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Acid mine water to be purified

Johannesburg – Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has estimated that South Africa could start using purified water from acid mine drainage (AMD) by 2017.

Water from the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands project is also expected to come on stream in August 2020, a period where water demand and supply is expected to intersect.

These developments should lower the fears that the country would face serious water shortages by 2030, as has previously been reported.

At the presentation of South Africa’s second National Water Resources Strategy (NWRS2), approved by the cabinet last week, Molewa said there was a major opportunity to treat AMD water in the Witwatersrand and estimated that this water would contribute 5 percent or 67 million cubic litres of Rand Water’s annual supply to the Witwatersrand.

The department was on track with its plans to treat AMD water as it had begun work on installing pumps in the central basin. Those pumps would operate before AMD reached critical levels.

The NWRS2 proposed multiple approaches to deal with water management in the country and water security. Yesterday Molewa maintained that South Africa was not going to completely run out of water and she was confident her department’s plans would ensure the country would not get to that point.

The strategy emphasised water conservation, water demand management, increased use of ground water, reuse of waste water, the creation of dams and transfer schemes, desalination and treatment of AMD.

Source: IOL

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