Our water is being lost – and these cities are the biggest losers

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Our water is being lost – and these cities are the biggest losers

Leaky pipes and ageing infrastructure cost SA R9bn a year. More importantly, they’re costing millions of litres of water

News editor

Enough water to fill 500 Olympic-size swimming pools is being lost every single day – and that’s just in SA’s biggest and better off municipalities.

While recently appointed water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu has declared drought as SA’s “new normal”, figures provided to Times Select over the last two weeks show that 494,000 megalitres of water a year are being lost to leaking, bursting and generally decaying infrastructure – referred to as “physical losses” or “real losses”.

The Durban-based eThekwini municipality was the biggest loser, with bad infrastructure causing enough water to fill 57,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools a year to be lost – or 158 pools every single day. The capacity of an Olympic-sized swimming pool is 2.5 megalitres...

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