South Africa urged to find better ways to manage water


File: The eThewkwini Metro municipality admitted that 237 million litres of water was being lost daily as a result of broken and leaking pipes.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa is not facing a water crisis and the country should just find better ways to manage our water.

That assertion comes from Dr. Marius Claassen from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The country has been besieged by two water problems in the last week.

Gauteng residents have been urged to use water sparingly while Kwa-Zulu Natal has been declared a disaster zone.

South Africa is not the first country to be experiencing a water problem and certainly not the last.

There are two aspects to water and development.

The first is the development of infrastructure to capture, store and convey water and the second is to manage water demand.

In South Africa (and most developed countries) the available options for storage (dams) have been put in place, whereas most other sub-Saharan African countries have comparatively little infrastructure (except Zimbabwe, which also has a lot of dams).

Claassen says that since South Africa has developed most of its storage options, the country has to now look at efficiency in conveyance such as fixing leaking pipes and reducing the demand.

“We are not unique in the world. Even in the USA, where they have fantastic infrastructure, they now also have severe water restrictions,” Claassen said.

“We have to find better ways to save water because one of the issues that we have is that we are wasting too much water.

“About 30 to 40 percent of the municipal water is lost through leakages before it reaches the end user.

“We just have to maintain our systems better then we will have about 40 percent more of water and that will last us about a decade more.”

Some countries have found ways to reduce water consumption and save on their liquid resources.

In the United States, California residents have cut back their water consumption by more than 25 percent since Governor Jerry Brown put a mandate into water conversation in June.

According to American media, officials in that state say they may impose new penalties and hire extra staff in order to meet water conservation goals that the city so far has failed to meet.

Heading east of the world map - because of its desert location - Israel has been one of the leading countries when it comes to the conservation of water.

“The country recycles 85 percent of wastewater,” From The Grapevine publication reported.

“By 2020, it estimates that 50 percent of its agricultural needs will be met with recycled water.

“Additionally, with more than 300 water technology companies specializing in desalination, it earns $2 billion annually by exporting its water to other countries.”

According to Global Research, the following countries below are at risk of water shortages.


1. Somalia

2. Mauritania

3. Sudan

4. Niger

5. Iraq

6. Uzbekistan

7. Pakistan

8. Egypt

9. Turkmenistan

10. Syria

Here are some tips on how to save water:

-     Don’t water your garden between 6am and 6pm

-     Use a bucket to wash your car

-     Don’t top up your swimming pool

-     Fix faulty toilets and taps

-     Turn the tap off while washing, shaving or brushing teeth

-     Take a shower, instead of a bath

-     Put a brick in the toilet cistern to reduce water usage.