Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 05-12-2018
A water expert has told Radio Islam that South Africa’s water system is on the brink of institutional failure with serious concerns being raised about the current quality of the water being distributed.
The provincial government has set up a “war room” to fight the problem which is expected to take at least a trillion Rand to fix.
The aim of the war room is to reduce the amount of water being consumed in the province and to fix sewage plants which are very run down.
Water expert, Dr Anthony Turton says while the volume of water being consumed is a separate issue, the quality of water being distributed to South Africans is disturbing.
“All of our drinking water comes from rivers and none of the bulk water treatment plants that has even been built was designed to take sewage water and turn into portable drinking water. The crisis now is much more health related, its more an infrastructural engineering related crisis because ultimately we are recycling sewage back into the drinking water stream with engineered systems that were never designed to do that.”
Turton says a huge investment is needed to repair the current water crisis.
“At the moment people are shying away from putting money into the water sector, because we need about one Trillion Rand to bring the water sector back up to speed.”
Turnton says the water reform and water sector upgrades is seen as a plan to kick start the economy because there isn’t enough water and energy to sustain economic development.