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Access to water ‘for all by 2014’

The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is on a mission to ensure that all residents in the country have access to water by 2014, said Minister Edna Molewa.

This commitment was made after Premier David Mabuza told the minister at the Mpumalanga mining lekgotla on Thursday that the province was facing a water crisis, particularly in the eight municipalities of Mkhondo (Piet Retief), Chief Albert Luthuli (Carolina), Nkomazi (Malelane), Mbombela (Nelspruit), Dr JS Moroka (Siyabuswa), Emalahleni (Witbank), Thembisile Hani (Kwaggafontein) and Bushbuckridge.

Mabuza said: “This problem of the lack of water is mainly affecting our communities in the villages. Although as a government we have made many strides in other things, 18 years is a long time for people to go without a reliable water supply.”

He said that in some areas municipalities were not permitted in terms of their licences to draw more water from the sources to supply their extended communities.

“People are prepared to pay for water but it is just not there. I had set myself a time frame that at least by 2014 more than 90% of the people in our province would have access to clean drinking water,” said Mabuza.

Molewa said that her department had a programme to resolve the water crisis in Limpopo, the North West, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

“Our plans dictate that all people in our country should have access to clean drinking water by 2014,” said Molewa.

She said that her department had a 10-year water investment plan which dealt with the entire water value chain from the source where water was drawn to the consumer.

Source: The New Age

It is indeed vital that all South Africans have access to safe drinking water. For those of us that are fortunate enough to already have access to water, and to others that have already taken this basic right for granted,  it may come as no surprise that providing access to all stretches this very valuable resource even thinner.

The impact this could have on those of us that do not yet conserve water is that we end up paying much more for water or that we receive an intermittent supply. By installing water saving technologies  (greywater and rainwater systems) in your home you can assist the government give water to those who do not have access to  it yet.

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