Johannesburg – The country’s water demand will exceed supply by 2025, Consulting Engineers SA (CESA) said on Thursday.
“Of concern are the metropolitan areas such as the Witwatersrand where shortages are expected as soon as 2013,” CESA’s president Zulch Ltter said in Johannesburg.
He said due to rapid urbanisation and infrastructure constraints, intervention was required to prevent serious water shortages by 2019.
“The department of water affairs is and has been trying hard to encourage local authorities to reduce the level of unaccounted for water from a national average of 30% to more acceptable levels of between 10 and 15%, which will reduce the demand significantly.”
Ltter said water quality was deteriorating and interventions were required to build, maintain and upgrade infrastructure and to improve staff skills.
“The potential to impact negatively on the health of individuals and our natural environment requires close attention to be paid to the management of our water and sanitation systems.
“Even the future of river sport – for example – the Dusi canoe marathon, is under threat.”
A comprehensive set of measures was needed to strengthen the management systems for water services in municipalities.
“These require concerted and co-ordinated action from all spheres, and the support of a wide range of roleplayers that goes beyond government to include ordinary people, organised business, and professional sector bodies,” he said.
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