Cape's water crisis won't stem international travel growth

2017-09-13 10:48 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - The water crisis in the Western Cape is of major concern right now, however the province as a whole is open and ready to welcome two million more international tourists in the upcoming peak season, according to Wesgro.

Wesgro has reassured visitors that steps have been taken to reduce water consumption and ensure that supplies last through the tourist season, following strict water restrictions that were implemented earlier this month.

SEE: SA Gov calls for wastewater to be used amidst Cape drought

According to the city, dam storage levels are currently at 35,1%, with useable water at 25,1%. Collective consumption is at 604 million litres of water per day. This is 104 million litres above the target of 500 million litres - read new24's full update.

Western Cape spokesperson of Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, Beverley Schäfer, says tourists will absolutely not be turned away in the Western Cape, and there is no need to cancel any bookings for the upcoming high season.

“The Western Cape government has implemented a range of water restrictions in the province to limit water usage and ensure a steady supply in the wake of the upcoming high tourist season,” she says.

Hotels in the province have also come on board to implement water-saving measures, and a variety of awareness campaigns can be found in hotel lobbies across the province.

To an extended degree, they have also established their own private water supplies, removing pressure from the provincial water grid. These include recreational water use in swimming pools and day spas, to name a few.

SEE: Cape Water Crisis: 9 ways this hotel reduced its YOY consumption by 17%

Schäfer also says the Western Cape has a comprehensive and dedicated disaster management plan in place, which would come into effect should the drought necessitate it.

“As tourism is a leading source of investment in the province, the Western Cape government has done everything to ensure that the sector is not harmed by the drought, and tourists need not worry about their upcoming holidays in the Cape,” says Schäfer.

Added to this, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, advises visitors to be water-wise when visiting the province.

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

“The severity and duration of this drought could not have been predicted. We are managing the situation with every drought intervention that we have at our disposal. We have not let Cape Town down before and we do not intend to do so now,” says Limberg.

Here's how you can help save water: