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Cape Town water demand below peak level

THE City of Cape Town has managed to keep water demand below the peak level recorded in 2001, despite a population that has grown by more than 30% since the 2001 census, city authorities said on Sunday.

City officials said that the annual water demand is now growing at 2.3%, rather than the near 4% recorded in the period just prior to 2001.

The Department of Water Affairs has previously warned that the city’s available water will be fully utilised by 2019 due to growth in the population and the economy. South Africa is a water-scarce country where, even when there is an abundance of water, it often cannot be used because of pollution such as acid mine drainage and E. coli contamination from leaking sewage plants. Cape Town has also considered seawater desalination to improve water supply, with a feasibility study conducted last year. Desalination refers to processes that remove salt and other minerals from saline water, making it suitable for human consumption.

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for utility services, Ernest Sonnenberg, said on Sunday that the city has — through careful management, ingenuity and consumer education — managed to stabilise the demand on the Western Cape Water Supply System.

Mr Sonnenberg said successful interventions include:

• Extensive implementation of water pressure management in areas such as Retreat, Goodwood and Crossroads. Pressure management systems constantly regulate the pipeline water pressure which reduces water losses, pipe bursts and internal leaks and prolongs the life of the reticulation system. The major and minor pressure management projects are resulting in current annual savings of approximately 3.37-million cubic metres of water, worth around R31m per year.

• A targeted retrofitting programme — the replacement of pipes and systems. Retrofitting and leak fixing in Samora Machel, Ravensmead and Fisantekraal has resulted in an annual saving per area of between R1.2 and R1.7m. This is over and above ongoing upgrading and maintenance of infrastructure.

Mr Sonnenberg said that there has been a downward trend in the incidences of burst water pipelines as a result of improved maintenance and upgrades to the reticulation network. He said this had helped the city bring down its overall water losses (a combination of losses in pipelines and connections, meter inaccuracies and unauthorised consumption) to 14.5% in 2012/13 — it is less than all other metros in the country which combined maintained an average of 29.7%.

“The city celebrates water month every March, this is to enhance education and awareness on water conservation to all our communities. Cape Town is a water scarce region and it is through working together that we can make further progress possible in reducing the water demand,” Mr Sonnenberg said.

Source: DBLIVE

Over the past few years Aquarista has been actively playing its part in managing water demand. Our efforts have targeted the individual users, that includes schools, industry, and private residence. Through a combination of both rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse the typical household can save as much as 90% on their water bill. The average carwash can reduce it’s water demand by 70%, hotels and guest houses can reduce their water demand by up to 50%.


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