View Full Version : Water shedding

05-12-2015, 04:32 PM
Dit lyk so al of ons die selfde pad gaan loop met water beperkings as wat ons met krag doen.

Meer by die skakel - http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2015/05/05/water-shortages-about-to-put-load-shedding-in-the-dark

WHILE load-shedding continues, there is an even more worrying prospect ahead: water-shedding. Like the energy crisis, the abysmal state of water in SA is a combination of at least three factors: resource depletion (and contamination), growing demand and inefficient infrastructure.Rainfall levels are dropping quickly due to climate change. A recent study published by the World Economic Forum says droughts this century will become more recurrent and severe than in the previous millennium. We feel that already. Over the summer holidays, for instance, eThekwini municipality took the unprecedented decision of asking residents and holiday makers to drastically reduce water consumption to avoid systemic cutbacks, given that the Hazelmere Dam had reached dramatically low levels because of prolonged drought.
Besides climate change, we also have a skewed economy that is out of touch with natural equilibrium: it demands more and more water to fuel economic growth, while wasting and contaminating what we have.
As we know, the mining industry bears a historical responsibility. Acid mine drainage, which occurs in gold and coal mines when rock chemistry generates sulphuric acid, can turn neutral water into a harmful and at times poisonous liquid. Research has shown acid mine drainage can cause cancer, impair cognitive functions and produce skin lesions. Water sources in Gauteng’s East and West Rand already suffer from this problem, and the proliferation of coal licences in Mpumalanga does not bode well for the state of water in that province either.
According to a study published by the South African Journal of Science, the Olifants River catchment is already heavily affected by acid mine drainage. Besides the potential damage that fracking in the Karoo would have on aquifers, various forms of contamination have already affected the Hartbeespoort Dam and Umgeni River. Commercial agriculture, which is the largest user of water in SA, is notoriously inefficient in how it uses this resource for irrigation and other purposes.
Against such a backdrop, it has been predicted SA will face serious water shortages by 2020, but there are many signs the crisis is already with us. Last year, the Department of Water and Sanitation reported that 37% of our clean, drinkable water is being lost through leaking pipes, dripping taps and other infrastructure failures. According to some analysts, this is probably an optimistic estimate, with overall losses accounting for more than 50%.