Home Opinion & Features Time to protect our water

Time to protect our water

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Climate change has dealt us another blow, as a water-scarce country it negatively affects the little available water we have

YESTERDAY this newspaper reported on Kimberley residents possibly facing yet more water restrictions . . . but this time not because of the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s inability to maintain its infrastructure, but because the levels of the Vaal Dam plummeted to below 50% . . . the lowest in three years.

Due to a persistent heatwave, the Vaal Dam, which is one of the critical dams in the Integrated Vaal River System, has been severely affected.

But we are not the only ones affected.

South Africa is a water-scarce country and one of the driest countries in the world. You only need to travel through the Northern Cape to realise this.

Climate change has dealt us another blow, as a water-scarce country it negatively affects the little available water we have.

Drought is now a regular occurrence and the heat is taking what little water we have through evaporation. Catchments and dams are dropping every week, and the water availability is getting less and less every year.

It has also been reported that the average water consumption in South Africa is 235 litres per capita per day as compared with the world average of 185 litres per capita per day. This clearly shows that water consumption and usage by South Africans is quite high and far exceeds international benchmarks.

As a Province faced with the challenges of drought and dwindling water resources, it is now up to all of us to change our behaviour towards water usage and to act in a much more responsible manner as water security is in our hands.

We can look at other avenues to get water, but if we do not change our attitude and behaviour towards water use we will still face water supply challenges, especially in the midst of climate change.

However, leakages remain one of the major challenges facing the City of Kimberley and other towns in the Northern Cape in terms of water losses and wastage.

It is therefore critical that we, as responsible citizens, continue to engage with our municipality, even if we feel that our complaints are simply being ignored.

It is time that we actively engage our municipalities and take them to task because every drop of water lost takes us closer to another water crisis.