Director of elections at the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), Orette Fisher has rubbished claims that election equipment have been malfunctioning at polling stations across the island. It was reported that many persons across the island, who turned out to cast their votes, had to return home without doing so because lines were too long and election equipment had been malfunctioning. Candidates from both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP) have also been complaining of the slow voting process and that the electoral machines were malfunctioning. According to reports from the EOJ, as at 1:00p.m. over 500,000 persons had voted, which accounts for 31.54 per cent of the voting population. There are 1,824,412 electors on the voters’ list. Polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 5:00 p.m. EOJ said special accommodation will be made for voters who were in line before 5:00p.m. This will allow them to cast their vote.
For the second day, the defense team representing suspended National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Madam Matilda Parker and her comptroller, Christiana Kpabar Paeley, prevented the defendants from publicly responding to the charges levied against them by the government.They were arraigned before Judge Blamo Dixon yesterday to openly say whether or not they were guilty of duping the NPA of over US$800,000.Before they instructed their clients to stay tight-lipped, Parker and Paeley’s defense team embarrassed last Tuesday’s hearing by filing two separate motions on the day of the case, which restricted Judge Blamo Dixon of Criminal Court ‘C’ from further deliberating into the matter.In their request, they sought the court’s approval for government to make its evidence available to them and to allow Parker and Paeley to be separately tried. That request prompted Judge Dixon to suspend the case and reschedule it for hearing yesterday. The call for the separate trials was based on an alleged confession by Deneah M. Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise during interrogations by the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC).The defense team’s request was accepted by Judge Dixon, who later rescheduled the matter for hearing yesterday, to provide time for the State’s lawyers to produce their evidence.However, when prosecutors presented their evidence, which included an alleged Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the NPA management and Flomo for the provision of port security coordination of the International Information Ship Port Department, the defense team objected.When the final reports into the allegation of corruption at NPA regarding wreck and ISPS constituency as well as statements made by several individuals, including Madam Parker, during an interrogation by LACC, were turned over by Judge Dixon to the defense team to allow their clients to answer to their charges, a member of the team, Atty. Arthur Johnson, asked the court to give them more time to review them.That request was objected by the prosecution on grounds that it was intended to delay the matter. They then asked Judge Dixon to deny it.Judge Dixon reserved ruling into the request until Tuesday next week.Meanwhile, as Atty. Johnson was making his presentation to study the evidence yesterday, a huge crowd, including several former government officials and close relatives of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, cheered whenever Madam Parker’s lawyers said anything. They also booed whenever the prosecution uttered a word.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
TODAY Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Paramount Ranch off Cornell Road, Agoura Hills. Tickets $12 adults; $7 ages 10-17 and senior 65 and older; free under 10. Call (818) 382-4819 or see www.topangabanjofiddle.org. Arthritis walk, 9:30 a.m., registration starts at 8 a.m. at Warner Center Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. Call (818) 995-7378 or see www.arthritis.org. Prader-Willi Foundation walk, 10 a.m., Woodley Park, 6100 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys. Registration is $20; $50 for families or teams. Call (800) 400-9994 or see www.pwcf.org. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Cuban Music Festival, noon-7 p.m., Echo Park, Glendale Boulevard and Park Avenue, Los Angeles. See www.cubaculturefoundation.org. Calabasas Orchestra pops concert, 5 p.m., Calabasas Lake. Enter at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, 23400 Park Sorrento. Free. Call (818) 594-4011. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
