SA water wastage red flagged

A leading water researcher says SA loses more than 25% of its clean water annually due to poor infrastructure.


CAPE TOWN - A leading water researcher said South Africa loses more than 25 percent of its clean water annually due to poor infrastructure.

The Water Research Commission's CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said drinkable water is being lost via leaking pipes and dripping taps.

The commission believes R300 billion must be spent over the next five years to prevent the county's water supply outstripping demand.

Researchers said water leaks result in more than 230 million of litres of water being lost every day.

Naidoo believes this wastage can be addressed by improving reticulation systems and adjusting consumer behaviour.

"We'll reach a crisis point if we don't pay attention to the engineering. If we don't change our water usage behaviours. I mean we use the highest quality drinking water to do everything in our households and industrial space. This is completely ridiculous."

Naidoo said a looming water crisis can be prevented by modifying water-grading and sanitation systems.

"We need a system that says we need 10 percent high quality water for this purpose, and up to 20 percent for this purpose."

In a bid to tackle the issue, the Department of Water Affairs has implemented water conservation projects in all nine provinces and allocated over R15 billion to infrastructure development during this financial year.