CCIJ Round Up: Cape Town Lost A Billion Liters of Drinking Water Last Year

Failure to maintain a wastewater treatment plant in Cape Town costs the city a billion liters of drinking water. South Africa’s president authorizes an investigation into the National Lotteries Commission. Poor communities in Limpopo still face challenges to water access spurred by Aparteid. CCIJ’s Innovation Director is a finalist for the Alexia Grant competition. CCIJ’s work is profiled in Storybench.

Poorly treated effluent sends refinery water use skyrocketing 

Cape Town’s failure to maintain a key wastewater treatment plant cost the city a billion liters of drinking water, Steve Kretzmann and Raymond Joseph report. The duo’s latest work, part of the H2OFail project, found that Astron Energy, Cape Town’s main oil refinery, had to supplement its water requirements from Cape Town’s severely depleted dams. As a result, the refinery’s water use from dams left depleted by severe drought skyrocketed to just over 1.5 billion liters last year. 

Read the whole article here

Catch up on the H2OFail project here.

Ramaphosa gives green light to Lottery probe

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a proclamation authorizing the Special Investigating Unit to probe the South African National Lotteries Commission for alleged corruption, CCIJ South African Hub Leader Raymond Joseph reports for GroundUp. The proclamation allows the state to recover financial losses caused by acts of corruption, fraud and maladministration. This is the latest development in Joseph’s ongoing investigation into the commission, which has contributed to CCIJ’s global “Gaming the Lottery” investigation. 

Read the whole article here

Explore the global “Gaming the Lottery” project here

Water Projects Leaves Limpopo Communities Dehydrated 

Poor communities’ dreams of one day having clean drinking seems to be fading away in the South African province of Limpopo, CCIJ members Lesiba Francis and Phuti Raletjena write for TJT World. Projects to mitigate water access challenges spurred by the Apartheid era were mishandled, they said, leaving communities across  Limpopo waterless. 

Read the full story here.

2020 Alexia Grant Competition 

CCIJ Innovation Director Jon Lowenstein was named a finalist in the 2020 Alexia Grant competition for his feature documentary film “The Advocate.” Lowenstein’s documentary is featured in the professional grant competition, which has drawn 250 entries from 38 countries. The winner and runners up of the grant will be announced Tuesday, November 17. 

Read more about the competition here.

How the Center for Collaborative investigative Journalism is reporting on water access around the world

CCIJ’s work was featured in a new article from Storybench. The story explores the H2OFail project’s global impact, the organization’s mission and our commitment to visual storytelling. 

We have a real commitment to mentoring, to independent journalism as well as underserved communities,” CCIJ Executive Director Jeff Kelly Lowenstein told Storybench’s Maaisha Osman. “It’s pretty neat because the way it works with people in different ways, but we almost are like a virtual newsroom.” 

Read the whole story here.