-prospecting industry is poorly regulated in South Africa.
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EW/FS/GS/AQ1

Guidelines and standards


Water quality guidelines: South African coastal zone

AQ1

BASIC AMENITIES - all marine & estuarine water Constituents Guideline (Target Value) Aesthetics Water should not contain floating particulate matter, debris, oil, grease, wax, scum, foam or any similar floating materials and residues from land-based sources in concentrations that may cause nuisance or in amounts sufficient to be unsightly or objectionable. Water should not contain materials from non-natural land-based sources which will settle to form putrescent or objectionable deposits. Water should not contain materials from non-natural land-based sources which will produce colour, odours, turbidity or taints or other conditions to such a degree as to be unsightly or objectionable. Water should not contain submerged objects and other sub-surface hazards which arise from non-natural origins and which would be a danger or cause nuisance or interfere with any designated/recognized use. Turbidity and colour acting singly or in combination should not reduce the depth of the euphotic zone by more than 10 per cent of background levels measured at a comparable control site. With specific reference to colour, levels should not increase by more than 35 Hazen units above background levels in a particular area. Colour can also be measured in units of mg Pt/l, where 1 mg Pt/l is equivalent to 1 Hazen unit. The concentration of suspended solids (SS) should not increase above 10% of the background concentrations.

Colour (turbidity)

Suspended Solids

MAINTENANCE OF THE ECOSYSTEM - all marine waters Temperature Should not exceed the ambient temperature by more than 10C. PH The pH should lie within the range of 7.3-8.6. Dissolved Oxygen Should not fall below 5 mg/l (Dissolved oxygen should not fall below 5 mg/l (99 per cent of the time) and below 6 mg/l (95 per cent of the time)) Salinity Salinity should lie within the range 32 to 36. Dissolved Nutrients in mg/l Phosphates: P04-P Should not cause excessive algae growth and the loads should not exceed the Nitrogen (N02 and NO3 and NH3 levels which are introduced by natural processes such as upwelling. Toxic Inorganics in mg/l Arsenic (As) Cadmium (Cd) Chromium (Cr) Copper (Cu) Lead (Pb) Mercury (Hg) Nickel (Ni) Silver (Ag) Zinc (Zn) 0.012 0.004 0.008 0.005 0.012 0.0003 0.025 0.005 0.025

ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR DIRECT CONTACT RECREATION - (Specific Areas) Faecal coliforms (if limits are Maximum acceptable count per 100 ml exceeded, test for E.coli using 100 in 80 percent of the samples same target values) 2000 in 95 percent of the samples ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR FILTER FEEDER COLLECTION - (Specific Areas) Faecal coliforms (if limits are Maximum acceptable count per 100 ml exceeded, test for E.coli using 20 in 80 percent of the samples same target values) 60 in 95 percent of the samples
DWAF (1995) S African water quality guidelines for coastal marine waters. Volume 1 to 4. Pretoria.

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CHAPTER 5 PHYSIOGRAPHY

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The water environment


Physiography: Geography
Geography is the study of the interaction off all human and physical phenomena on the earth's surface and of how interactions among places form patterns and organise space. (http://www.unisa.ac.za) South Africa is one of the most geographically varied countries of the African continent, comprising territory that ranges from the rolling, fertile plains of the highveld and the wide open savanna of the Eastern Transvaal to the Kalahari desert and the peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains (right). South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa. It stretches from 22S to 35S and from 17E to 33E. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the Indian Ocean along the south and east. South Africas coastline is 2,798 km in total length. South Africa borders in the north, from west to east, with Namibia (855km), Botswana (1 840km), and Zimbabwe (225km), and in the northeast, with Mozambique (491km) and Swaziland (430km). Whollyenclosed by South Africa, is the independent kingdom of Lesotho with a borderline of 909km. All the lands boundaries measure 4 750km in total. Almost all of South Africa's 1 219 912 km2 lie below the Tropic of Capricorn, and the country is geographically composed of three primary regions: An expansive central (interior) plateau. Most of the central plateau (and most of the country) consists of high (1,220-1,830m), rolling grassland known as the highveld.

