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SA gov't to explore options to prevent water shortage: official

Afrique Australe - Societe
Xinhuanet | | Commenter


The South African government would explore different options to deal with potential water shortage that might explode into a crisis, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The government must take the necessary effort to prevent severe shortages that could lead to serious social and economic challenges, said Fred Van Zyl, Director for National Water Resource Strategy at the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

South Africa does not have a water crisis right now because the country still has many options to meet growing water demand, Van Zyl said.

"We don't have a crisis; we have a lot of options but those options require effort and money so the more we manage out water effectively, the better for all of us," he said at a water resource strategy workshop in Boksburg near Johannesburg.

The options would include the imposition of restrictions on irrigation, tighten laws that govern water management and sea water desalination, according to Van Zyl.

South Africa needs to explore sea water desalination despite heavy cost, he said.

"We can have to reuse where we can, we can do desalination...we can do a lot of things and research shows that we have to move to that direction and the most important thing is we need money," said Van Zyl.

He said the DEA was drafting a national water resource strategy (NWRS) as the country's water plan for the next five years. The strategy would be finalized next year.

According to the government's estimate, South Africa will need an investment of 570 billion rands (about 65 billion U. S. dollars) in the water value chain in the next 10 years for sustainable economic development.

Evidence showed that if something was not done to improve the management of water, South Africa could experience serious water shortages as early as 2020.


SA gov't to explore options to prevent water shortage: official
SA gov't to explore options to prevent water shortage: official









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