The City of Cape Town’s commitment to avoid another water crisis was affirmed with the approval of a 10-year plan to secure their water supply.
Cape Town water crisis
It may seem like an eternity ago for Cape Town residents, but just a few short years ago it seemed very likely it would become the first modern city to run out of water.
As strict water restrictions were brought into place in 2017, predictions were that the water would run out by April the next year.
However, a combination of the restrictions and the city population’s single-minded focus towards saving water saw the entire crisis pretty much averted when the rains began to fall again in the winter of 2018.
While it should be considered a proud moment for the city and residents that the taps were never shut off, leaders are determined to ensure a situation like that never arises again.
At the time, in seeming panic mode, authorities signed deals to build temporary desalination plants and to tap aquifers in order to deal with the water crisis.
While the measures certainly helped in the heat of the moment, they are not long-term solutions and the city council has taken it upon themselves to come up with a more permanent solution in this 10-year plan.
“What we did discover in the Cape Flats aquifer, there were issues,” Mayco member in charge of keeping the water running, Xanthea Limberg, said according to Eye Witness News.
The Plan to avoid another water crisis
They have decided the most important aspect of securing Cape Town’s water supply is to diversify its sources.
This way if there were problems affecting any one source it would not threaten the entire city’s water supply.
“We look towards a larger percentage of our water supply coming from non-surface water solutions,” said Limberg.
“Cape Town will be developing diverse sources of water at large scale, including groundwater, water reuse, and desalination.”
The plan will be executed over the next decade.
A country looks on
While Cape Town’s was the most public water shortage, South Africa is a water-scarce country and many towns continue to struggle with a lack of the life-sustaining liquid.
If the city is able to affordably succeed in their efforts to secure their water supply regardless of rainfall figures, it could have a large impact on the rest of the country and could see their methods utilised elsewhere.