But, as he prepared to face the same side in a league game at the Emirates, Guardiola is far more interested in the six victories that will make the English title a mathematical certainty for City.“We are fighting for the most important title of the season by far, the Premier League,” Guardiola told a news conference on Wednesday. “More important than the Champions League, more important than the FA Cup, Carabao (league) Cup. That is enough encouragement to be focused.“The next six fixtures are terrible in terms of quality of the opponents, and we have four games away and we still have to win six games.“When you think about Arsenal, you think about Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal and our away games — Stoke City playing (to avoid) relegation, going to Goodison Park (Everton) is always a tough game. We have a lot of tough games still to play and have to remain focused.”The Catalan coach has won a total of six titles to date in his productive managerial career — three in Spain with Barcelona and the same number of German league championships with Bayern Munich.– ‘Consistency’ –Now on course for his seventh league title in nine years of management in Europe’s top divisions, Guardiola has no doubt where his priorities lie.“The league is always the most difficult, a game every three days,” he said. “It shows how good you are over 11 months. “All the titles I have won, La Liga, Bundesliga, the league is the most difficult. “In the Carabao Cup we won two penalty (shoot-out) rounds, Claudio Bravo saved them or you could be out. That is a toss of a coin, sometimes good, sometimes bad. “The league is consistency, the players know that. They know exactly how important the league is for this club, for our futures. Of course we have to be focused, we know how tough it will be until the end of the season.”Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted he was happy to talk to the Football Association after his highly-publicised charge relating to wearing a yellow ribbon during Manchester City’s recent FA Cup defeat at third-tier Wigan Athletic.The 47-year-old was displaying the ribbon in support of four Catalans imprisoned in his homeland over issues relating to Catalan independence.Having issued Guardiola with two formal warnings in December, the FA have charged him with “wearing a political message”, although the City manager insists that, while he has yet to have direct contact with the authorities, he would be happy to talk to them.– ‘Belonging’ –“Of course I’m going to write a letter, explain my position,” he said. “I’m available for the FA absolutely, it’s no problem.”Guardiola also thanked City fans, some of whom wore yellow ribbons in support of their manager at Wembley in the League Cup Final.“It was a feeling of belonging, so I’m grateful for that initiative,” he said. “They don’t have to do it because it is another country but they did it. “That makes me happy, really happy because it helps people understand the situation, what’s going on with people in prison in Spain. I’m 100 percent grateful to them.”Guardiola will be without the injured Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling for Thursday’s visit to Arsenal, although he expects the latter to be available for Sunday’s home game with Chelsea or the Champions League return leg with Basel next week.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Pep Guardiola is most interested in the six victories that will make the English title a mathematical certainty for Manchester City © AFP/File / SEBASTIEN BOZONManchester, United Kingdom, Feb 28 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted the Premier League title is the most important trophy for his team to win this season, ahead of even potential Champions League success.The runaway Premier League leaders already have one piece of silverware in the bag, after winning the English League Cup Final in convincing fashion against Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.
