Factors Influencing South Africa Water Supply Sustainability Environmental Sciences Essay

September 17, 2017 Environmental Sciences

There are many factors act uponing the sustainability of H2O supply in South Africa. One of the grounds is that “ Harmonizing to the planetary H2O balance ( figure below ) , South Africa is situated in a negative overflow zone, which means that one-year vaporization ever exceeds rainfall ” and “ South Africa is farther situated in a semidesert / desert latitude zone, which has about no weathering and dirt formation, due to the bead in precipitation and flora screen, and the higher temperatures and vaporization rate ” . Besides the chief factors, that will be dealt with in the essay, such as the over development of H2O by the economic sectors and the chief H2O beginnings in South Africa being polluted and hence can non be used, the state of affairs of South Africa contributes mostly to unsustainable “ usage ” of H2O through vaporization and hence act uponing the sustainability of H2O for future coevalss.

The tabular array below supports The Miller Model ( Figure 1 ) as it shows that in South Africa, the sum of vaporization exceeds the sum of rainfall and the H2O demand frequently exceeds the H2O output which highlights the deficits of H2O in that entirely without other major factors being looked at.

South Africa gets most of its H2O ( 66 % ) from surface overflow which is contained in approximately 320 dikes all over the state which have entire capacity of more than 32 400 million M3. Johannesburg being such a immense metropolis is the biggest metropolitan country in South Africa. However unlike other metropoliss of its size anyplace in the universe it is one in really few that are non situated on or following to a major watercourse. Johannesburg ‘s chief H2O beginning comes from the Jukskei and Upper Klip River in the North and south severally. “ The Jukskei catchment is situated within the Pretoria-Witwatersrand country. A scope of users from recreational activities to industrial users are utilizing the Jukskei River, with different H2O criterions providing for each class ” and although the catchment is used for a assortment of human activities it still has to back up a population figure of 790A 000 in 1991 which has likely increased over the old ages. “ The Klip River catchment is one of the most to a great extent impacted river systems in South Africa and is subjected to about every type of pollution. It furthermore serves all five recognised user groups identified by DWAF ( domestic, agricultural, diversion, industrial and the natural environment ) . ” It is approximated that “ 9500 million m3/annum of the entire demands for H2O of 12A 871 million m3/annum is abstracted from surface H2O resources.A The balance comes from groundwater, the re-use of return flows, and the interception of H2O by afforestation. “ A

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In rural, semi arid and waterless countries, surface H2O is non abundant therefore groundwater is used extensively insteadA the six major aquifers ( stones with porousness and H2O permeableness ) in South Africa include, Table Mountain Group sandstones, coastal sand sedimentations, cellar granites, Karoo dolerites, Dolomites and alluvial sediment along perennial rivers.A “ Most exploitable groundwater occurs in the eastern and northeasterly parts of the state and in the Western Cape, where aquifers are concentrated ” .A A A When looking at Figure 3 which is the map of South Africa shows how utilizable groundwater is scarce in KwaZulu-Natal and the South of South Africa whereas H2O is concentrated in Northern and Western Cape. However with land H2O “ inordinate concentration of chloride, nitrate, and other salts, all of which are dearly-won to take ” which shows how less and less groundwater will be exploitable for human intents as it is going progressively polluted with toxic wates.

Looking at the above figure it shows how H2O in South Africa is concentrated in the Northern portion of South Africa. In KwaZulu Natal state, there is 92 % of available H2O that is guaranteed and merely a 1 in 13 hazard of H2O limitations which shows its handiness. Although H2O may be presently available, prima scientists predict that “ SA ‘s economic hub will run abruptly of H2O should a terrible drouth occur in the following 10 old ages. ”

Due to South Africa ‘s failure to keep H2O pipes that provide families with H2O 30 % was lost through leaking or burst pipes. “ The right to sufficient H2O is guaranteed by the state ‘s fundamental law, and the authorities has worked hard to supply entree to running H2O to 88 per centum of the population, up from 62 per centum in 1996 ” . However, H2O may be available but it is unevenly distributed and it is extrapolated that by 2025, that H2O shortages will happen in three of the four H2O direction countries that support most of the state ‘s economic activity.

The Klip River which has been mentioned antecedently is located in an urban country where there is plenty urban development and Industries. Due to excavation activities in the country, the river is capable to force per unit areas from those mining activities as big sums of H2O are required to back up industries such as those that generate electrical power. Mining on its ain has been averaged to utilize up to 8 % of South Africa ‘s H2O. Mines such as the Grootvlei mine are responsible for elating valuable groundwater by pumping wastes into rivers therefore doing it useless in respects to human usage.


Irrigation histories for 50 % of the entire H2O usage in South Africa. Farmers that grow harvests or fruit, for commercial usage or husbandmans that practise subsisitence agriculture, use tonss of H2O to run into the demands of the Fieldss of harvests that need irrigating. The procedure of meat production uses up a batch of H2O which is said to be around 3000 liters of H2O for one Kg of meat which is why people are encouraged to cut down their consumption of meat to salvage H2O.


Factories non merely emitt gasses into the ambiance but they besides release wastewaters into nearby rivers that are both toxic to worlds and animate beings. Some mills use H2O to chill down armored combat vehicles and other machinery and the release it back into rivers which is a signifier of pollution because when H2O is heated, O lessenings which is damaging to aquatic life.


Community Development and Environmental Education

By raising awareness amongst all people in rural countries, that are largely uneducated, that H2O is a cherished resource “ which has an impact on all facets of life ” people will get down to take note of the significance of H2O to all that exist. These awareness undertakings can be made by holding people talk to people about how to cut down H2O use by non bathing three times a twenty-four hours or go forthing a pat running for illustration.

Water Conservation

50 % of all H2O available in South Africa is used up by irrigation intents. “ The application of H2O preservation and demand direction ( WC/DM ) principles in the irrigation and agriculture sector will hold a important consequence on the handiness of H2O to other sectors. ” In order to successfully pull off H2O resources so stricter boundries must be set on each sector utilizing and merely allowed a certain sum of H2O.

Industry, Mining and Power Generation Sector

The Industry, Mining and Power Generation Programme “ oversees the development and execution of appropriate policies, schemes, undertakings and enterprises that will advance H2O preservation in these economic sectors ” . Such programmes should be improved as they aim to “ set up a civilization of H2O preservation ” in the primary, secondary and third sectors and this will guarantee sustainable usage of H2O.

Another solution and enterprise that have been taken to battle H2O deficits is the Lesotho Highlands Water Project ( II ) which is due to get down in 2020 as “ It is expected to take more than nine old ages to fix for and implement the undertaking. ” Once the undertaking is underway there will be an estimated transportation of 479-million three-dimensional metres yearly to South Africa which is aimed at acquiring H2O from Lesotho and providing Gauteng state with it nevertheless “ Negotiations were still under manner with the authorities of Lesotho sing the flagship of the undertaking. ” Desalination of environing oceans such as the Indian and Atlantic Ocean has been considered but subsequently ruled out due to fiscal, technological and installation restraints in the state to undergo this procedure.

It is true that H2O is still available in South Africa and it is besides true that in a few old ages this resource will non be able to back up and prolong the population. Industries and families have proved to be the guzzlers of H2O in South Africa. Schemes that have been implemented will be effectual in cut downing the use of H2O by Industries, and programmes that aim to educate the young person and the aged on H2O preservation will alarm people to the fact that “ We do n’t hold the luxury of pick and clip. ”


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