Lower Cape Town water tariffs, manage dams better - environmental scientist

The Berg River Dam is Cape Town's third-largest supply dam, and it reached full capacity about a fortnight ago.

This has lead to some people asking why the Cape can't build another dam further downstream to capture the excess water for times when we will one day need the water again. Their argument would be that it will get lost to the sea anyway.

Dr Kevin Winter of UCT's Future Water Institute recently wrote an interesting article on why it's not so simple - and he talks to Africa Melane about his conclusions.

Winter believes the City should reduce water tarrifs at the end of the hydrological year in November.

If we sitting with at least 80% of water by the time we reach the end of October, that would be a good move.

Dr Kevin Winter, Environmental scientist - Future Water Institute UCT

He says this would signal the correct message to citizens that water has been properly managed and Capetonians "need a break right now."

He says it would be an opportunity to test Capetonians commitment to new water-saving habits.

I think Capetonians have learned a great deal.

Dr Kevin Winter, Environmental scientist - Future Water Institute UCT

Why has the national water department not planned to build another dam for Cape Town?

Winter says this question arises when water begins to overflow in current dams and people see it as being wasted and flowing out to sea but explains this is normal in nature.

He says needing to build a new dam is debatable and relates to how South Africa manages its dams and storage capacity.

I guess we lack the space in our catchment areas to put another dam in. I can't think of another area we could put another dam in that would be worth the investment in the long run.

Dr Kevin Winter, Environmental scientist - Future Water Institute UCT

We rather need to manage our existing dams better, he suggests.

Listen to what Dr Winter has to say below:


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