Water & Sanitation Technology

Water & Sanitation TechnologyBrief overview:

The gap between water demand and water supply is growing in Africa. Water demand is increasing at a higher rate than population growth—as income levels of urban dwellers rise and the demands for better services increase—whereas water availability is shrinking due to competing demands from agriculture, mining, and industry and from deteriorating water quality and climate change.

AAIC 2015 will feature Water & Sanitation Technology break-out stream presentations from Australia and four regions of Africa in the following sub-sectors:

  1. Urban water supply
  2. Water Pipeline & Network Route Engineering
  3. Water Metering & Bills Collection
  4. Water Saving Technology
  5. Waste –water management and Sanitation Technology

Water & Sanitation TechnologyAfrica Water & Sanitation Fact Sheet

  • The number of households relying on boreholes and wells has increased by 22 million over the past decade, but infrastructure dilapidation and lack of well and borehole maintenance has rendered many of these sources unsuitable to secure safe drinking water
  • Africa has about 9 percent of the globe’s fresh-water resources, but utilisation is low in many basins, For example, less than 2 percent of the Congo River’s tremendous water resources are used
  • A recent report from the British Geological Society estimates that the groundwater available in aquifers in Africa is 100 times the amount found on the surface (MacDonald et al., 2011; McGrath, 2012)
  • In middle-income countries such as South Africa, utilities reach about 99 percent of the urban population, the vast majority through private piped water connections. In low-income countries, 49 percent of urban areas receive water from utilities and less than half of these are through piped connections
  • In 2010, only 61 percent of Africans had access to clean water and 31 percent to adequate sanitation (WHO/UNICEF, 2012)
  • Water & Sanitation TechnologyA little more than half of the households with piped water also have flush toilets, which are often connected to septic tanks rather than to sewers. Namibia, Senegal, and South Africa report universal coverage by sewerage but in most other African countries, sewerage serves less than even 10 percent of urban areas (AICD, 2011)
  • Only a small proportion of wastewater is collected, and an even smaller fraction is treated. Outside South Africa, few cities have functioning wastewater treatment plants. Of the 11 cities that were assessed in the background paper on wastewater (World Bank, 2012c) wastewater treatment plants (half of which were lagoon-based), and many of these were not functioning or functioning significantly below capacity
  • 26 percent of (Namibia capital) Windhoek’s water supply comes from wastewater reuse—a system that has stood the city in good stead for decades
  • Wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture can provide benefits to farmers in conserving freshwater resources, improving soil integrity, and improving economic efficiency.

Source: Africa’s Water and Sanitation Infrastructure by World Bank.