Home | *Blog | ‘Conserve water, every drop counts’
waste water

‘Conserve water, every drop counts’

Thursday 21 May 2015 10:15

SABC

South Africa is experiencing a dry season due to the past season not being as rainy as hoped.

South Africa is experiencing a dry season due to the past season not being as rainy as hoped. (SABC)

Department of Water Affairs Spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau says South Africa is experiencing a water shortage due to the past rainy season not being as rainy as it was expected to be.

Ratau continues to mention that South Africa is one of the 30 driest countries in the world and as a country it is important to know that every drop of water wasted is a drop less of water the country will have at the end.

Department of Water Affairs is encouraging South Africans to use water sparingly. It says every effort that can be used at every level by everyone will help the country save water.

Water shortage looms due to drought

South Africa is fac­ing wa­ter short­ages af­ter the worst drought since 1992 cut dam lev­els by 12% from a year ear­lier as most of the coun­try en­ters its four-month dry sea­son.

Drought in east­ern and cen­tral South Africa around the turn of the year has slashed maize and sugar out­put and may trig­ger wa­ter short­ages for homes and busi­nesses.

Weaker river flow also threat­ens wa­ter qual­ity. South Africa is the 30th-dri­est na­tion on Earth, ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment, which ex­pects wa­ter de­mand to out­strip sup­ply as early as 2025.

“Water will def­i­nitely be at a pre­mium over the next few months,” said Sput­nik Ratau, a spokesper­son for the Depart­ment of Water Af­fairs. Toward the end of the dry sea­son “we will be in an even more dire sit­u­a­tion in terms of avail­able wa­ter”.

“Water will def­i­nitely be at a pre­mium over the next few months,” said Sput­nik Ratau, a spokesper­son for the Depart­ment of Water Af­fairs. Toward the end of the dry sea­son “we will be in an even more dire sit­u­a­tion in terms of avail­able wa­ter”.

The coun­try’s dams are 79.2% full, down from 90.1% a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to data on the de­part­ment’s web­site. Ratau didn’t know the last time dam lev­els were lower. Of the seven largest dams, four have “low” or “mod­er­ately low” re­serves, data show.

An­thony Tur­ton, a pro­fes­sor at the Cen­tre for En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment at the Univer­sity of the Free State, said wa­ter qual­ity may de­cline as rivers can’t flush away sewage and di­lute toxic dis­charges from mines.

“The bal­ance of prob­a­bil­ity sug­gests that we can an­tic­i­pate a se­vere drought in the near fu­ture,” Tur­ton said. “Water re­stric- tions are likely to be im­posed.”

KwaZulu-Natal, home of most of South Africa’s sugar in­dus­try, is the worst-af­fected prov­ince with dam lev­els down 17.5 per­cent­age points. Re­serves in the North West and Free State prov­inces are 14.6 and 10.7 per­cent­age points lower than last year re­spec­tively, de­part­ment fig­ures show.

Water resources under pressure in KZN

Blain Herman

People walk long distances to fetch water.(SABC)

South Africa is a water stressed country but in KwaZulu-Natal, the situation is being compounded by an extended dry spell leaving many desperate for sustained rainfall.

Northern KwaZulu-Natal’s Maphumulo is one of the areas most affected by the shortage.

A resident in Maphumulo, Thembi Khanyile struggles each day to get water. She says: “It’s important to have water in the yard. I don’t have anyone to fetch water for me, I have to beg and pay young boys to fetch water for me so I can be able to cook and do my washing.”

Hope is on the horizon now as seven families have been relocated to make way for a 28m high dam.

Mvutshane Dam can hold about three million cubic meters of water.

It should provide a more sustainable supply to the Maphumulo community.

Desalination options are being investigated

The extended dry spell has taken its toll on the province with around nine district municipalities affected.

An emergency system currently being built from the uThongathi River will help augment the new dam’s water supply.

Government is pumping in money to help drought-stricken districts.

Desalination options are being investigated.

Umgeni water’s Steve Gillham says; “If we had to build a desal plant now it would take us over four to five years. We could get it in and it is certainly quicker and faster than building a dam. So those plans are in place if things persist we can certainly look at those measures but for one a year drought period, its still not the right option for it.”

For more on this watch below;

The KZN government has also started connecting water pipes in the yards of the Maphumulo residents. This is a project that will be rolled out in phases and should be completed in five years

“Business as usual” will create a thirsty planet in 15 years: UN

REUTERS

Competition for water between water-thirsty sectors means better management is essential to ensure everybody gets the water they need.(REUTERS)

The planet faces a 40% shortfall in water supplies in 15 years due to urbanisation, population growth and increasing demand for water for food production, energy and industry, the United Nations said on Friday.

Competition for water between water-thirsty sectors means better management is essential to ensure everybody gets the water they need, said the World Water Development Report.

With “business as usual” the world is facing a “collapse in our global socioeconomic system,” Richard Connor, lead author of the report, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

By 2050 two thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities and demand for water is expected to increase by 55%, mainly from demands related to growing urbanisation in developing countries.

Urbanisation means that access to safe water and adequate sanitation, although typically higher in cities, has decreased in the fastest growing urban areas.

One example is sub-Saharan Africa, where urbanisation -often unplanned – is happening most rapidly.

Here the proportion of people who have piped water on their premises has fallen to 34%  from 42% since 1990.

“The spontaneous urbanisation, which creates slums, makes it very difficult because of the layout of the slums to provide water,” Joan Clos, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview from Nairobi.

“Once you have a street then for the water operator it becomes very easy to reach the plots.”

By 2050 the world will have to produce 60% more food and the global water demand for industry is predicted to increase by 400%, said the report, published ahead of World Water Day on March 22.

The growing population will also need 705 more energy and water is required to produce almost all forms of it.

“You have to manage water. If you’re using less water because of your proper irrigation and soil management in agriculture that allows more water to be available for other users,” Connor said.

“Every sector has to pitch in and do its best to be water efficient.” Investing in sustainable water management, although costly, pays off: a $15 to 30 billion invested in improved water resources management in developing countries can have an annual income return of $60 billion, the report said. “Over the long term investing in water and sanitation is cost-effective. That is the convincing argument that it’s not just to help the poor, it’s actually good business,” said Connor.

Cities with long-term water plans will have more robust economies within decades, he said, because people who have access to clean water are healthier and have a better chance of getting educated and finding jobs.

Check Also

stop-israeli-terrorism

DA’s stance on Apartheid Israel legitimises atrocities

Suraya Dadoo | City Press  22/01/2017 ‘Listening, learning” is what DA leader Mmusi Maimane tweeted …

death-quotes11

Method of Ghusal for Deceased – Newsletter

Issue 8 – Janaazah