Workers at the Mevagh Boatyard who will be featured on RnaGListeners across Donegal have plenty of great reasons to tune in to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta over Christmas with a wide range of special programmes being broadcast. Barrscéalta will broadcast their Christmas show live from Siopa Mhicí in Gaoth Dobhair on 11 December, and Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí will have his Rónán Beo @3 wrap party in the Gweedore Bar on 19 December at 3 pm.Postman Padraig Mac EamharcaighAs is Christmas tradition, an tAthair Brian Ó Fearraigh of #priestselfie fame, presents an atmospheric programme on Christmas morning, Réalta Órga Ríogacha, at 10 am with music, hymns, and Christmas thoughts. As Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair gears up for its first year, RnaG will bring us the best of the final Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy, with music from Maighréad and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill with Dáithí Sproule, Altan, Fidil, Máire Ní Bhraonáin, and more, on Christmas day at 6.30 pm. On 29 December Séamus Mac Géidigh will present a programme about Bád Chlós Mhíobhaigh, the Mevagh Boatyard, built by the Congest Districts Board and opened in 1910. We will hear from some of those who worked there about its importance for the area, and for the fishing industry in the county. On 30 December at 11 am, we will hear a special programme about Donegal and the First World War. It is estimated that up to 5,000 people from Donegal fought in the First World War, and 674 of them were killed. In this programme, historians Dr Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh and Niall Mac Fhionnghaile, will share their knowledge on the subject with us, in particular the story of Canon Mac Giolla Chearra, a chaplain in the war who was later Parish Priest in Gort an Choirce. Listeners will get a second chance to hear programmes from the series An Lá seo Romham over Christmas, presented by Dónall Mac Ruairí, where he spends a day with people working in different areas to learn about their lives. The programmes will be broadcast at 1.30 pm from 29 December to 2 January, and will include programmes with Muiris Conchubhair Beag Ó Gallchóir, a member of the fire service in Gaoth Dobhair, lorry driver Liam Mac Aoidh, an eventful night out with taxi man Charlie Mac Mac Pháidín, and a day doing the rounds with Pádraig Mac Eamharcaigh, postman for Gaoth Dobhair. Áine Ní Churráin will bring us a special programme about Coláiste Loch Súilí in Glenvar on 30 December at 2 pm. Tune in on 31 December at 11 am, when Fr. Seán Ó Gallchóir will discuss the tenure of Jim McGuinness as Donegal football manager, and what the future holds under the stewardship of Rory Gallagher. For a full list of Christmas programme highlights, see www.rte.ie/rnagBUMPER DONEGAL CHRISTMAS LINED UP FOR RnaG was last modified: December 3rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CHristmasdonegalradioRnaG
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Speed, speed and more speed,” St. Paul coach Marijon Ancich said about the Knights. He didn’t dwell on their size, their number of major college prospects or their depth, figuring those are common knowledge. Notre Dame (6-0, 1-0) is led by quarterback Garrett Green, a senior who just returned from a thumb injury that had limited his playing time to defense. The 6-foot-2, 202-pound speedster has rushed for 364 yards (10.1 ypc) and passed for 387 (26 for 41, 3 TDs, 2 interceptions). In the Knights’ 45-20 win over Westlake, Green rushed for 197 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries, including a 58-yard scoring dash. Rodney Glass, another speedster, tops the Knights’ ground game with 793 yards on 90 carries (8.8 ypc) and 13 touchdowns. “They have a multitude of weapons,” Ancich said. “Our defense will have its hands full.” St. Paul (3-3, 0-1) will counter with junior running back Nicolas Grigsby, a 5-11, 180-pounder who has 831 yards and nine touchdowns on 107 carries. He has taken on added responsibility for the offense as the Swordsmen’s passing game struggled in the loss to St. Francis. “We know they’ll come after (QB Pete Gonzalez),” Ancich said. “We’ll have to pass block better and protect him if we want to do anything through the air.” Gonzalez, a 5-8, 170-pound has completed 38 of 64 passes for 611 yards and three touchdowns. That includes, however, a 2-for-12 outing good for 5 yards against St. Francis. Prior to that, he had been completing 69 percent of his passes. — Roger Murray can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046, or by e-mail at email@example.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! To many observers, it may appear St. Paul High School’s football team is jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Truth be told, it probably is. The Swordsmen played valiantly, if not futilely, in last week’s 17-7 loss to St. Francis in their Mission League opener. St. Francis was unbeaten and ranked No. 3 in the CIF-SS Division III poll. Tonight, St. Paul plays host to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in Division III.
