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Establishing SA's first water fund<p>​A water fund is a collective impact mechanism aimed at providing water security to urban areas by investing in natural infrastructure. The land around water sources collects, stores and filters water which provides a cleaner, safer and more abundant water supply. This reduces the need for costly interventions and the investment in nature-based solutions may pay off through savings in annual water treatment costs alone.</p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure></span><p>The Cape Town metro is 2 445 km<sup>2</sup> in size and has a population of approximately 3.8 million people with annual growth of almost 3%. The City has responded to the rising demand for water by implementing its award-winning water conservation and demand management programme. However, the ongoing drought and long-term climate change means that further efforts are required.</p><p>The water fund will be based on The Nature Conservancy’s successful global model and the pilot project will target the Atlantis aquifer, a water-bearing layer located underground. The recharge of the aquifer is currently under threat by invasive alien plant species and encroaching urban development. By focussing on ecological rehabilitation, the area’s water catchment capacity will be improved while at the same time reducing soil runoff and curbing the intrusion of environmental pollutants.</p><p>In addition to improving Cape Town’s water security, the project could also create jobs in economically disadvantaged areas nearby, including Atlantis, Mamre and Pella via the Expanded Public Works Programme.</p>2017-04-25T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#af13a260-b06d-419a-84b4-c48b72ae285a;L0|#0af13a260-b06d-419a-84b4-c48b72ae285a|Atlantis;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#c806300b-4b9d-45ca-8e89-cae3a77a1c85;L0|#0c806300b-4b9d-45ca-8e89-cae3a77a1c85|water conservation;GP0|#5f5cdb96-4643-42d6-b57a-da20a830c58d;L0|#05f5cdb96-4643-42d6-b57a-da20a830c58d|Biodiversity1

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