Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 14 June 2011
By: John Yeld
The City of Cape Town plans to call for tenders for a feasibility study on a large-scale seawater desalination plant, as the region runs increasingly close to using all of its available fresh water supply.
The tender call, expected within a month, will be for a study on where such a desalination plant could be built and what capacity it should have.
The call coincides with a major effort to plug water leaks and theft that, in February last year, accounted for one quarter of all treated water in the city, and with a warning that few options remain for tapping existing surface water sources.
The city will also be looking at the large-scale re-use of water. This is the only potential major new water source at a cost lower than seawater desalination, which is very expensive because of the large amount of electricity required. This study is expected to kick off “within the next few months”.
These initiatives are among the water conservation and water demand management measures that form a major part of the strategy for providing water in the Western Cape region that is already using about 92 percent of all “safely” available water. “Safely” means with a high degree of certainty of availability, without water restrictions.
Depending on how successful these measures are and on how much the city grows, the remaining 8 percent of available water will be fully utilised anywhere between 2017 and 2019, according to projections by the Department of Water Affairs. Continue reading