Cape Town to bolster water by-law enforcement

The City of Cape Town will strengthen the enforcement of its by-laws related to water, in accordance with the new fine structure approved by the Chief Magistrate.

Garden irrigation times are before 10:00 and after 16:00

The City has a number of water by-laws in place to define its standards, protect existing infrastructure and the environment, as well as to ensure the health and safety of its residents. This focus on enforcement forms part of the City’s ongoing efforts to strengthen water conservation programmes and improve water quality across Cape Town and to ensure that the security of our water supply is not compromised.

To date, 18 Peace Officers have been appointed to enforce the by-laws related to Water; Wastewater and Industrial Effluent; Treated Effluent; and Stormwater Management.

In addition, a partnership has been forged between the existing Water and Sanitation Inspectors and the City’s Law Enforcement Officers to further increase the enforcement capacity for enforcement of by-laws related to water.

During the month of March 2012 and as part of the City’s Water Month campaign, Water Pollution Control Inspectors, in collaboration with the City’s Law Enforcement Officers, issued 60 spot fines amounting to R60 000,00 to offenders who contravened the Stormwater Management By-law. Continue reading

Residents urged to conserve water

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 18 Nov 2011

Capetonians could face stricter water restrictions as dam levels hit a four-year low.

Save good quality drinking water - use grey water for irrigation

Low-level restrictions are already in place including a ban on watering gardens between 10am and 4pm.

Adding to the low dam levels, rainfall this year has also been below average.

A UCT climatologist said of the past 10 months, eight had had below-average rainfall. May, June and July, usually the wettest months, were “drier than normal”.

Climate models showed this situation was likely to become more common in the years ahead and it could drive up the price of water.

Residents were being urged to conserve water. This appeal comes as climate change is expected to lead to rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns.

The City of Cape Town’s water department was due to meet the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry on Wednesday but has not released any details.

The city’s draft annual report says 19 percent of water was “unaccounted for”. This term refers to the difference in the amount of water purchased and in the city’s distribution system, compared with the amount which is sold to customers. Continue reading

Cape Town could face dire water shortages within 6 years

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 17 June 2011

Professor Jenny Day, director of the Freshwater Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, said much has to be done to ensure that the Mother City does not dry up.

The Table Mountain fossil aquifer has been there for millions of years. Extraction would permanently reduce the amount of water.

This could even include pumping water from under Table Mountain.

“The Table Mountain Series Aquifer stretches from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town and up to the Cederberg. We think there is an awful lot of water but we don’t know what we can exploit without causing any damage. Or how much of it would be replaced by rainfall,” she said.

The city is currently investigating this option.

Day’s views have been backed up by the Department of Water Affairs which on Monday announced that the Western Cape could face dire water shortages within the next six years.

But these shortages will not bring the city to a grinding halt if Capetonians “use water more sparingly”. Continue reading

Cape Town looks towards desalination

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.

Water scarcity may require winter rainfall pumped from the Berg into Voelvlei Dam

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

Water partnership launched to protect SA’s water resources

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 05 May 2011

At the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa Edna Molewa, Chairman of Nestlé and Chairman of the Water Resources Group Peter Brabeck-Letmathe announced today a Declaration of Partnership.

Water demand is expected to rise by 52% within 30 years while supply is sharply declining

Recognizing the critical role that water plays as a catalyst for both economic growth and social development, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) of South Africa forges a partnership with the Water Resources Group (WRG), an influential public-private global network on water supported by the World Economic Forum and the International Finance Corporation.

This new public-private group, chaired by the director-general of the DWA, will oversee the activities of a partnership called “South Africa Strategic Water Partners Network” to address critical water issues in South Africa: water conservation, demand management and developing more sustainable management of groundwater resources.

“This new partnership between the Government of South Africa and the Water Resources Group will help identify how South Africa’s plans for growth can be met with the water it has safely available. The foresight and leadership of Minister Molewa in this regard should be applauded” remarked Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé and Chairman of the Water Resources Group.

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 (agriculture, energy industry and domestic).

Should status quo in management practices remain, a gap of 17% between water demand and supply is forecast by 2030. This gap will have serious social and political implications and strongly impact South Africa’s plans for economic growth. Continue reading