National Water Week
 

National Water Week is an awareness week campaign from the 21 – 27 March, led by the Department of Water and Sanitation which serves as a powerful campaign mechanism re-iterating the value of water, the need for sustainable management of this scarce resource and the role water plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.

The theme of the World Water Day/Week 2022 is ‘Groundwater – making the invisible, visible’. This campaign aims to raise awareness on water conservation, sustainability, climate change and other matters.

JCPZ is celebrating Water Week 2022 by hosting a various exhibitors, a clean-up campaign and testing of water of waterbodies in Region A, Rabie Ridge on the 24th March 2022

 DID YOU KNOW?

Groundwater provides almost half of all drinking water on earth, approximately 40% of water used in irrigation and about one third of the supply required by industries. Groundwater does not only sustain eco-systems; it is also an important factor in climate change adaption.


SCHOOLS & NGO’s/CBO’s ENVIRONMENTAL COMPETITION
 

Click here to download entry forms


JCPZ celebrates World Wetlands Month

click here to view the wetlands month poster


Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) Unit

Integrated Catchment Management is defined as a comprehensive approach that aligns multiple objectives in a river basin across different spatial scales and temporal dimension. It is a form of co-management approach with various stakeholders in an area to be able to deliver locally determined goals.

ICM principles for good practice (Bissette et al. 2009) state the following:

  • Integration – common issues are identified
  • Collaboration – stakeholders agree on actions/goals
  • Adaptation – planning process can respond to change

The above takes into consideration integrated aquatic resource management, transitional aquatic management, protection actions against undesirable effects on ecological sensitive areas and lastly the prevention, control or eradication of introduced species.
 

Introduction in JCPZ Context

The Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) Unit is under Ecosystems Enhancement and Open Space Management Department (EOD). ICM is responsible for management and maintenance of all the water bodies across the City of Johannesburg along the Jukskei and Klip river/Klipspruit. Catchment ICM oversees the integrated catchment management which covers the management and maintenance of water courses through the implementation of the following operational activities:

  • Reeds control/ Wetlands rehabilitation: Wetland management plays a critical role flood control, shelter for biodiversity, breeding habitat for aquatic animals and birds
  • Aquatic / Terrestrial alien plant control: Alien plants control plays a critical role on a better quality of life and enjoyment whilst providing for the ecosystem, improving ecological and biological functioning, security and biodiversity
  • River trails maintenance:  assist with improving aesthetic, reduces fire hazard, increase the vigour of grass, etc.

Therefore, ICM key delivery focus areas include the following:

Urban impoundment management (Bio-Aquatic Services)

Improve photosynthesis, increase water oxygen levels, increase abundance of aquatic macro invertebrates, reduce siltation, etc.

Management of ecological areas outside protected areas (Ecological Services)

Improves quality of life based on: well managed natural built environment, provision of ecological goods and service: clean and healthier river systems

Invasive Alien Plants

Invasive plant species are those plant species that have been introduced into an area outside their normal distribution (South Africa), either by accident (unintentional) or on purpose (intentional) and have colonised or invaded their new home, threatening biological diversity, ecosystems, habitats and human wellbeing.    

Increased human and plant mobility has contributed significantly to the introduction of exotic plants into South Africa. These alien and invasive plants pose a severe threat to plant and animal diversity, water use and ecosystem integrity. The spread of these plant species (both intentionally and unintentionally) is a good example of the lack of understanding of ecosystem processes that has been a major cause of environmental degradation.  

Sensitive and vulnerable, highly dynamic or stressed ecosystems such as coastal shores, estuaries, wetlands, grasslands and open savannah require specific attention in environmental management and planning procedures, especially where they are subjected to significant human resource usage and development pressures.  

Types of alien invasive plants found in Johannesburg

Invasive species are controlled by the National Environmental Management; Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act no. 10 of 2004) – Alien and Invasive Species (AIS) Regulations which became law on 1 October 2014.

Invasive species are divided into four categories:

Category 1a: Invasive species which must be combated and eradicated. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.

Category 1b: Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.

Category 2: Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out restricted activity. Category 2 species include commercially important species such as pine, wattle and gum trees. Plants in riparian areas are Cat 1b.

Category 3: Invasive species which may remain in prescribed areas or provinces. Further planting, propagation or trade is however prohibited. Plants in riparian areas are Cat 1b.

 

No.

Species

Common Name

Category

Legal Status

1

Acacia Dealbata

Silver Wattle

1b plants in riparian areas

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed.

