Management of water quality and quantity continues to be a challenge threatening future water resources. The current state of water resources threatens social and economic health. Water is a finite resource; therefore water conservation and water demand management must be implemented in all spheres of government and the public. The persistence of unsustainable consumption will lead to water security threats in the province.
The demand for surface water continues to increase. Urgent investment is required in alternative wastewater treatment technology and water reuse schemes to provide potable drinking water. Appropriate rural and urban responses must be sought to safeguard communities against the risk of drought.
Water quality monitoring indicates that most parameters appear to be below the Target Water Quality range with the exception of E. Coli. Urgent investment in alternative wastewater treatment technology and water reuse schemes is required.
Surface water is the most exploited within Gauteng. Short, medium and long-term strategies need to be put in place in a far more progressive manner that matches the high risk of drought and the impacts of poor water quality. Water harvesting initiatives, the use of grey water, the removal of invasive alien species, on-site leak detection and repairs must be encouraged. Groundwater must be monitored more consistently and the ‘Polluter pays’ principle should be applied and upheld through legislation. The infrastructure network must be audited and monitored for leaks, losses and stormwater ingress. The move from post-paid to pre-paid water meters is encouraged.