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Water usage identified as important way to ease electricity crisis

water pump

Water pump station


Stellenbosch University’s Eugene Cloete on Wednesday presented a report commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology, and prepared by a panel of local and international experts from the Academy of Science of SA. The experts volunteered their time.

The State of Green Technologies in SA report was released as SA searches for quick fixes to address a crisis arising from breakdowns in Eskom’s ageing and poorly maintained fleet, which have led to more frequent load shedding.

While the government has given Eskom a mandate to buy power from independent producers, there was a need for a separate buying entity to level the playing field. But the draft bill to create one, the Independent Systems and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill, was blocked in Parliament in March.

Prof Cloete said consumers should be educated about cutting water usage, as pumping water consumed quite a lot of electricity. In Gauteng this would require discussions among Rand Water, East Rand Water and Eskom. “In my opinion, we don’t value water because it is too cheap,” he said.

The longer-term green solution to the country’s power crisis was to make significant capital investment in technologies such as nuclear energy. That required decisions to be made immediately, Prof Cloete said.

He said green technologies could be rolled out in the water sector. This included rain-water harvesting and water purification in the treatment of municipal waste, to derive both water and chemical products; finding less water-intensive sanitation systems; and treating acid mine drainage in the mining sector.

Source: BDLive

How has this affected Cape Town?

In November and December last year large parts of Durbanville and Tygervalley (Cape Town, Northern Suburbs) had water outages due to water pumps not operating. Many businesses were and homes had to endures hours of drought. This can all be overcome with a personal rainwater harvesting system or even a municipal water back up system.

With aging infrastructure, both water and electric, it is certain that this will become a more common occurrence. If you are dependent or reliant on the municipality to supply you with water then you will need to start making some allowances to cover yourself when the water stops flowing to your homes water meter. Are you prepares for this? We can easily live without electricity for a day or two without too much hassle, but how long can you live without water? 

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