2

Acacia Mearnsii

Black Wattle

1b plants in riparian areas

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

3

Acacia Melanoxylon

Australian Blackwood

2

: Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out restricted activity

4

Araujia Sericifera

Moth Catcher

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

5

Arundo Donax

Giant reed, Spanish reed

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

6

Campuloclinium Macrocephalum

Pompom Weed

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

7

Cereus Hexagonus

Queen of the Night

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

8

Cereus Hildmannianus

Queen of the Night

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

9

Cereus Jamacaru

Queen of the Night

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

10

Cestrum Laevigatum

Inkberry

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

11

Cortaderia Jubata

Pampas Grass

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

12

Cortaderia Selloana

Pampas Grass

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

13

Datura Ferox

Large Thorn Apple

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

14

Datura Stramonium

Common Thorn Apple

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

15

Eichhornia Crassipes

Water Hyacinth

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

16

Eucalyptus Grandis

Saligna Gum

1b riparian areas, protected areas, Listed Ecosystem

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

17

Ipomoea Alba

Moonflower

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

18

Iris Pseudacorus

Yellow Flag

1a

Invasive species which must be combated and eradicated

19

Lantana

Lantana, Tickberry, Cherry Pie

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

20

Melia Azedarach

Seringa

1b
3 in urban areas

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

21

Nymphaea Mexicana

Yellow Water Lilies

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

22

Opuntia Microdasys

Yellow Bunny-Ears, Teddy-Bear Cactus

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

23

Pennisetum Clandestinum

Kikuyu Grass

1b in protected areas and wetlands

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

24

Pinus Patula

Patula Pine

2

: : Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out restricted activity

25

Pinus Radiata

Radiata Pine, Montery Pine

1b elsewhere
2 for plantations and wind-rows

: Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out restricted activity

26

Populus Canescens

Grey Poplar, Matchwood Poplar

2

Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out restricted activity

27

Ricinus Communis

Castor-oil Plant

2

Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out restricted activity

28

Robinia Pseudoacacia

Black Locust

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

29

Rubus Ellipticus

Himalayan Raspberry

1a

Invasive species which must be combated and eradicated

30

Salvinia Molesta

Kariba weed, Salvinia

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

31

Solanum Mauritianum

Bugweed

1b

Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed

 
Impact and Benefits of ICM are as follow:
  • Strengthening relations with the relevant stakeholders and adjacent communities
  • Improvement of intergovernmental relations (locally, provincially and national)
  • Illegal dumping sites are cleared and pest infestation such as rodents is discouraged.
  • Healthy and safe environments are created.
 

What are wetlands?

The Ramsar Convention explains wetlands as any land or area that has water either permanently or seasonally, as well as beaches and shallow coastal areas, thus covering all inland wetlands like ponds and marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and coral reefs.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally on 2 February to mark the date of the adoption on the Convention on Wetlands that took place on the same date in 1971 in Ramsar off the Caspian Sea.

The theme for this year is aligned with the new Sustainable Development Goals and the important role wetlands play in our future as human beings.
 

Benefits of wetlands and humans:

  • Wetlands produce rice and this source of food is the staple diet of nearly 3 billion people - half the world's population. It is grown in wetlands across Asia and west Africa.
  • We use a wealth of natural products from wetlands, including fish and shellfish, blueberries, cranberries, timber and wild rice.
  • Protecting wetlands can protect our safety and welfare as humans because wetlands safe guard us from storms and they store flood water
  • Some medicines are derived from wetland soils and plants
 

Benefits of wetlands and the environment:

  • Wetland ecosystems are often undervalued and yet they provide a range of products derived from freshwater habitats.
  • These complex habitats act as giant sponges, soaking up rainfall and slowly releasing it over time.
  • Wetlands are like highly efficient sewage treatment works, absorbing chemicals, filtering pollutants and sediments, breaking down suspended solids and neutralising harmful bacteria.
  • Many species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians rely on wetland habitat for breeding, foraging, and cover. The special wetland conditions provide unique habitat for species that cannot survive elsewhere.
 

Characteristics of wetlands

  • The permanence and seasonality of their moisture regime
  • Permanent wetlands are mostly located near open water bodies such as lakes and rivers.
  • Permanent wetlands consisting of papyrus and other sedges, reeds, and floating plants.
  • A significant share of seasonal wetlands is used for crops.
  • The economic and subsistence uses of wetlands vary with land cover and whether they are seasonal or permanent.
 

Types of wetlands found in SA

  • Coastal wetlands
  • Shallow lakes and ponds
  • Marches and swamps
 

Threats to wetlands

  • Overutilization of wetlands resources
  • Pollution
  • Uncontrolled agriculture
  • Uncontrolled burning
  • Construction of dams, embankments and walls in wetlands
  • Development e.g. building of houses or roads
  • Mining activities e.g. sand and minerals mining
  • Spillage or discharge of chemicals, waste water and raw sewer into the wetland
  • Drainage of water for irrigation purposes
  • Illegal dumping on wetlands
 

How to conserve wetlands

  • Do not dump waste/rubble in wetlands
  • Adopt a wetland stream, maintain and monitor it.
  • Communities and schools must be custodians of wetlands by being vigilant against any element that could threaten their existence
  • Be involved in education, protection and restoration of wetlands
  • Refrain/discourage/speak out against actions harmful to the wetlands
  • As a school adopt a stream and constantly monitor pollution
  • Clean up wetlands near you
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