Water Crisis: City Of Cape Town Answers Your Questions
January 29, 2018 - Essential Water
GroundUp asked adults to send questions about a H2O predicament for a City of Cape Town to answer. A few were comparison and edited. Ian Neilson (Deputy Mayor), JP Smith (Mayco Member for Safety Security and Social Services) and Priya Reddy (Director of Communications) responded.
When will a minute slight and operational devise be published on a Day Zero H2O collection points?
JP Smith: It strait be emphasised that this devise covers some-more than usually a investiture and operation of a H2O collection points. Much work has been finished and a devise is theme to visit updating in what is a really energetic environment. Weekly briefings will be hold going forward.
If we wish this Disaster Plan to be adopted with as small risk and nuisance as possible, we need to demeanour to a internal context of any H2O placement point. We need to design what strategies households and businesses will occupy to accommodate their H2O needs in a box of Day Zero – and how we can support these strategies instead of frustrating them. We need to pattern and conduct these collection points in a ensue that creates sense. It is essential that a ensue is stretchable adequate to maximize potency as distant as possible. There are some operational sum of a H2O collection points that will bear continual excellence right adult until Day Zero.
In sequence to guarantee effective doing a Disaster Risk Management Team is labouring over questions such as:
- What operation and distance of containers will people select to use;
- how will they lift these containers to and from a standpipe;
- what time of day will they come to a collection point;
- what ride will they opt to use to and from a collection point;
- how will families and neighbours organize themselves to collect H2O in a ensue that creates sense;
- who within a domicile or business will be designated to collect H2O and for how many people will they collect.
For a subsequent dual months we will be troubleshooting any H2O collection indicate so that if Day Zero arrives, people are means to collect H2O as fast and safely as possible.
The one thing that is certain is that even if these H2O collection points run as uniformly as possible, a act of collecting H2O will be a vast nuisance for Capetonians. If we don’t wish to queue, we will all need to save H2O now.
Is it ok to use sea H2O to flush toilets?
Ian Neilson: In general, a City does not inspire a large-scale household-level flushing of toilets with sea water. It could erode tools of a reticulation infrastructure and a wastewater diagnosis comforts are not designed to hoop high salinity. As distant as possible, residents are speedy to use suitable greywater and choice sources, such as from boreholes, to flush toilets.
As choice resources could lessen due to use limits, a City will flush a sewerage complement during suitable points. This forms partial of a extensive operational devise that a City is developing. Highly gifted and competent engineers are operative tough during putting measures in place that will guarantee a complement continues functioning as distant as probable in a eventuality of Day Zero occurring, to guarantee both open health and a infrastructure.
We are all carrying to reassess a attribute with water, and a City supports a pierce by residents to try some-more tolerable water-wise technologies such as composting/waterless toilets.
After Day Zero can we still use flush toilets if we flush with greywater? Or will a sewage complement get clogged adult due to miss of water? As a follow-up, what are a recommendations for toilet use following Day Zero?
Ian Neilson: Yes. Appropriate greywater and choice sources can be used to flush toilets.
Has a map for day 0 cut off areas been finalized? Has a city published it?
JP Smith: We will be providing some-more information on a points of placement during a press lecture on 27 Jan 2018. At a impulse 149 of a 200 sites have been reliable and we will be manufacture signage during these points within a entrance weeks so that persons in these communities are wakeful of where their collection indicate will be situated.
These collection points will enclose sections for walking and vehicular collections in sequence to maximize potency as many as possible.
What are businesses going to do that rest on H2O e.g. all a restaurants etc. If they are forced to tighten a mercantile impacts will be enormous.
JP Smith: Strategic blurb areas, high-density areas with poignant risk of increasing weight of disease, such as spontaneous settlements, and vicious services, such as hospitals, aged age homes, prisons, hospitals, glow stations, military stations, clinics, children homes, where possible, will continue to accept celebration H2O by normal channels. Significant monitoring and coercion will be put in place to guarantee that H2O use during these points is significantly reduced.
