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In 2021, water lettuce had never been heard of in the Vaal. Three years later, it has totally dominated the system, writes Anthony Turton.

“For the sake of our argument, we can say that around 20 000 engineers have worked in various roles to transfer water from the Vaal into the PWV Triangle, on which 20 000 000 people are dependent.”

“This is important because those 20 million people each produce about 200 litres of waste daily, which equates to 4 billion litres of sewage. This flows by gravity into the very rivers from which their drinking water is obtained. This is our problem.”

“In 2021, water lettuce had never been heard of in the Vaal. Three years later, it has totally dominated the system. The rate of change is impressive. What took 50 years to occur in Hartbeespoort Dam, took three years to occur in the Vaal. That’s an order of magnitude difference.

“Change is happening at a speed one order of magnitude faster than we are familiar with, which implies that we would logically need more ingenuity than the 20 000 engineers that created the problem in the first place. We are then shocked to find that the total ingenuity we are allocating to the solution is less than 20 people, which is three orders of magnitude less than the minimum we require if we believe Homer-Dixon.”

“Let’s put this into perspective. We now expect a technical task team of 20 people, to solve the problem created by 20 000 specialists, which is moving an order of magnitude faster, to save 20 million people and two-thirds of our national economy.”

“Have you ever seen a treadmill throw off a runner that is unable to match the speed? This is what will happen to the 20 million who are now totally dependent on the ingenuity of the 20. That’s six orders of magnitude difference.”

“Time to take a bite of the reality sandwich. Our water crisis is becoming real.”
Get the full story at Source: News24.


  1. Dr Jacques van den Berg

    We need an intelligent government as much as we need oxygen.

    • Gerhard

      I totally agree, thank you Dr Van den Berg


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