On Monday, the City of Cape Town announced that a temporary desalination plant located in Strandfontein had come online to produce high-quality desalinated water. The plant currently injects around three million litres of water the City’s water supply system, which is being delivered to customers.
The Strandfontein desalination plant first began producing water last Tuesday, and has since supplied 1.5-million litres.
The plant will produce three million litres of water per day and later on produce an average of seven million litres per day.
Ian Neilson, deputy mayor of the City of Cape Town, said that the reverse osmosis deletion plant in the Waterfront is close to producing two million litres of drinking water per day. He also added that the desalination plant at Monwabisi is progressing well, with its first water expected to be delivered by June. “This plant is also set to produce 7-million liters per day,” he said.
The City adds that it is important to note that the projects will only contribute a small amount to the daily water requirements, and also forms part of the efforts to make additional water available without relying on rainfall to fill dams.
“However, our most effective tool to keep Day Zero away is to continue to reduce our usage. We have done well so far, and we must keep up our savings efforts during winter and in preparation for summer 2018/19. We must continue to stretch our existing water supplies as we simply do not know what the actual winter rainfall will be,” Neilson said.
The desalination plants, along with the groundwater and water re-use programs form part of the efforts of the City to become more resilient to any future drought shocks.
Neilson said it is essential for the City’s residents to reduce their water usage and properly manage the water that is left in the water supply through pressure management programs and fixing leaks to reduce water loss.
“Even if there are good rains this year, there may not be good rain the following year. So we have to, progressively over time, develop our water supply system to get diversity into that system, to get alternative supplies of groundwater, of desalination water, of water reuse,” he said.