Dozens of homes and businesses were left in darkness after a power cut in St Johnston this evening.The power initially weakened after 7pm before completely going.However partial power has returned to the area. The ESB is working to restore power fully.Donegal village left in darkness after power cut was last modified: October 9th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
What technology would an extra-terrestrial intelligence use to communicate with us? For fifty years, the search has presumed that an ET would use radio waves to announce “we’re here.” Not a good idea, says a professor of computer and electrical engineering at Rutgers. He thinks investors on distant planets would put their money not on radio commercials, but books. It’s not often that a topic as speculative as SETI gets coverage in elite science journals, but the ideas of Christopher Rose made the cover of Nature this week.1 Basically, he and Gregory Wright feel it is much more energy efficient to inscribe messages instead of broadcasting them. This has led to a flurry of clever headlines in the news media: such as, “ET, don’t phone home; drop a line instead” on EurekAlert, and “ET Phone Home? Try Writing,” on MSNBC News. The BBC News, however, suggests that the new ideas may have been stimulated by the silence (see 08/13/2004 headline); “A recent radio search of 800 stars showed no sign of a signal from ET,” it says. Woodruff T. Sullivan, summarizing the new view in the same issue of Nature2, explains the authors’ energy analysis of communication methods:Unless the messages are short or the extraterrestrials are nearby, this ‘write’ strategy requires less energy per bit of transmitted information than the ‘radiate’ strategy does. Cone-shaped beams of radiation necessarily grow in size as they travel outwards, meaning that the great majority of the energy is wasted, even if some of it hits the intended target. A package, on the other hand, is not ‘diluted’ as it travels across space…, presuming that it’s correctly aimed at its desired destination. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Radiation only has an advantage for short messages; otherwise, inscriptions are superior, Rose and Wright argue. EurekAlert elaborates:In addition, Rose says, when waves pass a particular point, they’ve passed it for good. Potential recipients at that point might be unable to snag a passing message for any one of many reasons. They might not be listening. They might be extinct. So someone sending such a message would have to send it over and over to increase the chance of its being received. The energy budget goes up accordingly. A physical message, however, stays where it lands.Sullivan has some reservations about their presentation. How can we presume to think like ET? How do we know economics would be a deciding factor in their deliberations? Furthermore, “we do not know if such packages, even if efficiently sent, would ever in fact be recognized and opened.” But then again, the same criticisms apply to radio messages. An implication of this new energy-per-bit study is that there might be messages from extraterrestrial intelligence right under our feet.So how should these results influence today’s SETI strategy? Short “we are here” messages would still seem to be most efficiently sent by electromagnetic waves, and we should continue looking for the same. But perhaps some attention should be paid to the possibility of one day finding in our Solar System an information-drenched artefact, sent by an extremely advanced extraterrestrial civilization interested only in one-way communication. This intruder might be orbiting the Sun or a planet, or resting somewhere on a planet, moon or asteroid…. If astroarchaeologists were to find such an object, it would hardly be the first time that science fiction had become science fact.The news media have pointed out, with illustrations, that we humans have sent inscribed messages ourselves: most notably, the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager record. EurekAlert suggests some of the forms an incoming message might take:Rose speculates that “messages” might be anything from actual text in a real language to (more likely) organic material embedded in an asteroid – or in the crater made by such an asteroid upon striking Earth. Messages – and Rose suggests there might be many of them, perhaps millions – might literally be at our feet. They might be awaiting our discovery on the moon, or on one of Jupiter’s moons. They might be dramatic or mundane. A bottle floating in the ocean is just a bottle floating in the ocean – unless, upon closer inspection, it turns out to have a message in it.Difficult as these ideas might be to accept, they stem from our concern about time, Rose explains. The sender(s), however, may not be time dependent. The choice of medium might be a function of how much the extraterrestrial intelligence had to say. He says, “Since messages require protection from cosmic radiation, and small messages might be difficult to