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CoCT approves 10-year plan to prevent another water crisis

It might seem like a long time ago to some residents, but just more than a year ago, there were dire predictions that the city’s taps would run dry by April 2018.

FILE: Cape Town residents collect 25 litres of water at the Newlands springs in Cape Town. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has approved a long-term plan to ensure it staves off another desperate water crisis.

The city council approved the new water strategy last week. It includes plans for permanent desalination plants and better utilisation of groundwater.

It might seem like a long time ago to some residents, but just more than a year ago, there were dire predictions that the city’s taps would run dry by April 2018.

In panic mode, authorities scrambled to tap aquifers and build temporary desalination plants, then the drought broke.

But the Mayco member in charge of keeping the water running, Xanthea Limberg, said the crisis taught the city many lessons.

She said a key shift was that Cape Town would be developing diverse sources of water at large scale, including groundwater, water reuse and desalination.

These schemes would be developed alongside and integrated with the existing surface water systems.

“We look towards a larger percentage of our water supply coming from non-surface water solutions.”

Limberg said another key part of the plan would include building permanent desalination plants.

“What we did discover in the Cape Flats aquifer, there were issues.”

She said the plan would be implemented over the next decade to ensure Cape Town never hoards bottled water again.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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