Enviro expert raises red flag with City's ground water extraction plan

Environmental expert Dr Kevin Winter has raised concerns with the City of Cape Town's plans to use ground water extraction to secure one hundred million litres of extra water daily.

This week, the City revealed plans to access five hundred million litres of water per day through various non-surface water sources.

About R3 billion will be spent on implementing the first phase, which is groundwater extraction and land-based desalination plants.

The City is trying new ways to access an additional 500 million litres of water per day as it can no longer rely on rainfall.

Read: City of Cape turns to groundwater to try curb its water crisis

However, Dr Winter says one hundred million litres may be an ambitious target and says excessive abstraction could compromise water quality in some areas.

It feels to us to be a little exaggerated as to how that will be achieved... It's a red flag for us in terms of how much can be extracted safely, particularly during summer.

Dr Kevin Winter, Department of Environmental & Geographical Science at the UCT Future Water Institute

It does seem frightening.

Dr Kevin Winter, Department of Environmental & Geographical Science at the UCT Future Water Institute

He says the City needs to add more detail to its plan and work on communicating the urgency of the water crisis to the public.

I think the Mayor's media presentation didn't give us the sense of how urgent this is.

Dr Kevin Winter, Department of Environmental & Geographical Science at the UCT Future Water Institute

I don't think the message around the wake up call was put through strongly enough.

Dr Kevin Winter, Department of Environmental & Geographical Science at the UCT Future Water Institute

Take a listen to his expert analysis:


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