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Public encouraged to comment on management plan for Diep River Estuary<div>The public participation process forms part of the review of the draft Diep River Estuary Management Plan. The estuary is the point where the Diep River meets the ocean in Milnerton.</div><div> </div><div>This is the fourth review of the plan and is a legal requirement in terms of the National Estuarine Management Protocol of 2021. </div><div> </div><div>‘The latest revision is extremely important. It intends to identify interventions that are pragmatic and realistic to improve the state of the Diep River Estuary given the many pressures it is facing. One of these is its location within a heavily altered and urbanised environment. For example, approximately 33% of the estuary is situated within developed land, and the channel has been stabilised by roads and embankments, which reduces the estuary’s natural ability to meander.</div><div> </div><div>‘The revised plan includes new information and recommendations and was workshopped with external experts and independent scientists in the field of coastal and estuarine science,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews. </div><div> </div><div>There are systemic pressures on the estuary. Some of these pressures originate from the Diep River’s wider catchment area which falls outside of the City of Cape Town’s metropolitan boundaries.</div><div> </div><div>‘The Diep River originates in the Riebeek Kasteel Mountains north-east of Malmesbury and flows for about 65km towards Cape Town. Thus, the river meanders through many communities and past several neighbouring towns. What happens along the river before it reaches Cape Town has a profound impact on the river’s health. Once it reaches Cape Town, the river flows through the Rietvlei wetlands which includes Flamingo vlei and Milnerton Lagoon which form part of the estuary, covering an area of about 900ha, before it finally reaches the ocean,’ said Alderman Andrews.</div><div> </div><div>The City’s Environmental Management Department is responsible for the management of the estuary and must develop an Estuarine Management Plan that assesses its current state and determines management and monitoring actions.</div><div> </div><div>The purpose of the plan is to improve the water quality of the Diep River Estuary which currently faces multiple sources of pollutants entering the system including agricultural runoff, treated effluent from the Potsdam wastewater treatment works, illegal disposal of substances in the local stormwater system from formal and informal residential areas, stormwater runoff from industrial areas, disposal of foreign items into sewer systems and subsequent sewer spills, litter, and so forth. </div><div> </div><div>The draft management plan divides the Diep River Estuary into six distinct zones with various objectives and priority actions. These are developed to be specific and tailored for each zone, but simultaneously recognise the inter-linkages and dependencies between the different zones. It also outlines a number of capital intensive projects to address the current challenges, among which the planned upgrade of the Potsdam Waste Water Treatment Works to progressively add capacity and new treatment technology, upgrades to bulk sewage infrastructure and construction of treatment wetlands. </div><div> </div><div>Overall, the plan intends to manage the estuary in a manner that ensures its sustainability, and is aligned with pragmatic conservation goals befitting to a heavily altered and rapidly changing urban ecosystem.</div><div> </div><div>These include some high priority actions to improve the water quality with:</div><div>•       Upgrades to the Potsdam WWTW to progressively add more capacity and new treatment technology over time</div><div>•       Upgrade to the Montague Gardens bulk sewer to reduce sewage spill events </div><div>•       Constructing a stormwater to sewer diversion at Dunoon and Doornbach </div><div>•       Constructing a treatment wetland/pond at the Erica Road stormwater system outfall</div><div>•       Constructing the planned treatment wetland at the Bayside Canal outfall</div><div>•       Developing a sewer pump station protocol to manage surcharge and failure events at each pump station impacting on the estuary</div><div>•       Ensuring all pump stations within the Diep River catchment function optimally, each backed-up with a generator</div><div> </div><div>The draft plan is available on the City’s website at: </div><div> </div><div>The commenting period closes on 30 June 2022.</div><div> </div><div> </div><div>End</div><div> </div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>2022-05-26T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#0ab901dc-08fc-4328-86e9-d67d3a0317b4;L0|#00ab901dc-08fc-4328-86e9-d67d3a0317b4|spacial planning and land use management;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#2d9d26f8-fc9c-42a9-8fb2-4688d58c4173;L0|#02d9d26f8-fc9c-42a9-8fb2-4688d58c4173|Public participation10

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