Water shortages by 2013

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
05 February 2010

The country’s water demand would exceed supply by 2025, Consulting Engineers SA said yesterday.

“Even the future of river sport, for example, the Dusi canoe marathon, is under threat,” according to its president Zulch Lötter. “Of concern are the metropolitan areas such as the Witwatersrand where shortages are expected as soon as 2013.”

He said that, owing to rapid urbanisation and infrastructure constraints, it was necessary to intervene to prevent serious water shortages by 2019. Lötter said water quality was deteriorating so it was essential to build, maintain and upgrade infrastructure and improve staff skills.

Dusi River. Photo by z0nbi.

“The potential to impact negatively on the health of individuals and our natural environment requires close attention to be paid to the management of our water and sanitation systems.”

A comprehensive set of measures was needed to strengthen the management systems for water services in municipalities.

“According to government’s budget, very substantial capital investment is earmarked for infrastructure development and maintenance. Lötter said urbanisation growth rates in Africa were the highest in the world.

“Even though South Africa counts among the top three urbanised countries in Africa, the Institute for Futures Research estimates that its urban population will grow by 50 percent from its current 30 million to 45 million by 2050.”

Lötter said Consulting Engineers SA was concerned about South Africa’s lack of technical management capacity, particularly in municipal and provincial government spheres, which could become a significant stumbling block to sustainable development.

Source: The Mercury

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