- We are facing a drinking-water crisis in which about 10% of municipal (piped-water) has failed and another 38% is approaching collapse
- Every water resource — groundwater, streams and reservoirs — is heavily polluted.
- One official estimate is that a mere 5% of hazardous waste is disposed of properly. The rest finds its way into the water system, the worst of which is produced by acid mine drainage, farming and the collapse of municipal sewage and water treatment plants throughout the country
- Another official estimate says leaks in the (piped water) system account for about 37% of so-called wasted water, that is water that has already been treated for human consumption at a huge cost
- Anthony Turton - an environmental risk analyst and water expert - sounded the alarm in November 2015, saying that, “South Africa has polluted its national water resource to such an extent that it now faces a crisis of induced scarcity, which could have been avoided.” The reason being, he said, is that municipalities are discharging around 4 billion litres of untreated or partially treated sewage into the country’s rivers and dams, each day.
- The poor waste-water treatment is, in turn, driving the ‘eutrophication’ of all major dams, meaning the presence of high levels of nutrients. This promotes the growth of blue-green algae, of which a very common species (microcystis aeruginosacyanobacteria) releases a toxin that is chemically similar to cobra venom, such that it is carcinogenic, liver-damaging, and impairs the central nervous system.
On April 22nd, Earth Day commemorates the birth of modern environmental movement in 1970. Let’s look at how the movement has evolved over the past