Water Security Needs a Long-Term Focus - Start Harvesting Rain Water
If the citizens of Cape Town have proven one thing, it is that by working together a lot can be achieved. Since the announcement of the Level 2 water restriction in 2016 till today and on Level 6B restrictions, residents have adjusted positively to a negative situation.
What is the cause of the water shortage?
Parts of South Africa, Western Cape, in particular, have fallen victim to a severe drought caused by low rainfall over the last four years – in fact, the biggest drought in 100 years. Another contributing factor is population growth. The Western Province has more than 6 million residents of which more than 4 million reside in Cape Town alone – less water, more people.
Water-saving efforts that work
Since the implementation of water-wise projects and awareness campaigns, the majority of Western Cape residents have done their bit to save water. This includes sticking to restrictions in various towns, installing water harvesting systems at home or businesses and being more water conscious.
Temporary Water solutions in place
Cape Town has recently erected temporary water desalination plants. Desalination is a process that allows for the extraction of mineral components from a targeted substance, in this case, salt water from the ocean, to a point where it is safe for human consumption and alternative uses. The first desalination plant was erected in Strandfontein. The desalination plants are only temporary and will be removed after 24 months. Cape Town has also opened-up aquifers to fill the current water supply and demand. An aquifer is an underground layer of water that can be extracted via a water well. Although much more complex than this, it does provide water to a water-hungry city.
Continue with a water-saving mindset
Unfortunately, there is no fast solution to the water shortage problem and no immediate abatement for the situation, but with continued efforts, we can successfully manage the little water that remains. We would like to encourage you to make every drop worth it while being accountable for the way you use and re-use water.