PLAN OF ACTION: The City has drilled boreholes into the Table Mountain Group Aquifer. Picture: Armand Hough
PLAN OF ACTION: The City has drilled boreholes into the Table Mountain Group Aquifer. Picture: Armand Hough

#WaterCrisis: We will not run out of water

By Patricia De Lille Time of article published Aug 9, 2017

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In response to the comments by the national Department of Water and Sanitation’s regional head Rashid Khan in the Cape Argus on August 1, and subsequent letters in the paper on August 2, I would like to place the following on record.

In the story, Mr Khan said: “Cape Town needs a more serious intervention with water. Even though it has done well with water restrictions, we must look at recycling of water. This includes underground water.”

Mr Khan is a Johnny-come-lately because we are already doing all the things he is saying we must do.

His comments are shocking, given that when I declared Cape Town a disaster area due to the drought in March this year, Mr Khan told the media that Cape Town had more than three months of water left and the department would not declare it a disaster area.

The last time he uttered this nonsense, the Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane called him to order and commended the City's proactive drought management interventions.

Now he has flip-flopped to say the City is not doing enough to address the water crisis.

The City has a water resilience plan - a new, urgent approach - because we will not allow a well-run city to run out of water. I will be making further announcements on this plan in mid-August.

To refresh Mr Khan's memory, this is what the City of Cape Town is doing apart from water restrictions:

Emergency drilling of boreholes into the Table Mountain Group Aquifer.

A small-scale desalination package plant.

A small-scale water re-use for drinking use plant.

Drilling and expanding a well field into the Cape Flats Aquifer

We put out a request for ideas/information (RFI) to the market for proposed solutions to supply potable water. We received over 100 submissions through our RFI process.

The City is undertaking technical scrutiny of the inputs received. It is envisaged that the first plants will be available for production in the coming weeks.

The City is a stakeholder in the Western Cape Water Supply System (WCWSS), and Mr Khan is supposed to be fully conversant with the planning of the groundwater, re-use and desalination schemes that the City is undertaking, as they form part of the official planning for the WCWSS.

Maybe he heard what we said, but he did not listen.

* Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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