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Water 2019: A review of South Africa's water sector

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Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has stressed the water-scarce nature of South Africa, noting in a November 2019 speech that the country has one of the lowest rainfall averages in the world and an uneven distribution of rainfall. Yet, the country continues to consume about 233 ℓ/d per capita of water, compared with the global benchmark of 180 ℓ/d per capita. With the prospect of water-shedding looming in South Africa, in much the same way that rotational power cuts, or load-shedding, have been implemented by State-owned power utility Eskom when it is unable to meet supply, the Department of Water and Sanitation continues to call on consumers to use water resources wisely, as water conservation measures in the country remain inadequate. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that drastic measures are required to ensure South Africa’s water security, or the country will face a developmental and economic challenge bigger than its current energy challenges. The drought in some of the country’s provinces has had a devastating impact on agriculture and communities. This edition of Creamer Media’s Water Report considers, besides others, water and sanitation infrastructure and funding, water quality and water tariffs, as well as water regulation and planning in South Africa, in light of the aforementioned issues. The report also provides an overview of the state of global water affairs.

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