• Staff writer


Water waste, leaks and the use of drinking water for manufacturing is resulting in billions of litres of potable water going to waste. If addressed, water infrastructure spend could be significantly reduced.

Local water sector stakeholders are set to participate in the IFAT Africa trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling. They state that there is a lack of communication between the public and private sector on water related issues and infrastructure spend. They urge public sector decision makers to work more closely with the private sector to implement sustainable solutions to the country’s water, wastewater and refuse challenges.

Dean Mulqueeny, MD of AECI Water, says that it is not necessary to use potable water from Rand Water for many manufacturing processes and that at AECI, they are cleaning and re-using effluent water for many of their own manufacturing sites. At their Modderfontein factory, a project is underway to remove demand for 400 million litres of potable water from the grid each year. These efforts will increase the government’s ability to take drinking water to under-served communities, as well as reduce pressure on current water infrastructure. He adds that because there are no regular forums where government and the private sector can discuss and share their plans, government stakeholders may not be aware of the impact these collective private sector efforts could have.

Experts point out that reducing water waste and ensuring access for all should be a top priority for government as it seeks to revitalise the economy and attract investment.

Massive volumes of unaccounted for water are stolen, leaked or lost as a result of inefficiency in the system. South Africa does not have the resources to replace its ageing infrastructure right now, but intelligent 4IR management technologies can address the lost water issue and reduce wastage.

IFAT Africa is the continent’s leading trade fair and forum for the water, sewage, refuse and recycling industries. It will take place at Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from 2-4 November 2021.


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