South Africa Water and Sanitation summit concludes

South Africa’s two-day National Water and Sanitation Summit will conclude today. South Africa’s water and sanitation experts, including industry leaders,

South Africa Water and Sanitation summit concludes

South Africa Water and Sanitation summit concludes today – Photo: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

South Africa’s two-day National Water and Sanitation Summit will conclude today.

South Africa’s water and sanitation experts, including industry leaders, non-profits, environmentalists, government agencies, and water boards have gathered to brainstorm solutions for water security issues. Organized by Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu, the summit follows multiple provincial working sessions.

South Africa’s water resources are under threat. Cape Town made headlines in 2017 when it neared Day Zero, the point where the water levels in the city’s dams would be unable to support demand. Experts argue this threat still remains. Climate change increasingly exacerbates the water crisis, with major consequences: less drinking water also means less water for sanitation, agriculture, and more.

Expect the conference to push for the adoption of a national water strategy similar to the one adopted by Cape Town in 2020. Such a strategy will likely promote water resiliency initiatives to conserve usage. Likely candidates include Improving agricultural water management systems and enhancing sanitation infrastructure to recycle and treat storm and wastewater. Expect local authorities to embrace such a strategy through public-private partnerships dependent on if they are given the proper funding, as drought-related municipal budgets are increasingly exhausted across the country.

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