find amid the clutter near a recipient, ‘inscribed matter’ is most effective for long, archival messages, as opposed to potentially short ‘we exist’ announcements.” Incidentally, rumors of a possible alien signal announced in the media such as on New Scientist were quickly denounced as nothing unusual on BBC News1Christopher Rose and Gregory Wright, “Inscribed matter as an energy-efficient means of communication with an extraterrestrial civilization,” Nature 431, 47 – 49 (02 September 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02884.2Woodruff T. Sullivan III, “Astrobiology: Message in a bottle,” Nature 431, 27 – 28 (02 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431027a.Hmmmm; information-drenched artifact. A possible real message in an actual language. A lot to say. Millions of copies at our grasp. Contents dramatic or mundane (or both). A medium not limited to a fortunate few living in a particular century or country. A sender outside of time, whose intelligence, identity, and intentions we cannot presume to fathom. Receivers who might not be listening. A package that might not be recognized or opened. Sounds a lot like Hebrews 1:1-3, II Timothy 3:15-17, II Peter 1:16-21, John 5:38-47, and John 1:10-12. Maybe a good place to search for an intelligent message is in the hotel room drawer.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
OOL (origin of life) material is shoveled out like Halloween candy to gullible kids, unaware they are being given poison.It’s so exciting to imagine! What if chemicals could just come together and form life? Then nature does it without a Creator, and we can live as we please! This thought process, simplistic as it is, actually occurs. Lee Strobel (The Case for a Creator) remembers sitting in high school biology class, learning about the Miller experiment. He quickly saw that God must be out of a job, and became an atheist. The teachers, in the name of science, titillate the imaginations of students and readers of science news articles, presenting impossibilities as not only possible, but probable, and virtually certain. How many other teens, eager to ditch their parents’ religion or indulge their passions, take the tantalizing statements from secular materialists as scientific fact? If they do, they haven’t learned real chemistry. They’ve been snookered big time.DARWIN AWARDOrigin of life breakthrough: Charles Darwin’s creation theory ‘PROVED after 100 years’ (Express UK). This drool by Callum Hoare has to qualify for worst Big Lie about OOL in recent memory. “Proved” – in all caps, no less!Charles Darwin was the legendary 19th-century scientists [sic] best known for his contribution to the study of evolution, where he proposed that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors – now widely accepted and considered a foundational concept in science. However, when Darwin published “The Origin of Species” 150 years ago, he deliberately avoided the subject of the origin of life, as he could not prove his ideas. Privately though – in a letter – Darwin told his friend, the explorer Joseph D. Hooker, that he could imagine a small, warm pool where the inanimate matter would arrange itself into the evolutionary matter, aided by chemical components and sufficient sources of energy.Amazingly, that theory has been proved, according to astrobiologist Tara Djokik, who made an astonishing discovery in Pilbara, Western Australia.It would be hard to exaggerate how goofy this article is. It’s loaded with propaganda tricks beyond the opening Big Lie of the title. Authority (“Charles Darwin”). Euphemism (“legendary”). Bandwagon (“now widely accepted”). Loaded words (“breakthrough, amazingly, astonishing”). Good grief. Scrape out the propaganda and look for the data. What is it?Djokik found geyserite. That’s all. Geyserite, that greyish-white substance, also called siliceous sinter, that coats the geyser cones in Yellowstone Park. What does that have to do with life? Nothing. Geyserite is dead. From some lifeless gray rock, Djokik envisions Darwin’s “warm little ponds,” like witch’s cauldrons, from which bubble forth (as all secular scientists claim) “evolutionary matter” (whatever that is; is it rock quivering with desire to become a brain?). Life must have “emerged” from hot water, he thinks, because Father Darwin imagined it. So geyserite PROVED Darwin was right? Incredible! Djokik, who served the kiddies the building blocks of lie (pun intended), should be dragged into court for impersonating a scientist (see Commentary from 16 July 2014). His accomplice Hoare is equally guilty.LUNAR TUNESCould the Moon Act As a Fishing Net for Extraterrestrial Life? (Live Science). Avi Loeb should be ashamed of himself. He is an esteemed astronomer, but like Djokik and Hoare, he has removed the white lab coat to put on a magician’s cloak. Notice the word “could,” by which he snookers unwary readers into having to disprove a universal negative. Sure, the moon “could act as a fishing net for ET” just like the mythical pigs with wings