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Water crisis hits many North West, Mpumalanga towns

Civil engineer and Fellow at the CSIR’s Built Environment division Kevin Wall told Beeld ongoing severe water shortages in Ermelo, Lichtenburg, Middleburg, Kriel, Delmas and Lydenburg could be attributed to a lack of expertise, poor maintenance of infrastructure and an absence of political will to maintain existing systems.

He said that local authorities had demonstrated a preference for buying “new stuff” rather than maintaining existing structures.

Wall said many of the 237 local authorities did not know what kind of infrastructure existed within their municipalities.

Meanwhile, North West University authorities sent its students home on Thursday because of the ongoing severe water crisis in the city.

All academic activities at the Potchefstroom campus were halted until at least Monday, resulting in a mass exodus of students.

“We don’t want to take any health risks, and we’re trying to limit campus water consumption to allow reservoirs to fill up faster,” said Kiewiet Scheppel, campus spokesman.

Most of Potchefstroom and the surrounding townships have been without water since last Sunday.

According to Potchefstroom municipal spokesman Willie Maphosa, problems arose because pumps and valves at the water treatment plant were poorly regulated and reservoirs ran dry.

Maphosa said the council was investigating the possibility of gross negligence and also sabotage.

Source: Times live

It is not surprising that with rapports such as these, South Africans are striving to become more self-sufficient. An increasingly popular tend among these  individuals is to harvest rainwater for use inside their home. Their rainwater tank replaces their unreliable municipal water supply with the additional benefit of addressing questionable water quality concerns.

In many parts of the country rainwater, if harvested correctly, can be of a higher quality than municipal water.

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