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Cape Town innovates to solve water shortages

Cape Town innovates to solve water shortages

Reprocessing of wastewater, desalination… The South African city has adopted an ambitious plan, in particular financial, to ensure its supply of drinking water, threatened by climate change and the rural exodus.

These numerous initiatives have one goal: to prevent the taps of Cape Town from running dry one day.

In 2018, after three years of severe drought, Mother City mobilized to avoid a total cut.

“We are the first city in the world to have reduced its consumption by 55%, without any cuts”, underlines Michael Killick, director of the water supply of the municipality.

The authorities, therefore, plan to allocate 18.5 billion South African rand – about 959 million dollars – to the development of this sector over the next four years. The ambition is to cover the needs of the 4.9 million inhabitants.

At least 38 million rand – almost 2 million dollars – will be used to finance the installation of new taps in informal settlements in Cape Town.

By 2024, the municipality also plans to inject 604 million rand – nearly $31.4 million – into the New Water Program (NWP), including its groundwater recharge component, which is important for the sustainable management of water resources.

There are 850 storm basins in the Cape flats, connected to the sewers. Instead of losing this polluted water, the goal is to reinsert it into the groundwater, after natural filtering.

Objective: “to produce 300,000 m3 of additional water every day by 2030”, indicate the city authorities.

Empty dams

Regarding drinking water, 92 million rand will be released for the replacement of 50 km of water pipes in the city.

There are also plans to spend 157.5 million South African rand – more than $8 million – on the purchase of generators and inverters to power future sewage pumping stations, as well as water treatment plants. drinking water and wastewater treatment for the next financial year (2025/2026).

In 2018, the Cape metropolis narrowly escaped disaster. Three years of drought had emptied the dams that supply the city. To deal with it, the inhabitants had to review their daily lives and redefine their consumption, down to the drop.

The municipality had even considered cutting off the taps. But the winter rains have postponed this “zero-day”.

Source: Africa News