SA Gov calls for wastewater to be used amidst Cape drought

2017-09-05 09:10 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - As the City of Cape Town introduces level 5 water restrictions, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says that wastewater can and must be used to augment water sources.

After attending a World Water Week held in Stockholm on Friday, Mokonyane said that despite all of the good work that has been done since 1991, the world still faces the challenges of 2.1 billion people without access to safe water and 4.5 billion people without decent sanitation.

“We continue to abuse our water resources with our waste streams. In Africa the demand for water for human consumption is growing, but also the demand for water to meet the growing demand for food and energy,” she said.

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: Rainfall 'remains unpredictable' as R74m allocated to drought relief

The Minister also reiterated to delegates the need to adapt to climate change, because whenever anything was discussed about climate change, it affected the question of water.

“We have to be ready to deal with the consequences of extreme weather events, both extreme drought and extreme flooding. Having said this, we must recognize the work of the men and women who have been dealing with extreme droughts in Somalia, parts of Kenya, South Sudan and in my own country South Africa.”

WATCH: Welcomed Cape rain but 'consumption still too high to ensure enough water through summer 2018'

In Cape Town, dam levels are currently sitting at 35,1%, with 25,1% usable water, which has prompted the implementation of Level 5 water restrictions. The target of 500 million litres of total water per day and 87-litres of water per person per day still stands, however at the moment collective consumption is 104 million litres above the daily target. Most sectors have shown a decline in their consumption, except for the commercial sector which has seen an increase in consumption. The City of Cape Town urges people to take note that the individual limits include both home and work consumption.

Most municipalities across the Western Cape province face water restrictions, with Drakenstein and Stellenbosch hovering at Level 4 restrictions. The average storage levels across the country are at 32,4%. Theewaterskloof Dam is at 25,9%, Elandskloof Dam is 33,6% Steenbras Dam is at 33,1%, with Voelvlei Dam at 25,8% and Ceres Dam at 41,6%.

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