South Africa is facing a water crisis

Many cities and towns in the country do not have enough water to satisfy demand and taps are expected to run dry unless drastic action is taken.

This is according to Rapport, citing a new research report about water security which was tabled in parliament by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu.

The report shows that the demand in many areas exceed supply and that water, which should be saved for later, is now used.

This means that South Africa is running out of water and faces a situation similar to the electricity crisis.

Why there is a water shortage in South Africa

The department of human settlements, water & sanitation said the main reasons for the water shortages are:

  • Less rain, which is aggravated by droughts and climate change.
  • Population growth and higher water use by industry.
  • Aging infrastructure, pollution, and water wastage because of leaking pipes and taps.
  • Vandalism and people not paying for water.

Not new knowledge

The latest report may give an update on water security in the country, but the news about a water crisis is not new.

In 2016 there were numerous reports of an acute water crisis which was looming in South Africa.

These reports highlighted that there were numerous factors which led to the dire water situation:

  • South Africa’s dam building programme is a decade behind schedule.
  • Faulty pumps are resulting in the loss of great amounts of water.
  • Leaks and poor water infrastructure lead to a tremendous loss of water each year.
  • Poor or dysfunctional sewage plants result in large amounts of sewage flowing into rivers and dams.

At the time Rapport revealed that there were 1,100 fewer functional rain meters in the country than in 1970.

This clearly shows the government’s “don’t-care” attitude towards the water crisis, said the experts.

Water crisis in Gauteng

At the end of 2018 the Sunday Times reported that Gauteng is facing a water crisis, and the provincial government has set up a “war room” to fight the problem.

Local, provincial, and national government were working with civilian and military water experts as part of the project.

The aim of the war room is to reduce the amount of water being consumed in the province and to fix sewage plants which are very run down.

The SANDF has been given instruction to ensure “day zero” – the province running out of water – does not happen.

All the action is based on a report called “Water Security Plan for the Gauteng City Region”, which was ordered at the time of Cape Town’s water shortage.

Now read: Water crisis in South Africa

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South Africa is facing a water crisis