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SA ranked 30th driest country in the world

Drought conditions continue to maintain a stranglehold in various provinces including the Western and Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

FILE: The Theewaterskloof Dam near Cape Town. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Chad are listed as the top three water-scarce countries in the world.

South Africa is facing its own water crisis and is currently ranked the 30th driest country in the world.

Drought conditions continue to maintain a stranglehold in various provinces, including the Western and Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has threatened to turn off some municipalities’ taps because of their unpaid bills.

Collectively, she says they owe her department more than R10 billion.

At least a third of the world’s population does not have access to fresh water for at least one month a year.

UCT’s Doctor Kevin Winter is warning this may be our reality in Cape Town if consumption isn’t slashed.

“My overall sense is we’re 70% of the way there, could we do better? Of course, we can!”

The United Nations World Water Development report states wastewater remains the biggest untapped resource to help ease the burden of water scarcity around the globe.

But the bulk of it is released into the environment without being treated.

UN officials say water pollution is worsening in many rivers across Africa which in turn causes thousands of deaths annually.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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