As Rand Water’s planned maintenance enters its second day of the announced 54-hour period, a water expert has warned that South Africa’s water crisis could be as bad as the rolling blackout problem –  if not worse.

Professor Anthony Turton says while Rand Water is a world-class operation, something has to be done with the water problems for the sake of the economy.

“They’re both of an equal magnitude in a way. The difference being that the power outage problem can be resolved, we can still build power stations. But we can’t really extend our water network much more.”

Turton says Sout Africa needs to create ‘new water’ in order to grow the economy.

“Because in 2002 we reached the full limit of the available water supply in the country. Now the only way we can continue to grow our economy is if we create what is called new water,” explains Turton.

Rand Water says it is on schedule to complete planned maintenance:

The audio clip below is the full interview:

Western Cape residents urged to continue using water sparingly

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government has urged residents to continue using water sparingly even though major dam levels are high after good winter rains.

The average dam levels for the province stand at 81%.

Department spokesperson James Brent-Styan says the dams feeding the City of Cape Town are now 98% full.

The Clanwilliam Dam is at 99% and Theewaterskloof at 100%.

VIDEO: Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu and Rand Water media briefing