Project aims to rehabilitate ecological infrastructure of the Baynespruit stream to improve water quality,agricultural lands,food security
The Baynespruit stream is approximately nine kilometers in length, its headwaters can be found in the residential area of Northdale and joining the Msunduzi River east of the residential suburb of Sobantu. The Baynespruit is regarded as a small tributary of the Msunduzi River and forms part of the Pietermaritzburg urban catchment, it provides significantly to the provision and quality of water within the catchment. The project attempts to enhance water quality in the Baynespruit stream by implementing projects to improve ecological infrastructure. The Msunduzi municipality is a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding arising from a regional initiative called Umgeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership and the Baynespruit project is the contribution of this municipality to improving water quality and quantity within the Umgeni Catchment area. With prevailing water crisis which South Africa faces it is appropriate to focus efforts onto the conservation of natural water resources and maintenance of their ecological integrity. Subsequently it can be suggested that the alternative means by which potable water from sanitation processes can be socially unacceptable and prohibitively expensive. Thus the reasonable solution to address water and sanitation challenges is to restore and manage existing ecological infrastructure.
What actions do you propose?
Environmental Awareness and Training
The project will facilitate and environmental awareness and training with industrial institutions along the Baynespruit stream about the importance of good functioning ecological infrastructure and the importance of restoration of the catchment system. The environmental training will target the management, general staff within industries. The environmental awareness programme will also encourage industries to initiate green infrastructure projects such as green roofing to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions or as air pollution mitigation with plants.
Storm Water Management Plan
The project intends to address the storm water management in the catchment through the rehabilitation of ecological infrastructure such as the creation of floating wetlands and installation of rain water harvesting tanks throughout the catchment in suitable areas as determined by a preliminary study of the Baynespruit area.
Developing an action plan which outlines the engineering designs and cost analysis for the rehabilitation of the existing wetlands, new wetlands, key constrained areas and areas of opportunity along the length of the Baynespruit stream where wetlands can be rehabilitated and constructed, erosion and sediment build –up can be reduced, where riparian forests can be established with appropriate suggested species and where hard built engineering and construction work of gabions might be appropriate for stream bank stabilization.
Removal of Alien Invasive Plants
Develop and implement an alien invasive species management plan for the Baynespruit catchment.
Who will take these actions?
· Local Government
To provide environmental awareness and training to industries and providing support to green initiatives by industries and communities.
Actively engage with local authorities and develop strategies and programmes that promote sustainable land management.
Employ local people to remove alien invasive plant species.
To get commit management and staff to attend environmental workshops. Implement environmental friendly initiatives and comply with local environmental standards and guidelines.
Actively engage with local authorities and develop strategies and programmes to reduce or reduce littering and the illegal discharge of effluent waste.
· Business sector
To provide financial support to green initiatives within the city and to practically implement green building guidelines and other local environmental plans.
· Local schools and communities
To empower the students and apply the information acquired from environmental awareness and adopt environmental plans for the schools aligned to their daily operations.
To independently monitor the water quality of the Baynespruit stream on various reaches, on-going monitoring of water quality will encourage custodianship of the environment and its ecosystems.
Where will these actions be taken?
South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal specifically in Pietermaritzburg region along the Baynespruit catchment.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
The Baynespruit Rehabilitation project has implemented at least 75 indigenous trees planting although the impact cannot be quantified currently, the planted indigenous trees play a very important role in stabilizing the soil along the Baynespruit catchment and reducing emissions from industries located along the catchment. There are plans that more indigenous trees are planted as alien invasive plant species are being removed. The Baynespruit Rehabilitation project intends to assess the economic value of good functioning ecosystem goods and services. This will show the value of restoration of land for sustainable agricultural and environmental practices in contrast to current state of the land and activities.
What are other key benefits?
· Improvement of water quality and quantity
· Maintaining biodiversity (aquatic) and associated ecosystem goods and services.
· Increase water availability
· Improves economic opportunities
· Improve food security/ agricultural production
· Reduced land degradation
· Promotes and sustains biodiversity
What are the proposal’s costs?
Expenses for Alien Plant Clearing
R 260 081.00
Transportation and Petrol
R 160 251.00
R 49 140.00
R 50 430.00
R 71 850.00
Alien Plant Removal Report/ Plan
R 10 000
Expenses for Approvals
BA and EMPr
R 60 000
Registration of BAR
Water Use License includes Hydrogeological and Aquatic Studies
R 100 000
Wetland assessments by specialists
R 595 600
Expenses for Wetland Rehabilitation and Construction
Wetland rehabilitation and wetland construction to address storm water management
R 2 million
Expenses for Related work
Purchase and installation of flow monitors down sewer system along the Baynespruit
R 3 million
Purchase and installation of Jojo tanks for schools along the Baynespruit for rain water harvesting
R 80 000
Workshops and equipment for MiniSASS
Purchase of GPS’s for monitoring of sewers and storm water infrastructure
R 5 million and R96 240
Action Plan : Alien Invasive Clearing Programme for Msunduzi Owned Land
Alien Plant Infestation
The loss of agriculturally productive land and natural resources
The loss of ecosystem goods and services and associated biodiversity
Tasks: Update Alien Plant Mapping
Reduce land degradation
Increase water availability
Timing: Short term
Action Plan : Wetland Functionality Assessment
Storm water management
Loss in ecosystem goods and services and associated biodiversity; results in a decline in social and economic conditions
Tasks: Undertake a Wetland Health Assessment
Undertake a Wetland Goods and Services Assessment
Improve water quality and quantity; maintain biodiversity and associated ecosystem goods and services.
Timing: Medium term
Action Plan : Ecosystems goods and services assessment
The unequal distribution of wealth and resources, and resulting poverty, is resulting in environmentally harmful practices which are causing environmental and resource degradation
The increased demand for development within the Msunduzi area, as a result of its strategic location within the primary Provincial development corridor and being established as the Provincial capital, is placing pressure on the optimal use of land and the provision of sustainable services and infrastructure
Tasks: Identify priority systems for valuations such as wetlands and grasslands or alternatively the systems of open space identified in the environmental services plan
Identify goods and services associated with the systems
Collect necessary information and mapping i.e. extent of ecosystems, ecosystems function and condition
Value of Ecosystem goods and services is included in development planning.
Timing: Short-medium term