Cape Town action on desalination and water reuse

The City of Cape Town, South Africa, is planning to issue a tender for a feasibility study of a “large‐ scale” seawater desalination plant within the next month. The study will determine the most appropriate location and size for such a plant.

In addition, the City also plans to do a feasibility study into the large‐scale reuse of water, the only remaining major potential source of augmenting the area’s water supplies at a lower cost than desalination, due to the smaller electricity requirements. This study will also commence within the next few months.

Investigations by the city into the potential for large‐scale ground water development and utilising the Table Mountain Group (TMG) aquifer as a sustainable water resource are also underway. A decision on the implementation of a pilot wellfield development in the TMG will be taken by the city in the next couple of months.

These actions follow the release of the latest Western Cape Water Supply System Reconciliation Strategy covering the period October 2010-March 2011. According to the study, only a few surface water development options are available for augmenting water supply to Cape Town and surrounding towns.