South Africa: Water Scarcity in South Africa and the Precarious Road Ahead

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Water scarcity, a failing water system and alternative solutions to an increasingly arid South Africa were the points of focus at a Gibb Engineering and Architecture round table discussion in Gauteng on Thursday.

We are living in a semi-arid country with variable rainfall, and unless a solution is found soon, South Africa will eventually be unable to support inclusive growth and economic transformation. This is according to Treasury's 2019 Budget review.

Re-inforcing this challenge, Ron Tluczek Senior Associate: Dams, Hydropower and Underground Works at Gibb, told the round table gathering: "SA receives an estimated rainfall of half a metre of rainfall per year, that's about half of the world average. We don't get a lot of rainfall in this country and at this stage we are experiencing the scarcity of available water."

Gauteng presently receives water from two major schemes: the Lesotho Highlands water project and Thukela Vaal water transfer scheme and both feed the Vaal Dam. The most recent one is the Lesotho Highlands water scheme, operational for about 12 years.

The original plans were to have water transferred to Gauteng in 2024 but due to various delays the project will not be taking off. Original projections were that...

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