The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Directorate has cautioned residents to use water sparingly as the current rainfall is noticeably lower than the previous hydrological year.
The City’s Bulk Water Branch has reported that, at this stage, the current season’s rainfall and its projections both indicate that it is likely that this hydrological year’s rainfall will be below average. The City is carefully monitoring the situation and engaging with stakeholders to ensure water resources are optimised. While there is no need for immediate concern, residents are encouraged to remain conscious about their water usage leading up to summer and use water wisely.
City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Councillor Zahid Badroodien said, “We thank our residents as well as the agriculture and urban sectors which have continued to be mindful of their water usage and still implement water-saving efforts. The lower water demand has benefited the system. However, we want to caution that the data from this hydrological year mirrors what has previously been experienced in drier years. Thus, the potential of having a sequence of drier periods cannot be excluded.
“We have learnt in the drought to follow a cautious risk-averse approach to water resource management and therefore would like to remind everyone to continue with water conservation measures. I also want to thank everybody for their support.”
The City will continue to monitor the Western Cape Water Supply System status and keep residents informed. Cape Town’s latest dam levels stand at 75,5%. (3 August). This time last year, dam levels were at 97,5%.
According to statistics gathered from a comprehensive study on potential long-term climate change impacts, the City should assume a 25% reduction in water availability from both surface and groundwater sources over a duration of 30 years. This estimate is higher than the initial assumption drafted in the Water Strategy (2019). The new strategy is based on an innovative calculation methodology and takes into account that as a result of climate change, rainfall is experienced later in the typical rainfall season.
The City of Cape Town’s Water Strategy works towards a future in which Cape Town has sufficient, safe and reliable water from diverse sources so that we can be more resilient to the impact of climate change.
The City’s New Water Programme aims to bring more water online to ensure a safe, reliable supply for years to come through groundwater abstraction, desalination and water reuse, as well as optimising surface supply by clearing thirsty invasive alien vegetation. This programme forms part of the City of Cape Town Water Strategy: Our Shared Water Future which aims to build resilience to the effects of climate change, and future drought that is expected to be more frequent and severe and to ensure safe, reliable water supply for generations to come. The programme aims to produce approximately 300 million litres (Ml) per day through groundwater abstraction, desalination and water reuse by 2030.
The Cape Flats MAR project includes the construction of a pre-treatment facility that will treat treated effluent to a high standard and then pump that high-quality water into the Cape Flats Aquifer. The construction phase of the civil part of this project is expected to be complete in 2024 and will support the City’s vision to create a water-sensitive city.
Picture: Facebook / City of Cape Town