Plans to prevent water crisis

DA welcomes Rand Water’s plans.

Rand Water recently presented their plan for the future to the portfolio committee on water and sanitation.

  •  The plan includes:

Firstly, the company plans to move away from one electricity supplier (either Eskom or local municipalities) per site/pump stations.

This will mean that Rand Water is not fully dependent on Eskom and/or the municipalities, which has resulted in no energy security and insufficient back-up supply in the past.

The solution is to investigate an alternate power supply in the medium term and to get off the grid except as back-up in the long term.

This means that Rand Water wants an independent power supplier per site.

Secondly, the plan focuses on the continuing increase in the demand for water, which has resulted in key infrastructure (water treatment plants, pump-sets, pipelines and reservoirs) not being able to be taken out of service for rehabilitation and maintenance.

This is also coupled with large amounts of water being lost due to leaking infrastructure.

In the 2013/14 financial year, municipalities spent R7.4-billion purchasing water, of which R2.6-b (34.98 per cent) went down the drain.

  •  The suggested solution

Increase the one per cent investment to municipalities and increase budget allocation for demand management.

Operational planning is conducted in silos, with no coordination between municipalities and no centralised control room.

The solutions are to establish a Gauteng water infrastructure planning committee, as well as a centralised control room, where telemetry will be implemented on all critical reservoirs.

It has been reported that, in Ekurhuleni, there are no telemetry systems and sticks are being used to determine the capacity of reservoirs.

The DA has welcomed the proposals suggested by Rand Water and urges the municipalities to also commit to the plan.

“As it is, South Africa is in the top 30 of the world’s driest countries, out of a total of 194.

“It is criminal that we allow over a third of our water to go to waste,” said Mike Waters, DA deputy chief whip.

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