21 to 27 March 2022 is National Water Week. National Water Week 2022 highlights the importance of the often disregarded but increasingly valued ground water resources. Given the expected population growth, coupled with the impacts of climate change on surface water, there is a need to optimise the water mix which is currently dominated by surface water. The key messages of National Water Week 2022 include:
- South Africa is a water scarce country;
- Protect, conservation and sustainable use of water resources is vital;
- Appreciate the importance of all water resources, including groundwater, surface water and rainwater.
PROTECTING WATER RESOURCES
To protect water resources, the National Water Act (1998) identifies 11 water uses that require authorisation from the Department of Water and Sanitation. These water uses include:
- Taking water from a water resource;
- Storing water;
- Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse;
- Engaging in a stream flow reduction activity;
- Engaging in a controlled activity, such as
- irrigation of any land with waste or water containing waste generated through any industrial activity or by a waterwork,
- an activity aimed at the modification of atmospheric precipitation,
- a power generation activity which alters the flow regime of a water resource, or
- intentional recharging of an aquifer with any waste or water containing waste;
- Discharging waste or water containing waste into a water resource through a pipe, canal, sewer or other conduit;
- Disposing of waste in a manner which may detrimentally impact on a water resource;
- Disposing in any manner of water which contains waste from, or which has been heated in any industrial or power generation process;
- Altering the bed, banks, course, or characteristics of a watercourse;
- Removing, discharging, or disposing of water found underground if it is necessary for the efficient continuation of an activity or for the safety of people; and
- Using water for recreational purposes.
Applications for water use authorisations may take the form of a Water Use License (WULA) or a General Authorization (GA), depending on the nature of the proposed water use and the likely impact the water use will have on water resources.
HOW CAN SES HELP?
SES has extensive experience in undertaking both WULA and GA applications in accordance with relevant National Water Policies and Regulations. Contact SES for any water use questions and applications.
Cape Town Office: (021) 554 5195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
George Office: (044) 873 4923 or email@example.com