V&A Waterfront provides land for desalination project - for free

29 October 2017 - 15:54 By Aron Hyman
Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. File photo.
Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. File photo.
Image: Cape Town Tourism

Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront was hailed by mayor Patricia De Lille as a “good example” after it was announced that they would provide the land for a new desalination plant‚ for free.

De Lille‚ who visited the plant on Sunday‚ said the “modular land-based plant”‚ which will produce 2 million litres per day‚ will be operational by February.

Large parts of the Western and Northern Cape are gripped by the worst drought in more than a century. The dams serving the City of Cape Town are expected to run out of usable water by March 2018.

The Mayor has vowed to “not allow a well-run city to run out of water” and plans are in place to tap into other sources of water‚ including from springs and aquifers in the mountains surrounding the city.

The plant will be built on an open air parking lot near Cape Town harbour’s East Pier and will be one of a network of 8 desalination plants spread across the City.

The plants‚ which together will provide 108 million litres of water per day‚ are:

- Hout Bay – 4 million litres per day

- Granger Bay – 8 million litres per day

- Red Hill/Dido Valley – 2 million litres per day

- Strandfontein – 7 million litres per day

- Monwabisi – 7 million litres per day

- Harmony Park – 8 million litres per day

- Cape Town Harbour – 50 million litres per day

- And the universal sites – 20 million litres per day

“My message is clear: We have a plan‚ we will supply water but Capetonians‚ your help is vital and so we need you to keep saving water‚” said De Lille.

She said that Cape Town had managed to bring down water consumption from pre-restriction levels of 1.1 billions litres a day to current consumption of 585 million litres per day.

“The V&A Waterfront made land available to the City at no cost. This is a good example how government and business can work together to ensure our water resilience‚” she said.

The plant will abstract water from the sea on the harbour side of the pier and‚ using electricity provided by the city‚ it will pump treated clean water into the city’s water network.

“The location of the site makes it easy for the City to provide services to the desalination plant. The City will provide electricity in November 2017 and construction will start soon after‚” she said.

She said that on Friday the City awarded the tenders for the Monwabisi and Strandfontein plants.

She also said that the Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works will soon provide 10 million litres a day to the water network.

“We are not only building water resilience in the immediate future but also looking ahead to the years to come and how to ensure water security‚” said De Lille.