Cape Town dams 23% full, CoCT ponders ‘reverse osmosis, desalination’ plants

water cape town dams

The good news continues this week, Cape Town.

Dam levels have increased for the second week in a row, signalling the start of winter… albeit in the middle of winter.

The largest three dams in the system experienced sizeable gains. The Theewaterskloof Dam is now 17.3% full, up by 2% week-over-week. The Berg River Dam is also up by 2% to 34.2%. The Voelvlei Dam is up by 1.4% to 18%.

Both Steenbras dams saw a slight increase in its storage, while Wemmershoek remained steady.

Overall, Cape Town’s dams are now a combined 23.1% full, up from 21.2% last week.

The City of Cape Town’s revised water strategy

Mayor Patricia de Lille took to Twitter to call for more savings from citizens, but also announced additional efforts by the City of Cape Town (CoCT) to find solutions to the crisis.

The City has also asked entrepreneurs to submit possible solutions for evaluation.

Video: the Theewaterskloof Dam, 14 June 2017

“Building water resilience: City releases Request for Information to industry on possible temporary water solutions,” de Lille tweets.

“Notwithstanding recent rains, the City is upscaling its efforts to secure new sources of temporary water supplies.”

“We cannot bank on there being sufficient rain in the remainder of winter to break the drought,” she added in two subsequent tweets.

cape town dam levels 19 june 2017

Image: City of Cape Town Weekly Water Dashboard report, 19 June 2017

The City of Cape Town will look to establish “several small, intermediate & possibly even large plants to supply potable water”. These plants will be temporary, using “reverse osmosis, desalination, or similar technology from sea water, and other water sources,” de Lille continued.

She was quick to stress that the current drought — the worst drought in over a century — is not an issue that’s taken lightly by the City.

“The drought is not a one-solution problem. More permanent solutions will be announced in the coming months,” de Lille continues.

“With this in mind, all residents of Cape Town are reminded that each person must use less than 100 litres of water a day.”

The City’s full request for solutions and information regarding possible temporary solutions to the water crisis can be found here (pdf).

Andy Walker
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