could fly. As his perhapsimaybecouldness index climbs, he employs the OOL version of Abracadabra, “building blocks of life” –Can the moon provide clues for extraterrestrial life? A new paper I wrote with Manasvi Lingam answers this question in the affirmative. The idea is to consider the moon’s surface as a fishing net for interstellar objects collected over time and potentially deliver building blocks of life from the habitable environments around other stars.Aminocamino! he shouts as he waves his magic word: amino acids are on the highway to a cell! But there’s a problem. Amino acids, his putative “building blocks,” are to a cell what random rocks are to Stonehenge – no; that’s too easy; rather, to the Empire State Building. Dr Jerry Bergman pointed out a few days ago (Oct 23) that there are thousands of possible amino acids, but only 20 work for life. Moreover, they have to be single-handed. That one fact rules out amino acids as “building blocks of life” to the secularist relying on chance; they will never build themselves into a single protein in a billion universes. And even if a protein formed it would not be alive; it would be a lonely, useless, non-functional polypeptide, ready to fall apart with the next lightning strike. The simplest living cell requires much, much more.Loeb, who knows better, is deceiving the gullible public with this fairy story – and why? Because of religious reasons. He’s lonely.The moon is well known for its romantic appeal, but astrobiology offers a twist on this notion. Here’s hoping that the moon will inform our civilization that we are not alone and that someone else is waiting for us out there.PROOF OR GOOF?How Long Will It Take to Find Proof of Alien Life? (Space.com). Theoretically, from tomorrow to never. Watch a council of SETI “experts” dream about space aliens. Everything hinges on the word If.How long until we find evidence of life beyond Earth? If a panel of experts is on track with their estimates, it may be sooner than you think.That’s according to presenters at the International Astronautical Congress taking place here this week. During a discussion Tuesday Oct. 22), half a dozen people who spend their time focused on questions related to the search for life beyond Earth each offered their educated guesses — and their whimsical wishes — for when humanity might first gather conclusive evidence for extraterrestrial life.Read the article for comedy, not for science. One says we’ll find it by 2024. One says 2036. Another guesses 10 to 15 years.But these are all guesses, albeit educated ones, and that showed in how some confronted the question. “I certainly would like to think within my lifetime,” Bill Diamond, president and CEO of the SETI Institute, said. “Hopefully that’s more years than I think, but I absolutely think within my lifetime. Probably in the month of March, and hopefully the discovery comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”They’re hoping nobody will remember that for 50 years, SETI dreamers thought that the discovery of space aliens was just around the corner. When you’re playing Calvinball with no rules, moving the goal posts is fair game. They’ve done it before; they’ll do it again. Nobody will ever falsify them or make them accountable for the deception they perpetrated.That first goofy story about geyserite proving Darwin was right showed up on my smartphone’s news feed today, no thanks to Google (gaggle, goggle, giggle). How many other people saw it without the tools of discernment to realize how foolish the propaganda was? The media and secularists have the power, with an iron grip on the media and education, and are on a campaign to create more young atheists with their pseudoscientific poison. How many will find out, like Lee Strobel, that it was all lies, before its too late? The media will continue to move the goal posts when 2024 is up, or 2036, or after the dreamers are all dead, continuing this game of leading the gullible on the primrose path to destruction.This is the situation. What are you doing about it? Maybe some of you need to support CEH. We are calling their bluff and trying get the truth out. (Visited 328 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享35
The rainwater is collected and stored in an underground dam on the Vodacom premises. (Image: Vodacom)Thembani Jwambi of Vodacom hopes that other companies will follow Vodacom’s example in stepping up efforts to save water.Water is pumped from the storage dam to the cooling plant, and any excess is used to irrigate the gardens.(Images: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Andile April Specialist: media projects at Vodacom +27 11 653 5082 or +27 79 141 7109RELATED ARTICLES • New solutions for water conservation • Going underground for water • SA’s drinking water is top class • Rewarding efforts to save the planet • Keeping the water balanceJanine ErasmusSustainability was the name of the game at the launch of South Africa’s largest commercial rainwater harvesting project, located at the Midrand head office of mobile provider Vodacom.The R4.2-million (US$459 000) project is expected to reduce Vodacom’s usage of municipal water for cooling by up to 40%. Fittingly, it’s been completed in the UN-declared International Year of Water Co-operation. Over the last 10 years, says UN Water, global water use has been growing at double the population growth rate, and is unsustainable.