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Monday, March 4, 2024

Cape Town looks to water re-use to boost supply

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The City of Cape Town will endeavour to diversify water sources in the city, which includes water re-use strategies, to ensure the Metro’s water security.


At the City’s International Water Re-Use Conversation yesterday, Mayor Geordin-Hill Lewis outlined the multi-pronged New Water Programme, highlighting the new water re-use model.


Mayors and officials from seven cities across the world are in Cape Town to share their experience of water re-use. This includes representatives from Perth, Nairobi, Los Angeles, Wulpen, Windhoek, Beaufort West and George.


Hill-Lewis says the New Water Programme aims to add 300 million litres of water per day by 2030, and water re-use to add 7% to Cape Town’s supply by 2040.


The Programme includes new water sources such as water re-use, seawater desalination, and groundwater extraction from two major aquifers.


One of the investments is a state-of-the-art New Water Scheme that will be built at the Faure Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir in the coming years.


Treated wastewater will be sourced from the recently-upgraded Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works and further purified to drinking water standards via a multi-barrier purification process to ensure the highest applicable safety standards.


The water will then be blended with dam water to augment the water that feeds the existing Faure Water Treatment plant, and fed into the City’s Water Supply across all areas.


‘As part of the preparation for this project, the City operated a water re-use demonstration plant for two years at the Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works. The water quality obtained from this demonstration plant was exceptional, and the lessons around protocols and processes that we learnt there will be of great value as we develop the full-scale Faure New Water Scheme.’


Councillor Zahid Badroodien, the Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation said Cape Town’s recent drought and fears over Day Zero highlighted the urgent need for robust planning given the demands of rapid urbanisation and climate uncertainty.


‘It’s time for a new way of thinking about water. It’s time to start seeing water as one finite resource. There is no ‘wastewater’, only wasted water. Our goal is to make Cape Town a world-class city of hope for all residents. Water is the key to growth and long-term sustainability, and we must secure our water future to get us there.’


International delegates at the City’s International Water Re-use Conversation include:


  • City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Energy and Sustainability, Ms Nancy Sutley
  • Lord Mayor of the City of Perth in Western Australia, Mr Basil Zempilas
  • Governor of Nairobi City County, Honourable Johnson Sakaja
  • Director of Aquaduin – a water reclamation plant in West-Flanders, Belgium – Mr Johan Verbauwhede
  • MD of the Windhoek Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant, Dr Thomas Honer
  • Executive Mayor of Beaufort West, the honourable Mr Ebeneazer Botha
  • Mayoral Committee Member for Civil Engineering Services, Councillor Browen Johnson
  • Executive Mayor, Nelson Mandela Bay, Hon Gary van Niekerk


Liesl Smit
Liesl Smit
Liesl is the Smile 90.4FM News Manager. She has been at Smile since 2016, with nearly 20 years experience in the radio industry, including reading news, field reporting and producing. In 2008 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, Western Cape region. liesl@smile904.fm

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