Cape Town Cycle Tour - how water will be saved

29 January 2018 - 17:02 By Aron Hyman
Organisers of the tour – which will go ahead in 2018 – said they would purchase two million litres of spring water sourced from only licensed suppliers‚ outside of the drought ravaged province.
Organisers of the tour – which will go ahead in 2018 – said they would purchase two million litres of spring water sourced from only licensed suppliers‚ outside of the drought ravaged province.
Image: Cape Town Cycle Tour via Twitter

The Cape Town Cycle Tour will add two million litres of water to the city’s local water grid to offset the water footprint of an estimated 15‚000 participants from beyond the Western Cape’s borders.

Organisers of the tour – which will go ahead in 2018 – said they would purchase two million litres of spring water sourced from only licensed suppliers‚ outside of the drought ravaged province.

Addressing media at the Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town‚ Cape Town Cycle Tour trust marketing media and sponsorship director David Bellairs said yet another extreme weather event would not prevent them from hosting the cycle tour which he vowed would use no municipal water.

Over the past three years the event was plagued by extreme weather with fires resulting in a shortened route in 2016 and the cancellation of the event in 2017 due to gale force winds causing consternation at the starting line where bicycles took to the air like kites.

"The water shortage is beyond a crisis‚ it's a disaster and should be classified as such‚" said Bellairs.

Portable toilets at the event will be using grey water sourced from water treatment facilities while ballasts for certain structures along the route will not use water for weight. Spring water and desalinated water will be used for drinking‚ said Bellairs. He said that the aim was to keep every participant's water footprint below 50 litres a day in line with the city's new water restrictions.

Spectators will also be warned against spraying water over participants and from setting up portable pools along the route.

The cycle tour attracts roughly 15‚000 people from outside the province which‚ according to Wesgro CEO Tim Harris‚ amounts to 10% of the tourist population for March when the cycle tour takes place.

"Cape Town is probably Africa's most successful tourist city. The industry employs about 320‚000 people‚" said Harris‚ adding that awareness campaigns aimed at tourists had proven to have had the desired effect.

"Tourists are saving like locals and they are embracing this resource scarcity‚" he said.

Bellairs said that they would also be asking participants from outside the province who were travelling by road to bring water along.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour was set up 41 years ago as a charity event and it is expected that 30‚000 people will participate in this year's event‚ which will take place on March 11. 

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