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The Hidden Water Cost of South Africa’s Coal Addiction

It’s a little known fact that South Africa has some of the best quality water in the world – for those who have access to it, and can afford to pay for it. But the country is facing a looming water conflict, and coal is right in the middle of it.

The quantity of water available for each person in the world is declining steadily. Nowhere is the rate of decline as dramatic as we continue to see in Africa. Chillingly, the estimates are that South Africa won’t be able to meet its water demand by as early as 2030.

In the face of this kind of future, surely every effort to avoid this impending crisis must be made? But that is simply not the case.

Two new mega coal-fired power stations (Medupi and Kusile) are being built by the national utility, Eskom, and new coal mines are being approved without a clear view of what the water impacts are likely to be, or where the water will come from.

The reality is that local communities may well lose their water rights to make way for mines.

Source: AllAfrica



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