Full dams don’t mean water security
People must be educated about usage as infrastructure challenges or a dry year could spell disaster
After good summer rains, the dams that supply water to Johannesburg and much of SA’s economic heartland are full. This, then, is the time to start worrying about water supplies.
It may sound odd, but it’s a lesson learnt from cities across the world over the past two decades. Whether it was Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, Chennai in India, Barcelona in Spain or São Paulo in Brazil, we have seen that, too often, water crises occur because societies don’t take action until it’s too late.
SA had that experience with its Day Zero crisis in Cape Town between 2015 and 2019. Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape, is now providing more evidence. Despite being advised for more than a decade that its supply infrastructure was inadequate, the municipality did not act and now the dams are almost empty...