World's water-loss experts aim for Cape's scorched earth

06 July 2017 - 14:45 By Dave Chambers
Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape. File photo.
Theewaterskloof Dam during a severe drought in the Western Cape. File photo.
Image: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

At the rate Cape Town’s winter rainfall is going‚ another hot‚ dry summer will make this year’s drought will look like a Sunday school picnic.

Fortunately‚ 500 of the world’s leading experts on water loss from municipal systems will be in the city next May to share ideas and expertise — and to learn from Cape Town’s suffering.

“Many successful case studies will be showcased from South Africa‚ which is highly regarded worldwide in the field of water losses and is considered to be one of the leaders in advanced pressure control‚” said Ronnie McKenzie‚ chairman of the International Water Association specialist group on water loss.

“Three of the largest advanced pressure control installations in the world have been successfully commissioned in South Africa‚ two of which are in Cape Town.”

Tim Harris‚ the head of Wesgro — whose Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau secured the conference — said it came at a critical time. “It will provide attendees with an unparalleled opportunity to share insights and potentially collaborate to find sustainable‚ long-term solutions to one of the biggest challenges facing‚ not just the Cape‚ but regions across the globe‚” he said.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the conference was exactly the sort of event the city wanted to host as it positioned itself as the “ideas capital” of Africa.

“We look forward to learning as much as we can in our goal to build a water-resilient city to ensure that our residents and our economy can adapt‚ survive and grow‚” she said.