Day Zero leaps forward by nine days for Cape Town

Theewaterskloof Dam, Western Cape

Cape Town’s water woes set to ease as Mayor de Lille confirms new desalination plants

Don’t start taking two baths a day just yet, though. Water restrictions still apply

Day Zero leaps forward by nine days for Cape Town

Theewaterskloof Dam, Western Cape

Though The Cape’s citizens are being advised to maintain their diligent water use, it seems that long term solutions are ready and waiting to be implemented.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has confirmed the city will install desalination plants, purifying water from the sea and providing more usable water for the drought-stricken area.

Western Cape Dam Levels

The news comes as frequent rainfall and increased conservation efforts by CPT citizens have seen dam storage levels rise to 31%. Just a couple of months ago, the city was flirting with capacity levels as low as 10-15%.

It was the emergency response to these critical readings that lead de Lille to produce a Request For Information initiative, calling on South African entrepreneurs to submit their water production plans to the government.

The city are happy with the applications they have had, and are about to hand tenders to the successful applicants. The new technologies and plants will allow an extra 500 million litres of water to be produced in the Western Cape every day

Where will Cape Town get more water from?

  • Cape Town Harbour and Gordon’s Bay will get desalination plants – both marine and land-based – that can harvest up to 350 million litres of water per day
  • An extra 50 million litres per day will come from water re-usage work based at six Western Cape treatment plants.
  • The remaining 100 million litres will be farmed via ‘groundwater extraction’ technology implemented in Atlantis and Silverstroom, Cape Flats, Cape Peninsula and Hottentots Holland.

In a statement issued earlier today, Mayor de Lille explained that she and her team are looking to roll out the water treatment equipment as quickly as possible:

Implementing these schemes will be one the largest and most complex expenditure programmes in the history of the City of Cape Town.

Due to the multiple new installations that are envisaged, approximately 80 new staff will be hired in the coming weeks to assist with delivering the full extent of the envisaged projects. A command hub will be established in the Civic Centre to allow for co-location of the full team.

Cape Town Water Restrictions

De Lille also praised the majority of Cape Town residents for adhering to the stricter Level 4B water restrictions currently in place. She said most citizens are sticking to their 87-litre-a-day usage limit, but may consider fining more greedy consumers.

Cape Town is using around 600 million LPD at the moment, down almost 200 million LPD from January 2016. It’s a monumental effort from Capetonians who have taken this crisis very seriously.