Guess who is responsible for 25% of SA's water lossesDid you know that 25% of water supplied by Municipalities is being lost through leaking pipes and dripping taps. With our current drought-promoting climate and subsequent water restrictions, this is a serious concern for our country.

Last month, the Department of Water and Sanitation released reserve water from the Sterkfontein dam into the nearly empty Vaal dam to try and boost its capacity, in the midst of the ongoing drought in South Africa over the past two-and-a-half years. Ekurhuleni municipality also came close to implementing water shedding last month in an effort to try and save water.

In light of what is currently transpiring it is imperative for South Africa to reduce its total water demand by 15% through water demand management and reduction of water loss owing to leaks.

Did you know that municipalities were given a 15% consumption reduction target 20 years ago, and to date no targets have been met, whilst non-revenue water consumption actually increased in some municipalities.

If the demand for water exceeded the supply of water, the effects of the water crisis could be more severe and last longer. “If the drought continues until 2022, as could be expected based on major droughts in the 1930s and 1980s, and if municipalities don’t achieve the reduction target within the remaining six years, we would have cumulatively lost twice the storage of Vaal dam. This means we would have to reduce our demands by two years’ worth of water,” as mentioned by some experts.

To avoid this catastrophe, municipalities priorities should be to repair defective pumps in the system as a matter of urgency. Reducing water wastage will achieve much quicker results than ever imagined whilst emphasizing the moral duty of society to fix basic water leaks would do well to help the cause.