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Drought crisis update

​The City of Cape Town is calling on all residents to increase their water saving efforts. Get the latest updates and downloadable resources.

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City steps up water testing in response to residents’ concernsThe increased monitoring and analysis of water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works is to reassure residents that the drinking water remains safe for consumption.<p>The City of Cape Town is experiencing a persistent drought that has seen our dam storage levels drop to an unprecedented low. </p><p>This week dam storage levels further declined to 36,2%. Only 26,2% of that water is useable. </p><p>Collective water usage by the residents of Cape Town currently stands at 602 million litres per day. This is 102 million litres above the target usage of 500 million litres per day that we require to see the city through the drought.</p><p>In order to manage our precious water resources, the City has introduced advanced water pressure management throughout the metro. As a result of this process, residents might notice changes in the taste and colour of their tap water, but the water remains safe to drink.</p><p>To reassure residents of the quality of their water, the City’s Water and Sanitation Department’s Scientific Services has increased the frequency of monitoring and analysis of water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works.</p><span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/water%20testing%20201117.jpg" style="width:509px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> The Scientific Services Branch in Athlone, which I visited today, monitors the city’s water quality all-year round. </span><p>Some water users might have noticed an earthy taste and odour to their municipally-supplied drinking water and I want to assure Capetonians that this does not pose any health risk.</p><p>Staff at the facility follow a rigorous water quality testing programme to analyse drinking water from our drinking water treatment works, the treated wastewater from wastewater treatment works and water from rivers and vleis. Air pollution testing is also performed. </p><p>This branch is one of several facilities across the city where our staff are working around the clock to ensure that the water supplied by the City is of the best quality.</p><p>If residents are worried about the water quality, especially after there has been an immediate water supply interruption due to advanced pressure management, they should not waste the water that first flows through the tap when supply is restored. They should store it in a container and use it for flushing.</p><p>We have nearly 300 monitoring sites all over the city to cover our huge drinking water distribution system. In addition to this, automatic online chlorine monitors assist with around-the-clock chlorine checks to protect water security. </p><p><span>​</span><span>​<span>​​The scientific services laboratory has to date tested more than 55 521 samples of water each year. Samples received by the labs are analysed daily. The National Department of Water and Sanitation also conducts frequent water quality checks.</span></span></p><span></span><p>The City published its annual water quality data recently and the figures confirm that the water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works complies with the standard limits published in the South African National Standard for Drinking Water (SANS 241:2015).</p><p>Residents can assist by logging all water taste and discoloration incidents with the City’s Contact Centre at 0860 103 089 (water option), by sending an email to <a href="mailto:water@capetown.gov.za">water@capetown.gov.za</a> or an SMS to 31373. </p><p>For more information on the current severe drought, water restrictions, how to reduce your water usage and all water-related matters, please visit <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater">www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater</a></p><p><br><strong>End </strong><br> <br></p>2017-11-19T22:00:00Z1
City steps up water testing in response to residents’ concernsThe City of Cape Town is experiencing a persistent drought that has seen our dam storage levels drop to an unprecedented low. <span><p>The City of Cape Town is experiencing a persistent drought that has seen our dam storage levels drop to an unprecedented low. </p><p>This week dam storage levels further declined to 36,2%. Only 26,2% of that water is useable.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/testing%20lab.jpg" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>The Scientific Services Branch in Athlone, which I visited today, monitors the city’s water quality all-year round. </p><p>Some water users might have noticed an earthy taste and odour to their municipally-supplied drinking water and I want to assure Capetonians that this does not pose any health risk.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/testing%20lab3.jpg" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>Collective water usage by the residents of Cape Town currently stands at 602 million litres per day. This is 102 million litres above the target usage of 500 million litres per day that we require to see the city through the drought.</p><p>In order to manage our precious water resources, the City has introduced advanced water pressure management throughout the metro. As a result of this process, residents might notice changes in the taste and colour of their tap water, but the water remains safe to drink.