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Water doesn't come from a tap.

© Hougaard Malan

We all need safe drinking water to survive. Almost every business needs reliable water too. South Africa is already a water scarce country, the 30th driest in the world. Combined with having uneven rainfall, this makes water a hot commodity. We need to realise that water does not come from a dam, a pipe or a tap.

Why does it matter?

In previous decades in South Africa, we have invested heavily in engineered water infrastructure. But we can no longer solve our water issues by building more dams or canals. We need to rehabilitate and maintain the natural areas which are the sources of water for our cities and farms, and we need to rethink how we use water.
We have drained, dammed and polluted vast numbers of critical wetlands, rivers and aquifers – nature’s water storage and filtering powerhouses – thus diminishing the function of these natural systems to provide us with clean water.
We urgently need to act on the fact that half of our country’s river flow is provided by a tiny 10% of land area. Yet, most of this land is not protected. These strategic water source areas – the mountain catchments that yield our major rivers – are also critical for food production and the sustenance of many people downstream.


Did you know?

South Africa has 22 strategic water source areas, 223 types of river ecosystems and 792 types of wetland ecosystems.

© Stefan Bosch
What is WWF doing?

WWF has been working in catchments in South Africa for nearly two decades.

We are involved with driving water stewardship initiatives with both communities and corporations, identifying water risks and ensuring healthy water-supplying landscapes such as wetlands. On our Journey of Water experience, we also empower media and celebrities to understand and share the complexities of how water gets to urban water users.

What can you do?

If you live in a town or city and want to know the beauty of the mountain source of your drinking water, connect to the catchment feeding your tap.

Find out where your water comes from.

Take the journey

We can only save water while there is water to save.