â€œAs the water demand continues to increase in the region, it becomes imperative to address the water distribution issues... The government will [be] forced to make decisions about prioritizing water either for the economic success of the region or for human potential.â€? When these populations lack adequate sanitation, they lose their incentive to stop polluting the water supply. Unless sanitation systems are put into place, human health will continue to be at risk, and untreated waste will continue to accumulate in these waters.
The battle between the blacks struggling for proper sanitation and the industrial sector consuming vast amounts of clean water places great pressures on the government and the nation as a whole. As the water demand continues to increase in the region, it becomes imperative to address the water pollution and distribution issues. If the pollution continues at the current rate, the little available water will be unsuitable for use and cause even greater water scarcity than what is currently projected. The Olifants River Basin could potentially experience a severe water crisis if changes are not implemented. The issue, however, will only be able to be addressed through making decisions about water allocation and water regulation. Resources will need to be divided between treatment for industrial wastewater and investing into implementing sanitation systems. The government will also be forced to make decisions about prioritizing water either for the economic success of the region or for human potential. A balance must be sought between the two priorities in order to achieve sustainability in the future.
Industrial and human activities in the Olifants River Basin (located in southern Africa) is projected to withdraw even more of its total available water by 2025 to more than 40%, further straining the already ineffective water allocation system in the region.
PENN SUSTAINABILITY REVIEW