Now water quality concerns are ‘scaremongering’ !

13 March 2011

This week Business Day boldly ventured into new territory beyond AMD and addressed water quality in general.  Apart from a Mayan calender-ish prediction of undrinkability in 19 years, the article was correct and balanced.  The national regulator’s mouthpiece, however, declared the concerns to be ‘scaremongering’.  Now we know there are at least three cards in the governments pack, the ‘race’ card, the ‘theres no crisis card’ and the latest, the ‘scaremongering’ card.  The same mouthpiece made a startlingly dismissive comment in saying “we tell people not to drink from streams” (what do they do when they have no choice??).

The aforementioned response is further dismissive of both the concerns expressed (the DWAE wilfully decline to engage with anyone who expresses an opinion different to theirs) and the growing world-wide concerns about water quality (see example here). DWAE, while admitting that treatment is a huge issue,  definitely does not understand that ‘prevention is better than cure’ , i.e. stop the pollution from getting into our dams, then the challenges of water treatment will not be so onerous. Will our regulator provide an unqualified assurance that SANS241 addresses chemicals of “emerging concern” , including veterinary and human pharmaceuticals, flame retardants and pthalates used to make plastic flexible, plus biological (algal) estrogens and BMAA?  I doubt it.

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