Adapting to the Water Shortage in South Africa - Start Harvesting Water at Home
With winter approaching, South Africans, especially those in drought-stricken areas, are hoping for an above average rainfall. While some areas have an abundance of water, some provinces are struggling to adapt to heavier restrictions and water shortages.
The Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape Provinces have been classified, but not declared, as a national state of disaster with the Western Cape bearing the brunt of the drought. By reclassifying the drought as a national state of disaster, the government can assign the primary responsibility for the management of the disaster to the National Executive who will work with other spheres of government to deal with the situation. Measures taken like curtailment or restrictions have delivered a favourable outcome which resulted in the delay of the dreaded Day Zero. According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Western Cape maintains the lowest dam levels as previously recorded at 25.5% while the Gauteng has the highest dam levels recorded at 92.8%. Mpumalanga’s dam levels record at 77.9% while the Northern Cape levels stand at 67.9%.
Government Efforts to manage drought
An Inter-Ministerial Task Team of Drought and Water Scarcity along with various other committees with different functions have been created to address water scarcity and water security across our nation. Some of the tasks of these committees include the development of an integrated water conservation model, a team of research experts to carry out ongoing research and strengthening pre-existing programmes that will improve water conservation and management projects. R6 billion has been set aside in the 2018/2019 financial year which will be implemented for drought relieve and to upgrade public infrastructure.
The group effort starts at home
Capetonians have set the standard for water saving and has proved that by sticking to restrictions and adopting a water-saving state of mind that a difference can be made. It is with this in mind that we would like to encourage citizens to continue with such efforts – do your bit to make a difference.