SA in midst of severe water crisis - expert

SA in midst of severe water crisis - expert

Water expert Anthony Turton says South Africa is in the midst of a severe water crisis.

bucket o water
Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash

Turton’s warning comes amid erratic water supply in Johannesburg, and Rand Water’s decision to implement stage 2 water restrictions in Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Ekurhuleni.

Turton believes the water crisis is much worse than people appreciate.  

“We are deeply in a water crisis. Back in 2002 we literally ran out of water, but subsequently to that other things have happened, population have grown due to internal migration from the rural areas to the city and unplanned informal settlement.

“We’ve entered into a chaotic situation with no sense of planning in control. Meanwhile, all the machinery is not being maintained.”

On Thursday, Joburg Mayor Dada Morero said the city is looking to expand its water infrastructure due to the population increase in the past five years.

But Turton said both the soft and hard water data system has been destroyed.

“In 2002 data management systems were replaced, and the new system put in place did not work so the data management system collapsed.

“This means you can’t tell when a pumping station is on or off, check the water levels and all these things used to be connected.

“We have a breakdown in the soft infrastructure and part of the breakdown is the people who are not technically competent sitting in broken institutions with broken computer systems that are inadequate to use.”


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