Cape Town’s groundwater plan ‘not viable’

borehole in Cape town

Partners in the use of groundwater to help increase the City of Cape Town’s water supply believe that the city’s current 100m litres per day target is impossible. This comes as the Western Cape is experiencing its worst drought in 100 years. The City of Cape Town has implemented Level 5 water restrictions including water rations and water pressure reductions.

Inadequate time

Umvoto is one of the city’s main partners to develop the Table Mountain Group Aquifer and Cape Flats Aquifer for groundwater extraction.  John Holmes explained that the total yield from groundwater extraction remains largely unknown. According to the earth sciences consultancy director, it is not necessarily possible to have it done by December. This is following the theory that it is possible to extract 100m litres per day from the aquifer.

Chris Hartnady said water extraction from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer is a long-term project. Hartnady was invited to address the intimate gathering in the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) centre. The gathering, which was in Muizenberg was under the theme of discussing Cape Town’s water future.

Also read:Cape Town Ordered to Reduce Water Consumption By 40%

During his presentation, Hartnady said their current expectation is to extract up to 10m cubic meters per annum from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer. This amounts to roughly 27m litres per day. He however mentioned that achieving that in a short time-span is not feasible.

Meanwhile, during the Winter Rainfall Outlook Forum a report on the forecast by South Africa’s brightest weather forecasters and climate scientists foretold a wetter-than-average winter.  Meanwhile, borehole companies in Cape Town are struggling to keep up with demand for installations and well points.

Additionally, demand is so high that they cannot help everyone and are putting customers on waiting lists.




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