</p><p>To reassure residents of the quality of their water, the City’s Water and Sanitation Department’s Scientific Services has increased the frequency of monitoring and analysis of water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/testing%20lab4.jpg" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>Staff at the facility follow a rigorous water quality testing programme to analyse drinking water from our drinking water treatment works, the treated wastewater from wastewater treatment works and water from rivers and vleis. Air pollution testing is also performed. </p><p>This branch is one of several facilities across the city where our staff are working around the clock to ensure that the water supplied by the City is of the best quality.</p><p>If residents are worried about the water quality, especially after there has been an immediate water supply interruption due to advanced pressure management, they should not waste the water that first flows through the tap when supply is restored. They should store it in a container and use it for flushing.</p><p>We have nearly 300 monitoring sites all over the city to cover our huge drinking water distribution system. In addition to this, automatic online chlorine monitors assist with around-the-clock chlorine checks to protect water security.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/testing%20lab2.jpg" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure></span><p>The scientific services laboratory has to date tested more than 55 521 samples of water each year. Samples received by the labs are analysed daily. The National Department of Water and Sanitation also conducts frequent water quality checks.</p><p>The City published its annual water quality data recently and the figures confirm that the water supplied at the City’s various water treatment works complies with the standard limits published in the South African National Standard for Drinking Water (SANS 241:2015).</p><p>Residents can assist by logging all water taste and discoloration incidents with the City’s Contact Centre at 0860 103 089 (water option), by sending an email to <a href="mailto:water@capetown.gov.za">water@capetown.gov.za</a> or an SMS to 31373. </p><p>For more information on the current severe drought, water restrictions, how to reduce your water usage and all water-related matters, please visit <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater">www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater</a></p><p><br><strong>End </strong></p><span>​​</span>2017-11-19T22:00:00Z1
Exploration work at Steenbras of Table Mountain Group aquifer is progressing wellThe City is currently drilling test abstraction boreholes in the Steenbras catchment area<p>​Today I visited the site of a pilot project for the abstraction of water from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer (TMGA) at the Steenbras catchment area. The Table Mountain Group (TMG) is a deep-lying group of rock formations or layers that extends from Van Rynsdorp to Cape Town and from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. </p><p>The TMG aquifers have the potential to develop a large scale scheme to augment the City’s water supply on a more permanent basis. </p><p>The City is currently drilling test abstraction boreholes in the Steenbras catchment area, which will inform the design of a full-scale wellfield and support a water use licence application for full-scale production.  The City has also identified other areas with access to the TMG aquifers that could be developed as part of the broader water resilience project that aims to ensure water security in the years beyond 2018. The yield from the other areas of the TMG aquifers such as the Helderberg, South Peninsula and Wemmershoek will be approximately 50 to 60 million litres per day.</p><p>The yield from the first phase of the TMGA project will be approximately 10 million litres per day which will be pumped into the Steenbras dam. This project is part of the City’s commitment to do everything it can to bring additional water online as we face the worst drought in our recorded history. </p><p>Capetonians have done well to save water- as illustrated by the fact that Day Zero has been moved out to 13 May next year - but we still need to do more if we are to avoid Day Zero altogether. If every person does not reduce his or her water use to 87 litres per person per day there is still a risk that residents will have to queue for water daily at collection sites across the city. </p><p>We can only beat this drought if we work together: each person saves water while the City brings its side of the bargain to bring additional supply online.</p><p>This is our commitment in action and I will continue to lead a team of dedicated staff who are looking at every possible solution to avoid acute water shortages. Climate Change means that we cannot rely only on rain water to supply our needs and we all have to fundamentally change our relationship with water.</p><span><div class="image-gallery-slider img-gal-1" id="img-gal-1" data-slides="3" data-slide="1" style="height:493.5px;"><div class="image-gallery-content" style="height:414px;">​​​​ <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-1"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/steenbras%20dam%20digging1.jpg" alt="" style="width:1052px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p>  Drilling test abstraction boreholes in the Steenbras catchment area.