Marley supports innovative water loss research project
An unwavering commitment to advancing the civils industry for the benefit of South Africa’s water infrastructure has seen plastic pipe manufacturer, Marley Pipe Systems, invest in educational and development projects that contribute to water conservation efforts.
More recently, Marley donated PVC pipe materials to the University of Cape Town (UCT) to help students conduct instrumental work for a significant project that seeks to study water loss in pipes.
The main objective of this on-going research project, which is being conducted as part of the Honours Level students’ final year thesis, is to investigate pipe behaviour, particularly with regard to how pressure in the system affects leakages in pipes.
So far, the research has focused on three main concepts, namely why leakages caused by holes or cracks are sensitive to pressure in the system, plastic deformation as a result of leakages expanding with pressure, and the interaction of leakages with surrounding soil – which deals with a relatively new phenomenon that has been discovered whereby a leakage in a pipe creates a vortex in the surrounding soil, generating a scouring action that results in the outer surface of the pipe wearing away.
Kobus van Zyl, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at UCT, said: “The better we understand how pipes and leaks behave, the better we are able to counteract those actions and better design pipes and pipe materials as well as develop techniques and inform installation practices for the future.”
Marley supplied PVC pipe materials to allow the students to take the theories that they have developed over the years and perform experimental tests by cutting cracks and holes into the pipes and exposing them to different pressures to see how the leakages respond, and then comparing this data with their theories.
In coming forward to provide the materials to execute these kinds of tests, Marley is able to benefit the industry by identifying the flaws and weakening factors that exist in pipe design today and thereby contribute to a more promising future for sustainable water distribution systems.
“It’s great for us to have support from sponsors like Marley. We hope to continue engaging with Marley in order to guide us in doing future research that’s useful to the industry and that will help to improve the performance of our distribution systems,” said Professor van Zyl.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”