Journal article

Stormwater harvesting: Improving water security in South Africa's urban areas

Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Fisher-Jeffes L, Carden K, Armitage NP, Winter K.

Publication year: 2017

Journal: South African Journal of Science

Journal name: South African Journal of Science

Volume number: 113

Issue number: 1/2

Start page: 72

End page: 75

Total number of pages: 4

ISSN: 1996-7489

eISSN: 0038-2353



The drought experienced in South Africa in 2016 - one of the worst in
decades - has left many urbanised parts of the country with limited
access to water, and food production has been affected. If a future
water crisis is to be averted, the country needs to conserve current
water supplies, reduce its reliance on conventional surface water
schemes, and seek alternative sources of water supply. Within urban
areas, municipalities must find ways to adapt to, and mitigate the
threats from, water insecurity resulting from, inter alia, droughts,
climate change and increasing water demand driven by population growth
and rising standards of living. Stormwater harvesting (SWH) is one
possible alternative water resource that could supplement traditional
urban water supplies, as well as simultaneously offer a range of social
and environmental benefits. We set out three position statements
relating to how SWH can: improve water security and increase resilience
to climate change in urban
areas; prevent frequent flooding; and provide additional benefits to
society. We also identify priority research areas for the future in order to target and support the appropriate uptake of SWH in South Africa, including testing the viability of SWH through the use of real-time control and managed aquifer recharge.


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Water scarcity

Last updated on 2017-05-12 at 14:55