Manage water wisely


Alzane Narrain

Bloemfonteiners need not worry about the quality of their drinking water. However, it needs to be managed correctly if we are to have the use of this scarce commodity. According to Professor Maitland Seaman of the Centre for Environmental Management at the University of the Free Sate the city’s water situation is not too bad.  "We get our water from the Modder and Caledon rivers. Our drinking water comes via pumps, pipes and treatment works from Bloemwater and is in excellent condition," he said. The population growth in Mangaung will, however, put our water supply under a lot of strain as it will double in the next 40 years. Dams are silting up.

Luckily the department of water affairs is aware of these factors, which means the necessary precautions can be taken. Most rural communities in South Africa do not have access to running water or toilets and they use water sources such as rivers for defecation and urination. “Our rivers are terribly contaminated due to sewage. The ones who suffer are people who live downstream from rivers.  People should not be drinking any water that does not come out of a tap,” Maitland emphasised.

According to Maitland, residents of Bloemfontein should not worry about the city running out of water.  He says that it will take years for Bloemfontein to run dry because the department of water affairs has plans to increase the capacity of pumps to facilitate water coming from the Caledon River.