SA groundwater not properly managed - Expert

2013-11-20 11:31


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - South Africa’s 10.3 billion cubic metre groundwater resources are not being properly managed, according to a water expert.

“Groundwater has not been managed at the local level. Operation and maintenance issues are depriving communities of accessible water and the economy of significant growth,” Water Research Commission research manager, Dr Shafick Adams told News24.

According to Adams there is a lack of adequate budgeting so “they would install a scheme but there is no long-term planning for maintenance and to make sure that it is run efficiently”.

South Africa’s 10.3 billion cubic metres of annual renewable groundwater is significant when compared to its 12 billion cubic metres of surface water of which all is allocated for use.  

“We can still use a lot more groundwater, but it is not getting prominence in terms of governance provisions," Adams said.

The government has made attempts to mainstream groundwater by incorporating it into the National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS).

According to earlier reports on the draft NWRS, SA needs R670bn to upgrade its water infrastructure over the next decade.

Adams says “this investment estimate relies mainly on surface water developments. Greater use of groundwater might mitigate these costs, and reduce the financial, environmental and social costs to the country”.

In South Africa about 98% of groundwater is found in fractured, hard rock aquifer systems.

Primary aquifers are restricted to coastal sand deposits along the west and south coast of the Cape and along the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

Follow Dane on Twitter

Read more on:    wrc  |  water
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.