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Cape Town Spring water not good enough

Cape Town – While natural spring water may provide a source for industrial and commercial uses of water, it may not be suitable for human consumption, a researcher has said.

“Sixteen springs altogether probably produce a nice little bit of water, compared to what the city uses, but getting all 16 springs together at that one point at a convenient place to join the system… ” Dr Jo Barnes, an epidemiologist in the Division of Community Health at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, told News24.

Barnes said that the springs on Table Mountain in Cape Town may provide water, but the area was environmentally sensitive, and this may not be suitable to capture water.

“It is a very complex matter: If a spring is situated in a conservation area, are you going to throw a huge pipeline trough there?”

According to the City of Cape Town, there are 18 springs in the metro and 98% of current water supply is surface water. The city has proposed a future mix of water supply where surface water made up 70%, ground water 7%, recycling 13%, and desalination 10% of supply.


The demand for potable water is expected to sharply increase over the next decade and this might have serious implications for social cohesion.

“In South Africa, water demand is expected to rise by 52% within the next 30 years while the supply of water is sharply declining. If current trends of leakage from aged and poorly maintained municipal infrastructure and the loss of wetlands persist, this growth in demand will intensify competition for water resources across all sectors of the economy,” said Brand South Africa on the SA info website.

Barnes though, said that water networks are in serious of maintenance and upgrading and an urgent priority is the sanitation system.

“Cape Town’s network is, in quite a number of places, not in good shape.”

Source: News 24

1 comment to Cape Town Spring water not good enough

  • There are too many old pipes and far too many sewerage leaks. The Wetlands have been altered and there are many people just doing repetitive repair work of our Water systems. It all boils down to “I still have a job” so why should I try any harder. What a mess we are in. We are just wasting time and money. Get some clever guys to upgrade Cape Towns Water system or else we will all drown in the Loo!

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