Gauteng and NW Province

Water Efficiency in Gauteng

Alfred Nhlapho 28/01/2014
The Department of Infrastructure Development is putting into action the Water Efficiency Project as part of the Gauteng Green Agenda on water conservation and alternative energy resources mobilisation, this in order to enable the residents of the province to sustain their livelihoods from the limited resources available, for a long time into the future.  Given the rising concern about the huge loss of clean water, through old and derelict water pipes and other related facilities, as well as irresponsible and wasteful water usage in the broader communities and various industries, the government is taking bold steps to intervene. Otherwise, the province could run out of water, in the long term. The department is also harnessing partnerships with municipalities on the need to ensure that the related infrastructure is properly geared for this objective. Various municipalities are currently implementing massive water infrastructure rehabilitation programmes in this regard.
The Water Efficiency Project, under DID auspices, is about reconfiguring water infrastructure in all government buildings, programmes and projects, so as to minimise water wastage. Research is currently being finalised on reducing the size of flushing tanks in ablution facilities, and restrooms, from the current ten litres to about two litres, while also looking into harvesting rain water through installation of dedicated tanks and related facilities. The harvested rain water would then be used for the flushing of waste, as well as for cleaning services, instead of using the scarce drinking water resource. Water recycling and re-use is also part of this initiative. It is the view of the department that the use of tap water to flush waste is not sustainable. The installation of motion-sensitive water taps is also part of the water conservation plans under consideration.
According to experts, only less than one percent of water on earth is easily accessible and fresh, thereby, making water a very scarce resource that should be preserved for the benefit of future generations. Geographically, Gauteng is also the smallest province in South Africa, although it is the most populated area, being home to more than 12million residents, thus making water a highly pressing need in the province. And, with Gauteng Provincial Government having built more than eight hundred thousand (800 000) new homes since 1994, all connected to the water provision services, this becomes even more urgent.

It is envisaged that the Water Efficiency Project will also help educate the various Gauteng communities about the importance of saving and recycling water.


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