Saturday 24th Feb 2018

Jason Felix - Cape Argus - 

Construction workers are in the process of securing the intake pipeline preventing the public from playing on the Pipe at Monwabisi Beach in Khayelitsha. Picture Henk Kruger/ANA

Cape Town - The City’s desalination plants are on track, but some of the other water augmentation schemes will only come on line later this year - when Day Zero would already have passed.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Wednesday said the City’s dam levels were at 25.5%.

Over the past seven days, the City had consumed an average of 547 million litres of water a day, a marked improvement from last week, he said. “However, this is still 97 million litres more than the 450 million litre target we need to reach and maintain to defeat Day Zero altogether. We cannot afford to lose momentum now - we must keep going. "While Day Zero has moved out by four weeks, the current level 6B water restrictions stay in place, meaning all Capetonians must continue to use no more than 50 litres per person per day,” he said.
T
here are three desalination plants in the pipeline, which together will add about 16 million litres of water a day into the system by May. Maimane said the Strandfontein plant was on track to supply its first water in March and would add 7 million litres of water a day.

At Monwabisi, the desalination plant will add 7 million litres of water a day and reach full production by May.

A plant planned for the V&A Waterfront will add 2 million litres a day, and is on track to go on line as early as the end of this month.

Maimane said there were three groundwater abstraction aquifers that would at their peak supply almost 150 million litres of water a day to the City. “The Cape Flats aquifer is on track, with drilling commencing last month. This will ramp up to 83 million litres of water per day from June. The aquifer at Atlantis is already producing 5 million litres per day, with a further 20 million litres of water per day to supply between May and October,” Maimane said.

“Drilling at the Table Mountain aquifer began in November last year, and water will enter the system from later this month until June 2019, providing an approximate 50 million litres of water per day,” he added.

Meanwhile Rian Le Roux, economic strategist at Old Mutual Investment Group, said the drought was likely to have a negative impact on South Africa’s overall growth this year. “The Western Cape accounts for approximately 13% of the national GDP, and a 1% reduction in the Western Cape GDP equates to a 0.13% reduction in the national GDP. Therefore, if the rest of the economy grows by 1.5% in 2018 and the Western Cape grows by 0%, the national GDP will be up by only 1.3%,” he said.

Le Roux said revenue collected from water use in Cape Town makes up about 10% of the city budget, and as water use decreases, so will the city revenues. “On top of this, the city will need to spend more on emergency services and infrastructure, placing additional financial strain on city funds.”
 
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