At the Council meeting today the Mayor referred to the 3 “solutions” she had unveiled on 17 Aug 2017 to address the Cape Town #WaterCrisis. Here is my question, basically: “This has been promised before but not delivered, why should we believe you this time?”, her reply and my concluding comments assessing her answer.
The ACDP welcomes your announcement last week on 17 August 2017 (see: https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2017-08-17-de-lille-unveils-r33bn-cape-town-water-plan-and-warns-of-higher-bills/ )
Your plan can be grouped into 3 categories:
- Groundwater extraction from aquifers
- Water re-use
The problem is that the City has made commitments on these 3 before:
- Groundwater extraction from aquifers – City commitments made since 2001
- Desalination – City commitments made since 1999
- Water re-use – City commitments made since 2000. Implementation remains micro scale
None of these have been implemented on a large scale (besides less than 10% of used water being re-used for farming, school sports fields, etc, which means small scale implementation)
If these are a solution now, do you agree we would not have a water crisis if these had been implemented 16 years ago?
THE MAYORS ANSWER:
The Mayor replied that these projects ARE being implemented already – an example is the City has been using aquifer water for the Green Point Urban Park since 2010, now it’s simply being broadened to include extraction for drinking purposes.
- Show me one desalination plant in Cape Town – there is not one
- Show me one existing groundwater extraction project from the TMG Aquifer, Cape Flats Aquifer, Atlantis Aquifer, Newlands Aquifer, etc.
- The Green Point Urban Park (and maybe the Company’s Gardens) is watered through the extraction of water from the 36 underground springs under the City CBD (“Operation Reclaim Camissa”). This amounts to a micro percentage of all that spring water that flows into the sea, and since none of that extraction is used for drinking water, that is a nonsense example to use.