This is a self-made crisis that should have been avoided by the City and National Government. Avoiding it is well within the mandate of these two spheres.
- The City of Cape Town was warned repeatedly, and clearly knew since at least 1998 about:
- the reality of changing rainfall patterns,
- the growing risk of extreme weather events like floods and droughts, and
- the impact the growing population would have on our scarce water resources.
- In 1998 the former Cape Metropolitan Council (CMC) appointed a Manager to oversee Water Demand Management.
- In 2002 DWAF warned of ‘absolute water scarcity’ in the foreseeable future the Cape
- In 2005 the City was informed about the 36 fresh water springs running under the City by the research project named “Reclaim Camissa” but nothing has been done about it since then until Mayor De Lille started talking about it in late 2016.
- In 2006/7, national Dept: Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) started the Western Cape Reconciliation Strategy Study and made this recommendation: “…Cape Town to proceed urgently with a pilot sea water desalination plant to familiarise itself with the technology…learn lessons for large scale implementation…prepare to scale up implementation of desalination and to assess the potential impacts of climate change on water scarcity.”
- In 2010 the City announced a major effort to plug water leaks – but Audited results confirm that water loss is increasing each year from 2013/14 – 2016/17.