By Celeste Ganga
18 October 2007
With just three out of thirty Municipalities in the Western Cape Region, struggling to meet set Standards and Legislation of Drinking Water Quality, the Department is still intensifying awareness around the quality of drinking water supplied to Municipalities, Water Services Authorities and consumers or the broader public.
“The National Standards for the quality of Drinking Water (2001) requires Municipalities to implement drinking water quality programmes to ensure that the water they supply to consumers is both safe and not a health risk,” says Water Affairs and Forestry Drinking Water Specialist in the Western Cape Region, Natasha Davis.
In a National Conference that was recently held on drinking water quality, three major challenges to the provision of clean and safe water were identified as: the need to train Water Treatment Works Operators in order to bridge the skills gap, to establish more sampling programmes to equip Water Services Authorities and to obtain political-buy in to unlock funds necessary to upgrade water works in most municipalities.
“The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has been engaging all 30 Municipalities in the Western Cape region, to get hold of the whole water network, (water treatment sources, rivers, dams, aquifers, and all possible water sources) used by Municipalities,” says Davis.
Davis goes on to say that if all water points can be registered, we will be able to monitor all the water in the region. For now Government is holding hands with Municipalities, engaging them in one-on-ones, workshops, and conferences.
“Departmental and Partnering Specialists have also identified a need to train learners around drinking water matters, and thus enhancing existing schools initiatives,” says Davis.
The public is encouraged to obtain as much information as possible on this matter by dialling 0800 200 200.