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Project Eden at South Africa

Our Priorities: Water

'Project Eden'

South African Breweries Ltd

South Africa

At the iBhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth, SAB Ltd (SAB) has worked with Rhodes University to develop an innovative way to treat brewery waste-water and achieve quality standards that made it suitable for re-use in irrigation and other secondary water. Known as Project Eden, the groundbreaking research is a first for South Africa's brewing industry.

The process used involves using High Rate Algal Ponding (HRAP) and Constructed Wetland (CW) technology to treat effluent from the breweries Anaerobic Digestion plant. Algae draw nutrients from the effluent, which is then transferred to the wetland where indigenous plants further absorb nutrients. To test the quality of the treated effluent, it is used in the production of hydroponic lettuce and fish in a specially-designed greenhouse.

Brewery at Project Eden - South Africa

The results have been encouraging. Farmers who have taken-up some of the improved plant varieties have been able to both decrease their water use and improve their incomes. For example, in case of millet and okra, farmers have improved their earnings by 114% and 147% respectively.

These programmes have been run in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management.

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