Gauteng and NW Province

National Water Week March 17-23

The National Department of Water Affairs have released the following key messages.

Water is a scarce resource – let us work together to conserve it!

• Water scarcity is a global challenge that effects many regions in the world with Southern Africa being the hardest hit.

• South Africa is a water scarce country, ranked the 30th driest country in the world with annual rainfall levels about half the world average.

• In many parts of the country we have either reached or are fast approaching the point at which all viable freshwater resources will be fully utilised.

• Every South African needs to take immediate measures to preserve and save water so that we do not face a future water crisis.

• We all have a part in conserving water and reducing demand for the good of the country’s resources and to preserve a legacy for future generations.

Government can’t do it alone.

• Water conservation begins with each one of us; there needs to be a change in attitude and behavior to use water more wisely in our daily activities.

• Efficient water use ensures a reliable supply, which in turn improves the quality of life of all South Africans, and promotes local economic development.

• Take action and report all water leaks on your property or in your area to your local municipality for assistance.

• Report unlawful usage of water, dumping of agricultural, industrial and sewerage waste in rivers to our compliance monitoring and enforcement unit the “Blue Scorpions”.

• Our water infrastructure belongs to all of us and we must not allow it to be vandalised or uncared for as we depend on it for a vital services.

• Government calls on all stakeholders to come together in a collective effort to conserve water in order for it to have a greater impact.

• Municipal councillors are encouraged to engage communities on planned water disruptions and maintenance.

The provision of water has been a key priority for government since the advent of democracy.

• Since 1994 government has been hard at work ensuring that all South Africans have access to water.

• Government is committed to continue to roll out its interventions to ensure the universal access of water.

• In 1994, only 59% of our people had access to clean and safe drinking water, by 2013 we had progressed to a national average of 95.2%.

• Government has a 10-year plan to address the water access backlog.

Government acknowledges that water challenges still persist in some areas.

• Being a water scarce country and coupled with infrastructure and maintenance challenges means that in some areas the provision of water continues to remain a challenge.

• Ageing and mal-functional infrastructure which is compounded by vandalism poses a serious problem.

• Lack of engineering skills prevents proper maintenance of our water infrastructure.

• Our water quality is negatively affected by pollution.

• Seasonal droughts impact on amount of water available.

Our plans are supported by the building of sustainable water infrastructure.

• Through Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP) 18 South Africa has a 10 year plan to address the estimated backlog of adequate water supply to 1.4 million households and 2.1 million households to basic sanitation.

• Our water projects will provide new infrastructure, rehabilitation and upgrading of existing ones, as well as improve water management infrastructure.

• In expanding our water supply the following projects where recently launched:

–          The MooiMgeni Transfer Scheme 2 (MMTS-2) which includes the Spring Grove Dam in KwaZulu-Natal which will boost declining water supply in the area and benefit approximately 5 million people.

–          The newly constructed De Hoop Dam in Limpopo economically supplies water to towns and poorly serviced communities in the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn district municipalities.

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