SA facing water pollution crisis

2010-09-28 22:40
Johannesburg - By 2015, 80% of South Africa's fresh water resources will be so badly polluted that no process of purification available in the country will be able to make it fit for consumption.

The Environment and Conservation Association said in a statement on Tuesday that it was estimated that in five years, almost 80% of the country's fresh water resources would be so badly polluted that no process of purification available in the country would be able to clean it sufficiently to make it fit for human or animal consumption.

"If we do not find a completely new source of water altogether in about two years, most of Gauteng will be without safe drinking water."

The impending disaster that would be created by acid mine drainage as well as sewerage and industrial pollution had on many occasions been brought to the attention of the government, with no positive results however, the association said.

The association would embark on a massive water monitoring project where it would roll out water testing and monitoring in the six major water catchments in Gauteng and Limpopo, to produce independent and accurate results of exactly how bad the country's water was.

Those results would be released to the public and the media, both locally and internationally.

"We will need approximately R1m for this project. It is time that big businesses, especially those that rely on water for the production of their products like Coca Cola, SAB Miller, Windhoek Beer, all soft drink manufacturers and food producers, get involved and make a substantial contribution towards organisations like ours so we can save South Africa's water."

Water preservation and conservation was not just an environmental issue, but an economic issue.

"Almost 56% of the products we consume rely directly on the supply of clean healthy water, and if this water is not available, those products cannot be produced.

"Water affects every single part of our daily lives and without it we cannot survive. We cannot eat and we will be left in a country made barren by pollution."

- SAPA
Read more on:    environment  |  pollution
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