Day Zero looming in Gauteng South Africa

  • A special ‘water war room’ has been set by the provincial government which aims to reduce water consumption.
  • The water shortage problem is largely due to water mismanagement and overuse.
  • Gauteng residents consume over 300 litres of water a day – the highest in the country.
  • The war room has roped in the SA National Defense Force to ensure that a ‘day zero’ does not happen in Gauteng.

No sooner has Cape Town started to lift water restrictions, we find Gauteng is facing a water crisis. The Gauteng City Region (GCR) experiences water security challenges that range from inadequate supplies reflected in service delivery backlogs and protests, pollution, flooding, unmet infrastructural upgrade needs and inadequate sanitation.

A special ‘water war room’ has been set by the provincial government which aims to reduce the amount of water being consumed in the province and to fix sewage plants which are very run down. The war room has roped in the SA National Defense Force to ensure that a ‘day zero’ does not happen in Gauteng.

The war room was also tasked to come up with a ‘Water Security Plan for the Gauteng City Region’ to determine what strategic action should be taken. The report found some alarming facts:

  • Gauteng residents consume over 300 litres of water a day – the highest in the country.
  • Gauteng’s population is growing by almost 300,000 a year.
  • Raw sewage is the biggest contributor to water pollution.
  • Drinking water from Lesotho is used to flush pollution out of the Vaal River System.

The sewage problem is made worse by the fact that of Gauteng’s three water treatment plants, two were not operational. The military is currently working to fix these facilities and their pump houses, the report confirms.

Start doing your bit

Residents can start saving water at home by showering instead of bathing. Better still fit a low flow shower head to your shower. An average bath uses between 80-150 litres of water while showering using a low flow shower head for five minutes will use between 30 and 80 litres of water. Companies like Hansgrohe offer a wide range of high quality low flow shower heads.

In terms of the expected new water by-law amendments in the country, the maximum flow rate from any shower head may not exceed 10 litres per minute.  The Hansgrohe EcoSmart ranges have flow rates as low as 6 litres per minute without comprising on the experience.

Author : Bryan Groenendaal

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