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Acid mine drainage in Mpumalanga
The effects of drought
Ageing neglected urban infrastructure discharging raw sewage into natural environment
Schmutzdecke on a slow sand filter
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Centre in Water Research and Development (CIWaRD)

Globally, water resources are under threat. Increased urbanisation, increased industrialisation, increasing populations, climate change and pollution all have deleterious effects on water as a resource. Concomitant with the threat are a number of confounding factors: globally there is a scarcity of skilled people, especially in the water space. Climate change is having a large impact not only on the location of rainfall, but also in the intensity of rainfall. And across much of the world, the last few years have seen some of the worst droughts in recent history, especially in Southern Africa, a problem which is exacerbated by aging urban infrastructure. 

This presents a myriad of complex, wicked, interconnected problems, which cannot be solved through the effort of one discipline alone. It requires a truly enmeshed research community to effectively understand and solve our new water challenges. These challenges occur against a backdrop of peak population, increasing inequality, dwindling natural resources and climate change.

Director: Associate Professor Craig Sheridan, MIChemE, Pr. Eng. Deputy Director: Professor Chris Curtis