#WaterWatch

Invasive alien vegetation a major threat to Cape dam levels - scientist

Alien vegetation poses a significant threat to Cape Town's water supply, says biodiversity scientist Jasper Slingsby.

Slingsby co-authored an opinion piece that appeared on the Daily Maverick.

He says that removing alien trees near water catchment areas should form part of the City of Cape Town's water augmentation schemes.

Read: Zandvlei water area closed over high E.coli count

Slingsby claims that invasive alien trees currently reduce water supply to dams by more than 100 megalitres per day.

He says alien vegetation also impacts on groundwater replenishment.

According to Slingsby, an aggressive alien removal plan is needed around key catchment areas which are the most invaded and which have higher rainfall.

These include high-altitude catchments around Berg River dam and some feeding the Theewaterskloof dam, he argues.

Also read: Cape rains have made a slight dent on the drought says national water dept

Slingsby laments that the City has made no significant provision for alien clearing in its draft budget or development plan.

Alien trees use a lot more water than the indigenous vegetation.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

It means water lost from the catchment.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

The result is that, for a given amount of rain, you have less water making to the dams and into your groundwater.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

Current estimates are that it's more than a 100 megalitres [lost] per day just for dams around Cape Town.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

That's roughly 10% of the water that should be making it into the dam. It's projected to be much worse by 2045.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

This should be step one in water security. We are dependent on water from the dams.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

They are not investing in improving the water flow.

Jasper Slingsby, Scientist with the Fynbos Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network

Take a listen to his expert advice:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Old Mutual to help save 15 million liters of water per month

Old Mutual to help save 15 million liters of water per month

Old Mutual on Monday unveiled their water filtration plant at its head offices in Pinelands.

Clanwilliam Dam wall project back on track will double its capacity

Clanwilliam Dam wall project back on track will double its capacity

The project to increase the wall and the capacity of the dam is up and running again after numerous delays.

Cape Town desalination plants are in full swing

Cape Town desalination plants are in full swing

The three desalination plants are expected to produce 8 million litres of water a day.

Cape July rainfall below average, is that reason to worry?

Cape July rainfall below average, is that reason to worry?

The month of July seems to worry those studying weather patterns as the month has not yielded the good rains expected.

New toilet system hopes to eradicate dangerous pit toilets in schools

New toilet system hopes to eradicate dangerous pit toilets in schools

LiquidGold has designed unique gender-neutral urinate-only toilets which are 100 percent waterless and hygienic.

When water saving solutions go horribly wrong

When water saving solutions go horribly wrong

Dr Kaveh Madani looks at a water saving solution used in California which used up more water than it was saving.

Popular articles
WCED 'extremely concerned' by recent child abductions in Cape Town

WCED 'extremely concerned' by recent child abductions in Cape Town

MEC of Education Debbie Schäfer confirmed that two girls aged 11 and 18 were abducted in Zonnebloem recently.

'He told me people would want to keep him quiet at any cost'

'He told me people would want to keep him quiet at any cost'

Journalist Gavin Evans says the late Mark Minnie spoke to him about his fears that those he exposed in his book might harm him.

Zille won't stop fighting to have SANDF property released for affordable housing

Zille won't stop fighting to have SANDF property released for affordable housing

Zille says properties under the control of the state should be made available for local government's affordable housing plans.

'There is no verse in the Quran that says women should cover their faces'

'There is no verse in the Quran that says women should cover their faces'

Dr Taj Hargey says he is advocating for the ban of women wearing burkas in public because they look ridiculous.

[LISTEN] IRR believes list of targeted farms is genuine

[LISTEN] IRR believes list of targeted farms is genuine

Institute for Race Relations researches Terence Corrigan explains why they believe the list Afriforum has released is genuine.