Genius of Place Project
Water has been identified as one of the major risks facing the Western Cape and is also being prioritised in the Green Economy Strategic Framework . An innovative project was conceptualised in conjunction with biomimicrySA to address the issue of water pollution in the Western Cape.
The basis of the project is based on the principles of biomimicry which draws on nature’s genius to design innovative products, processes and systems that could solve key problems faced by society. In other words, it involves looking at how nature solves a problem thereby extracting these principles for our society.
The concept ‘Genius of Place’ looks at the unique environment of the Western Cape in order to find context specific solutions to the water problem. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Berg River Improvement Plan Task Team. The aim of the collaboration is to find a solution to a specific water problem in the Berg River. This forms part of Phase A: The Feasibility Study of the project which included a visit to the Berg River and its surrounds.
Three primary issues have been identified as having the biggest impact on the health of the Berg River system:
- The current wastewater treatment plants and how they operate
- Informal settlements and the difficulties in dealing with grey and black wastewater that bypass the formal system
- The loss of indigenous vegetation along the river which would act as a buffer to naturally filter certain excess pollutants.
Once the feasibility study has been completed Phase 2 will commence with research being conducted to find a unique solution to an identified water issues along the Berg River. We will keep you posted as the project advances.