File picture: Motlabana Monnakgotla
Cape Town - A dripping tap that releases one drop of water a minute wastes the equivalent of a soft drink can full of water a day - or roughly 128 litres a year.

With the water crisis in the Western Cape, any reduction in water use helps.

The City of Cape Town is looking at using underground rivers and springs to reduce the pressure on Cape Town’s dams and reserves.

Statistics provided by the city’s Town Water Dashboard show that the dam levels had decreased by 2.1% since last Monday. The dams are currently 46% full.

With the Western Cape being a winter rainfall area, the drought is unlikely to abate soon.

The underground rivers running from Table Mountain to the sea can be used to source water. City spokeswoman Priya Reddy said spring water could be used for irrigation and industrial purposes.

Some of the higher yielding springs were being used to irri- gate the Company Gardens and the Cape Town Stadium. This water is not suited for human consumption.

“The city has just concluded a study regarding how this water can be used more extensively in a sustainable manner,” she said. “The city is engaging with the national Department of Water and Sanitation and other stakeholders and preparing a licence application for use of the water.”

Use of the springwater would lessen the pressure on water reserves.

The Helderberg fire, which started on Tuesday, has added to the stress placed on water reserves. Firefighters attempt to minimise their water usage, but it is still needed in dire situations to douse the flames.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service’s Theo Layne said: “They have to use about one-sixth of water that a conventional water tanker would use. This water is mixed with foam and the foam is a major fire suppressant.”

Weekend Argus