Minister of Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has outlined her department’s plans to fight the major drought crisis facing South Africa.
In a presentation on Tuesday (3 December), Sisulu said that South Africa is negatively impacted as it receives less than the world average rainfall.
To a large extent this causes immeasurable strain on the delivery of water services to the populace, due to the less than reliable rainfall, not forgetting the impact of climate change resulting in abnormal climatic conditions, she said.
“The recent drought, the worst for many decades, has also not helped the situation as we can see the very negative impact on the country’s economy, especially on the agricultural sector, affecting food security and exports.
“As the water and sanitation sector, we need to look at new ways of providing the services that we are responsible for,” she said.
To fight this ongoing crisis, Sisulu said that South Africa will:
- Implement drought operating rules;
- Institute borehole drilling and/or rehabilitation;
- Water tankering from available sources;
- Rainwater & fog harvesting;
- Protection and use of springs;
- Cloud seeding;
- Evaporation suppression;
- Desalination of brackish groundwater or seawater and;
- Effluent treatment and re-use, etc.
“We will use various technologies in combination with current strategies as we outlined in our master plan, said Sisulu.
“We are working together with Rand Water and other specialist in providing new technologies that will help us in our quest to ensure the security of water supply.
“During the launch of the master plan at the CSIR in Pretoria, we saw various technologies, which we believe would play an important role in our drive to ensure that we provide uninterrupted water services to all.”
However, when it comes to short term interventions, restriction rules have proven to work best as it responds by reducing depletion of strained sources, she said.