'No indication' that Cape Town would face drought - city official

2017-02-17 21:05
Dam. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Dam. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town postponed plans for addition water storage schemes as there was no indication that a severe drought was on its way, a city official said on Friday.

“Strategic water resource planning by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, the city and other stakeholders, updated in 2016, indicated that the next water supply scheme for the region would only be needed by 2021,” corporate services mayoral committee member, Xanthea Limberg, told News24.

“There was no indication that we would soon experience a drought on this scale.”

A subsequent meeting of the Western Cape water supply system’s steering committee meeting pushed back the implementation of the Table Mountain Group (TMG) aquifer scheme to between 2022 and 2026.

The exploratory phase of the TMG aquifer project concluded in 2012. Implementation of the next phase was delayed by three years due to a lack of funding.

“The cost for such a pilot scheme, that included pre-treatment and conveyance, was higher than anticipated and budget was not available when it came time for implementation,” Limberg said.

Water shortages

The Berg River to Voëlvlei augmentation scheme, phase one, was selected as the next augmentation scheme to be implemented, Limberg said.

After the city experienced water shortages, implementation for the extraction of the TMG Aquifer was reintroduced.

Limberg believed the proposed pilot phase project would not have satisfied Cape Town’s current water needs.

“The amount of water that would have been produced by the TMG pilot plant, as originally envisaged, would have been insignificant compared with the volume of water that users of the Western Cape water supply system, including agriculture, are required to save,” she said.

The TMG aquifer lies below large stretches of the Western Cape, between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, and is covered by a large, impermeable layer of rock.

Cape Town is facing level 3B water restrictions for the first time. These limit the use of potable water for gardening.

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

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