South Africa running dry

© City of Cape Town

Water is a precious and finite commodity in a country like South Africa, and yet provinces in South Africa on average experience an above 30% annual water loss.

In a report entitledThe State of Non-Revenue Water in South Africa that was published in 2012 the results of national water loss per province were given.

The study, which was conducted between 2007 and 2011, found that the Eastern Cape had a loss of (29%), Free State (45.2%), Gauteng (35.9%), KwaZulu-Natal (43.5%), Limpopo (36.3%), Mpumalanga (44.7%), North West (29.7%), Northern Cape (52.0%) and the Western Cape (23.9%).

The report was based on data gathered from 132 out of the possible 237 municipalities throughout South Africa which represents a total of over 75% of the total Municipal water supply. According to Ahmed Simjee of IBM South Africa Smarter Planet, South African provinces on average, experience a 30%+ water loss.

In an interview with News24 Mr. Simjee said: “By improving the loss of water revenue, and increasing such revenues accordingly, they can improve the maintenance and infrastructure”. Besides the fact that we have a growing demand in our cities year on year, the cities have to manage a high influx of people. This puts pressure on all our natural resources including water. We do not have ‘new’ but old cities in South Africa, so the infrastructure would be a very aged infrastructure and in their current state unable to meet the sustainable needs of today.

Cities have to look at effectively and adequately upgrading and maintaining the old infrastructure, catering for the new but also accordingly improve our spatial planning and the resources that we have. If a clear example of sustainable resource management practices is set by those in authority it will most likely filter down to the residence.

We do not have an alternative source of water and thus we have to use it more efficiently!


Article via Cape Town Green Map and News 24.
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Download the full The State of Non-Revenue Water in South Africa report here.

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