Buy water tanks, rainwater harvesting , greywater systems

Aquarista is the leader in Greywater garden irrigation and Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa.

Contact Aquarista.

Water failures threaten SA, technology can be solution

Experts warned yesterday that the failure of water management in South Africa would have a devastating effect on the economy, unless business and the government implemented innovative measures to ensure that water quality, quantity and accessibility was preserved.

According to economists, academics and researchers speaking at the South African Water and Energy Forum yesterday, the problem with South Africa’s water can be attributed to pollution such as acid mine drainage from mining companies, invasive plants and eutrophication – a result of a severe increase in chemical nutrients, mostly nitrates and phosphates, in the runoff from fertilised agricultural land.

Dennis Dykes, the chief economist at Nedbank, said South Africa was lucky not to have experienced droughts as these would have aggravated the crisis.

The issues facing water supply in the country were that quantity was low and quality poor, coupled with the fact that many poor South Africans did not have access to safe water.

Anthony Turton, a professor at the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free State, said the country was transitioning from a demand-driven economy to one that was constrained in its supply of energy and water.

“A whole new business plan needs to be invented and that is a major challenge for companies. The second implication is that assurance of supply will increasingly become a constraint as poorly maintained infrastructure breaks down, and existing water supply sources reach their finite limits,” he said.

Michael Spicer, the chief executive of Business Leadership, said South Africa was already a high-cost environment and the looming crisis would kill business and dent the government’s aspirations of creating jobs. The country was also no longer a viable alternative for cheap business, coupled with the decaying infrastructure in Johannesburg.

Mike Muller, a registered professional engineer and former director-general of water affairs and forestry, suggested that the problem was embedded in the water services and the quality of the water in the pipes. He argued that even where there was infrastructure, its management was an impossible task with too many users and not enough supply.

The deputy president of AgriSA, Theo De Jager, said there used to be 120 000 commercial farmers in country 15 years ago but the number had dwindled to 37 000. He warned that once the population reached 60 million, one farmer would be responsible for feeding 1 500 people.

He highlighted that this would put strain on future water supply in a system where farmers used close to 70 percent of water, which was increasingly becoming unusable due to its low quality. – Ayanda Mdluli

Source: IOL

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>