Water ideas trickle in

2017-06-27 06:01

As Cape Town is in the midst of its worst drought in 100 years, the City of Cape Town is planning to take a new “water resilience approach to water management”, says mayor Patricia de Lille in a statement.

“The council supported the creation of a water resilience task team under the leadership of the chief resilience officer, which has set about augmenting the City’s response to drought, ensuring that acute water shortages are avoided, and transforming Cape Town’s water landscape into one that ultimately relies less on surface water,” she says.

The City is enlarging its efforts to find new sources of temporary water, De Lille adds.

“We cannot bank on there being sufficient rain in the remainder of winter to break the drought. It will take at least three consecutive winters of above-average rainfall to make a real difference to the availability of surface water,” she says.

City officials formally posted a request for ideas and information last Monday for solutions that will enable the City to temporarily establish plants to supply drinking water.

“These plants could use reverse osmosis, desalination or similar technology from sea water, other surface water sources or treated run-off. The City is looking for solutions that can produce between 100mF and 500mF of potable water per day,” she says.

Officials are investigating the interest of for-profit and non-profit entities in forming partnerships with the City to supply, install and operate temporary plants at various locations along the sea shore and at inland locations, she says.

“It is envisaged that the first plants would be available for production towards the end of August.

“The City would require these plants to be operational for at least six months, but might require the plants to be in operation for a longer period of time. The City will conduct regular water quality tests at each of these sites.”

Ideas can be submitted on the City’s website until Monday 10 July.

“The drought is not a one-solution problem. More permanent solutions will be announced in the coming months,” De Lille says.

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