Water Scarcity and Security: A National Priority
Water Scarcity and Security: A National Priority


We are all aware that South Africa is a water scarce country, with a significant water security challenge. This is evidenced by the many South Africans who fail to access adequate water supplies, on a daily basis.

The well documented water struggles of Capetonians, and the fear of Day Zero, as a result of the recent drought, brought our attention to just how serious South Africa’s water security problem really is. However, unlike Cape Town, the weekly collection of water by rural and disadvantaged communities has been going on for far longer. For many of these communities, water has often been scarce, and water security, uncertain.

While there might be a small reprieve in the severity of the drought, if the past is any indication of the future, South Africa’s water challenges are set to increase. Droughts and floods will be experienced more frequently, with devastating results.

Certain factors contribute towards our country’s dire water security status. Some, we have no control over, such as our geographic location, but many are a result of the choices, decisions, and inactions on the part of individuals, society, and government:

  • a rapid population growth that places huge demand on water supplies
  • choosing to consider water as an infinite resource
  • failing and poorly maintained infrastructure
  • corruption and wasteful expenditure

All of us contribute towards poor water security, but with collective and conscious effort, we can make secure our most important natural resource.

The Western and Northern Aqueducts Project in eThekwini will both alleviate the water supply problem experienced by those living in the western regions of Durban, and provide additional potable water capacity to areas such as Ntuzuma, Inanda, Tshelimnyama, while in the north, to the areas of Umhlanga, Phoenix and Waterloo.

Project Partners:
European Union (EU)
Investment Programme of South Africa (IIPSA)
Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

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