Experts argue that South Africa is still in a water crisis, with estimates that Johannesburg and even South Africa as a whole could run out of water as soon as 2030 if more effort is not put into conserving water and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Johannesburg’s citizens.
The main dams that supply Johannesburg are the Katse Dam, which, according to the South African Government’s Department of Water and Sanitation are collectively sitting at 20.9% of their full capacity.
Over the last 3 years over 210,000 people of Hammanskraal have been hit with one of the country’s biggest water challenge; kids in schools, elderly people in clinics and majority population have been exposed to raw unsafe water causing health worries in the area; with laboratory tests showing extreme levels of Nitrate and Phosphates making the water unsafe to drink.
The Vaal River, the largest river in South Africa and popular tourist destination is becoming increasingly contaminated with fecal material due to the lack of sanitation supplies. It is so bad that the local water agency Rand Water issued a statement that contact with the river may lead to serious infection. Wildlife is also being affected from the raw sewage run off. A court-ordered mandate was issued to remove 20 tons of dead fish from the river after a local NGO SAVE (Save the Vaal River Environment) took the Emfuleni municipality to court for leaking raw sewage into the river. They blamed the reason for dumping sewage in the river on old pipes.