Vaal River at risk - report

2012-07-20 07:31
Community members celebrate the Adopt a River campaign. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Community members celebrate the Adopt a River campaign. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - The Vaal River system is at "significant risk" due to unlawful water use, acid mine drainage and municipal water losses, Business Day newspaper reported on Friday.

The river supplies water to 60% of the country's economy and 45% of the population.

Water Affairs spokesperson Linda Page said unlawful water use last year was estimated at 244 million cubic metres.

"We know that the biggest culprits are farmers in this area," Page told the daily.

Non-revenue water (water not billed for by municipalities through loss and errors) comprised about 36% of total water use.

To sustain water, SA needed to eradicate unlawful irrigation by 2013 and implement the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water project, the newspaper reported.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  water  |  environment

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