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South Africa is short of water

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  • Release Time:2019-05-17 17:52
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【Summary】South Africa is short of water

South Africa is short of water

【Summary】South Africa is short of water

  • Categroy:News
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Release Time:2019-05-17 17:52
  • Views:
Information

1. Who has access to water?

Close to 89% of South African households (14.4 million) had access to piped water (tap water) in 2017. This is according to Statistics South Africa’s latest General Household Survey.

In 2002, the year of the first survey, 84% of households had tap water.

But the countrywide increase masks decreases in some provinces, most notably Limpopo.

Access to water in Limpopo rose from 74% of households in 2002 to 84% in 2010, but dropped to 75% in 2017.

Gauteng (97%) and the Western Cape (99%) had the highest percentage of households with tap water in 2017.

Share of households with piped water by province in South Africa

Province

2002

2010

2017

Eastern Cape

56.1%

74.9%

74.2%

Limpopo

73.8%

84%

74.7%

KwaZulu-Natal

75.4%

84.1%

84.5%

North West

85.6%

91%

85.8%

Mpumalanga

90.5%

88.1%

85.5%

Northern Cape

92.5%

94.1%

96%

Free State

95.6%

96.9%

92.8%

Gauteng

98.7%

97.2%

97.1%

Western Cape

98.9%

98.8%

98.7%

Source: 2017 General Household Survey

Who still doesn’t have access?

According to data provided by Stats SA, 13% of households headed by black people didn’t have access to “improved water” in 2017. This is tap water in a dwelling or yard or water from a neighbour’s tap or public/communal tap, provided that it is less than 200 metres away.

Share of households without access to an improved source of water by race of household head (2017)

Race of household head

Share

Black African

13.3%

White

5%

Indian/Asian

2%

Coloured

1.9%

2. Who had access to water in 1994?

Stats SA’s earliest data on water access is the 1995 October Household Survey. But there wereproblems with the survey’s research methods.

The 1996 Census found that 81% of households had access to piped water that year.

However, Niël Roux, Stats SA director for service delivery statistics, warns that this number is not necessarily comparable with the number for access to piped water in the General Household Survey. “Whereas access to water is asked in one question in the GHS, two questions are used in the census,” he explains.

A smaller survey by the Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, conducted in 1993, put access to piped water at 76% of households.

About 100% of white households had access, but only 67% of black (African) households.

3. Are South Africans satisfied with their water services?

In 2017, 64% of households with municipal water rated their water service as “good”.

The household survey says “satisfaction [with water services] has been eroding steadily since 2005” when 76% of households said the service was good.

Water interruptions seem to play a role here.

For example, in the Western Cape, only 1% of households with municipal water reported being without water for more than two days at a time, and 88% rated their water service as “good”.

In Limpopo, half the households said they had experienced water interruptions. Only 36% said their water service was good.

Seven percent of households across South Africa said their water was not safe to drink.

 

 

 

South Africa is already experiencing significant effects of climate change, particularly as a result of increased temperatures and water variability.

This is according to a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy publishedby the Department of Environmental Affairs earlier this week.

“The observed rate of warming has been 2°C per century or even higher – more than twice the global rate of temperature increase for the western parts and the northeast,” the department said.

“There is evidence that extreme weather events in South Africa are increasing, with heat wave conditions found to be more likely, dry spell durations lengthening slightly, and rainfall intensity increasing.

“Climate zones across the country are already shifting, ecosystems and landscapes are being degraded, veld fires are becoming more frequent, and overused natural terrestrial and marine systems are under stress.”

Much hotter

As part of its report, the Department of Environmental Affairs provided a summary of projected future changes in temperature and rainfall in South Africa.

The changes are based on ‘high mitigation’ and ‘low mitigation’ scenarios, with the projections changing drastically based on how quickly and drastically authorities are able to stem the effects of climate change.

In a low mitigation scenario the temperatures are set to increase ‘drastically’, the department said.

Before the end of the current century (to 2099) it expects temperature increases greater than 4°C across South Africa, with increases greater than 6°C possible in the western, central and northern interior.

The department said that it also expects an increase in the number of heat-wave days and very hot days where these above temperatures will be common or even exceeded.

In a high mitigation scenario, the department said that an increase in temperatures in the interior could be constrained to between 2.5 to 4°C.

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