CSIR at the World Water Forum

first_imgThe Orange River is one of South Africa’smajor water sources. (Image: GraemeWilliams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com.For more photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusThe Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will feature prominently at the World Water Forum in Istanbul this month, with a number of the organisation’s groundbreaking research projects going on show. Top South African water scientists will also take part in discussions and presentations.CSIR group executive Khungeka Njobe is excited about the organisation’s participation in the fifth edition of the World Water Forum (WWF5), particularly as South Africa is on the shortlist to host the next event.“South Africa is competing against France and Canada to host WWF6 in 2012,” she said. “We will be using this opportunity to share with the global water community our progressive legislative and policy framework and world-class research. The Department of Water Affairs is leading the bid process, but the CSIR has a critical role to play in demonstrating the country’s leadership in water research.”The host for 2012 will be announced during the forthcoming session. Should South Africa be awarded the sixth World Water Forum, it will be a major coup for the southern hemisphere, which has never had the chance to host the event. The country’s bid is centred on Durban, which has the infrastructure and facilities to host an event of this magnitude.The 2012 World Water Forum in South Africa will mean that water problems relevant to sub-Saharan Africa will come under the global spotlight, and that the Southern African Development Community region will be placed on the global water map. The event will give Africa the chance to become a valued contributor to the water-related issues of the world, rather than merely a recipient of donor aid and professional advice.Top-level representationCSIR projects on display at the Forum include acid mine drainage methodologies, human health projects, rural service delivery, and programmes focusing on water for growth and development. Many of these projects fall under the CSIR Built Environment and CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment sectors.CSIR representatives at WWF5 include engineer Dr Kevin Wall, CSIR water resources manager Marius Claassen and researcher Renias Dube. Wall is also scheduled to present a paper on South Africa’s strategy for water services asset management, and the three scientists will assist Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Lindiwe Hendricks during the week-long event. Hendricks will host a round table involving her ministerial counterparts from around the world.The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s Water for Growth and Development programme, one of the projects on show in Istanbul, is in the running for the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, one of three prestigious water-related awards up for grabs.The other two awards are the Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Water Prize, and the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize.The King Hassan prize, worth R1-million (US$100 000), is for individuals or organisations that have made outstanding contributions in various aspects of water resources, whether scientific, economic, technical, environmental, social, institutional, cultural or political.The Kyoto prize is worth R280 000 ($28 000) and acknowledges grassroots-level activities that work towards addressing critical water needs of communities and regions. The Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Water Prize is for journalistic excellence in the coverage of water issues. A prize of R264 000 (€20 000) each will be awarded to two journalists.Global collaboration on water problemsAccording to the World Water Council, 1.1-billion people around the world live without clean drinking water, and 2.6-billion people lack adequate sanitation. Poor access to safe water increases child mortality by up to 20 times, and in areas not served by usable water 3 900 children die every day from water-borne diseases.The World Water Forum is the largest water-related event in the world and aims to facilitate global collaboration on these critical water problems. The forum is organised by the World Water Council and takes place every three years, providing an ideal platform for policy-makers from all over the world to press for greater political commitment to and higher priority for water management strategies.The 2009 forum takes place in March in Istanbul, Turkey, after successful events in Mexico (2006), Kyoto (2003), The Hague (2000), and Marrakech (1997). This year’s theme is “Bridging Divides for Water” and is a reference to the location – Istanbul stands at the cross-roads of Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa – as well as the intent of providing a bridge between the developed and developing worlds.There are a number of side events associated with the main forum, among them the World Water Forum Expo and Water Fair, the Global Water Education Village, and the Youth World Water Forum.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Useful linksWorld Water ForumWorld Water Forum – Facebook pageWorld Water CouncilDepartment of Water Affairs and ForestryWater for Growth and Development (pdf)last_img read more

Cato Institute chairman Bob Levy explains the Supreme Court to AFF-Atlanta

first_imgOn Monday, August 13, 2012, the Atlanta chapter of America’s Future Foundation was joined by Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute and author of the book The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom.Dr. Levy began his presentation by contrasting conservative, liberal, and libertarian constitutional perspectives, each of which leads to very different conclusions as to the proper role of government. He then detailed the importance of viewing our political system through the prism of the 9th and 10th Amendments.As Dr. Levy explained, “If you understand the concepts of the 9th and 10th Amendments then you grasp the whole structure of the federal constitution.”Dr. Levy then explored several modern Supreme Court cases that have expanded the power of the federal government and restrained the rights of individuals. During his discussion of Helvering v. Davis (1937)–a case centered on Congress’s ability to tax in order to provide for the general welfare, Social Security specifically–Levy explained that the Supreme Court effectively granted the federal government general, rather than enumerated powers. This decision legitimized expansive federal welfare programs and was instrumental in the ruling to uphold President Obama’s health care legislation on the grounds of Congress’s taxing power.While Helvering v. Davis ushered in a redistributive government, Dr. Levy maintained that it was Wickard v. Filburn (1942) that gave the government the power to regulate nearly anything under the rubric of the Commerce Clause, including activities that are neither interstate nor commerce.Dr. Levy corrected a few common misrepresentations of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) and explained how this decision rightly overturned two key restrictions to political speech from McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003).Finally, Dr. Levy explored the case of Kelo v. City of New London (2005), which involved the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner if there was public benefit.Although the Supreme Court cases shared by Dr. Levy on Monday are not well known to most Americans, they have all had a tremendous impact on our individual liberty. During his closing thoughts, Dr. Levy stressed the importance of vigilant courts willing to “bind the legislative and executive branches with the chains of the constitution” if we hope to preserve liberty.Click here to listen to audio from the event (MP3).– By Jason Riddle, Chairman, AFF-Atlantalast_img read more

Federer beats Djokovic to win seventh Dubai title

first_imgDefending champion Roger Federer won his seventh Dubai Championships title and second of the year in defeating top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday.This marked the seventh consecutive year – 11th time in 13 years – that Federer or Djokovic won this title. The only other tournaments Federer won seven times are Wimbledon, and Halle, Germany, both on grass.”Ever since I won here the first time, I fell in love with the tournament,” Federer said. “The seventh is quite unbelievable. It sounds pretty crazy to me.”Federer, who has 84 career titles, won in Brisbane, Australia, in January.”He deserved it,” Djokovic said. “I expected that from him.”I knew he was going to chip and charge, come to the net, serve and volley.”The 5,000-seat stadium was sold out, but many more people were standing around at the top. They were treated to a high-caliber match. Federer needed five more aces to become just the fourth player since 1991 to serve 9,000 career aces. He served 12 in the final.He joined Goran Ivanisevic (10,183), Ivo Karlovic (9,375), and Andy Roddick (9,074) in cracking the 9,000 aces mark.”I even remember which one it was because I was counting them,” Federer said. “It was one of the swinger wides.”It’s nice to get past that so I don’t have to think about it ever again, or until the next thousand or so.”Federer saved all seven break points he faced, while Djokovic lost both break points he faced. Djokovic sailed a backhand long on break point in the eighth game of the first set.advertisementIn the second set, Djokovic had a 40-0 lead in the 11th game, but watched Federer rebound to break his serve with an inside out forehand crosscourt winner.”The first set belonged to me, but the second set belonged to him more, really,” Federer said. “It was a huge game at 5-all, 40-love for him.”I crawled my way back into that game and ended up breaking him,” Federer added. “That was big but the break points I saved were even bigger.”last_img read more