Leaking water pipe image

Water leaks are becoming a bigger cause for concern with municipalities desperately trying to conserve more water, while trying to decrease the amount of clean water that is being wasted through burst water pipes.

Old water infrastructure has been a problem for municipalities across South Africa for years now, with old metal pipes rusting, loose bolts giving way, and clean water gushing onto the street or into drains, costing municipalities millions in revenue.

In the Western Cape, with the province only having 121 days of usable water left, municipalities cannot afford water leaks.

So how much water does the country actually lose because of this? According to a 2017 GreenCape market intelligence report, 37% of South Africa’s water supply is lost through leaks across many cities.

Economic opportunities MEC Alan Winde commented on the report and said that apart from us all playing a role in saving water, this report calls for innovative approaches from the public and private sector.

He also said the report provided a detailed overview on water usage around the country and projections of national demand.

Western Cape’s water crisis draws attention

The Western Cape has had all eyes on it as the province is currently suffering with the effects of the worst drought in about 100 years. Ministers and political parties have all weighed in on the province’s water crisis and said it is a major cause for concern.

Raymond Siebrits from the GreenCape’s water sector department said the Western Cape’s current water challenges provide an opportunity for households, businesses and industry to invest in water solutions.

“At GreenCape we see water constraints as opportunities for the green economy,” he said. “South African water service and technology providers are able to meet these market needs – one just needs to know where to look.”