Why desalination isn't a solution to our water problems

Despite the current restrictions imposed on water usage, the City of Cape Town is still not meeting its target of 800 million litres a day. Capetonians are still using too much water.

Desalination (the process of removing salt from seawater) has been suggested many times as a solution to the water crisis but why is it not being explored?

Prof Neil Armitage Head of Department Urban Water Management at UCT says the cost of building the desalination plants is very high. He spoke about countries like Australia who went the through a similar situation and spent about $2 billion on infrastructure.

Armitage says the operational costs are very high.

Australia was left in a bit of a dilemma after going through the trouble of building the desalination plants when it started raining and the dams were full.

Armitage says that country is now sitting with plants that are not being used and are costly to maintain.

To hear more on this subject, listen below:


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