AA2

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A nearly continuous escarpment of mountain ranges that ring the plateau on the west, south, and east. The highest points of the mountainous escarpment are found in the stunning Drakensberg Mountains (dragon's back), where the tips of dragon's back exceeds heights of 3,050m. A narrow strip of low-lying land along the coast. South Africa's extra-territorial holdings include: Robben Island, Dassen Island, and Bird Island in the Atlantic Ocean, and Prince Edward Island and Marion Island about 1 920 kilometres southeast of Cape Town in the Indian Ocean. South Africa is divided into 9 provinces: Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and the Free State. South Africas administrative capital is Pretoria (Gauteng) and its legislative capital and largest city is Cape Town in the Western Cape. The judicial capital is Bloemfontein in the Free State. The southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas, located in the Western Cape Province about 161 km southeast of the Cape of Good Hope. http://www.factmonster.com

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eW/FS/WE/001

The water environment


Physiography: Geology

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South Africa has a long and complex geological history which goes back some 3.7 billion years, and the country is blessed with an amazing array of mineral resources of various ages. South Africa ranks second only to the United States in production of the greatest variety of mineral commodities in the world. Only two strategic minerals are not available in adequate amounts in the country: crude oil and commercially viable bauxite, the principal ore of aluminium. The more than 65 mineral commodities known to occur within South Africa continue to be vital for the growth of the countrys economy. http://www.geotimes/org

South Africa not only hosts some of the oldest rocks in the world, (source of South Africas great mineral wealth) but also some of the oldest known fossils. The famous Bushveld Complex, the earths largest ore deposit, hosts the largest platinum, chromium and vanadium deposits in the world. http://www.gssa.org.za/ Large sedimentary basins of the Kaapvaal Craton hold some of South Africas richest mineral resources. It is also the keystone on and around which the rest of the geological formations of South Africa have developed. It underlies the north eastern part of the country. It is made up largely of Archean gneisses and granitoids, along with lesser volumes of metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks known as greenstone belts the best known of which is the Barberton greenstone belt, from which more than 10.93 million ounces of gold have been produced.
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The Premier diamond pipe near Pretoria is the oldest productive diamond-bearing kimberlite in South Africa; it was intruded into the Kaapvaal Craton 1.3 billion years ago. The Venetia kimberlites, from which the largest quantities of diamonds in South Africa are currently produced, are significantly younger at 560 million years old, while the bulk of the productive kimberlites were emplaced less than 200 million years ago, during the breakup of Gondwanaland. It is widely believed that for kimberlites to host diamonds, and bring them to the surface, they must be intruded at great depths into thick, stable crustal zones, such as the Kaapvaal Craton. The auriferous (gold-containing) sedimentary strata of the Witwatersrand Supergroup are confined to a basin south of Johannesburg, measuring some 320 kilometers by 160 kilometers, and were deposited between about 3.1 and 2.7 billion years ago. The reefs vary widely, but the majority are conglomerate, with pebbles of quartz and chert in a matrix of quartz grains, silicate and various sulphides, mainly pyrite. They range from thin, small-pebble reefs, often with great lateral extent, to thick conglomerate. Between 2.6 and 2.1 billion years ago, infilling of the Transvaal and Griqualand West basins occurred. The rocks contained in these basins include enormous resources of dolomite and limestone, along with more than three-quarters of the worlds exploitable manganese, substantial deposits of banded iron formation and some lead/zinc deposits. Andalusite (containing aluminium and silicate) mineralization occurs in the pelitic strata of the Transvaal basin, where they fall within the metamorphic aureole of the Bushveld Complex that intruded the Transvaal Supergroup sediments about 2,050 million years ago. This complex is the worlds largest known layered intrusion, with an estimated aerial extent of 66,000 square kilometers. At its base is a suite of mafic (blend of magnesium and iron) and ultramafic rocks that hosts more than half of Earths chrome ore and platinum-group metals (PGM), as well as significant deposits of vanadium, iron, titanium, copper and nickel. Its overlying acidic rocks contain fluorspar, tin and copper mineralization. A substantial amount of black norite and red syenite of the Bushveld Complex is quarried as building and monumental stone.

Copper refinery

The vast Karoo basin, which covers about two-thirds of South Africa, hosts the fluviodeltaic sediments and coals of the extensive Carboniferous-age Ecca Group. These coal horizons are actively exploited mainly in the northern and eastern parts of the basin and provide the main source of energy for South Africa.
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