Boorgate form a part of crisis plans to stop our taps running dry

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May 23, 2017
Boorgate form a part of crisis plans to stop our taps running dry

PRIORITY: With dam levels at 20%, the province has instituted more measures to save water

Helen Zille has officially declared the Western Cape a disaster area in response to the current drought crisis – the worst since 1904 – but assured residents there was no need to panic.

Dam levels are now at a worrying low of around 20%.

While the last 10% of dam water is unusable, the City of Cape Town has plans in place to change this situation.

Zille said yesterday: “Our government wishes to assure the public that the declaration is no cause to panic.

“The disaster declaration will accelerate the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre’s Project ‘Avoiding Day Zero’, the Province’s strategy to ensure that taps do not run dry.”

The Disaster Management Act empowers provincial government to protect key frontline service delivery points by reprioritising funding.

The project has three focus areas, including managing the current water supply, conserving winter rainfall, and ensuring the proper management of groundwater sources like boreholes or the Table Mountain aquifer.

The most immediate interventions in the coming days will be:

The drilling of boreholes at hospitals and schools;

Expediting the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for testing a mobile desalination plant at Koeberg power plant, as well as drilling into the Table Mountain aquifer;

Appointing groundwater specialists, to identify and manage groundwater sources;

And assessing the state of current water restrictions.

Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, told the Weekend Argus they had plans in place to ensure residents would still have water, even if the winter rains were not sufficient to refill the dams.

“During the last couple of weeks, we sent our divers in to clear the dam floors, so that we can extract the last 10% of water.”

There was also a plan to extend water re-use projects at the Zandvliet Waste Water Plant.

Limberg said the City’s treated water was of a good quality and only needed one more step of purification to be good enough for drinking.

Water tankers would also be brought in from outside the region to supply local municipalities.

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