Fresh water crisis on SA’s horizon

By 2015, 80% of South Africa’s fresh water resources would be so badly polluted that no process of purification available in the country would be able to make it fit for human or animal consumption, the Environment and Conservation Association said yesterday.

“If we do not find a completely new source of water altogether in about two years, most of Gauteng will be without safe drinking water.”

The impending disaster that would be created by acid mine drainage, as well as sewerage and industrial pollution, had on many occasions been brought to the attention of the government, with no positive results, the association said.

The association would embark on a massive water monitoring project where it would roll out water testing and monitoring in the six major water catchments in Gauteng and Limpopo to produce independent and accurate results.

Those results would be released to the public and the media, both locally and internationally.

“We will need approximately R1 million for this project. It is time that big business, especially those that rely on water for the production of their products – such as Coca-Cola, SABMiller, Windhoek, soft drink manufacturers and food producers – to get involved and make a substantial contribution towards organisations like ours so we can save South Africa’s water.”

Water preservation and conservation was not just an environmental issue, but an economic issue.

“Almost 56% of the products we consume rely directly on the supply of clean, healthy water. If this water is not available, those products cannot be produced,” the association said.

“Water affects every single part of our daily lives and without it we cannot survive. We cannot eat and we will be left in a country made barren by pollution.”

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