Read this before you drink that next glass of water

2014-11-06 08:09
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WATCH: 5 ways to test if your family’s water is safe

2014-11-05 09:02

Many of us take our clean drinking water for granted. But are you sure that what's coming out of your tap is really safe? These quick tests will help you decide. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - Clean, fresh drinking water is something that many South Africans take for granted on a daily basis. But a number of looming threats may soon put our drinking water at risk. Here are four disturbing facts to consider.

There isn't much to spare

Our water situation is much worse than many residents of South Africa even realise. Did you know that more than 98% of the available water supply is already being used? Unfortunately due to “old and unreliable infrastructure” much of our already dwindling water supply is being wasted, according to Marius Claassen, aquatic ecologist and head of water resources research at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Usable water is dripping away

A shocking 37% of our clean, usable water is being wasted due to dripping taps and leaking pipes. “There’s the next 10 year’s water supply,” says Christine Colvin from the Freshwater Programme at the WWF.

We’re struggling to clean it

Almost 40% of our waste water treatment is in a critical state. And it's only getting worse. Due to budget constraints sanitation is not being prioritised by many of our municipalities, according to a report from the SAHRC

If our water is not being monitored and cleaned the risk of water borne diseases, especially to those living in informal settlements, skyrockets.

Hazardous waste is a threat

Pollution is a huge threat to our water supply and with only 5% of hazardous waste being disposed of in the correct way, it’s no surprise that our water is at risk. A European Union report found that South Africa’s harmful waste production is so massive that it is “more in line with that for developed countries”. This stat becomes even more frightening when we consider that we have almost no ability to deal with the waste we produce.  

Read this News24 investigation for more detail on South Africa’s looming water disaster.

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