In an effort to foster a culture of water conservations, the Rand Water Foundation has trained 25 young people from Jouberton to become “water conservation warriors.”

The group is tasked with educating communities about the importance of conserving water. They will also monitor and help improve old water systems, and repair leaks as part of Department of Water and Environmental Affairs’ efforts to reduce water loss by half in 2014.

South African provinces lose about 30% of drinking water supplies each year due to problems like leaks and aging infrastructure, according to a 2012 report.

Water and Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi launched the “war on leaks” project at Matlosana stadium recently.

She admitted that the infrastructure in many places was old. She also warned that action would be taken against people who made illegal connections to steal water.

North West Premier Thandi Modise pleaded with residents to use water wisely.

“In many parts of our province there is a huge struggle for water – either the water needs purification or it is not there at all,” she said. “We should be alert and try to eradicate leaks.”

Residents, however, complain that leaking taps and toilets are not given enough attention by the municipality.

“We would urge the project’s leaders to give urgent attention to our aging toilet systems, which are not functioning well and need to be upgraded,” said Sandy Qucha of Jouberton Extension 2.