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WC hospitals to rely on boreholes amid 'day zero' fears

As city bosses scramble to implement emergency plans, the health sector is confident that it will be able to continue functioning.

FILE: The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Picture: childrenshospitaltrust.org.za

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape’s hospitals will have to rely heavily on borehole water if so-called day zero arrives.

The essential services sector has no option but to continue functioning, even if the water dries up.

As city bosses scramble to implement emergency plans, the health sector is confident that it will be able to continue functioning.

Provincial health authorities are adamant Groote Schuur, Tygerberg, Karl Bremer and the Red Cross War Memorial Children's' Hospital will not come to a standstill, even if day zero arrives.

Western Cape Health’s Marika Champion says geo-hydrologists are constantly assessing the situation.

"A large aspect of the short-term plan centres around the drilling and activation of boreholes at hospitals. The extra water will give us capacity to actually augment the city water supply."

Champion adds that work is already underway.

"We have commenced the actual process of drilling boreholes at some hospitals and re-activating some of the existing boreholes at other facilities because quite a few of our facilities have old unused boreholes."

She says Karl Bremer Hospital has a reactivated borehole which supplies 10 litres of water per hour, with drilling for a second borehole underway.