Cape Town

Monwabisi desalination plant starting side preparation – Cape Town – South Africa

The Monwabisi desalination plant is one of seven projects earmarked as part of the first phase of the City of Cape Town’s Additional Water Supply Programme. Site preparation is currently under way. “It is anticipated that the Monwabisi plant will produce a total of seven million litres of drinking water per day which will be fed into the water reticulation system to supplement current supply from the dams and other water sources. “A nine-week construction period is planned for the completion of the first phase comprising two million litres. The first drinking water generated by the desalination plant is expected to be fed into the reticulation system by March 2018 with the second phase of five million litres to follow on after a further nine weeks. “The plant is intended to operate for a period of two years, based on a service agreement in which the city has agreed to buy water from the service provider Water Solutions Proxa JV. The value of the tenders for the establishment and operation of the desalination plant at Monwabisi for a period of 24 months is R260m,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. Other projects include the Strandfontein, V&A Waterfront, and the Cape Town Harbour desalination plants; the Atlantis and Cape Flats Aquifer projects; and the Zandvliet water recycling project which will collectively produce an additional 196 million litres per day between February and July 2018. In addition, the city has 12 projects at an advanced planning stage. “There will be minimal risks to public health and safety, and work will comply with the applicable national health and safety regulations. All construction areas will be clearly demarcated and will be off-limits to the public. Any pipe work that is not underground will be clearly marked. The plant has been designed to ensure fast-tracked construction and production but with the smallest possible construction footprint. “The city will monitor the site and regularly test the drinking water that is produced. We are proud that the plant in Monwabisi will be our flagship desalination plant. We are truly grateful for the support of the community leadership and residents in this area. They will be true partners in this exciting and necessary development,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for Area East, Councillor Anda Ntsodo. In addition, the Strandfontein plant site preparation is set to commence which will also produce seven million litres of water per day when in full production. The evaluation of a tender for a temporary desalination plant on East Pier Road in the V&A Waterfront is in its final stages. This plant is to be located in an open-air parking lot opposite the heliports, and will produce two million litres of water per day.

R95m reallocated to avert Day Zero Cape Town – South Africa

Cape Town – The Western Cape government has reallocated R95 million for resources and initiatives to avert Day Zero as the worst drought since 1906 grips the province.On Thursday, members of the provincial legislature debated the adjustment budgets for the provincial treasury, the Department of the Premier, local government and environmental affairs and development planning, economic opportunities and agriculture and cultural affairs and sport. MEC for Economic Opportunities, Agriculture and Tourism Alan Winde said R2m for water tanks for food gardens in the West Coast, Cape Winelands, Eden and Central Karoo districts had been reprioritised. An additional R10m for the installation of boreholes in rural areas has been budgeted for; R5m for clearing alien vegetation along the Berg River; R7.8m in drought assistance to research farms; and R2.5m reallocated to the water resilience project. MEC for Local Government Anton Bredell said the provincial government had plans for the worst. He added that some of the allocated money would also be used to plan for the upcoming fire season. “We have a plan in place. The budgets, although not enough, are there and we have done all we possibly can to avert the worst situation. We have a water plan signed off by the national Department of Water Affairs. We admit that so much more needs to be done, but we will not allow the taps to run dry. We are not going to leave our residents dry,” he said. The ANC rejected a R95 million adjusted budget for the drought crisis, along with other adjustment budgets debated. With the exception of the ACDP and EFF, the opposition ANC taunted and heckled as they tried to expose the failures of Premier Helen Zille’s office and the provincial government she runs. Richard Dyantyi, ANC MPL, said the money budgeted for the drought and upcoming fire season was way too little. “From a total budget of R55 billion you can only get about R100 million. That is scandalous. How can this amount of money ever be enough. The DA has been fiddling while Rome is burning, while the City is on the brink of collapse,” he said. Dyantyi also questioned how realistic the water supply targets of an extra 200 megalitres were when the desalination plants the City is constructing at the V&A Waterfront add 2 megalitres a day. “The only target in the City’s resilience plan which seems like an effort to add sufficient water into the system are the marine-based desalination plants at Table Bay Harbour and Gordon’s Bay, which together will add 200 megalitres a day. The completion date is, however, unknown,” he said.


Desalination: Cape Town’s solution to water shortages – South Africa

Minister of local government‚ environmental affairs and development planning in the Western Cape, Anton Bredell, says the province has been managing drought conditions in some parts of the region since 2010. “Three years of below-average rainfall have exacerbated the situation and despite proactive measures like the implementation of water restrictions and programmes to clear the Berg River of alien vegetation‚ the reality is we are faced with a dire situation.” Inspired by the Target 140 Campaign implemented in South East Queensland, Australia, Cape Town embarked on reducing water usage. So far residents’ water usage has dropped below 100 litres per person per day, making the City’s Water Conservation and Water Demand Management Programme one of the most successful water conservation projects globally – a fact recognised at the 2015 C40 Cities Awards in Paris. Mayor Patricia de Lille thanked Capetonians and commended them “for rising to the occasion to save more water in our City because we are determined that we will not allow a well-run City to run out of water”. The mayor told the media the City will run out of water by March next year, at current usage levels. Despite water restrictions and the water savings achieved, Cape Town still needs 450 megalitres of water a day. With no end to the drought in sight, the City has approved plans to build a desalination plant to turn salty sea water into potable water. Construction will begin in December at the V&A Waterfront, the first approved site. By February the plant will feed two million litres of water into municipal networks. The harbour site will allow the City to draw water from the harbour and pump the salt brine residue into the ocean. As David Green, V&A Waterfront chief executive officer, explained: “At peak we have about 7m tidal waves, which means that there is no issue in terms of marine life, the brine is cleared immediately.” The V&A plant is the first of a possible eight the City wants to build. Down from an original 17, the other sites include Dido Valley‚ Granger Bay, Harmony Park, Hout Bay‚ Monwabisi, Strand and Strandfontein. The plants will have a working life of two years and, it is hoped, will supply the City with up to 15 million litres of usable water a day…. (LINK)

