#WaterWatch

'If CT stuck to water restrictions, they would not be in this dire position'

Many fingers have been pointed at the Department of Water and Sanitation for not fulfilling their role of supplying water during the drought in Cape Town.

Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Special Projects at the Department of Water and Sanitation, says that these perceptions and the perceptions that they have no plans in place are false.

READ: Shoprite's bottled water sales shoots up 160% in Cape

We are dealing with the worst drought in 100 years. In dealing with the drought, people are trying to discredit the planning which has already been done to date.

Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Special Projects at the Department of Water and Sanitation

It's not unusual for us to have to manage our systems under drought conditions. South Africa is an arid country, we have variable rainfall, it's the 30th driest country - so we plan to operate our systems in drought conditions. What is really taking a knock in the Cape Town system, is that we've got the most serious drought recorded in 100 years.

Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Special Projects at the Department of Water and Sanitation

Balzer says they started their planning in 2005 with what they call reconciliation strategies. He says that the City of Cape Town was a part of that planning, and that they planned for the next 25 years.

In this planning they looked at the necessity of water augmentation programmes and when they would be needed.

READ: Day Zero: How lack of water could have implications on your health

In terms of that planning, we identified a number of surface water schemes, plus desalination, plus ground water extraction and reuse options going forward.

Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Special Projects at the Department of Water and Sanitation

Now on the basis of the projections, which we make with information provided to us by the City, the high and the low projection, as well as the water consolation demand management which the city has implemented over a 10 year period, we would only need augmentation around 2019/2020.

Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Special Projects at the Department of Water and Sanitation

Balzer says that the reason the water situation is so dire despite their planning, is because there was not enough compliance with the water restrictions that were set.

Listen to the full conversation below:


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