In the era of climate crisis, concerns are rising about the availability and quality of water resources. As a country considered to be one of the driest per capita in the world, South Africa depends on its strategic water source areas (SWSAs) for economic and environmental sustainability. These are natural “water factories”, supporting growth and development needs that are often situated far away. The Mining your Water project shows where mining developments are situated in SWSAs, as well as what conditions and guidelines mining companies must adhere to in terms of water use regulations. The tool is used by citizens to hold companies to account, and by journalists to inform their investigations.
The latest data-driven investigation (The need for speed in water licensing) which forms part of the Mining your Water series focuses on what the implications for water security will be following the announcement by the government to fast-track the process of issuing water use authorisations.
This investigation originally appeared on oxpeckers.org on 15 May 2020.