South Africa faces water infrastructure funding shortfall

05 April 2018

A new report estimates that South Africa will need to invest about R70.4-billion a year in waterinfrastructure investment over the next decade to address water scarcity and provide reliable water to all people, businesses and industries in South Africa.

The ‘Water 2018 – Market Intelligence Report’, released by non-profit organisation Green Cape, on Wednesday, said investment in waterinfrastructure included the refurbishment and upgrade of existing infrastructure, as well as the development of new infrastructure, to support population and economic growth.

“With budgeted funding of only R43.4-billion in 2017 for total waterinfrastructure, there is a significant [R27-billion] shortfall in available funding within the public sector,” Green Cape outlined in the report.

Water demand in South Africa, the thirtieth driest country in the world, is expected to exceed supply by 17% in 2030, with demand expected to grow from 15-billion cubic metres in 2016 to 18-billion cubic metres.

Despite being a water-scarce country, water consumption is around 233 litres per capita a day (lcd), compared with the international benchmark of around 180 lcd.

However, the current drought and the expected longer-term water constraints in the region have become key drivers for investment in this sector, with the report indicating that demand for technologies and services that enable resilience to water scarcity has substantially increased across all urban markets, and new investment opportunities have opened up in four key areas, namely water metering and monitoring; waterefficiencywater reuse; and alternative water supply. 

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