Feb 02, 2018

Cape Town Turns to Desalination Plants

The impending water crisis–known as Day Zero–has led Cape Town to seek alternative water sources

Cape Town turns to water desalination

As Day Zero grows closer for Cape Town, South Africa, the drought-stricken city has been searching for alternative water sources. Plans are moving forward to construct several desalination plants, optimize aquifers and recycle greywater.

Three modular reverse osmosis desalination plants are currently under construction, said Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson in an interview with The Huffington Post. The V&A desalination plant will provide 2 million litres of water per day and will be live in late March to early April. The Stradfontein plant will provide 7 million litres per day and will produce water beginning in March. Finally, the Monwabisi plant will produce 7 million litres of water per day, but construction has been delayed.

Nielson said that plans for additional desalination plants are still in the early stages, while the city is following advice from the World Bank to focus more heavily on optimizing aquifers for short-term water relief. This is not a long-term solution, however, as aquifers are difficult to replenish. Residents are encouraged to do their part to conserve water and recycle greywater from showers, laundry or rains.