• According to the latest Blue Drop Report released by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) on Tuesday, half of South Africa’s potable water is deemed unfit for consumption.

    The evaluation, which assessed the condition of all drinking water systems across the country, revealed that 46% of water quality tests conducted by municipalities between 2021 and 2022 exhibited subpar results in terms of microbiological water quality compliance.

    Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu officially disclosed the complete Blue Drop Report on Tuesday, shedding light not only on the compromised water quality but also on the deficient infrastructure required for water supply.

    The report’s assessment encompassed all 958 water supply systems (WSS) within the 144 water services authorities (WSA) nationwide, revealing a bleak scenario.

    According to the findings from water quality tests carried out during the 2021/2022 financial year, a staggering 46% of tested water exhibited poor or inadequate microbiological water quality compliance.

    Dr Sean Phillips, the director-general of DWS, emphasised a significant deterioration in water quality over the past decade, noting that the proportion of poor or bad microbiological water quality compliance was merely 5% in 2014.

    ‘The Blue and No Drop Reports indicate that there has been a decline in drinking water quality and an increase in non-revenue water since the last reports were issued in 2014.’

    ‘The Green Drop Progress Assessment Report also indicates a deterioration in the performance of municipal wastewater treatment systems,’ the report read.

    The report highlighted a distressing situation in the Northern Cape, where almost 90% of the drinking water was classified as poor or bad quality.

    Gauteng led with the highest percentage of drinking water systems demonstrating excellent or good performance at 62%, followed by the Western Cape at 50%.

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    Published by Cape Etc.

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