Could alternative sanitation help SA’s water security? Infrastructure News, April 3, 2017.
As the 30th driest country in the world, South Africa is facing greater water security challenges with increasing periods of drought and unpredictable rainfall patterns.
According to a case study on alternative sanitation for water security done by Tomorrow Matters Now, 19.5% of South Africans are still without an improved sanitation service and 4.9% of South Africans have no access to sanitation.
For 60% of water management systems, water demand is overtaken by supply, while 98% of our available water resources are already being used. At the same time, South Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure is crumbling because of a chronic lack of investment.
Local municipalities are faced with these challenges and its effects on a daily basis.
Some of these include the age old problems of institutional or financial shortcomings and capacity constraints, a delay in sanitation services linked to a delay in housing, and the continued maintenance and improvement of basic sanitation.
Waste management has also become an increasing problem with water treatment plants having released raw sewage into rivers in the past due to poor management and maintenance backlogs.
The case study found the need for alternative means of sanitation.
Providing universal access to conventional waterborne sanitation is one of government’s biggest challenges, and the critical aspects of hygiene and dignity, as well as a healthy and resilient environment need to be addressed.
The study said that ‘flushing’ cannot be the solution as we cannot continue to use clean, potable water to flush waste. “We need game-changing new technologies which require little or no water,” the findings suggested.
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