Recycling effluent key in bid to avert drought in SA
Collaboration between government and the private sector will be required to tackle the urgent need to find alternative sources of water
Water is a catalyst and enabler of economic growth and socioeconomic development. Yet an analysis of the available water yield and water requirements indicates that SA may run out of water by 2020. The agricultural sector and large industries consume copious volumes of water, and rapid urbanisation and industrial and population growth generates increased volumes of wastewater that can be treated and reused for agricultural and industrial processes. The sludge that is a byproduct of the treatment process can also be reused for agricultural activities or converted into energy. Additional benefits of wastewater reuse include a reduction in negative environmental effects, fewer negative health impacts, improved stream flows and improved water quality. The reuse of effluent is therefore an effective alternative to natural water sources. The Water Services Act prescribes the legislative duty of municipalities as water service authorities to supply water and sanitation services. Many munic...