“Corporates, even those that don’t use a lot of water, can make a significant on society and the environment by introducing conservation measures,” says Maya Makanjee, the company’s CO of corporate affairs. She also sits on the board of the World Wide Fund for Nature, South Africa.Decisions taken today will affect future generations more, says Makanjee, because water is available now whereas people in years to come may face greater challenges in accessing the resource. Rainwater harvesting is a technique that has been proven effective in conserving water.Thembani Jwambi, Vodacom’s executive head of facilities, says there were a number of compelling reasons for initiating the project. Firstly, the company wanted to reduce its reliance on municipal water and reduce the volume of municipal water it uses in the HVAC cooling plant in its Commercial Park building.Also, rainwater would require fewer chemicals for treatment, which in turn would help the environment, and lastly, it would contribute positively to the bottom line.The company started on its water-saving drive by filling in the manmade water features and pools on its premises, replacing them with water-wise gardens. In addition, waste water from the cooling plant was used for irrigation. The savings from these efforts amounted to about 15%, but Vodacom wanted to do more.Tackling the water usage of the cooling plant, the team felt, was a way to substantially reduce overall water consumption. The plant uses about 30 megalitres of water every year, but now 12 of those megalitres – or 40% of the demand – are supplied entirely from rainwater. One megalitre is a million litres.Based on 50-year data reflecting annual rainfall in the area, which was calculated at 537mm per year, the company was able to determine the optimal size for an underground dam to collect the monthly downpour.“The capacity of the dam is one megalitre, which is what we are able to harvest every month,” says Jwambi, “and the catchment area is 0.4 square kilometres.”Those million litres a month, which would normally run away into the stormwater drain, are now diverted to Vodacom’s Commercial Park.The water is not exposed to any chemicals, and the only treatment is a filtration process. Monitoring of quality and quantity is automated, and because there is a non-return valve in place, there is no danger of the untreated rainwater and municipal water coming into contact.Excess water will be used to irrigate the gardens.Vodacom aims to become known as a leader in the field of corporate water conservation. “We want to tell other companies that we did it, and they can do it too,” says Jwambi.“Every drop counts. All of us in South Africa need to realise that water conservation doesn’t depend only on the government,” says Phakamisa Mgedezi, programme manager for rainwater harvesting at the Department of Water Affairs. “Rainwater harvesting is not a new idea because people in rural areas have practised it for years, but these days it’s well suited to urban areas because there are better structures in place.”Future demand exceeding supplyBy 2030, an extra 52% of water will be in demand from urban centres, agriculture and industry around the world. Unless steps are taken now to cut down on water usage, the demand will outstrip the supply by 17%, predicts the 2030 Water Resources Group.South Africa’s special challenge, says the group in a report titled Charting our Water Future, lies in the fact that demand is projected at 17.7-million megalitres by 2030, with 34% of this demand coming from households. However, the country currently supplies 15-million megalitres, and not all of that can be guaranteed for the future.“At WWF we are faced by challenges such as preserving wetlands. This issue and others that centre on water availability and scarcity are crucial for the African continent. Today water is available, but we need to look to the future,” says Makanjee.Wetlands are important because they help to purify and store water, thus ensuring a supply during times of drought. They help to minimise flood damage because they regulate water flow, and they control soil erosion. They also provide a home for a wide range of plants and animals, and they are an important source of food and drinking and irrigation water for poor communities. Yet, 50% of South Africa’s precious wetlands have been lost, says Makanjee, and others are suffering under pollution from industrial effluent.“Water availability affects not only society,” she says, “but the economy too, because many companies rely on water for the operations. Vodacom has taken on the responsibility for reducing its water footprint.”