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Drought

Fordingbridge...
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Drought

I've been following the rapidly increasing drama over the awful drought in the Cape. We arrive in CT in early March for our annual vacation & I'm wondering what are the feelings on just how bad the situation will be.

Is there any chance that any of the proposed desalination plants will be in operation bearing in mind the negative response to the initial tenders?

We do have the option of remaining in Hermanus where we start our trip in February.

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22 replies to this topic
Cape Town Central...
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1. Re: Drought

The problem wouldn't really have hit home in February - April / May would be the real crunch.

At this stage more than half the local residents are still blissfully ignoring the fact that problems are on the horizon.

Fordingbridge...
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2. Re: Drought

From today's Cape Times, it doesn't make for happy reading!

"Water plans behind schedule

FIVE of the City’s seven major water augmentation plans, including the completion of the V&A Waterfront Desalination plant and the harnessing of the Cape Flats Aquifer, are behind schedule.

Day Zero – the day the City will turn off most taps – has also been moved closer by two days, marked May 18, 2018.

Day Zero will come when dam levels reach 13.5%. At this stage residents will have to collect water daily from around 200 collection sites across the city.

The City’s dam levels are now at 34.2%, down from 35.1% last week.

The City’s overall progress on securing alternative water sources is at 50%, according to its Water Dashboard.

Cape Town Harbour and Monwabisi desalination developments are listed as on schedule. The Strandfontein and V&A Waterfront desalination projects, the Cape Flats and Atlantis ground water projects, and the Zandvliet water recycling plant are listed as behind schedule.

The City has previously indicated that the V&A Waterfront project is slightly behind schedule because it was added to the water resilience programme more recently than the rest. Water and waste services Mayco member Xanthea Limberg, however, said the City is fast-tracking the design and procurement process, and is optimistic that the scheme can start delivering water into the system by March.

On reasons for the other delays, Mayor Patricia De Lille’s spokesperson, Zara Nicholson, yesterday said: “These are not material delays but reflect part of normal project processes. We remain confident that the projects will be on track.”

De Lille yesterday said consumption has once again increased to dangerous levels, from an average of 611 million litres per day last week to an average of 628 million litres per day this week, while the daily demand spiked to 694 million litres.

“This means that many people have relaxed their water-saving efforts or, worse still, are ignoring the restriction measures. According to the latest consumption levels, only 37% of residents are using less than 87 litres per person per day. This has decreased from 40% of residents last week,” she said.

“The City has committed to doing everything it can to bring additional water online, but we can only beat this drought if residents keep saving. Even when new projects start yielding additional water, residents must not let up on saving water as it will take a few years for us to recover from the drought.’’

The City is also hopeful that the implementation of level 6 water restrictions, kicking in from January 1, will strengthen conservation efforts.

Residential units consuming more than 10 500 litres a month will be prioritised for enforcement; residents should keep their water usage to 87.5 litres a day; non-residential properties are to reduce consumption by 45% and agricultural users are to reduce consumption by 60%; and the use of borehole water for outdoor purposes is discouraged in order to preserve groundwater resources.

Dr Kevin Winter, of UCT’s Future Water Institute, said: “This is a very ambitious project. We mustn’t underestimate the scale and difficulty in bringing online new projects like these, particularly projects at this level. "

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Leeds, United...
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3. Re: Drought

Gerald, do you think they will start turning off the water in stages before this? That was the worry from many of the people I spoke to.

Also the rise in water use could be increased tourism, so it could get worse!

Nick, I am booked into Cape Town at the beginning of April but I have accommodation that I can cancel.

Let’s hope they get more unseasonal rain like today.

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Fordingbridge...
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4. Re: Drought

Your point about the tourists is extremely valid Lisa. Most people who are there for a relaxing vacation aren't going to be measuring how much water they use. However, if it isn't soon sorted I can see it having a detrimental effect on future tourism

Pittsburgh
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5. Re: Drought

We are planning a visit about the last week of February. Is this drought mainly a Cape Town issue or does it extend along the Garden Route?

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Fordingbridge...
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6. Re: Drought

It's concentrated around Cape Town to the best of my knowledge Frank. You'll be there the same time as we will, have a great time in this fantastic country.

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
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7. Re: Drought

I did time my showers a couple of times and I can tell you 2 mins isn’t very long!

West Coast, winelands, Breede River Valley, Caledon all affected. Didn’t go through to the Garden Route so I can’t comment.

Hermanus has very deep water sources and it’s dams are full so it’s restrictions are less so, but they are still encouraging people to save water.

I can’t get used to flushing the loo again now I’m home 😂

I fear you’re right Nick. Most people who spend a lot of money to travel to South Africa do not want to be without water. Me included, I’m afraid. But we are not there yet!

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Hermanus
Hermanus
Overstrand, South Africa
Fordingbridge...
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8. Re: Drought

Too much info Lisa!!!!!!!! In the words of the old African saying "If it's brown, flush it down, if it's yellow, let it mellow!"

Cape Town Central...
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9. Re: Drought

"do you think they will start turning off the water in stages before this? "

The city council have announced that they will do this, at any time which they deem necessary. They have also experimented with the concept in a few suburbs. But it has not yet been fully implemented. It does have technical problems and is actually not that simple - solar panels run dry and may overheat, the shock of opening and closing systems gives rise to fractures and leaks on old pipes, etc.

Water consumption is on the increase again. Many people are still watering their gardens and filling their pools . . . . which need more water because it is now the season of hot weather and winds causing much more evaporation. I personally think the consumption by tourists is much less than the excessive consumption of "couldn't care" locals.

Leeds, United...
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10. Re: Drought

As a local, that must be annoying Gerald. They need a name and shame number!

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