South Africa’s water crisis

March 6, 2015

As South Africa grapples the power crisis, a new crisis looms around the corner.  It’s all over the news and in our own homes.  Load shedding is a scary reality.  While South Africans scramble to make plans to keep their own lights on a water crisis is waiting for us next around the corner.

Unlike the rest of the world that uses 173 liters per individual per day, South African’s waste about 235 liters per individual per day. This attributes to lack of education and awareness on the need to conserve water. In addition to the high use of water, we can also count waste of the resource, poor planning and abuse of the resource coupled with the looming climate change as contributing factors to the impending disaster.

Water is life, water is everything; it is a resource that the human species simply cannot live without.  South Africa cannot afford to let it’s precious remaining water go to waste.

Until recently, South Africa has boasted as being one of the cleanest water systems in the world.

Unfortunately, this is all changing.  Due to the lack of sanitation available to millions the chances of water bourne disease in South Africa’s main water supplies are increasing dramatically.  The Vaal River, the largest river in South Africa is becoming increasingly infected with fecal material due to the lack of sanitation supplies.

The situation is also dire at the water treatment plant in Pretoria.  A massive sludge dam was urgently built in 2006 to prevent raw sewage from entering the nearby Hennops River, after the Sunderland Ridge Waste Water Treatment Plant broke down.  It is filled with millions of liters of sewage, which would have otherwise flown into the river.

Overall, infrastructure is lacking.  Whether it is ignorance to the fact or just simply old aging pipes, the nation wide water crisis is looming.  South African’s should get pro-active and do their part to conserve water within their own home.  They should also begin looking at systems to help cut monthly water costs and conserve this precious resource.


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