City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation director Peter Flowers talks to John Maytham about what is being done to ensure the augmentation of water supplies in drought-stricken Cape Town as the City heads to 'Day Zero'.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille visited one of the water augmentation sites on Thursday where an estimated 150 million litres of water will be derived from the three extraction areas of the aquifers - The Table Mountain Group of Aquifers, the Cape Flats Aquifer, and the Atlantis Aquifer.
Flowers says the estimate errs on the side of caution, but they are hoping to extract more than the figure given.
The timelines for the water going into the system, from the Cape Flats Aquifer, is dependent on a number of things. The drilling is the first part.— Peter Flowers, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation director
He says the drilling is going well and eventually all the holes drilled need to be interconnected with pipelines which will then need to be taken through to the reticulation system after some form of treatment.
It's a moving target. We have tenders in place now and tenderers ready to go to start laying these pipelines.— Peter Flowers, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation director
The City is expediting the process he insists, though struggled to give John Maytham an exact date.
I would estimate the first groundwater from the Cape Flats Aquifer is still a few weeks off....We could get water going into the system conservatively, in 6 weeks time.— Peter Flowers, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation director
He says the volume will roll out progressively as the pipelines link the system up, he says.
Hole by hole, it will increase.— Peter Flowers, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation director
He explains the five different parcels being developed in the Cape Flats Aquifer.
With 'Day Zero' fast approaching water savings may not be enough if new water is not added to the system, suggests John.
The production of new water is going to ramp up, and it will ramp up to the 200 mark by the time we get to June.— Peter Flowers, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation director
He says what is most important right now, is to conserve the water we have and says the City is working very hard on supporting that process.
He says the desalination plants will come online by March.
The reuse of water from one of the wastewater treatment plants that has already got membrane technology will come in towards June, he explains.
John estimates by his calculations that by the estimated Day Zero of 22 April, an additional 25-30 megalitres added to the system.
Which isn't really going to help at all.— John Maytham, CapeTalk host
Flowers responded, saying the amount would be higher than that estimate, explaining small components that have already been added.
He says timelines are difficult to predict with precision.
Take a listen to the details of Cape Town's water augmentation process: