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Poor management behind water crisis

Water utilities are losing billions of rand through lost and stolen water in SA, while poor sanitation in Africa is leading to the deaths of millions of children through water-borne diseases.

This emerged from the four-day African Water Association conference, which started in Durban on Monday.

The water indaba, which has brought together leaders from African water utilities, heard that water was fast becoming a scarce resource mainly because of poor management on the continent.

Richard Holden, from SA’s Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, said rapid urbanisation in the country and other changes had added to SA’s water “stress”.

SA was facing a revenue shortfall of R2.6 billion to address its national water infrastructure backlog, he said. The country also had a poor and unsustainable billing system, with some people not paying for water. This meant that local authorities were owed more than R1bn for water that was used but not paid for.

“The customer of today benefits economically at the expense of the customer of the future, who will be faced with broken infrastructure or much higher tariffs or taxes to pay for its replacement,” said Holden.

The president of the African Water Association, Duduzile Myeni, said there was a need for African solutions to the water crisis.

Source: IOL

Surely blaming South Africa’s water crisis on poor water management is not the leading cause of the water scarcity the country is experiencing. Fixing or replacing outdated infrastructure could delay the crisis for a year or two but that is like placing a Band-Aid over an infection.

South Africa must implement water conservation measures at all levels if we are to build a sustainable future. Water might fall out the sky but it is not inexhaustible.

1 comment to Poor management behind water crisis

  • Drinking water scarcity is a major threat facing the developing world and the nations should implement measures to combat that. Water can also help in losing weight for many people and maintain the hydration level.

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