Water disaster facing Cape Town and Kouga Municipality

Cape Town is rapidly running out of water, while in Kouga, food and job security is at risk with the water supply to commercial farmers in the Gamtoos Valley being cut by 60 % earlier this year.

We have calculated that at 13.5% dam storage the City will turn off almost all taps. This will be Day Zero.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille issued this stark warning at a sports complex in Maitland this week, where a prototype distribution point was set up to demonstrate how water would be dispensed should Cape Town’s water supply run dry.

Using water from the current piped network, 200 distribution points would be put up across the city. Residents would be able to collect 25 litres of drinking water per person per day, which is in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendations of the minimum amount of water for people to maintain health and hygiene.

The distribution points would operate 24 hours a day and a “public health communications campaign will be mounted in advance to ensure that all sanitation systems continue to function and limit the risk of disease.

Police were present at the sports ground during Thursday’s demonstration, along with City officials. The mayor said that, in the event of Day Zero, their presence would help to “maintain law and order”.

“The police will not just be standing around waiting for a riot or for people to be unhappy, they will be helping,” she said.

At each collection site citizens would line up to receive up to 25 litres of water per person, with a separate queue for the differently abled.

De Lille added that the City of Cape Town will be bringing an additional 144 megalitres of water online between February and July 2018.

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More water is expected to come online in the months thereafter.

According to De Lille, additional water is currently being moved in from the Molteno Reservoir in Oranjezicht and the Atlantis Aquifer, at two million and five million litres a day respectively.

According to the mayor, there are currently seven first phase projects under way.

These projects include Monwabisi, Strandfontein, the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town Harbour desalination plants; the Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects, and the Zandvliet water recycling project, which will collectively produce the additional 144 megalitre yield.

Kouga Municipality is taking a pro active approach to the water crises facing our towns and farming communities.

Drilling for boreholes has already begun in Oyster Bay and a delegation from the Municipality visited Mossel Bay this week to find out more about desalination.

Mossel Bay has the biggest desalination plant in South Africa with a 15 mega litre daily capacity. Kouga is considering building a desalination plant to complement the dwindling dam water supply and bringing more bore hole water on stream.

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