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DWS presents strategies to mitigate climate change

The department says South Africa is currently water stressed and likely to become water scarce.

Farms in the Western Cape are suffering under the current drought.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Water and Sanitation Department (DWS) says it has a number of plans in place to deal with climate change and drought.

The department has on Thursday briefed the portfolio committee on Water and Sanitation on its strategies to mitigate issues around water scarcity.

The department says South Africa is currently water stressed and likely to become water scarce.

Dr Chris Moseki says in order to prevent the country from getting to this point, the department has to take drastic steps.

This includes enhanced monitoring and protection of what's available, increased efficiency and development of more sources.

He says at local, regional and national level, the climate change strategy includes infrastructure development and water management which includes data monitoring.

“The department is no longer only looking at up to surface water as the primary source, but we would also like to bring in the other sources like reuse, desalination and groundwater.”

The long-term plan includes reservoir resizing and land management.

In the medium term, the focus is on water allocation and demand management, and in the short term irrigation scheduling will be implemented.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)