The City of Cape Town’s first temporary desalination plant in Strandfontein is delivering high-quality treated desalinated water into the City’s supply system.

Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson says the plant is injecting 4.7 million litres of water per day into the reticulation system and is successfully being delivered to customers.

The news comes at a time when the Cape’s water supply is in dire need of a boost as the City along with the rest of the province battles water shortages caused by the unprecedented drought that plagued the region throughout summer.

According to Neilson the Strandfontein desalination plan’s full production capacity of 7 million litres will come online during June 2018. The plant is one of many that fall under the City’s water resilience plan which aims to secure water supply for the City.

Additional water in the pipeline

“Our reverse osmosis desalination plant in the Waterfront area is close to producing two million litres of drinking water per day while progress on the desalination plant at Monwabisi is also progressing well, with first water expected to be delivered by June and full production to be reached by July, if all goes according to plan. This plant is also set to produce 7 million litres per day,” Neilson explains.

Neilson notes that the resilience programme, which came into effect in May 2017, has evolved considerably over the past year. Substantial changes to the initial programme were announced in December/January 2017/18 and further amendments have been made since February and March, culminating in the New Water Programme.

The City’s augmentation programme has achieved in four months what would usually take two years in terms of project development and progress. “We intend to produce close to 100 million litres per day of additional water available by December 2018 and to ramp this up to over 150 million litres per day by April 2019.

Managing what’s left

“The desalination projects, in conjunction with our groundwater and water re-use programmes, are part of our efforts to make our city more resilient to future drought shocks and to ensure that we thrive despite climatic uncertainty.

´To get through the current drought, however, it remains essential that we reduce our water usage and manage the water that we have left in our supply system through the City’s pressure management programmes and our continued emphasis on fixing leaks to reduce water losses,” he concludes.