SA water crises nightmare

Sep 14, 2016Enviromental Management0 comments

by Zanele Majebe

By 2030 Demand exceeds supply

The Water Resources Group has calculated that by 2030, water demand will exceed supply by 17%. According to a recent government report R300 billion needs to be spent over a short period to avoid a full scale water crisis. South Africa is losing the equivalent of 4.3 million swimming pools of water a year because of leaky pipes and theft (Sunday Times reported –

South Africans are using more water than what is available, and drought remains a serious threat especially in Kwa-Zulu Natal, where nine districts have been declared disaster areas.

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Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation response to drought

I spoke to Leonora Souls Head of the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and she had this to say “The shortage of water, as well as the management of available water resources is primary concern for the Foundation. We have partnered with the Siyazisiza Trust supporting the roll out of water tanks together with workshops addressing water use and climate change resilience to community gardens and small scale agricultural initiatives in Kwazulu-Natal. The vast majority of people are still living in poverty, and in response to the Sustainable Global Goal 1, we support eradication of hunger. We encourage sustainable solutions to the challenge of hunger, and hope that the community gardens will in part, address the issue.”


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Leonora’s take on the training programs

This program raises awareness about the state of our environment and the impact that climate change has in our lives. My interaction with communities reminds me constantly that life can be simple, and my experiences has taught me to appreciate what I have.


Invasive species part of the problem

Another thing that causes water scarcity are invasive species

I spoke to an invasive species project manager from the city of Cape Town to find out more about invasive species species management. This is what she said:

‘’Invasive species are species introduced from areas outside their natural distribution range, they become naturalized and start forming viable populations from where they spread and invade other areas ‘’


I wanted to know why it is important to control invasive species?

Gondwana Alive CEO and ecologist, Dr Tracey Phillips, said that as she understands it, alien invasive plants use more water than indigenous plants, especially in areas with seasonal vegetation. They also tend to infest streams and rivers and stop water flow.  Moreover, several alien invasive plants in the Western Cape are highly flammable and a huge fire hazard.  The extent to which they are a problem depends on their invasive potential and the ecosystem they invade.

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Be part of the solution

This is why Gondwana Alive donates to the Grootvadersbosch alien clearing and forest rehabilitation project. And why we are supporting a local cooperative in Namaqualand in implementing a land and livestock climate change adaptation project. This innovative community-based project is one of two “enhanced access pilots” funded by the Global Adaptation Fund via the South African National Biodiversity Institute with the support of South-South-North and Conservation South Africa.

Find out more about the project here