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CSIR water experts warns against excessive water usage in South Africa

Publication Date: 
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Water experts at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have joined calls by government and other organisations urging South Africans to exercise caution when using water as supply in the country is under great pressure and demand continues to rise.

South Africa remains a water-scarce country and is ranked among the 30 driest countries in the world. Gauteng is a summer rainfall region, and, despite recent rains, the country is still susceptible to sustained droughts, exacerbated by climate change.

Contact Person

David Mandaha

+27 (12) 841 3654/072 126 8910

dmandaha@csir.co.za

Water experts at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have joined calls by government and other organisations urging South Africans to exercise caution when using water as supply in the country is under great pressure and demand continues to rise.

South Africa remains a water-scarce country and is ranked among the 30 driest countries in the world. Gauteng is a summer rainfall region, and, despite recent rains, the country is still susceptible to sustained droughts, exacerbated by climate change.

CSIR-led research shows that, while South Africa’s largest water user is the agricultural sector, in Gauteng, industrial water use is the highest.

Dr Rembu Magoba, CSIR Water Research Centre manager says that communities need to adopt positive behavioural changes that would yield beneficial impact and become more sensitive to the realities of South Africa’s depleting water resources.

“Although we have not yet reached a crisis stage, we need to start behaving like we are in severe water crisis mode. It is high time that as residents we start treating water as an asset and act like we are in a serious water crisis. In order to overcome the water challenges that the country finds itself in, communities, industry and government must collaborate in water conservation efforts,” says Magoba.

There are various ways in which South Africans can help reduce water consumption, such as spending less time in the shower, using grey water for gardening, using a bucket when washing cars and embracing the bucket flushing system, among others.   

The current 54-hour water disruption for the maintenance of water infrastructure in some Gauteng municipalities has had many residents up in arms.

However, Magoba says: “Our water treatment plants and distribution network systems are in a dire state. Such maintenance is really encouraging and should be advocated for across the country, as opposed to only reacting when infrastructure is completely dysfunctional.”

Magoba says scientific research plays a critical role in ensuring the efficiency of water usage throughout municipalities.

“The CSIR is open to working with various municipalities to address shortcomings in South Africa’s water planning and accountability; infrastructure operation and maintenance; water treatment technologies and critical domain skills.”

The organisation established a water research centre, which helps improve water management systems through its contributions towards policy reviews, and the development of tools and techniques that will reduce the cost of water delivery and promote equitable water use.

 

ENDS

Issued by CSIR Strategic Communications

Enquiries:

David Mandaha, CSIR Media Relations Manager

Tel: 012 841 3654

Mobile: 072 126 8910

Email: dmandaha@csir.co.za 

 

About the CSIR:

The CSIR, an entity of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research and technological innovation, as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of all South Africans. For more information, visit www.csir.co.za

 

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