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South African water crisis deepens

As South Africans we have become accustomed to relatively cheap water. This inexpensive price has fostered an attitude of wasteful water use, where only a few citizens truly care about the state of South African water resources. The price of water seems to be in direct contradiction to the value it holds. For this reason it may be easy for some to ignore and discredit the looming water crisis that our country is bound to face.

South African Water crisis

Decrease in water quality will have different negative effects on individual economic sectors

“THE sheer cost of the water crisis will totally eclipse the arms deal, the Eskom crisis and that in many other departments. While we have alternatives for energy, we don’t for water, so the impacts of the water crisis will knock on through all socioeconomic levels.”

That’s the sobering message from Bill Harding, co-founder of DH Environmental Consulting and the previous chairman of the SA Institute of Ecologists and Environmental Scientists.

The water crisis had been in effect in Gauteng for the past 10 to 20 years, with no sign of abating, Harding said.

“There are sub-regional crises in other areas in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and then urban crises in many situations, such as Welkom. The bulk of the problem originates from inadequately treated waste water,” he said.

His comments follow a study conducted by economic research and advisory firm Plus Economics on behalf of trade union United Association of SA.

The study shows that a 1% decline in the quality, and therefore usability, of water in the country could lead to the loss of 200000 jobs and a decline of 5.7% in disposable income per capita, as well as a rise of 5%, or R18.1-billion, in government spending.

For the full article visit: Waterworld

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