Sustainable water supply to cost billions

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 May 2011

Government plans to spend over R14.2 billion over the next three years vamping up dams and water distributions systems to ensure the country maintains a sustainable water-supply, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said.

Clanwilliam Dam will receive a R2.2 billion upgrade

Molewa singled out several mega infrastructure projects, in reply to a parliamentary question raised in the National Assembly on whether the department had identified any urgent projects as part of the government’s R846bn infrastructure upgrade plan over the next three years.

So far the department has spent R5.9bn of the R29.2bn budgeted for several projects, ranging from water services projects to mega infrastructure projects, she said.

The projected expenditure on water and waste water infrastructure projects is expected to rise from R2.7bn in 2010/11 to R13.6bn in 2013/14.

“The spending focus over the medium term (MTEF 2011/12 to 2013/14) will be on bulk raw water resource infrastructure to meet sustainable demand for South Africa,” said Molewa, pointing out that the details are outlined in Vote 38 in the National Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure for 2011.

The mega infrastructure projects include R16bn for the Olifants River Water Resource Development Project in Limpopo – which includes over R3bn to be spent on the De Hoop Dam and a further R13.1bn on distribution systems.

So far over R2.5bn has been spent on the project – the bulk (over R2.1bn) on revamping the De Hoop Dam. A further R2.8bn will be spent on the project over the next three years. Continue reading

Deadly health risk to water supplies

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 November 2010

The breakdown of ageing sewage treatment works and the discharge of bacteria into rivers and streams pose a deadly health risk to water supplies, the African Christian Democratic Party warns.

Collecting water form a cholera infected river

“Questions have rightly been asked as to whether municipal water is still acceptable for human consumption, particularly in rural areas,” ACDP MP Steve Swart said in a statement.

Outdated infrastructure and problems in retaining skilled staff had contributed to unacceptably high levels of pollution in many rivers and dams around the country.

He noted that a breakdown in the state of water supplies in South Africa’s northern neighbour, Zimbabwe, had caused an outbreak of cholera.

“If we do not attend to this creeping water crisis, we will face very serious public health issues arising from water-borne diseases,” Swart said.

With about 100,000 reported cases and more than 4000 deaths, Zimbabwe’s recent cholera epidemic – which started in 2008 – proved one of Africa’s most deadly in almost two decades.

Swart called on government to embark on public water awareness campaigns, similar to those addressing power shortages.

“The maintenance and refurbishment of bulk water infrastructure and supplies, as well as the widespread pollution of our rivers and dams, must be attended to urgently,” he said.

The department of water affairs was not immediately available for comment.

Earlier this week, it was reported that South Africa’s largest water utility, Rand Water, blamed overloaded sewage works, together with acid mine drainage and poor water catchment management, for the rapidly deteriorating quality of the country’s raw water supplies.

According to the department of water affairs’ so-called Green Drop report, issued earlier this year, only seven percent of the country’s sewage treatment plants operate at an acceptable standard.

Source: Times Live

Bulk water augmentation project to cost City R1.7-billion

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 04 May 2010

The [Cape Town] city council will soon be asked to give the financial green light to a R1,7-billion, multi-year bulk water augmentation project.

Berg River Dam

A report discussed at the utility services portfolio committee yesterday notes that additional bulk water supply infrastructure has become critical, to increase the water treatment, bulk storage and conveyance capacity of the city’s bulk water supply system.

The total capital cost of the bulk water augmentation system is estimated at R1,7bn, and the implementation time frame at about six years.

In his budget speech in March, mayoral committee (Mayco) member for finance Ian Neilson said while the scheme would not significantly affect the 2010/11 financial year’s budget, a tariff increase, projected to be 8 percent above inflation, would need to be phased in in subsequent years.

The additional infrastructure was necessary to ensure the system could continue to supply potable water during peak demand periods, as population and economic growth fuelled demand.

“If the infrastructure is not implemented timeously, the risk of having to implement water restrictions in some areas of Cape Town, or across the entire city during peak water demand periods in the hot dry summer months, will progressively increase,” the report said. Continue reading