In South Africa 98% of all potential raw water sources are already allocated for use. Increasing urbanisation and demand for safe sanitation place heavy demands on our water resources. The Department of Water & Sanitation estimates that R7-billion in potable water is lost annually. That amounts to 36% of the clean drinking water supply!
Dr Jo Barnes, epidemiologist and senior lecturer at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Faculty of Health Sciences, was the guest speaker at the Winelands Chapter of Mensa SA in Somerset West last month.
Dr Barnes endeavours to drive actions and create awareness about the growing problem of urban water pollution, sanitation and related health issues through her research and community interaction, and as speaker on many public forums.
She explored the current water shortage in her presentation:
Dr Barnes holds degrees in mathematics, epidemiology and community health. Her major research interests are water-related diseases, water pollution, and sanitation, and she has extensive knowledge of the river water quality in the area, as well as pollution sources. She is a recipient of the Order of the Disa of the Western Cape Province, and is an associate of the SU Water Institute.