</p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-2"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/steenbras%20dam%20digging2.jpg" alt="" style="width:938px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> <b>Drilling test abstraction boreholes in the Steenbras catchment area.</b></p> </figcaption> </figure> <figure class="itemSlide slide-left slide-3"> <img class="responsive" src="http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/steenbras%20dam%20digging3.jpg" alt="" style="width:1029px;" /> <figcaption class="image-slide-text" style="display:none;"> <p> Drilling test abstraction boreholes in the Steenbras catchment area.</p> </figcaption> </figure> </div><div class="image-gallery-control"><div class="image-gallery-caption"><p> <a title="title" href="#"> <b>Aerial view of Cape Town</b></a> - Loren ipsum dolor sit amet loren ipsum dolor sit amet Loren ipsum dolor sit amet.</p></div><div class="image-gallery-nav"><div class="nav-info">1 of 3</div><div class="slide-next"> <i class="icon arrow-white-next"></i> </div><div class="slide-prev"> <i class="icon arrow-white-prev"></i>​</div></div></div></div>​​</span><p><br><strong>End </strong><br></p>2017-11-18T22:00:00Z1
Construction industry asked to help beat the drought by using treated effluent waterThe City has reached out to the construction industry <p>The City has reached out to the construction industry to reassure them that the drought will not affect new or existing building applications but urges them to make use of the City’s supply of treated effluent water.<br> <br>‘The City of Cape Town has for many years made provision for the supply of treated effluent to offset the use of potable water in the city. This use of this service is even more important during the drought where both industrial and residential customers are required to reduce their use of potable water in line with Level 5 water restrictions. This is especially important in the construction industry where the use of large quantities of water is unavoidable.</p><p>‘Using treated effluent on site makes financial sense because at R5,30 (including VAT) per kilolitre it is much cheaper than using potable water. More importantly, using treated effluent will make it easier for the construction industry to meet the Level 5 water reduction targets as well as help to conserve the City’s potable water supply,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements; Water and Waste; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. </p><p>The City’s Water By-laws prohibit the use of drinking water for non-structural work such as dust control. Potable water must, however, be used for mixing cement as using lower quality water can adversely affect the structural integrity of concrete.<br> <br>‘All developers are required to submit an application for the use of potable water on site prior to starting construction, but they can also apply to the City for the use treated effluent water. The City already supplies treated effluent water to schools, golf courses, parks, sports facilities, car- and window-washing companies, painting companies, and sewer cleaning companies, among others,’ said Councillor Limberg.<br> <br>The City closely monitors levels of consumption of potable water and, as is done with other users, will issue warnings or fines if there is found to be excessive use. Applications for the use of potable water on site could also be reviewed if construction companies fail to reduce usage of potable water on site in line with current water restrictions.<br> <br>Treated effluent can be supplied in three different ways:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">By connecting to the treated effluent pipe network</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">By hiring a metered treated effluent standpipe</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">By collecting it directly from the wastewater treatment works</div></li></ul><p> <br>To apply for supply of treated effluent water, residents should please visit the City’s website: <a href="http://www.capetown.gov.za/treated-effluent" target="_blank">www.capetown.gov.za/treated-effluent</a>. This page outlines the application process and contains all relevant guidelines and forms, as well as copies of related by-laws for download.<br> <br>‘I would like to thank those companies who have already established systems for the use of treated effluent in their operations, and encourage them to see if they can achieve even greater savings by making use of this resource,’ said Councillor Limberg.<br> <br>Construction-related activities where treated effluent can be used include:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">Sub-base material for reinstating asphalt as per City specification</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Construction of road sub-base layers not sensitive to water quality requirement</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">All construction site dust control</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Washing off of retarder from concrete</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Terrace works compaction</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Earthworks compaction</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Trench backfilling</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Cleaning of construction equipment</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Spraying on compacted surfaces</div></li></ul><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2017-11-16T22:00:00Z1

 

 

 

 

 

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