This year Cape Town dams are in the best position they have been in for many years, but still the City of Cape Town warn us to be frugal with our water usage. Although our major dams (bar Steenbras upper) are with 5% of full capacity, no major dams have been completed in the last 20 years. Conversely the registered population increased by roughly 65% during that time from 2,785,000 in 2000 to 4,618,000 in 2020.
Cape Town Dams
So as you can see, the City of Cape Town now has to stretch a finite water supply to an ever growing consumer base. It has tried to source water from other avenues such from ground water, springs and desalination, but this is expensive and only used when required under emergency circumstances – less than 6% of the currently utilised 756 million litres of water consumed daily by Cape Town residents daily. But should we really be worried after all Cape Town dams hold nearly 900 mega litres and they are 98.8% full on average? Well first we must look to the current consumption which is 0.5% week on week, and with the Cape winter just about finished and the prospect of meaningful precipitation diminishing daily, the consumption is only going to increase and the windy season will start to make evaporation from our surface water areas a tangible problem.
Infrastructure and Maintenance of Pipelines
We must also look at our actual dams as everything that we see does not relate to what is available to use. As per the City of Cape Town Weekly Water Dashboard (23 Nov) they explain how they categorise the different action levels. As the water levels in the dams decrease so the silt levels in the water increases up to a point that if the water levels drop to 10% it is not viable to process. The city council would then have to turn to its other more expensive options such as ground water and desalination. This scenario of demand far out stretching the ability to supply is one of the municipal supplier’s main problems, the other one is infrastructure and the maintenance of the vast supply pipelines. Cape Town alone has over 10,000km of water main pipes many of which are long overdue for replacement. But unfortunately consumers once encouraged to cut their water consumption have done exactly that and the monies that used to be collected by the municipalities for water has been cut drastically – this reflected in the across the board increase by the City of Cape Town for its water.
Lack of Funding
This lack of funding, together with the increasing costs of treatment to bring the quality of drinkable standards leaves the coffers bare for planned maintenance and the City Engineers Dept are forced to act on a reactive basis, repairing only where visible breakages happen. But what about where a failure happens in farming or rural areas and the break is not found, thousands of litres wasted each year to this problem.
The suspended solids in our water from decaying pipes, fractures and new connections are making our water (which passes water quality compliance at over 99% in Cape Town) contaminated with harmfully abrasive and corrosive particles such as grit, sand, vegetation and micro-organic particle and in the end it has fallen upon the consumer to protect themselves and their homes.
Judo Back Washable Grit Removal Filters
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Contact us now or visit www.claus.co.za and let us help you have the clean and safe water that you deserve for you, your family and for life.