The Science Of ... , #WaterWatch

How the Water Research Commission is saving South Africa from water scarcity

We [South Africa] are becoming much drier.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Cape Town has to stop allowing storm water to run into the sea.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

If we get it right in Cape Town we’ll get it right everywhere else.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Cape Town and its surrounding areas are suffering their worst drought in more than 100 years.

The local government restricts residents to a maximum of 87 litres per day.

If the rains don’t come – and it’s unlikely, since Cape Town has entered its dry season – the city may run out of water by May 2018.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo for his weekly “The Science Of” feature.

The WRC was established in terms of the Water Research Act (Act No 34 of 1971).

The WRC’s mandate includes:

  • Promoting co-ordination, co-operation and communication in the area of water research and development.

  • Establishing water research needs and priorities.

  • Stimulating and funding water research according to priority.

  • Promoting effective transfer of information and technology.

  • Enhancing knowledge and capacity-building within the water sector.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

Water is one of the top-5 risks to the global economy.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

We live in a water scarce world.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Globally, it’s getting worse… part of the reason is climate change…

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Gauteng is, technically, permanently in drought [yet always has water].

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

South Africa is the 30th driest country in the world.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

…South Africa is responsible for the Singaporean water industry….

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

There’s money to be made out of waste.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

…We have models of new toilets systems that will work with no water at all, or very little…

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Cape Town is doing OK…

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Demand management must also be institutional.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

The energy cost [of desalination] is going down and down and down.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

We import everything [related to desalination].

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

The evaporation index is getting higher and higher and higher.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Lesotho doesn’t sell us water, they sell us altitude.

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

Cape Town is, actually, far away… It’s an island – the sea on the one side, the mountain on the other side…

Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission

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This article first appeared on 702 : How the Water Research Commission is saving South Africa from water scarcity


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