Cape Town running out of water

6 years 4 months ago #538104 by Anakei

This has been flying under the radar lately but I picked it up because I used to live in South Africa.

Cape Town is the most prosperous city in South Africa and it is facing having the water supply cut off entirely in April unless it rains. This is due to a long drought, a doubling of population in the last 20 years, and political mismanagement and lack of foresight. ( What do you mean? More people need more water?)

I lived in Brisbane during the drought there and in spite of water restrictions people were still running sprinklers on their lawn and hosing the drive. Its astounding that in spite of the dire situation that they could carry on oblivious to the consequences. Apparently the same thing is happening in Cape Town.

This could be the shape of things to come.

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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6 years 4 months ago - 6 years 4 months ago #538106 by iSor
Replied by iSor on topic Cape Town running out of water
I too have thought about cities running out of water, it’s not so bad if you live rurally as you can just put in extra water tanks to get you through the dry spells, as long as the amount of rainfall in your area isn’t drastically affected by climate change, that is.

In Hawke’s Bay we have plenty of water in our aquifers and we have even let the Chinese bottling companies take water from our deepest most pure ones. A lot of our aquifer water flows under ground and under the seabed out to sea anyway whether the Chinese or cities use it or not.
The shortages occur when not enough can be pumped to the reservoirs to keep up with the demand from people watering lawns and generally wasting it as happened last year, and there was an uproar where people thought stuff it, “I’m going to water my lawn every night and no one in the Council can stop me because I pay my rates.”

We probably need more bores to be drilled to supply more people but then that could create another problem where all this water is being pumped out of the aquifer which could upset the balance somewhere along the line, eg if there’s not enough rain falling to supply the rivers from which water percolates down through the gravel layers, then you get saltwater ingress as has happened in Bayview and Twyford.

It costs huge amounts of money to form the infrastructure to supply the increasing population with water from deep aquifers but our councils don’t see the need to spend money on basic necessities. They would rather gain notoriety by trying to use ratepayers money for a velodrome ( luckily didn’t go ahead) , which only few would use, or on re-strengthening the Opera House due to changes in building code since Christchurch earthquakes. And.. they wasted millions of taxpayer money on consultants to see if it was viable to build a dam and it didn’t go ahead!

If water meters were installed (city supply) then maybe that would help people conserve water and revenue from those can go toward better infrastructure.
Last edit: 6 years 4 months ago by iSor. Reason: Terrible grammar

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