Cape Town Turns To Desalination To Ease Water Stress.
Those of you who’ve been following the news closely over the last few months may well have heard how Cape Town was set to become the first global city to run out of water.
Luckily, the local authorities succeeded in staving off Day Zero (as the day water supplies were set to run dry was dubbed) through a series of stringent water-saving measures… but the concern remains that the problem will return sooner rather than later.
Which is why it’s heartening to see that the city is still implementing practices and processes to protect its water supply, including desalination water plants. According to Times Live, Cape Town’s first temporary desalination plant has come online in Strandfontein, with three million litres a day pumped into the water supply. Eventually, seven million litres will be produced each day.
This is just one of the temporary desalination plants that it is hoped will be used to augment Cape Town’s existing water supply. Deputy mayor Ian Neilson explained that there is also a plant at the V&A Waterfront that is producing water right now but it needs to meet certain quality standards before it can be introduced to the larger supply.
There is also a third facility in Monwabisi, which is expected to contribute seven million litres daily to the water supply. However, even when all three are up and running properly they will still only be able to account for a portion of the city’s supply. As Mr Neilson says, decent rains will still be required this year in order to ensure that the dams reach “decent levels”.
He went on to note that the city expects to have a permanent plant in the future, but this will take between two and four years to become fully operational.
This means that other avenues must be explored as well, and efforts are now being focused on tapping into groundwater as well.
“We cannot replicate that surface water system that took decades to build here. In the end augmentation schemes are contributions to assisting us through a drought period‚ and also as we get out of a drought period to ensure that we can supply more water than we otherwise would have been able to do,” Mr Neilson was quoted by the news source as saying.
Here in the UK, the first desalination plant opened back in 2012. You might think we don’t have a water problem in the same way as Cape Town but we’re actually facing drought issues this summer because of a lack of rain. Water stress and scarcity is a global problem and something that we must all tackle as a whole.
If you as a business would like to find out how you can do your part to protect worldwide water supplies, get in touch with water conservation consultants H2O Building Services today to see what can be done.