Mme Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the Deputy Minister Water and Environmental Affairs, congratulated Emfuleni Local Municipality for being the winners of the 2013 Water Sector Awards on Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WC/WDM) in the local or domestic government front.
At the awards ceremony that took place at Gallagher Estate recently, Emfuleni Local Municipality beat Drakenstein Municipality, which is from the Western Cape and the New Castle Municipality of KwaZulu- Natal to the throne.
Our municipality (ELM) through the support of Sasol and GIZ from Germany share the Department of Water Affairs’ vision of a South Africa that has an embedded and actively applied culture of water conservation and water demand management in which all sectors must share water resources in an equitable and sustainable manner. Through the Water Conservation and Water Demand Management (WCWDM) Sector Awards, the department of water affairs seeks to create a platform and an enabling environment for all municipalities and the residents from all sectors to start appreciating and understanding the importance of conserving water.
It is a fact that despite high household water use, water losses across the supply systems are still excessive. Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) experiences annual water losses of 44% – 36 million m3 or the equivalent of over 14 000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Many municipalities, including ELM, do not have the necessary capacity, instruments or resources to implement the required water-conservation and demand-management actions. This not only threatens the water supply of the residents, but also poses water risks to businesses and restricts economic development.
Businesses are also bound to comply with demanding water reduction targets set by the government. In many cases, they have already made significant investments towards reducing their water use, but now face diminishing returns: The costs for further improvements are increasing relative to additional gains in water saving
“According to the study conducted by the Water Research Commission, the country loses at least 37% of its water through Non-Revenue Water. This equates to about R7 Billion loss per annum in revenue for municipalities. Our future water security and sustainability will only be guaranteed when government, private sector and civil society take the responsibility of conserving and preserving the water resources which we have access to today”, said Mabudafhasi.
The winner, Emfuleni Local Municipality which was represented by the Chief Director of Metsi- A- Lekoa, was presented with a certificate of recognition and acknowledgement, and the trophy for its initiatives in water conservation and water demand management.
By Stanley Gaba