The City of Cape Town is encouraging residents to consciously save water every day, with their new ‘Keep Saving Water’ campaign.
Garden Rhapsody. A grey water solution by Water Rhapsody.
As part of this campaign the City suggests the use of Grey Water for garden irrigation as well as making use of Rainwater [...]
By: Edna Molewa – Minister of water and environmental affairs
The challenge of managing our water resources requires proactive solutions, especially with the reality of climate change on our doorstep. In addition to this grim reality, there is a need to address pressing issues of equity in an environment in which the country’s water resources are reeling under increasing pressure in terms of abstraction, habitat destruction and pollution.
Of our 223 river ecosystem types, 60% are threatened and 25% critically endangered.
This is a complex physical, social and economic matrix and our recently published second edition of the national water resources strategy aims to address it. It sets out the strategic direction for water resources management in South Africa over the next 20 years and has a practical emphasis on what needs to happen in the short term – five years. It provides the framework for the protection, use, development, conservation, management and control of water resources for South Africa, as well as the framework in which water must be managed at catchment level in defined water-management areas.
The water sector has undergone major change since the dawn of democracy in 1994 and since then we have developed a remarkable body of policy and legislation, which has been acclaimed all over the globe for its progressive and ground-breaking nature.
But we cannot escape the reality that the implementation of the new policy and legislation has been slow, particularly in terms of equity and redress in access to water and sanitation. Although the provision of safe domestic water supplies has reached 95% of the population, showing remarkable strides since 1994, the allocation and reallocation of raw water to historically disadvantaged communities for productive purposes has not progressed as it should. The number of people without adequate services is still too large, particularly among the poor. Continue reading Water resources are reeling under increasing pressure
Coal mining is of particular risk to ground water resources
An environmental report has found that the use of water in electricity production is having a negative impact on the water resources for the country and may have long-term detrimental effects.
The Water Hungry Coal: Burning South Africa’s water to produce electricity report produced by environmental organisation Greenpeace argues that the use of coal to produce electricity has resulted in an unsustainable outlook for South Africa’s water.
“Ironically, burning coal to produce electricity is an incredibly water intensive process, with a number of serious implications for both water quantity and quality,” Greenpeace said.
In Eskom’s latest system status bulletin, the utility says that peak demand on Monday was 31 366MW which it met through running at near capacity of 34 250MW.
The utility has been under strain this year as it has been forced to conduct maintenance while avoiding the rolling blackouts that crippled the country in 2008.
“The demand is increasing and we have not invested early enough,” Eskom CEO Brian Dames told News24. “Some of our power plants are 30 and 35 years old; they have to be maintained.” Continue reading Electricity production places water resources at risk
Durban and Cape Town residents will have to start looking seriously at drinking recycled water from the local sewage works within the next few years as water supplies are running out and there is not enough time to build big new dams.
Gauteng would also have to start diluting large volumes of acidic mine water within the next three years to avoid unacceptable pollution of the Vaal River system
Speaking at a water experts meeting in uMhlanga on Tuesday, Department of Water Affairs planning director Johan van Rooyen said Durban and Cape Town were both flushing large volumes of domestic “waste water” into the sea when it could be recycled to meet the growing water demands.
While it was technically feasible to desalinate sea water to solve the shortage in these cities, the cost of desalinated water was around R12 per kilolitre, whereas recycling domestic effluent to tap water quality cost about R7 per kilolitre.
The conference is investigating and promoting the recycling of domestic and industrial waste-water into drinking quality tap water in the 30th most water-stressed country in the world. Continue reading Cape Town looks to recycled water
There is no food security without water security
Drought in some parts of the world has hurt global grain production and contributed to food price spikes virtually every other year since 2007, highlighting the need to transform the way water is used – and wasted – throughout the entire food chain.
This is one of the key messages that the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (“FAO”) is transmitting this week at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The annual event brings policy makers and experts from around the globe together to discuss pressing issues related to water and its management.
In a speech made today at the Week’s opening ceremony, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva stressed that “there is no food security without water security,” noting that FAO’s recent report, The State of Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture, warns that water scarcity and pollution are posing a growing risk to key food production systems around the world.
“Agriculture, as we practice it today, is one of the causes of this phenomenon, as it represents 70% of all freshwater uses,” said Graziano da Silva.
But, he also noted, the food production sector also offers tremendous potential for changing how the world uses water. Continue reading We need to transform the way water is used