27 October 2005The first water from the Berg Water Project near Franschhoek will flow through Cape Town’s taps in two years’ time, 18 years after the project was first mooted.The project will yield about 81-million cubic metres annually by the end of 2007, an 18% increase in the yield of the Western Cape water system. The gross storage capacity of the dam will be 130-million cubic metres.Highest dam wall in South AfricaThe structure, currently about 30% complete, will boast the highest concrete-faced, rock-filled dam wall in South Africa. The dam wall, including its foundation, will be 70 metres high and 990 metres long.It is a unique project, says Mike Killick, the city of Cape Town’s head of bulk water resource and infrastructure planning.The debt raised to finance the project will be repaid by the implementing and funding agent, TCTA, through income from the sale of water to the city of Cape Town.In today’s terms the project will cost between R1.4-billion and R1.5-billion.Water savingsHowever, there is one condition: Capetonians will have to achieve a 20% water saving by 2010, a target that is well on track, says Killick.The project comprises a dam on the farm Skuifraam, about 6 kilometres outside Franschhoek, and a pumping scheme about 9 kilometres away. The project involves the erection of a dam wall on the Berg River and a supplement scheme, also on the Berg River, but downstream of the confluence of the Dwars River.The supplementary scheme includes pump stations and about 10 kilometres of pipelines to transfer water from the abstraction works in the Berg River to the dam and into the Western Cape water system.The process began in 1989, when the Department of Water Affairs and the city council initiated the Western Cape systems analysis, which looked at water available to the city, other local authorities and agriculture.The project is a good example of intergovernmental co-operation between the City of Cape Town, the national Department of Water Affairs and TCTA.Source: CITYWORKS Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Every farmer in Ohio is taking advantage of a great week of weather to make a big dent in harvest progress. Condit Farms in Delaware County is now close to 25% complete and after some disappointing corn yields, are finding a much better soybean crop. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins rode along to find out more about early harvest results in the first soybean Cab Cam of 2016.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I have always been curious about what goes through a person’s mind while shopping at the grocery store.In the past couple of weeks, I have read several articles regarding consumer surveys, gauging consumer wants and purchasing habits when at the grocery store. I shared one such article in my weekly online newsletter titled, “Informed Consumers Won’t Pay More For ‘Natural’.” In this experiment researchers at Arizona State University polled 663 beef eaters about their willingness to pay for steak labeled with different attributes, one of which being natural. Half of the participants were provided with the definition of natural and half were not.In summary, those who were provided the definition of “natural” were not willing to pay the extra price per pound for the natural label alone. However, those consumers who were not informed on the definition were willing to pay a premium for the product. This leads me to ask the following question: Are you an informed consumer?In case it wasn’t clear, and often it’s not, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service considers all fresh meat “natural.” However, beef that carries a “natural” label cannot contain any artificial flavors, coloring, chemical preservatives or other artificial ingredients. Additionally, natural products must not be more than “minimally processed.” Ground beef falls under the minimally processed umbrella, so it can be labeled natural.Label claims on food can be very confusing to consumers, and adding unnecessary information would only add to that confusion. Some additional label claims include: free range, pasture raised, antibiotic free, partially produced with genetic engineering and a whole list of others. While some of these statements accurately describe a product, they may also be misleading.Research tends to show that many consumers are not always informed with regards to claims on food labels. Another study from Oklahoma State University polled 1,000 consumers, of which 8 of 10 supported mandatory labeling of DNA on food products. This one leaves me scratching my head. I understand that most consumers probably receive little gain from understanding genetics and DNA, but I would sure hope that they understand that the vast majority of food comes from living organisms. Somewhere along the line it appears those folks removed from science and agriculture have forgotten that very simple, but important concept.Ilya Somin, in an editorial for the Washington Post, purposed the following label in the event that the government mandated a DNA label claim:WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.While I share this suggested label in good humor, it just goes to show the value of unbiased scientific research, which happens to be one of the guiding principles of the Extension system. Take some time to research some of the food labels of the various products that you purchase and become and informed consumer. There is a wealth of information on a food label, from nutrition, production practices, and marketing.