South Africa is facing challenging water security times with increasing periods of drought and unpredictable rainfall patterns. 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.
In response to aging water systems, the City of Johannesburg has commenced with an Infrastructure Renewal Plan costing One Billion Rand per annum to increase the renewal rate from 1% to 3.5% to eliminate backlogs. Similar plans are in place for water and sewer infrastructure throughout the country.
We need to rethink the current paradigm in terms of water security – Do we plan to continue our water crisis with high water-demanding and costly technologies? Will it be possible to maintain these systems to deal with increasing urbanization? Alternative sanitation systems could provide an answer to these issues, offering low-water flush solutions or alternative sanitation technologies that use no water at all. There are a wide range of improved technologies available that provide safe, hygienic, and sustainable sanitation at various costs and levels of complexity. These alternative sanitation technologies promote water security through the recovery of potential resources, unlock business potential for entrepreneurs and create incentives for future job creation.
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