Tap Water


Without water, there is no life. It constitutes a vital part of our survival on earth as humans and, as such, it is an important resource. As the years accumulate so does the demand for clean useable water, most importantly, for drinking.

Unfortunately, the most affected areas are the poor ones, mostly in the rural part of most developing countries, whereas they are the least contributors to the water crisis. Nevertheless, the effects of the water crisis are due to a lack of infrastructure caused by the mismanagement of funds and the unequal distribution of resources.


Depending on which side of a person’s world, water may be seen in different ways. In some places, water is readily available, but in settings, clean drinkable water is a scarce commodity. However, it should be noted that scarcity is a breeding field for exploitation. 


The distribution of water is governed by various laws and treaties that provide that there is sufficient water for survival. Then, what happens when the laws in force are not followed or the individuals with mandate to enforce such laws do not follow them? The lack of appropriate governance and water distribution structures in place creates scarcity, which, in turn, leads to diseases and drought, especially in the agricultural sector.

In simple terms, the basic laws of demand provide that if more people need water, which is a limited resource, the price thereof will be higher. This will therefore cause a ripple effect on products created using water-like food, i.e., the respective prices will increase.


In South Africa, the agricultural and industrial sectors are those in most need of water. The water shortage can be attributed to pollution by mining, factories, businesses and increased human use. The laws governing these industries and/or activities may be comprehensive on paper, but practically, and considering our immediate state, there is more that still needs to be done to ensure our survival and that of the future generation.


In short, South Africa is expected to face a water deficit of 17% by 2030, which will be fueled by climate change. However, to avoid economic decline and shortages for human use and consumption, the continuous education of society, enforcement of stricter legislation, reparation of damages to infrastructure and effective management of the fair water distribution could potentially assist in the management of the water crisis we are currently facing.

Sithandwa Mkhize


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