Cape Town to run short of water by 2019

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Cape Town’s demand for water will outstrip the supply available by 2019, officials have warned ahead of a conference focusing on water use this week.

Phil Mashoko, the City of Cape Town’s director of water and sanitation, said officials estimate the supply would decrease rapidly and “other sources must have been developed by then.”

“We are working closely with the department of water affairs to prioritise the next sources. (Alternative) options include water demand management, Voëlvlei off river dam raising, waste water reclamation, desalination, Lourens River, Steenbras Dam raising and effluent re-use,” said Mashoko.

Cape Town water officials are meanwhile scheduled to share their water and sanitation vision and showcase the city’s facilities at the Clean Power Africa conference running today and tomorrow. The conference is part of African Utility Week. At least 5,000 power and water professionals are expected to attend the conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Jaco de Bruyn, head of the city’s integrated planning, strategy and information management unit, said city officials would outline “strategic plans for water services in Cape Town” at the conference.

“I will discuss how we run the water and sanitation business within the operating boundaries given to us,” said De Bruyn.
“We ensure that adequate water resources are available for the metropolitan area, eliminating wastage and pollution is prevented. The department plans for reduced energy consumption and global warming long-term impact.”

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, one of the conference organisers, said they found Cape Town’s water management “pro-active.”
“There is a clear, very strategic and long-term vision to plan for the expansion of the city and cope with subsequent growth,” she said.

African Utility Week has run for the past 12 years to “facilitate discussions around the opportunities in the power sector.”

Organisers say it “has assisted in African utilities providing electricity and water to all of Africa.”
Clean Power Africa gathers “major stakeholders from the renewable energy sector get together and explore clean generation as a feasible solution to fulfill Africa’s electricity needs,” said conference organisers.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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