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Vaal River water crisis looms

A water time-bomb is ticking for millions of users of water from the Vaal River – by 2014, it will not be suitable for human consumption.

Vaal river water crisisResearchers said the problem was caused by acidic water seeping from waste on abandoned mines and by the discharging of untreated acidic mine water into rivers and streams tributary to the Vaal River system.

A report released by the Department of Water Affairs revealed that, by 2014, the water drawn from the Lesotho Highlands water scheme to dilute the high level of pollution in the Vaal will not be enough.

“The increase in dissolved salts and [other pollutants], such as chloride and sulphates, in the river has major implications for domestic, industrial and agricultural water use,” the report said.

According to the department, the Vaal River system serves a population of 12million in Gauteng, the Free State, North West and Northern Cape.

But water scientist Anthony Turton said the pollution does not mean an abrupt end to the supply of water.

“It means the water supply to municipalities, industries and agriculture can no longer be guaranteed.”

Source: Times Live

1 comment to Vaal River water crisis looms

  • Thea Harmse

    This article speaks a shocking reality that many people don’t realise- especially in rural regions. We live next to the Vaal River and day by day the river is becoming greener and the last couple of weeks it seems there are less birds and wildlife around. Is there anything that I can do to help alleviate the problem- what can we do to stop this crisis from spreading?

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