Call to action to address the challenge of brine management
  Jun 30, 2020     News, waste, GreenCape, South Africa, Cape Town, green economy, waste sector desk, water sector desk, Bioeconomy, water

On 11 June 2020, GreenCape hosted a webinar to raise awareness about the challenge of brine management, and to put out a call to action for innovative solutions..

The webinar, which was attended by ~70 stakeholders from a range of sectors, focussed on brine waste streams resulting from the treatment of saline groundwater and from industrial processing. Many companies have been struggling to find well-suited, cost-effective solutions to manage their brine, as several factors make it expensive and complex to discharge or treat. The situation has been worsened by a national liquids-to-landfill ban that came into effect in August 2019 that prohibits the discharge of any wastewater to landfills. Discharge of brine in an almost-solid form, however, will still be permitted until 2021, after which brine waste will no longer be accepted at landfills.

There is an urgent need to raise awareness about this issue and to find both short-term and long-term solutions to avoid the potential economic and environmental risks. One of the key conclusions from the webinar dialogue was that partnerships will be critical to tackling this issue. There was a strong interest from the participants (including government officials, researchers, innovators, industry, water and waste management companies and consultants) to have further discussions to explore opportunities for collaboration.

As a follow up, if you would like to be put in touch with any key stakeholders, including those from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) or from the City of Cape Town, please email jane@greencape.co.za.

GreenCape will continue to investigate opportunities for the reuse of brine and concentrated salts. Western Cape-based companies that either produce brine waste streams, or utilise brine or salt in their manufacturing processes, are welcome to contact our WISP team for further support (wisp@greencape.co.za).

Click the links for the webinar recording, for a transcript of the chat and for the presentations by GreenCape, Interwaste and de Beer and Associates.  

The webinar was co-ordinated by GreenCape, in partnership with the City of Cape Town.