Water Shortage Crisis Looming in South Africa

Posted in: Crisis Response, Global Water News, Water Crisis
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Article courtesy of Alameen Templeton | June 25, 2014 | The Citizen | Shared as educational material

South Africa faces a massive water shortage in the near future, but contingency plans are already in place, the SA Local Government Association (Salga) said yesterday.

“New dams are coming because this is a challenge that we are actually experiencing as a country in its totality,” Salga councillor Pinky Moloi said.

As she made the announcement, news emerged that GIBB, the black-owned consulting engineering firm, had been contracted to supply water to Midvaal and Vaal Marina’s low-cost housing areas.

Mining companies – after decades spent polluting groundwater – are now preparing for an era when they will be supplying processed drinking water to municipalities.

Billiton and Anglo American have been providing eMalahleni with reconditioned minewater since 2005.

“We are aware of the fact that there is going to be a shortage of water in general at some point,” Moloi said. Sapa reports she said it was important to educate people on water conservation.

Moloi was addressing the media on Salga’s annual report on water service delivery at municipalities as part of the Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (MBI).

She said it was inconceivable that with all the technological advances in the world contaminated water still caused deaths.

“Water security remains one of the most tangible social, political, and economic challenges faced by communities across the globe today,” she said.

The MBI is aimed at supporting municipalities in improving the efficiency of service delivery.

Carel Davids, Project Leader at GIBB said, “Both the Mamello and Midvaal bulk water and sewerage infrastructure projects began in 2012 and are currently underway. Environmental approvals are underway for both the Sicelo Bulk Sewage and Sicelo Bulk Water projects and the projects will be completed by 2017.”

The project also included the construction of a sewerage pump station, 110mm rising main, an outfall sewer to the Vaal Marina Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) and refurbishments at the Vaal Marina WWTW.

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