Water may dry up in Gauteng by 2013!
21 Sep 2009
"As we deliberate on this critical matter, we need to ensure that we look honestly, objectively and constructively at the challenges at hand. Equally, we need to identify and appreciate how, working together we can move forward in ways that allow us to improve and better manage this critical resource," said MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro.
"I expect and look forward to us having an honest, positive and robust discussion on what are the current initiatives on Water Conservation and Demand Management that we have embarked on, especially at the municipal level. We will focus at the municipal level because that is where the use and consumption is managed.
We also need to report and share on the progress thus far, lessons learnt, challenges encountered, as well as the envisaged solutions, responsibilities and time lines for implementing the solutions. Municipalities are the strategic and focal point in this endeavour and we should all benefit from sharing with them as to where do they stand as regards their specific environment in water management and consumption," said MEC Lekgoro.
What came out of the early discussions was that municipalities are losing R1,2 billion on lost water or unaccounted water. Johannesburg alone accounts for R522 million of water unaccounted for. It also transpired that the Gauteng government needs at least R600 million per year for the next six years to manage the water losses. At the moment Gauteng contributes about R100 million or water management. If we implement proper measures of water conservation and demand management to save 15 percent on the water we have lost.
Given that the demand for water is going to increase, more focus will be put on demand management. Areas of focus are going to be put into municipalities and the provincial government to focus on:
* water loss management
* pressure management
* removal of wasteful devices
* improved billing and metering
* improved efficiency
* water efficient gardens
If water is not managed properly we may experience water supply reductions by 2013 and the interventions which are earmarked would not be ready at that time. The Proposed implementation of the Phase2 of the Lesotho highlands programme has been approved but it may only be ready in 2020.
Councillor Subesh Pillay from the City of Tshwane said "part of the problems of water losses emanated from the sub standard materials which people were using when building particularly RDP houses. We are faced with a problem were the municipalities should use the budget meant for bulk infrastructure.
Unfortunately the money goes to fixing the leaks which could have been avoided at the time of building the house. But we have now begun to monitor the type of materials used during the construction of houses focusing on low cost RDP houses build by the state. This will help us to manage water losses we are experiencing the area."
"It appears that municipalities are currently facing pressure and are calling for the provincial government through department of local government and housing to facilitate a programme as well as funding, to curb water wastage. The other biggest challenge is aging infrastructure of bulk water and sewer running through residences. This challenge is also compounded by a growing need to reduce informal settlements as people a put into proper houses," said MEC Lekgoro.
"The department is going to use various measures to assist get the necessary resources to assist municipalities deal with the water programme. This programme will also look at other opportunities of getting water in the future," said MEC Lekgoro.
For more information contact:
Cell: 082 447 8407
Tel: (011) 355 4013
Issued by: Department of Local Government and Housing, Gauteng Provincial
21 September 2009
Source: Department of Local Government and Housing, Gauteng Provincial
Issued by: Gauteng Local Government and Housing
21 Sep 2009
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