n Development Finance Agenda (DEFA) - Waste or valuable resource? We no longer have any option but to extract maximum value from water as a scarce resource

Volume 5 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 2413-256X


South Africa is considered to be a water scarce country and is projecting a 17% water deficit by 2030 (National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, 2018) (“NWSMP”). According to the NWSMP there is a need to optimise the water mix, which is currently strongly dominated by surface water, with some groundwater and return flows, to a water mix that includes increased groundwater use, re-use of effluent from waste water treatment plants, water reclamation, as well as desalination and treated acid mine drainage. Despite being a water scarce country, South Africa is continuing to lose this valuable resource down its rivers and into the ocean. When compared against a global rainfall average of 870 mm per year, the country only receives 450mm and the improvement of water conservation, water quality and water-use efficiency is a key national priority. Water is unsustainably being utilised – demand is outstripping supply. Climate change adaptation requires water reuse be addressed more systematically and at scale. The answer lies in a programmatic approach and blended finance solution with a strong partnership between public and private sector.

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