Although it may not seem like it South Africa is one of the driest nations on the face of the planet. If any of you are old enough you might remember a Water Board advertisement that ran on South African television about a decade ago. It showed a watering can upended and the flow of water, each individual drop hitting the ground where a few were captured in upturned thimbles.
This in a nutshell is the problem. In many areas of South Africa we have adequate seasonal rainfall, however simply not enough places to store the water that falls. One dry season is enough to place our water supplies under enormous strain. This means that the country’s engineers have to come up with innovative solutions to provide the ever increasing number of urbanites with clean potable water. They also have to balance this need with the needs of agriculture and manufacturing, both of which use simply enormous amounts of water.
One of the ways that they are doing this is through intensive water purification projects. These water purification projects take the water which is used for sanitation and industry and remove the impurities so that it can be reused. Contrary to popular belief the purified water is not always purified to a level where it is useful as drinking water. Some of the water is purified to a level where it can be classified as ‘grey water’.
This water can be sued, for example for irrigation, but is not suitable for human consumption. The South African government and South African engineers are also looking at water purification projects aimed at desalinisation, where salt is removed from sea water and the resultant fresh water can be used for human consumption and irrigation. It’s clear that we cannot go on treating our water is if it is an unlimited resource.
It has been said that the next world war will be fought not over land, or belief, but over water. We have to take steps to guard this precious resource. To get more information about how water purification projects are changing our nation’s future contact us.