The Vaal River and its Water Pollution issues pertaining farming

Posted by Collen on Fri October 2, 2015 in Responsible Tourism & Environmental News.

Last time we covered the story on the pollution problems concerning the Vaal River. Reports revealed that the department had received complaints from communities and civil society groups complaining about the continuity of pollution within the Vaal River System that is causing health hazards including unlawful water users in farming.

It was said that for the first time in months such an issue caught the attention of the Department of Water Affairs, this saw them taking the issue with complaints very seriously. We thought we should cover this story and highlight some important factors that stood out in this whole debacle. Some factors have been dealt with while others are still part of an ongoing process. Even though the Department of Water Affairs felt accountable for what had transpired, this matter had a darker secret which further raised concerns within the farming industry amongst locals. The eradication of illegal irrigation received special attention from the Minister of Water Affairs. The official even made it clear at the time that the farmers who steal water from the Vaal River must be dealt with harshly, she even took a special visit to one farmer and removed his irrigation pumps. According to the Department of Water Affairs, regulations and measurements of taking water for irrigation purposes must be enforced however these regulations had not been published at that time and seemed to cause confusion within the farming community as to who is the unlawful water user. Officials within the Department of Water Affairs said that regardless of any changes these delaying effective actions against partially unlawful water users must serve to erase this ongoing problem. To this day the issue of addressing unlawful water users is receiving a high priority in the regional offices according to Department of Water Affairs and these important interventions need to be implemented immediately because a significant threat to the security of water supply in the Vaal River System will be imminent further affecting the future of water supply in Gauteng.