Water Crisis: Emergency Schemes

This photo of Theewaterskloof dam was taken in January. Photo: Johnny Miller/Millefoto

The City of Cape Town announced yesterday that dam levels have dropped to 28,6%. This is 1,4% down from a week ago. With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at about 18,6 % of usable water – with approximately 103 days of useable water left at current consumption levels.

The City is considering the construction of various small-scale emergency water supply schemes to increase supplies in the short term. These include:
• Emergency drilling of boreholes into the Table Mountain Group Aquifer with a yield of approximately 2 million litres per day
• A small-scale desalination package plant, located along Cape Town’s north-western coastline with a yield of approximately 2 million litres per day
• Intensifying the City’s Pressure Management and Water Demand Management programmes to further reduce water demand
In the event of another below average rainfall winter The City will be expanding the abovementioned emergency schemes as follows:
• Expanding the emergency Table Mountain Group Aquifer scheme by incrementally adding boreholes for an additional yield of 10 million litres per day
Expanding the emergency seawater desalination package plant for an additional yield of 2 million litres per day.
• A small-scale water re-use for drinking use plant with a yield of 10 million litres per day
• Incrementally drilling and expanding a well field into the Cape Flats Aquifer with a combined yield of 5 million litres per day

The capital costs of the emergency schemes are currently estimated at R315 million over three financial years. The City’s Water and Sanitation Department will be funding these projects primarily via internal re-prioritisation.



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