Toxic spill sparks panic buying of bottled water in China

27 January 2012

This week’s mining industry spill of a trace metal into a river in southern China sparked off a mass demand for bottled water!

Pollution in China’s southern region of Guangxi sparked panic buying of bottled water this week after a mining firm dumped toxic cadmium into a river, state media said yesterday.  Residents in Liuzhou city filled shopping carts with boxes of bottled water, as the government sought to reassure people that the drinking water supply was safe, Shanghai’s Oriental Morning Post reported. Read more »

The environmental risks of reliance on coal

24 January 2012

Droplets has previously commented on the narrow-sightedness of reliance on coal as an energy source.  Of course then came the incident in Japan and gave the nuclear fear-mongers more ammunition.  Coal mining is also environmentally-dangerous, very dangerous in fact. Read more »

P is for (water quality) Peril

24 January 2012

The dangers of ignoring water quality issues are starting to permeate wider.  Why does South Africa continue to ignore the obvious? – or has willful ignorance become a societal characteristic of our nation now?  Sue Blaine writes:

Poor-quality water “was of limited use and added to society’s economic burden through treatment costs and secondary impacts” on the economy, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said in its a 2011 report on water in South Africa. Read more »

Bonny in the Breede…

24 January 2012

Bonny assisting with fieldwork!


22 January 2012

Natasha von Hochlandheide (Bonny): 29.3.2001-21.1.2012.

In pursuit of medical care that has a personality

22 January 2012

Goodbye Bonny! RIP. Thanks for being such a good friend!

Ok, its time for a personal rant again:

When I was growing up, our General Practitioner was always the same guy.  Morris Seeff was there all year round, except for the two weeks he took leave, during which time his partner, Dr Green was available.  Dr Seeff knew the whole family and, I believe, his long association with all of us aided his ability to diagnose, make recommendations and generally provide an exceptional level of family medical care.  This without cellphones, car phones or any of the modern aids that make doctors lives easier!  He was simply always there!

Sadly, unless you live in a small town, this closeness has all but disappeared.  Medical care has taken on the sterile personality of banking – you never see the same person twice!  In my own family’s three decades of development since our children were born, we have benefited from the services of an exceptional GP, who has excellent diagnostic ability. Sadly, he is moving into part-time specialization, which I do not begrudge him for a second, but it means that we now fall into the “see whoever is available” realm of mass-market medicine. Read more »

Lake Management has Many Devils in the Detail

19 January 2012

Alum dosing trials underway in mesocosm enclosures (Photo: Bill Harding)

Recent studies in Ontario have shown that noxious, problematical algal blooms are on the increase, not only in eutrophic waters, but also in lakes where phosphorus levels are low or declining (it doesn’t take much to cause an algal bloom by the way).  If nothing else, these findings illustrate that while there are some generic issues to lake management, lake-specific details are needed to guide any rehabilitation protocols. Read more »

R25 Billion misappropriated/stolen/lost ????

19 January 2012

Guideline for the South African Reserve Bank perhaps??

How much worse is the lack of respect for South Africa, as evidenced by how elected and appointed officials and bureaucrats handle the countries monetary resources that are entrusted to them, going to get?? Read more »

Swaziland’s pretty wet and SA likely to get wetter

18 January 2012

The recent heavy rains in the north-east have flooded 22 rivers in Swaziland, with the rains driven by the tropical cyclone that formed over Mozambique at the weekend.

Without fear of breaching the amended Weather Services Secrecy Act, Droplets can relay that South Africa may experience odd weather during February, with a general tendency towards dampness:

South Africans in most parts of the country should prepare themselves for heavy rain and “strange weather” in February, March and April, the South African Weather Service says.

In addition, winter will begin earlier than usual.

The only regions that will receive much less rain over these three months are the central and northwestern parts of Limpopo, the northwestern parts of Mpumalanga and the Southern Cape, said Cobus Olivier, scientist and long-term forecaster at the SA Weather Service.

Down here in Cape Town, a wetter February would be a blessing!

New Zealand urges attention to water quality issues!

18 January 2012

NEW ZEALAND: As with many places, rivers in New Zealand are threatened by too little water and too much pollution: Read more »