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Gauteng wastes R7.8bn worth of water

Johannesburg – Gauteng municipalities have collectively lost 480 980 000 kilolitres of water in the 2011/12 financial year, amounting to a staggering R7.84 billion in financial losses.

This is according to Gauteng MEC for Local Government and Housing Ntombi Mekgwe, who was responding to a question by DA spokesman on local government Fred Nel.

Mekgwe, in her response to the DA’s written questions, confirmed that the province was experiencing heavy water losses, saying it was mainly due to ageing infrastructure.

She provided the DA with the breakdown of water losses across all municipalities, with the Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni metropolitan councils found to be the worst offenders.

“Of great concern is the fact that water losses are on the increase, up from 35.9 percent in 2010/11, with the main culprits being the three metros, recording losses as follows in 2011/12: City of Joburg lost 206 020 000 kilolitres; Ekurhuleni 133 250 000; and Tshwane 77 290 000 kilolitres,” Nel said.

The worst losses were experienced by Emfuleni, which lost 42 990 000 kilolitres of its available 82 420 00 kilolitres of water.

A total of 480 980 000 kilolitres of water – the equivalent of 2.5 Hartbeespoort dams or 192 392 Olympic size swimming pools – were lost.

Source: IOL

Decaying infrastructure seems to be the culprit in most of South Africa’s water leaks and solving the problem weighs heavy in the pockets of taxpayers. Major losses as reported in the article only affirm the reality that the cost of water, a vital living expense, will be on the increase in the years to come in an attempt to compensate for the revenue losses and essential infrastructure upgrades to our water supply.

Local water saving technologies, including the reuse of greywater and harvesting of rainwater, will play an even greater role in  sustaining a reliable fresh water supply to home owners. These technologies not only ensure a emergency water supply but also promise to optimise water use around the home.

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