Western Cape businesses must do their part to save water - Cape Chamber

2017-05-24 10:07
Janine Myburgh (Supplied)

Janine Myburgh (Supplied)

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Cape Town – Western Cape businesses must do everything possible to save water and reduce consumption, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Wednesday.

Chamber president Janine Myburgh said businesses needed to see the water situation as a long-term problem.

"We have all been guilty of taking water for granted and that has to stop right now. We can look back and see some of the things we should have done, but that does not solve our immediate problems," she said.

"In this country we are obsessed with land issues but the real problem is water. Think of the highly productive farms along the Orange or Gariep River. Water that would flow into the sea makes the desert bloom."

Just as with the electricity crisis and increased tariffs in the past, businesses should plan to use water more efficiently.

She appealed to high users to do their own recycling and reuse water in toilets.

Many industrial buildings had large roof areas that were conducive for collecting rainwater for businesses and neighbouring industries.

Disaster area

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille declared the Western Cape a disaster area last week to accelerate the deployment of resources.

On Monday, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said the city planned to spend R315m in the next three financial years to deal with the ongoing drought in the region.

The province planned to drill boreholes at hospitals – starting in the city – and schools in high-risk, water-scarce areas.

"Avoiding Day Zero" would involve managing water supply, winter rainfall, and groundwater sources such as boreholes and the Table Mountain aquifer.

The province would ask for money from national treasury if it was needed.

Myburgh said it was important to hold authorities accountable for "some poor planning".

"It is a scandal, for instance, that the massive quantity of waste heat from the Koeberg nuclear power station is not used in flash evaporation chambers to desalinate sea water for our very dry West Coast. The technology is old hat and used extensively throughout the Middle East."

She said all municipalities should be forced to set targets for recycling water.

Read more on:    cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis  |  water

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