Save water and ensure economic growth

Thursday, March 22, 2018

As countries observe World Water Day, South Africans have been reminded to save water as it is crucial for development.

“We need to use water for economic growth and development for all sectors in the country as water is the catalyst for economic growth,” said Director for Water Sector Regulation at the Water and Sanitation Department, Hangwani Mabada.

He took media on a tour of Roodeplaat Dam on Thursday. The concrete arch dam, which is situated on the Pienaars river north-east of Pretoria, holds 42 million m3 of water. Of this water, 2.6 million m3 of it is supplied as drinking water to surrounding areas such as Temba, Hammanskraal and Wallmannthal Purification Works.

Mabada said the tour was aimed at showing media where the water comes from and the extensive work that goes into purifying the water to ensure it is safe for consumption.

Often when people see water coming out of their taps they think there is plenty of the precious resource, but that is not the case. “Water is a system, it come from the rain, enters our rivers, goes into our catchment dams and heads for purification and finally into our taps,” said Director Mabada.

As nature would have it, the tour took place amid heavy rainfall and the dam was sitting at an overflow of 102 percent capacity levels.

“While it is raining now, it may give a false picture that we have enough of this resource but the reality is we don’t. It doesn’t always rain like this, and we need to prepare for the winter season as we don’t get much rain during this period,” said Director Mabada.

Last week the drought was declared a national disaster by government. This declaration paved the way for the national executive to oversee the crisis while working closely with other spheres of government to deal with the disaster and its consequences.

The declaration covers a period of three months and ensures that affected areas receive funds from the disaster grant.

The department’s call for water conservation seeks to address this problem and curb it from happening in other areas.

“We must conserve water to prevent the possibility of facing the situation which is currently being experienced in other areas,” said Director Mabada. –


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