Water Wednesday: Residents warned not to drink heavily polluted water from the Vaal River

The Vaal River is a major water resource around the country. Since the drought relief in the past year its water levels have been recorded at full capacity but despite this, the river has been in crisis mode for some time. According to Maureen Stewart of Save the Vaal raw sewage has been flowing directly into the Vaal because of mismanagement by the Emfuleni and Ngwathe local authorities. Reports of

Water Wednesday: Water restrictions across SA are still in place despite dam levels improving

The Department of Water and Sanitation published a report that painted a stable picture of the water situation around the country but has emphasised that South Africa is not out of the woods just yet. Recent rains around the country have given a glimmer of hope that the days of the water crisis might soon be over even though it is too early to consider lifting water restrictions. Gauteng takes

Water Wednesday: Day Zero could hit Makhanda (Grahamstown) in two months

The Deputy Minister visited Makana Municipality in Makhanda, Eastern Cape to assess progress made in the provision of water and sanitation services. The city, which has faced many water challenges over the years, is home to Rhodes University‚ several prestigious schools‚ the city’s prison‚ industrial area‚ army base‚ suburbia and township areas. The Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation HON. Pamela Tshwete on the occasion of the Stakeholder engagement at

For drought-slammed farmers, changing old ways takes time – and cash

In the parched, mountainous hills of Leliefontein, in South Africa‘s northwest Namakwa district, farmers have long made a living raising oxen and goats. “That’s our passion. It’s the only thing we know,” says Katrina Schwartz, one of a long line of farmers in the remote Northern Cape region. Climate change and the lengthening droughts it is bringing, however, have made a traditional life raising livestock increasingly difficult – and the area has

Water Wednesday: Nelson Mandela’s commitment to water is a lesson to us all

In light of Mandela’s legacy, water users in SA need to be reminded that pollution of water has a negative impact on water quality. The late Madiba spoke of this negative impact during the World Summit on Sustainable Development held at the Water Dome, Johannesburg in 2002. Madiba told the world that there is no future for everyone if water is not available. “Amongst the many things I learned, as

Water Wednesday: Western Cape water restrictions remain despite dams being half full

This week, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Western Cape Regional office updated the general public about the status of the water situation in the Western Cape. The latest dam levels assessment on 9 July 2018 showed that the combined average dam levels for the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS) are at 53.05% as compared to 48.33% last week. Theewaterskloof Dam, the largest dam in the system has risen

Water Wednesday: Cold front to bring floods to Cape Town

Western Cape Dam levels have been steadily improving in the past two weeks and will most likely continue after the upcoming storm. The South African Weather Service warned that an intense cold front was headed to the province as well as the Namakwa District of the Northern Cape on 14 and 15 June. MEDIA RELEASE: Please be advised of the intense cold front resulting in wet and cold weather for the

Water Wednesday: Children drowning remains a big problem in SA

Under the hashtag #canalsafety, the Department has launched an educational campaign around drowning. In South Africa, children drown every day and these drownings occur mainly in children under the age of 14 years. Drowning and near-drowning incidents occur across both recreational and non-recreational activities. The DWS is embarking on a campaign under the theme, “Canals and Inland Waterways’ Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility” to reduce the number of drowning at our

Cape Town gets first desalinated water as dam levels drop again

The drought-hit South African city of Cape Town has received the first water from a series of small-scale desalination plants it’s building as authorities seek alternative supplies. A desalination plant at Strandfontein on the False Bay coast southeast of the city centre produced 1.5 million litres – about 400,000 gallons – on May 15 and has supplied that volume to Cape Town’s water system every second day since, Deputy Mayor