Dams at 38.5%, desalination timeline remains unclear – South Africa – Cape Town

Total storage in the six major dams supplying Cape Town is down by 0.1% to 38.5% (pdf). That’s a loss of around 519-million litres — slightly less than the average day’s consumption in the city.

Cape Town’s dam levels

Leading the decrease was everyone’s favourite underperforming dam — the Theewaterskloof. The largest reservoir in the Western Cape again struggled to hold its level, dropping from 27.8% last week to 27.3% this. At the same point last year, it was 51% full. The Steenbras Upper Dam dipped to 100.4% — shedding 1% — while its Lower neighbour gained 1.1% overall.


Cape Town scales up water augmentation programme – South Africa – Cape Town

The City’s large-scale augmentation procurement programme involving desalination, aquifers and recycling, among others, is unprecedented in scale.Yesterday, the City initiated Phase 1 of its critical water shortages disaster plan, with water rationing under way as dam levels stand at 38.5% and useable water at 28.5%. The City said yesterday that the unprecedented procurement programme is under way to help supplement water supply during this drought crisis. It is foreseen that between 130 and 240 million litres a day will be at some stage of production between December and May 2018. This includes land- and sea-based desalination, water reclamation and groundwater abstraction projects, if all goes according to plan. City Mayco member for finance Johan van der Merwe said: “We are doing in months what it would usually take years to do.” Almost 7 000 water management devices have been installed by the City on the properties of delinquent water users. Where applicable, tenders related to the emergency augmentation programme are published on, in relevant local newspapers and the National Treasury’s e-tender portal.


“It is illegal to sell water” Water and Sanitation Department spokesman Sputnik Ratau said – South Africa – Cape Town


Meantime, with water rationing underway, and dire warnings of “day zero” when supply will run completely dry, enterprising profiteers are taking advantage of the shortage. Water restrictions, threats of prosecution and a sense of panic have some residents willing to pay for alternative water supplies for gardening, swimming pools and flushing toilets.

Water and Sanitation Department spokesman Sputnik Ratau said the government was the custodian or trustee of water resources, including dams, rivers, lakes, pans, wetlands and groundwater. “It is illegal to sell water. The only case in which water is sold legally is as bottled water,” he said. “Use of water without an authorization is a serious offence, which carries a minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment or a fine.” (Times Live)

Yields in the region’s wine beverage market will be down as much as 25% to 50% next year according to two major industry players last week. A significant drop in yield on “an already unprofitable model”, means the industry will take a serious hit in 2018. The lack of rain during winter has left vines across the Cape without the required water reserves through summer (MoneyWeb).


Cape Town’s temporary desalination plants online ‘February 2018’ . South Africa – Cape Town

… After yesterday’s rains across the metropole, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille briefed media, and Twitter, on updates regarding its water resilience scheme. The scheme aims to “avoid a time when users do not have access to municipal drinking water”, de Lille explained. “In terms of our Water Resilience Plan to augment supply with schemes, we are expecting the first water to come online by Dec 2017 /Jan 2018,” she tweeted. The plan intends to add an additional 500-million litres per day to Cape Town’s water supply by using natural springs, aquifers, and desalination. The latter, however, won’t be ready this year. …


Tender to produce extra 500Ml of water for Cape Town – South Africa

“Our intent is to both drive down collective usage to 500Ml per day and to ensure that there is always at 500Ml/day of water in production,” Mayor Patricia de Lille told reporters on Thursday. She said the city had decided to take the most pessimistic view of the drought, and hoped to have the first desalination plant on line by the end of October. The city had reduced water consumption from around 1000Ml a day in the past year to the latest figure of 610Ml a day. This was still too much, given the poor prospects of dams filling up anytime soon.

As of August 14, the average level of dams supplying the city was 31.1%, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous weeks. However, 10% of the dams’ water was unusable, leaving average levels at only 21%. There are currently severe water use restrictions in place, prohibiting the use of drinking water for anything other than cooking, drinking, and two-minute showers. De Lille said the city had accepted it was no longer feasible to just wait for the rain.

It had to start preparing for the “new normal” of regular water shortages because of climate change, and to stop relying solely on surface water.

The ambitious plan to produce the extra 500Ml would be rolled out in stages. … (LINK)

“We have 121 days left of usable water in our dams,” said De Lille at a briefing to drive home the city’s water crisis.

De Lille plans to write to Western Cape Environment MEC Anton Bredell, asking for the city to be declared a disaster area, so that it can institute emergency measures.