Uses Of Water In South Africa How Water Is Used In South Africa In The Different Sectors

1204 words - 5 pages

Uses of water in South Africa

Industry, mining and forestry share the left over 28% of water as well as any water resources. Only 9% of rain water is available, as the rest is lost due to surface run-off. Run-off is used in agriculture - mainly irrigation - then used in industries, domestic use and then mining.

Domestic: Water usage is one of the most prominent forms of consumption. As people become richer, the amount of domestic water used rapidly increases.

In 2000, South Africa's domestic use of water varied from 50 to 99 cubic meters per person, per year. Although most of this water is used in homes, a lot of the water does not reach the consumer, but is lost through leaking pipes. As much as 20% of domestic water is used in the toilet and leaking taps either lose that water through evaporation, or it finds its way back to the groundwater, lakes or dams. Domestic use of water in South Africa has a total of 59 per 1000 cubic metres.

Agriculture: Most of the water is withdrawn for use in agriculture. 72% of water in South Africa is used irrigation, livestock and other forms of agriculture. 49 % of the Limpopo basin demand in South Africa is from irrigation. The agricultural sector is vital for the provision of our food, a job provider and social upliftment. Agriculture is also dependant on water.

Groundwater is tapped by digging holes or drilling boreholes. Most towns are dependent on this groundwater, but because agriculture uses most of the groundwater, water could become scarce. While 13% of South Africa's land can be used for crop production, only 22% of this is high-potential arable land. The most important limiting factor is the availability of water. Rainfall is distributed unevenly across the country, with some areas prone to drought. More than half of South Africa's water is used for agriculture, with about 1.3 million hectares under irrigation.

Increased demand for water

Population growth means there's a more industrial growth which leads to an increase in demand for food which would eventually increase the standard of living for many people. In Urban areas, people depend on piped water supplies. As people are striving for an improved standard of living, the individual water needs of each person are rapidly increasing as the population grows.

More people leads to the need of more jobs available. Industrial growth is being encouraged to increase the employment and wealth. New factories will be built so that these people can be employed and these factories will then need more water too.

Total water requirements are growing by 4% each year and would have doubled by 2030 - if it has not yet run out by then.

How to save water

The main reason for the shortage of water is because there is a bigger demand...

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