WATER SECURITY: IS SOUTH AFRICA OPTIMALLY PURSUING ITS OPTIONS?
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Water is a crucial input to domestic, agricultural and several production activities; it is the source of life and prosperity to many. There is a symbiotic relationship between water and society and, in particular, water influences agriculture, industry, transport, energy, and health. South Africa is a water-scarce country with a considerable projected risk of imbalance between resource requirements and availability. As such, the country needs to manage its limited water resources carefully and prudently to ensure sustainable water security going forward. While the country is working hard to address the challenge, evidence on the round indicates the approach is far from optima – particularly shown by the prevalence of ageing infrastructure due to poor maintenance, high non-revenue water (41%), widespread river pollution from anthropogenic activities, and limited pursuit of alternative water sources. To improve the country’s future water security, a more open embrace of non-conventional water sources and improved efficiencies on the traditional approaches is recommended.
conventional water sources, water management, water scarcity, water security, South Africa.