Water scarcity to put SA under dire strain
With the winter months here and a forecast of low rainfall in South Africa the already water scarce country could be under dire strain.
However, there could be some hope for water users.
A roundtable looking at alternative sources for the precious commodity met in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The worst drought left many of the country’s dams dry. Last year, South Africa recorded the lowest rainfall levels since 1904.
As the skies continue to close, the country remains overly dependent on surface water.
Jacques Laubscher Gibb says, “Our national water framework states that the national water deficit by 2025 will be more than 240 million cubi meter per year this is what we need.”
While the demand continues to grow supply is dwindling.
Alternative water sources are being sought and desalination of ocean water is being pursued.
The Department is also exploring other options.
Department of Water and Sanitation representative Leonardo Manus says, “As much as desalination is a viable source the same tech that can remove salt from ocean water can be used to remove impurity from used water. It’s more economical viable option.”
Big business is also trying to find viable solutions.
Project Manager at Unilever Margaret Wolf says, “What corporate South Africa can do is contribute by sharing tech knowledge that also changes into behavioural changes.”
The Water Department is working with other countries such as the Netherlands and Iran to build more desalination plants in coastal communities in order to prevent taps running fry.