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RCEhannastahlberg's picture

Species, healthy rivers and healthy people

Using the South African Scoring System (SASS) a spectrum of approximately 90+ aquatic invertebrate families in South African rivers has, since the 80s, been sampled in a standardised manner and used on a regular basis as an indicator of the health of the river system. 

However, to reduce complexity of this scoring assessment and make it more suitable to the layman, school groups and the environmental education community, the technique has been simplified to produce the mini-Stream Assessment Scoring System (or miniSASS) tool. This has recently been updated with the support of the Water Research Commission, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and GroundTruth Consulting.

This allows the miniSASS tool to act as a ‘red flag’ indicator of the condition of rivers, identifying hot spots and, where further, more detailed follow-up or investigation of the condition or water quality of a river is required. 

There are already many schools operating through the Eco-Schools programme that have adopted miniSASS as a tool. Added to this are various other local conservation and environmental groups that have begun to undertake miniSASS assessments (e.g. the Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT),
Kloof ConservancyKZN, Waverly Hills Wines - Southern Cape).

South Africa
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