DEVELOPMENT: Recycled Water Is Here
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THE completion and the official launch today of the R34m pipeline project to distribute recycled water to industry marks a welcome change in the municipality’s thinking on providing a sustainable water supply to the City, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
Joe Emeran, President of the Chamber, says it was particularly pleasing that the project was completed ahead of the UN conference in Denmark on a new world climate deal.
“The way we manage our water resources is critical for the Western Cape economy and projects like this mark the start of a new approach to a sustainable future in a water-scarce country,” he said. “Every litre of purified effluent we able to use saves a litre of high quality drinking water.”
Until recently only 10 percent of Cape Town’s water was recycled and was mainly used on golf courses. The other 90 percent was discharged into the sea.
“When we see the effects of the drought along the Garden Route we realise that we cannot continue with these wasteful ways. We have no choice but to see that we get the best possible value from every litre of water from our storage dams,” Emeran said.
The new scheme would provide a secure supply to industry and this will help the City achieve its goal of recycling 50 per cent of municipal water. It should also stabilize the costs for industry as recycled water is cheaper and it should always be available.
Emeran said it was also time to take a fresh look at exploiting some of the City’s other water sources. “In particular we should look at the springs and streams which flow out of Table Mountain and the other Peninsula mountains. In recent times there has been a tendency to regard these small sources as uneconomic but times are changing and we should think again.”
The City Partnership was already studying the Table Mountain streams flowing under the City streets to the sea with a view to exploiting them. There were also other opportunities in areas like Simon’s Town.
Eventually it would be necessary to desalinate sea water. The technology was available and work on a small project would provide valuable experience. Perth, the Australia city comparable to Cape Town, was already desalinating sea water on a large scale and Cape Town could learn from Perth.
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