Despite best efforts by authorities in South Africa’s interior regions, to encourage consumers to use water sparingly, and by putting measures in place to clamp down on water usage, all indications are that consumers are using more, and not less.

It might be that, because of recent heavy rains over the interior, consumers may feel that the drought has been dealt with, not realizing that where the bulk water comes from, shortages are acute, with much rain to come if replenishment of stored waters are again at acceptable levels.

So, where does this situation leave authorities and consumers alike, and what can be done in future to alleviate the situation.

Fact is, few countries in the world can survive without relying on substantial levels of stored waters. The irony is that more than 20% of these stored resources are lost to evaporation yearly. The amounts of water lost through waste exceeds this percentage, but is very difficult to reduce.

Consider that South Africa imports fresh water from Lesotho, via the Highlands Trans- basin Water Scheme, it does so at great cost. Already existing capacity of the scheme is at a point where additional capacity is required to service Gauteng.

Losing 20% of RSA- bound water at the source, through evaporation, is an astounding amount of water per annum.

The same applies to countries such as Namibia, where water is a super precious commodity, and exposure to evaporation is extreme.

Perhaps as a result of the sheer size of dams there are limited options available on the market to prevent and reduce evaporation from taking place.

In South Africa there are one or two prototypes being tested which, once on an operational standard, will be able to be utilized to reduce rates of evaporation of stored waters.

Hexagon Water Evaporation Prevention (WEP), is currently in development phase, and should be ready for commercial application in 2017.

Enquiries: Cobus Meiring – Hexagon WEP

Written by Cobus Meiring