Cape Town contemplates water restrictions

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 14 Nov 2011

The City of Cape Town has warned its residents they are likely to face water restrictions in the coming 12 months after poor rainfalls this year.

Mayoral committee member for utility services Shehaam Sims said people in and around the city would have to carefully control how much water they used in the coming dry season.

“We had good rains this year, but they came mostly out of the wet season when the temperatures had warmed up,” Sims said.

“There was a lot of evaporation as a result and now the Western Cape dams are at 86 percent capacity, compared to 93 percent last year.”

Sims said Capetonians tended to use up every drop of water allocated to them by the water affairs department. A meeting between the city, the department and other water bodies would be held next week to decide on whether to impose summer water restrictions or not.

“Last year we were allocated a capacity of 1090 megalitres per day,” Sims said.

“Cape Town uses about 920 megalitres. We are quite close to the allocation.”

Sims said residents in the city should try to save water by reducing their shower time, only flush toilets when necessary and repairing leaks. She asked people to report leaks in public areas to the city on 0860-103-089.

– Sapa

Polokwane water reservoirs dry up

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 03 Oct 2011

Residents of Polokwane Municipality, including the business sector, are being urged to drastically cut down on use of water with immediate effect as water reservoirs dry up.

The main culprit is the continuous watering of gardens.

Municipal spokesperson Simon Mokoatedi said the reservoir levels were alarming.

He confirmed that the Potgieter reservoir was empty and the Krugersburg reservoirs were at 20%.

The reservoir supplying Seshego from the Olifants River is at 0.5%.

The municipality is regulating flow and diverting supply to areas in intervals, which is leading to low pressure and complete shortages in some areas. Seshego and Legae la Batho are without water. The city and Mankweng are experiencing low pressure.

According to the municipality, the main culprit is the continuous watering of gardens, despite it issuing several warnings.

“All sources are pumping water into the city at full capacity and these sources have exceeded the quota for extracting water. Unfortunately, there is no other source to augment the supply. The municipality is warning the public if the high usage of water continues at this rate, the entire municipality will experience serious water shortage,” said Mokoatedi.

“This is largely attributable to an increasing trend in a number of factors such as the watering of gardens, leaking pipes, washing of cars and using hoses.”

Meanwhile, the municipality is importing 93% of its water, supplied from outside the borders of the municipal area – 56% is imported from the Letaba water scheme and 37% from the Olifants scheme. The balance of 7% is supplied from sources within Polokwane.

On average, the municipality supplies 64.95 megalitres (ML) per day but the supply has increased to more than 72ML per day over the past four weeks.

“This usage is not sustainable and we have to cut back drastically to avoid shortages,” said Mokoatedi.

By: Mpho Dube
Source: New Age

Environmental awareness to be central to all school curricula

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 June 2011

With climate change now widely recognised as the major environmental problem facing the world, the South African government is taking awareness to schools with plans to incorporate more environmental studies into the school curricula.

South Africa's population is increasing at a steady rate while water levels remain the same

Projects to curb climate change are also being designed and will be made available to all schools across the country, according to Basic Education Deputy Minister Enver Surty. He said officials were working on making sure that environment awareness formed part of and was central to all school curricula.

“We all know by now that we have a problem of climate change and everybody is talking about it so we are using all platforms to redirect the attention of our young people to the importance of conserving the environment and making sure that we mitigate the impacts of the problem,” Surty said at the third annual Youth Water Summit organised by the Water Affairs Department on Tuesday.

With South Africa hosting the 17th UN Congress of Parties (COP 17) on climate change in a few months time, the Water Summit, which started last week, gave the floor to young citizens from all nine provinces and several SADC countries to share and discuss water and the need to save the environment. They all agreed that it was up to them to reverse the damage caused by global warming to the climate and committed to save the world for future generations.

Water Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi conceded that water shortages and climate change were among the greatest challenges to South Africa’s development. 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

300000 year old Disi aquifer to quench water shortage

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 06 April 2011

In its desperate efforts to battle chronic water shortages, Jordan, one of the world’s 10 driest countries, is mulling “unconventional” and “environmentally unfriendly” plans, experts say.

The plan is to provide the capital Amman with water for 50 years.

The challenge is huge for this tiny country where desert covers 92% of the territory and the population of 6.3 million is growing.

Critics said the government’s efforts to manage the country’s limited water resources and generate new ones are being hindered by a strategy which at best is chaotic.

Jordan is tapping into the ancient southern Disi aquifer, despite concerns about high levels of radiation, while studies are underway to build a controversial canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.

“Unconventional projects, like Disi for example, are environmentally unfriendly,” said water expert Dureid Mahasneh, a former Jordan Valley Authority chief.


The $990m project seeks to extract 100 million cubic metres of water a year from the 300 000-year-old Disi aquifer, 325km south of Amman, officials said.

The plan is to provide the capital Amman with water for 50 years, said water ministry official Bassam Saleh, who is in charge of the project that was launched in 2008 and is due to be completed in 2012.

A 2008 study by Duke University in the US, shows that Disi’s water has 20 times more radiation than is considered safe, with radium content that could trigger cancers. Continue reading