Specialising in
Grey Water
and
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

South Africa’s water challenges differ for different people

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 17 January 2011

By: Mike Muller Former director-general of water affairs and forestry, a registered engineer and a visiting adjunct professor at the Wits Graduate School of Public and Development Management.

South Africa’s real water crisis is that the stuff is just too damn complicated. What do you think about when you worry about water? Can you afford to pay your water bill?

There is normally some water in the Komati because downstream Mozambique vigorously defends its rights to a share of their water.

Is the water in the tap safe to drink? Is there even water in the tap? Or perhaps what you really want to know is when you are going to get a tap?

If you run a business, is the quality and reliability of the water good enough for your needs? Do you even know where your water comes from?

Different South Africans face very different water challenges as a few cases will show.

For a taste of an immediate water crisis, start in the municipality of Nkomazi between Kanyamazane, Malelane and Komatipoort. Through the cane fields south of the N4, you are in rural South Africa, with half a million people living scattered across what used to be the homeland of KaNgwane.

There is normally some water in the big rivers, the Komati, Lomati and Crocodile, because downstream Mozambique vigorously defends its rights to a share of their water. That’s just as well because if you ask anyone what their water problems are, you will be told that, too often, the pipes are dry.

Even when the water flows, it may not be safe to drink. Here the problem is not the water resource, the water in the rivers, but rather the water services, the water in the pipes. Even where there is infrastructure, its management is an impossible task in an area with too many users and not enough supply. Continue reading South Africa’s water challenges differ for different people

Taps in Chipinge ran dry 10 years ago

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 June 2010

Ambuya Marvelous Mlambo stealthily creeps out of her house to avoid waking her three little grandchildren who are at the lowest ebb of slumber.

She makes her way quietly to the neighbouring borehole armed with her two 25-litre buckets in which she intends to bring some water home. Scores of other women, young and old are already at the borehole when she arrives so she has to join the queue. The time is 12 midnight.

The weather is unruly and very cold so she is wrapped in a very heavy trench coat. The other people are just taking their turns quietly. They have an average of at least three containers each.

When her turn finally comes, it is already three o’clock in the morning. She laboriously fills her containers before making her way home and sneaking in quietly once again to avoid disturbing the sleeping toddlers. An hour later, she becomes part of the snoring that until then had only been coming from the children’s quarters.

It is not long before she is jolted awake by the noise of neighbours rushing to the borehole too. This time it is six o’clock in the morning and she has to get up and prepare something for the children before she sees them off to school.

Gogo Mlambo lives in the Gaza high-density suburb of Chipinge and this is the kind of life she has been living for the past 10 years. Their water taps ran dry leaving them depending on water from springs that are dotted along the banks of a stream that runs along the outskirts of the suburb. Continue reading Taps in Chipinge ran dry 10 years ago

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 […]