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Water Facts & Figures

44 – The age of the June rainfall record that was broken at Paddock weather station along the KwaZulu-Natal coast during recent heavy rains. The weather station recorded 382 mm on June 17, breaking a record which has stood since 1964.

2012 – The year by which the world population will reach 7 billion, according to a US government projection. The world population surpassed 6 billion in 1999, meaning it will only take 13 years to add a billion people.

R5-billion – The funds allocated to Johannesburg Water’s project to upgrade and rehabilitate municipal water infrastructure across the city.

11 – The number of dams which provide bulk water to the City of Cape Town and surrounds. The city also has 20 bulk reservoirs and 12 water treatment plants.

115 – The number of municipalities in South Africa where 60% of more households do not have access to water in their dwellings or in their yards. This number is down from 155 in 2007, according to Minister of Provincial and Local Government Sydney Mufamadi.

5 680 ℓ – The volume of water it takes to process one barrel of beer.

September 2008 – The target date for the removal of the remaining 23 083 bucket toilets in the Free State, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.

950 000 – The number of work opportunities created by the Expanded Public Works Programme between 2004 and 2007. The programme aims to create 1,3 million jobs by 2009.

16 000 – The number of residents in especially informal settlements affected by flooding due to July storms in Cape Town.

2012 -The WRC study released figures on non-revenue water based on the overall water assessments made in South Africa. Non-revenue water( total physical and commercial water losses)  was found to be 36% of the water supplied.

2013- Municipalities increased the supply of sewerage and sanitation services by 6,2%, raising the number of consumer units with access to sanitation facilities from 9,4 million in 2012 to almost 10 million 2013. The number of consumer units receiving other services also increased. Access to water services rose by 3,3% (from 11,4 to 11,8).

2015- The Department of Water and Sanitation eradicated 78.8% of the bucket system in formal settlements. Out of nine provinces, seven achieved an average of 90% eradication. Provinces that have achieved total eradication of bucket toilets in formal areas are KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The Western Cape has reached 99.8% clearance.  The provinces that achieved less than 80% are Free State and Northern Cape where only 68% and 26% of buckets have been eradicated respectively. To date a total of 15 544 bucket systems have been eradicated out of the 57 329 remaining backlog.

Water Reserve  The only ‘right’ entrenched in the National Water Act is water for the environment, and water for basic human needs. Current policy allows for an amount of 25 litres per person per day for basic human needs. There is strong advocacy to increase this amount, especially to enable economic activity of poor households.

6 000 Free Basic Water-  In South Africa municipalities are required by law to provide 6 000 litres per household per month free of charge as a ‘lifeline’ amount. 

Rural Survey - Only 2, 7% of households identified farming activities as their most important source of income. These are villagers (rural residents) and very few of them are farmers!) (1997 rural survey questionnaire).

Economic Activity - In a groundbreaking study in Bushbuckridge, the Association for Water, Agriculture and Rural Development (AWARD) found that villages with more than RDP levels of water supply had double the level of local economic activity compared to villages where only 25 litres per person per day was available to households.

El Niños – caused by Pacific Ocean warming – occur every two to seven years. Scientists believe they have been around for millennia, but that the droughts and floods they trigger may be becoming more intense as a result of climate change. Forecasters say 2015-16 events could become even more powerful than the 1997-98 El Niño – the strongest on record – which was blamed for an estimated 23,000 deaths and $35-45 billion in damages.

El Niños - UNICEF estimates that as many as 11 million children are at risk from hunger, disease and lack of water in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa as El Niño strengthens, threatening to undo gains in nutrition, health and education. This comes after a series of climatic shocks in 2014 and 2015 ruined harvests, leaving many children and their families dependent on food aid to survive in several countries in the region.

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