Five Jaw Dropping Facts about South Africa’s Water Crisis
Significant downpour throughout the country has been welcomed with open arms by all; whilst Gauteng enjoys full dams, the Western Cape is still in the grips in one f the worst droughts experienced to date – and residents have we’ve been advised that drought-related woes are still an area of concern. If you still believe it’s more of a cover up than a valid concern, read on.
37% of our drinkable water is being lost, needlessly
South Africa is losing the equivalent of 4.3 million swimming pools of water a year because of leaky pipes and theft, The Sunday Times reported. The water loss reportedly cost South Africa around R7.2bn a year.
It is predicted that South Africa’s water demand will outstrip its supply by 2030
The 2030 Water Resources Group, of which the Water Affairs department is a member, has calculated that, by 2030, the demand for water will exceed supply by 17%.
Water Shedding is a Reality
This measure was introduced in late 2016 – before we saw any of the recent rainfall. South Africans would now need to learn to adapt to having limited supplies of water throughout the day, until the minimum saving of 15% per metropolitan was achieved. Ekurhuleni was off the target badly – having only saved close on 5% in the first month of implementation. We are no seeing reduced water pressure and a complete shut-off of water between (usually) 9pm-5am on a rotational basis between area’s.
Prices of basic food items are inflating
We have seen a close on 20% rise in the price of maize between May 2016 to where we are now;
“Researchers working on the SPII Basic Needs Basket Project, which monitors the prices or cost of 39 goods and services each month countrywide, have found that the price of maize meal has shot up by 37% in urban areas in the Free State, 34% in North West and 29% in Gauteng. In rural areas, prices increased by 39% in the Free State and 25% in Gauteng.
The price of samp, SPII researchers found, increased by 41% and 38% in the Free State and North West’s urban areas, respectively.”
“A report released by the UN’s food and nutrition working group last month found this drought – the country’s worst since 1992 – had caused a decline in maize production that had already led to an increase in food prices of 6.4%.
“South Africa’s first maize production forecast estimates the 2015 harvest to be the worst in eight years,” it found.
The Crop Estimates Committee predicts this season’s harvest will be 9.84 million metric tons, the smallest since 2007.”
Less local equates to more imports which again equates to far, far higher prices.
The Worst Drought in over two decades
In May 2014, it was predicted that 2014 was set to be the biggest harvest since 1981. It was predicted that 13.5 million tons of maize would be harvested by end of the season. Well, 10 months later and the worst drought since 1992 we end up in a situation where we have to import maize due to the volatile climate we are experiencing now
The effects are far-reaching, disastrous and frightening.
Ready to shorten that shower and not fill the pool?
Source credit: jamiat.org