The eThekwini (ett-ta-kweeny) Muncipality Water and Sanitation Department, Durban’s water and waste management provider, avoided huge and expensive equipment, big pipelines, and the complicated sewage disposal practices of centralized water and sanitation systems. Instead it deployed a decentralized strategy, partnerships, baseline research, and less expensive tools that worked.
South Africa is a water-constrained country with a vital need to conserve, manage, and expand its limited water resources as efficiently as possible. Municipalities are now discharging around 4 billion litres of untreated or partially treated sewage into the country’s rivers and dams every day.
Speaking during a visit to Illovo in Kwazulu-Natal as part of his national Vision 2029 tour‚ Maimane charged that the crisis was not only a climate problem‚ but a problem of governance.
The department said the mandatory water interruption is due to dam levels reaching critically low levels. The iLembe District and eThekwini Metro are the regions most impacted by the water rationing.
“If we don’t start dealing with the water problem, we are going to get into a situation where the margins are going to get really tight and water restrictions will be severe,” he said. Cilliers said water management needed to be prioritized.
Residents of Ladybrand, South Africa – both in town and Manyatseng township – in Free State – said they boiled their water daily to ensure that it was safe for consumption. The water is brownish in colour and residents have complained about diarrhoea even after boiling it.
Cape Town, South Africa – A river flowing into scenic Gordon’s Bay has been found to contain potentially deadly levels of E.coli bacteria. It has sparked calls from the ANC for City of Cape Town officials to take immediate action and prevent life-threatening infections, especially among people with low immune systems and those living with HIV
Water stressed cities are importing water and investing in desalination plants. Could treating sewage plant wastewater offer a local, energy-efficient way of securing water supply?
Living in an urban environment, which most people reading this do, we have had the luxury of not really thinking of where water comes from further than we turn on the tap and it’s there. Most people have heard that South Africa is a water stressed country, but have you experienced that? Driving through the streets of Johannesburg it is not uncommon to see thousands of litres of water being used casually to ‘sweep’ a dirty drive-way.
Water from Midmar Dam – one of Durban’s biggest tap water sources – will start to become green, foul-smelling and increasingly undrinkable within 14 years unless pollution from human sewage and farm waste can be reduced quickly.