The Department of Water Affairs is appealing to all South Africans top play a role in conserving and protecting the country’s water resources.
This year’s National Water Week, from 17-23 March, comes at a time when this precious finite resource faces a number of challenges across the country. These include among others, water shortages in certain municipalities and reported water quality concerns.
The causes of the water shortages vary according to the different problems faced by the municipalities.
In areas where issues of inadequate infrastructure have been identified officials are undertaking upgrade and repair work, in others, the recent excessive heat or high temperatures that have been experienced have led to the reservoirs drying up, thus affecting water availability and supply.
It is clear that the department and the sector have to move in earnest to implement the long term measures which are aimed at addressing these enduring challenges in our localities.
A renewed sense of urgency and commitment in water management and enduring partnerships with the private sector and entire South African society is needed to deal with the challenges of water availability and security of supply.
Water Week serves as a platform to, among other things, make South Africans aware of the fact that our country is among the driest in the world and that water conservation is the responsibility of all within our borders.
The Water Week Campaign is aimed at educating the public about their responsibility in water conservation initiatives, raising awareness around the need to protect and conserve the country’s water resources.
Water Week also has the objective of seeking to re-emphasise the important role water plays in sustaining all forms of life in society and the linkages between water services, water resource management, water quality management and water conservation and water demand management
The department is also encouraged that its partners in the water sector, including civil society organisations, industry, provincial and local government are also hard at work to spread the crucial message of water conservation.