A desalination plant to provide more than half of Cape Town's water would cost R16 billion to set up and R1.2 billion a year to run.
The demand for water allows for no political divisions, says Sunter, scenario planner.
We have 3,7million people in Cape Town .. if we ran out of water it would be a catastrophe. If you ran out of electricity, you have generators and candles and there are contingency plans. With water there is very little you can do about it. We should be having a full bloody debate: It demands full support and an absolutely open debate about what the risks are.— Clem Sunter, Scenario Planner
Restrictions are getting tighter, but if a city as large as Cape Town runs out of water, we've got to know what risks we face. At least a desalination plant puts something in ones control, Sunter maintains.
Desalination is an option, but is an expensive one, says Dr Peter Johnston, UCT climatologist. He asserts that the city is not sitting in its hands, but is focusing on demand rather than spending money on unnecessary desalination options.
Take a listen to Kieno Kammies and Clem Sunter, joined by Dr Peter Johnston, explore the idea of a desalination plant: