Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 Aug 2011
With water, and electricity being the most vital ‘ingredients’ in ones life, waste still stands out as a killer source.
The City of Joburg (CoJ) has implemented the 2040 Growth and Development Strategy outreach programme which is taking place this week. Water, waste and electricity are the key topics expected to dominate the conversations during the programme.
Conversations around these will be held through seminars and round table discussions involving everyone from residents and businesses to the government, civil society organisations, labour and academics.
“Formal and informal debates will take place with the aim of finding solutions to safeguard our precious resources for future generations,” said Gugu Mathibela of the City of Johannesburg.
An abundance of coal has kept electricity prices very low and has attracted a number of energy intensive industries. City Power and Eskom recently experienced protests related to power cuts, prepaid meters and the increase in electricity prices. These incidents give electricity first preference at the discussions.
Johannesburg’s resource intensity is also defined by the volume of waste it generates. The city is gradually running out of landfill space. Waste dumping in communities has become a serious health concern.
Mathibela said: “With regard to waste management, the City has introduced a refuse recycling project in north-western Johannesburg with the aim of reducing the volume of waste going to land fill sites. These landfills are filling up rapidly, meaning that new landfills need to be found.”
Another critical issue to be addressed is water, Mathibela said. How Johannesburg manages its water supply is of crucial importance to South Africa because Johannesburg contributes over a third of the country’s gross domestic product. She adds that, the CoJ is one of only few major cities in the world that is not located near a natural water source such as a lake, river or the sea.
Recent studies from the University of Johannesburg have proved the safety and reliability of household water. There are three strategic issues which affect water in Johannesburg; water supply, water demand and water quality. To ensure that the City conserves its water, it has implemented water demand management measures. Some of the measures to be considered for the future will be rainwater harvesting; grey water reuse and exploring alternative resources such as ground water abstraction.
“It is however important that households start using water responsibly. To enhance this message the City will commence with consumer demand management programmes which will include raising awareness around the importance of saving water,” said Mathibela.
By: Keabetsoe Matshediso