#WaterWatch

How to stop South Africa's billion rand water loss

At the Water Indaba held this week in Cape Town, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced that South Africa is up to R7 billion in water losses annually.

The dams are standing currently at 77.2% full, up from last year's 54%, but several provinces still face severe water challenges.

Prof. Anthony Turton, Professor at the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of Free State is on the line to talk about the Water Indaba he attended.

This R7 billion is linked to their water trading facility within the department, and the number is contested because the auditor has highlighted this as being the number and the department is saying it is not in deficit to this effect.

Prof. Anthony Turton, Professor at the Centre for Environmental Management, University of Free State

Turton says he would go with the Auditor General's figures and so believes there is a shortfall of about R7 billion.

The significance of this is that the central water trading account is what is used to balance the flow of water at a national level. So one water management area can buy or sell water to another water management area in times of drought or in times of abundance.

Prof. Anthony Turton, Professor at the Centre for Environmental Management, University of Free State

This is, therefore, a central component in the sustainable management of our resource which is becoming increasingly important as the resource becomes more scarce.

We must distinguish between the rhetoric and the reality. Now the rhetoric is that if there is water scarcity we must change our consumption patterns. We understand that. So how do we change the patterns? ...We have to have that driven at a high strategic level as a policy reform initiative, at a Cabinet level.

Prof. Anthony Turton, Professor at the Centre for Environmental Management, University of Free State

He says we need economic structural reform so that we recycle all the water in the economy.

At the moment we tend to use the water once and then flush it away as waste and never consume it again. This is one of those big behavioural changes we are going to have to undergo in the next decade.

Prof. Anthony Turton, Professor at the Centre for Environmental Management, University of Free State

And droughts are not ending he says.

Data of El Nino events shows there is an absolutely clear steady upward trend in the max and min temps of sea level of the Pacific Ocean and it is directly related to the severity of droughts and floods in our part of the world. And that will not stop, he says.

Take a listen to how Prof Turton believes operations and management of water supplies could help lessen the losses:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Be prepared: CoCT is conducting site-inspections of wellpoints and boreholes

Be prepared: CoCT is conducting site-inspections of wellpoints and boreholes

Mayco Member for Water and Waste Services at City Of Cape TownXanthea Limberg explains.

Capetonians water consumption down by about 536 million litres of water a day

Capetonians water consumption down by about 536 million litres of water a day

Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg talks to Kieno Kammies about Cape Town's latest dam levels.

Here are the amended level 3 water restrictions for Cape Town

Here are the amended level 3 water restrictions for Cape Town

The City has further relaxed level 3 water restrictions allowing the use of a hosepipe fitted with a self-closing system.

Cape winter rainfall predictions 'too soon to tell'

Cape winter rainfall predictions 'too soon to tell'

Piotr Wolski of the Climate Systems Analysis Group at UCT talks to Kieno Kammies about this year's winter rainfall pattern.

Alien Attack! The trees causing CPT to lose 50 billion litres of water each year

Alien Attack! The trees causing CPT to lose 50 billion litres of water each year

Director at the Nature Conservancy South Africa Louise Stafford says the loss is equivalent to two months water supply.

10 key changes that kick in when water restrictions drop from Level 5 to Level 3

10 key changes that kick in when water restrictions drop from Level 5 to Level 3

Cape Town is dropping water restrictions from Level 5 to Level 3 as of Saturday, 1 December. Here's how it'll affect residents.

Popular articles
No traffic and everyone’s at home… Some short-term insurers offer lower premiums

No traffic and everyone’s at home… Some short-term insurers offer lower premiums

Short-term insurers suddenly carry a massively reduced risk burden, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler. Getting some back?

A tipping point for video conferencing

A tipping point for video conferencing

A business tool for older generations, a staple for younger ones

Total number of positive coronavirus cases rises to 1,380

Total number of positive coronavirus cases rises to 1,380

This is an increase of 27 cases from Tuesday's announcement. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has tested negative for the virus.

What is an 'economic depression'? Are we heading for one? Lessons from history…

What is an 'economic depression'? Are we heading for one? Lessons from history…

The Great Depression started 91 years ago and changed everything. Bruce Whitfield speaks to economic historian Keith Breckenridge.

Sars collects R1.4tr in taxes – up 5.3% on a year before, despite the recession

Sars collects R1.4tr in taxes – up 5.3% on a year before, despite the recession

Despite the achievement, the country still lost R100 billion in uncollected taxes, says Commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

Struggling to pay a debt? Your options: credit insurance vs debt relief holiday

Struggling to pay a debt? Your options: credit insurance vs debt relief holiday

Personal Finance expert Maya Fischer-French on the pros/cons of dipping into credit insurance vs opting for a debt relief holiday.

Absa launches extensive Covid-19 payment relief programme

Absa launches extensive Covid-19 payment relief programme

Absa is providing payment relief to its retail clients as well as its business banking and wealth customers.

'Gita Ramjee was probably one of the most remarkable women you would have met'

'Gita Ramjee was probably one of the most remarkable women you would have met'

The revered South African HIV scientist passed away at a Durban hospital on Tuesday after COVID-19-related complications.

[LOCKDOWN] Sars outlines measures to cushion the COVID-19 blow

[LOCKDOWN] Sars outlines measures to cushion the COVID-19 blow

Commissioner Edward Kieswetter says they have diverted customers to their online channels and contact centres.

How to communicate with frustrated children during lockdown

How to communicate with frustrated children during lockdown

Fair Practice Mediation Services director advocate Veerash Srikison says communication can breakdown in families during this time.