Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says they are planning to review the licenses that allow for the treatment of waste water. Addressing the Cape Town Press Club at Newlands, Mokonyane says waste water can be put to good use. She says in some municipalities outside the metro such initiatives are already under way.

“We also are looking at the review of the licenses for waste water treatment works, and work is underway to expand the re-use opportunities and I must commend many of our municipalities outside of the City of Cape Town that have already started to do work in this regard and working with them we have already embarked on a process of looking at the licenses and moving forward just like what we have done in other provinces. This is just but one other area that can be able to tap on the water that we perceive to be waste and yet it is water that can still be put to good use.”

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town is looking at potentially using non-potable water to help flush sewers as Day Zero fast approaches. Dams in the Western Cape are now below 30 % and officials say residents are not doing enough to save water.

Capetonians are being urged to reduce consumption to avoid taps running dry on 12 April. Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson says there are concerns about clearing daily sewage from the network.

“There’s a number of ways we are looking to do that. Now we’re going to want storm water infiltration into our sewers. We’re looking at that if it’s suitable to assist with that. We’ll also be looking at using tankers to use non-potable water to assist us to flush sewers.”

Neilson says the national water department has provided R20 million rand for the city’s desalination projects. Neilson says the money is too little as Cape Town needs billions to deal with the current water crisis.

“I think the national department needs a thorough reconsideration of their strategy for water bulk supply in the Western Cape, that goes far beyond just surfer water supplies, we need to look at diversification of water supplies including ground water, desalination, water reuse, I think the national department should be implementing few very large desalination plants.”

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