SA should focus on regional partnerships to deal with water challenges

HIGH DEMAND Fewer sites are available on which to build new dams in South Africa, as existing water resources become increasingly strained

POPULATION GROWTH It is estimated that, owing to population growth, water demand will grow by another 1.2% a year over the next ten years

Photo by Duane Daws

29th May 2015

By: Pimani Baloyi

Creamer Media Writer


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Advisory firm KPMG says South Africa should focus on forming regional part- nerships with its neighbours when creating water infrastructure, such as dams, reservoirs, pumpstations and pipelines, to deal with its water challenges.

KPMG projects advisory services partner Jeff Shaw tells Engineering News that the challenges facing the country are mainly caused by population growth, leading to an increase in demand, coupled with limited and nearly depleted water resources.

“Of all the infrastructure sectors, it is undoubtedly true that water is limited the least by internal boundaries. By its very nature, water resources need to be dealt with at regional level,” he explains.

Shaw adds that a regional partnership- focused approach is one that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) envisioned when it established catchment management agencies. The agencies include various water users to ensure a collective and effective water resource management approach.

“The water institutional review, as conducted by the DWS, seeks to address water services challenges, as it is evident that a combination of solutions is needed to address South Africa’s water challenges,” he elaborates.

Increasing Demand
KPMG infrastructure and major projects associate director Antonino Manus notes that the DWS’s 2013 National Water Resource Strategy 2 (NWRS 2) details that domestic water consumption in South Africa increased from 22% to 27% from 2003 to 2013, and is estimated to grow by another 1.2% a year over the next ten years.

The 2013 NWRS 2 also states that, in 2013, the country had 4 395 registered dams that were approaching full use, adding that South Africa was running out of sites on which to construct new dams.

“New approaches will have to be adopted to balance demand and supply, particularly in the most stressed inland catchments, where much of South Africa’s economic growth and social development are occurring,” she concludes.

Edited by Leandi Kolver
Creamer Media Deputy Editor



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