We’re bombarded with signs, radio campaigns and news headlines about the current drought Cape Town is facing but the situation has become more dire.
In just 100 days, South Africa’s second-largest city may run out of water. Water that serves 3.7 million people. And authorities are now warning that if no more rainfall is experienced and consumption not reduced, our taps and pipes will stop flowing before the winter season in May.
Although the city council has imposed water restrictions on residents, including fines for those who violate them, lowered water pressure and increased its efforts to contain leaks, it’s still far from its daily target to only use 700-million-litres of water a day.
So what else is being done?
For starters, the city has implemented projects to diversify the water supply to sewage, parks and recreational facilities.
Then there are the projects still under consideration. According to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille, the city council has considered building a R15 billion desalination plant that will yield an average of 450 million litres of water a day; pumping excess water from the Berg River to the Voelvlei Dam situated east of Cape Town, which will cost R274 million and provide us with up to 60 million litres of water a day; introducing a plan to reuse water, which will yield around 220 million litres of water a day; and tapping aquifers from Table Mountain that will supply between 50 to 100 million litres of water a day and is yet to be costed.