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South Africa: No Drop to Waste – Tackling South Africa’s Water Crisis


Having long since fled KwaZulu Natal and the Free State, fat, passing clouds scatter a handful of raindrops over Gauteng like rich men throwing coins at the poor. As the reality of full-blown drought settles in across much of the country, attention has turned to what we can do to mitigate the damage: building and repairing, restricting and cajoling, introducing new technologies, and encouraging new mindsets.ANDREA TEAGLE asks the water experts wherein the solutions to our water woes lie.

Droughts aside, South Africa is normally a dry country. At 464mm, our average yearly rainfall is about half the global average of 860mm. And, unlike in other parts of the world, our cities were built around mining, not water. Because of this, says CEO of the Water Research Commission, Dhesigen Naidoo, “We generally have fairly good adaptation measures for dry spells. But what we are currently experiencing is not just a dry spell. To varying degrees, these five provinces, and this country, are experiencing a full-scale drought.”

To make things a little worse, the drought is taking place within a prolonged dry spell coinciding with El Niño, meaning that really good rains (a so-called “wet period”) might be five to…

Read the full story on the Daily Maverick website.


South Africa: No Drop to Waste – Tackling South Africa’s Water Crisis
AllAfrica News: Water and Sanitation
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