A trained scientist specialising in water resource management as a strategic issue, Professor Anthony Turton says he has been trying to get South Africans to take the water crisis in the country seriously for years.
Turton, who has a with a robust publication record, explains that the water crisis is not exclusive to South Africa but is, in fact, a global problem.
He adds that what is happening in the country is a microcosm of what is happening elsewhere. Turton says Queensland, a state in Australia has the same crisis as Cape Town. The area has not had sufficient rain in three years.
I recently participated in producing a documentary programme on Mediterranean climates around the world, where California and parts of South America have the exact problem.— Professor Anthony Turton, Trained scientist specialising in water resource management
It is a global crisis and gets amplified by local exacerbating factors says Turton.
Turton goes on to say the water crisis won't make front page newspaper headlines because South African's tend to take things for granted. He says another reason we take things for granted is because South Africa's economic powerhouse Gauteng, is the only city in the world that isn't on a river, lake or waterfront.
Gauteng happens to be on a continental watershed divide because of the mining history in the province "so we shouldn't actually be here as a city", explains Turton.
We're essentially here because of a very clever manipulation of hydraulic systems. We basically pump water uphill to power and money and it flows away as dirty water and that's our essential issue in South Africa.— Professor Anthony Turton, Trained scientist specializing in water resource management
Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water, and waste services in the City of Cape Town says it is business unusual in the Mother City.
Limberg believes the City of Cape Town is handling the water crisis.
We believe we have done enough. The City's corporation and support of the national department and management of the regions water resources has been pronounced.— Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services, CoT
Through our demand management intervention we've managed to sustain our water consumption at a stable level over the last seventeen years despite growing in population and growth in the economy.— Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services, CoT
Listen to the full conversation in the clip below: