REVIEW OF WATER RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Free (open access)
197 - 206
ELKINGTON SIBUSISO MNGUNI
South Africa is a water-scarce country. It is estimated that, based on current usage trends, water demand will exceed availability by 2025. The continuing trend in industrialization and urbanization of the population is expected to place further pressure on the country’s sources of water supply unless appropriate corrective action is taken. In general, adequate resources are available to meet all priority requirements until 2025, provided they are well managed. Substantial volumes can be made available through the increased wastewater re-use of return flows. Options for reconciling water requirements with availability include desalination, groundwater, rainwater harvesting and wastewater reclamation. The Department of Water and Sanitation is the custodian of South Africa’s water resources. Major pieces of legislation affecting water have been outlined in the study. Key successes made by the water sector department since the dawn of democracy in 1994, have been highlighted. Key challenges that must be addressed to ensure long term sustainability of the water resources in the country have also been identified.
water-scarcity, water resources, water availability, water requirement, supply, demand