Every drop counts

2009-09-22 12:09

MORE than R1million worth of water in South Africa cannot be

accounted for.

And that is for last year alone.

This is because more than a quarter (32%) of water is lost at

municipal level, excluding that wasted by the public.

That was the alarming finding made public by Department of

Environmental and Water Affairs’ director-general for policy and regulation,

Sizwe Mkhize, when addressing representatives of various Gauteng municipalities

gathered at the water conservation workshop held at Midrand in Gauteng on


“Please invest in water conservation,” urged Mkhize.

“Purified water flowing through pipes underground is a commodity

... it is money,” he added.

Mkhize said the Vaal River system, South Africa’s main water

supply, currently pumps water to 45% of the country’s population. Sixty percent

of the country’s economic growth and development also depends on the Vaal Dam

for water supply.

Without proper plans to conserve water, the water affairs

department says the country’s water supply will dry out by the year 2013.

The different municipalities present at the workshop pledged their

commitment to conserving water in Gauteng.

According to the pledge, each municipality must save 15% of its

water supply a year by 2013.

Mkhize noted that an extra 15% of water could also be saved with

behavioural changes from the public.

Gauteng local government and housing MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro said

saving enough water at municipality level within the specified time was

possible, but only if municipalities and public members worked together.

The department’s chief operations officer Mongezi Mnyani said

attempts to save water now would ensure that alternative plans were put in place

in time to ensure sufficient water supply even to the year 2055, irrespective of

the negative impact climate change could bring in the future.

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