Water shortage

2015-05-05 06:00

Cape Town’s fresh water supply is under major threat and according to the Department of Water and Sanitation most analysts predict South Africa’s water demand will outstrip its supply by 2025.

Already the demand for water has overtaken supply in 60% of South Africa’s water management systems.

However, according to water scientists, changing our everyday behaviour can help to alleviate the pressure put on our reserves due to climate change, pollution and outdated infrastructure.

During National Water Week, Monday 16 to Sunday 22 March, the Watershed Festival aimed to restore the public’s appreciation of clean and accessible drinking water, reminding them of its worth, scarcity and the absence of a substitute.

The festival saw free educational events held across the city, including an outdoor screening of two award-winning documentary feature films depicting water in all its beauty at Green Point Urban Park.

The Watershed Festival looks to create increased awareness of the Cape and South Africa’s water crisis. With dams currently at 69% capacity, all it will take to literally run on empty is a few consecutive winters with less than expected rainfall thanks to climate change.

And 40% of our waste water treatment facilities are in a critical state and in need of an upgrade, having outlived their 30-year lifespan by a decade or so.

South Africa loses 37% of clean, drinkable water through leaking pipes and dripping taps every year, while increasing pollution due to rapidly expanding urban areas and illegal dumping add to the crisis.


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