Potable water demand in Southern Africa

13 Sep 2020

Southern Africa consists of 5 countries namely South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini. The region currently has a population of 67.5 million. It is set to grow by 11.6% over the next 10 years and will cross 75 million, according to business intelligence provider ABiQ.

The largest part of this region is arid and with this increase in population will require more resources and infrastructure for managing and supplying potable water. Ageing infrastructure and poor maintenance has resulted in frequent breakdowns as well as wastage of water. Prolonged droughts have also resulted in an overwhelming demand for potable water.

Additional water required

By using ABiQ’s forecasting tool, we can predict Southern Africa will require an additional 573 million cubic metres of potable water capacity by 2030. This forecast ignores any industrialisation requirements and purely covers population demand.

Southern African access to basic drinking water services (% of the population)









South Africa


Source: ABiQ; World Bank (2018)

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