The Acid Water Crisis: An Update

Posted: August 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I’ve been following the progress of the Acid Water Crisis that is brewing beneath the city of Joburg and I came across an interesting article published in this week’s Saturday Star, written by Sheree Bega.

The article featured an interview with Professor Terence McCarthy from the school of Geosciences at Wits University.

Currently the acid water is now 530m below Johannesburg and is still rising at a rate of about 60cm a day. McCarthy has warned that if the water reaches the surface, basements in the inner city, including building belonging to Standard Bank, could begin to flood. In addition to this, Gold Reef City could also potentially lose their underground mine to the acid water.

But McCarthy is also worried about another unforeseen consequence of the acid water. There are currently a series of underground tunnels that house Johannesburg’s electricity cables. The acid water contains high levels of heavy metal, including uranium and sulphates. And if the tunnels below Johannesburg flood with corrosive water, the entire city could be plunged into darkness.

McCarthy stated that none of the mining companies will step up to take responsibility. It will then be up to the government, who are the largest beneficiary of mining in South Africa according to McCarthy, to take action.

It seems that the water crisis is getting worse and no one is doing anything about it.

I think action needs to be taken. What do you think?

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