There is a high risk that water restrictions will be imposed in all of the metropolitan areas of South Africa over the next five years, with restrictions currently in place in six of the eight metros, the government says.
Written in the National Infrastructure Plan 2050, which was published by Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille on Friday (March 11), the government warned that seven of the 13 major water systems in 2040 could be a shortage. Although interventions have been identified for all major water systems, decisions and implementation have been delayed, it said.
“According to the National Master Plan Water and Sanitation, in the absence of timely interventions, the demand for water will exceed the available supply at the planned level of certainty by between 1.6 billion and 2.7 billion cubic meters by 2030, a shortage of about 10% to 15% of required water.
It added that tackling South Africa’s water management challenges will not be easier.
“Water demand will continue to grow as a result of economic growth, urbanization and rising living standards. Non-agricultural water demand is projected to increase by more than 40% between 2020 and 2050, much of this driven by an increase in water demand in urban areas .
Just to maintain the current yields of crops, the use of irrigated water – which accounts for 60% of current use 0 – could grow by another six percentage points, it said.
“Increase in irrigated area will have to be achieved through a combination of expanded water availability and more efficient use of existing water use rights. Water use in the urban areas of South Africa is high and there are high levels of water and water loss without revenue.
It added that water quality in the rivers is declining and wetlands are being degraded as a result of increasing pollution of urban, industrial, mining and agricultural activities, reducing water availability and increasing treatment costs.
Of particular concern is the poor condition and performance of wastewater treatment plants. Many plants are undercapacity and poorly maintained. This has significant economic consequences, especially for downstream users.
All major cities of South Africa will have to deal with water restrictions for the next 5 years
Source link All major cities of South Africa will have to deal with water restrictions for the next 5 years