We are enchanting with as many of these organisations as probable to work out what will be a best ensue to accommodate their H2O needs in a Day Zero scenario. The predicament that we face requires a whole of multitude approach. We will be deliberating what strategies organisations such as this will occupy to accommodate their H2O needs in a box of Day Zero – and how we can support these strategies in a formulation and doing of a Water Disaster Plan.
How modernized are skeleton to use vast scale desalination? How many H2O will desalination eventually move online, and by when? Will these desalination plants be powered with renewable appetite sources such as solar and wind?
Ian Neilson: Our modular retreat inhalation desalination plants are designed to have a smallest ecological footprint possible. An inter-governmental environmental monitoring group is also in place to guard all projects.
The VA desalination plant (two million litres per day) is designed to start producing H2O by March/April 2018. We are still on lane for this.
The Strandfontein plant (seven million litres per day) is due to start producing H2O from Mar 2018.
The Monwabisi plant (seven million litres per day) has been behind to foster serve village rendezvous in a area. The plant was due to start producing H2O by February, yet 4 weeks of construction time has been mislaid to date. With a support of a community, a City is all hands on rug to get this plan going again and to make adult for delays.
Any desalination plant contracts awarded to contractors as partial of a City’s Emergency Water Augmentation Scheme will be compulsory to broach H2O that strait accommodate South African National Standards (SANS 241:2015) requirements. These are a standards set nationally for celebration H2O quality. The City has a unapproachable record of always assembly these standards. The desalination plants will have online monitoring apparatus commissioned to check a potency of a desalination slight and confluence to a SANS standard.
After recommendation from a World Bank, a City shifted concentration from desalination to optimising a use of aquifers in a short-term, as this is some-more cost effective and quicker to exercise than proxy desalination plants.
The Cape Flats aquifer will broach 80 million litres per day, a Table Mountain Group aquifer will broach 40 million litres per day, and a Atlantis aquifer will broach 30 million litres per day over 2017/18 and 2019/20.
The groundwater condensation projects form partial of a City’s programme to supply additional H2O from desalination, H2O recycling and groundwater abstraction.
Abstracting groundwater in bigger volumes means that a City can broach some-more H2O during a reduce cost for a advantage of all residents of Cape Town.
In a past few days statements have been expelled by a mayor, a deputy-mayor, a premier and a conduct of a DA. These statements are infrequently inconsistent, and all give a sense of being in charge. Who is in assign of a crisis? The mayor? The Deputy-Mayor? The Premier? And do any of them have imagination in a problem?
Priya Reddy: From a City of Cape Town domestic caring indicate of view, and as per a Council fortitude taken on Friday 19 Jan 2018, a Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson, who is a veteran hydrological operative by trade with a Master’s grade in engineering; and a Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, have been substituted by City Council to take a domestic lead for water.
From a City administration indicate of view, Dr Gisela Kaiser, a Executive Director of Water and Sanitation and also a City’s designated Chief Resilience Officer, and an operative by profession; as good as Peter Flower, a Director of Water and Sanitation, and an operative by profession; in and with a City’s executive supervision team, are a executive principals.
They are upheld by a innumerable of engineers, plan managers and other veteran officers who are operative tirelessly to get Cape Town yet this rare drought.
Is a cabinet of experts being set adult to understanding with Cape Town’s H2O problems? Who is it? When? And will a chairman who leads it be a categorical communicator to a public?
Ian Neilson: The City has a H2O resilience charge group in place that consists of experts in H2O supervision and resilience. In addition, a City is upheld by a Section 80 committee, whose meetings are open to a public, and that includes experts from a private sector, universities and polite society, among others.
There have been media reports on new borehole regulations. And many people are now removing boreholes (or wellpoints) installed. What are a manners on this (have they altered recently)? Are there vicious consequences of too many people regulating wellpoints or boreholes? Can borehole H2O be used for flushing, bathing, dishwashing and laundry?
Ian Neilson: Firstly, a City does not umpire borehole usage. The protector of H2O resources is a National Department of Water and Sanitation. But a City has, in a doing of prior H2O restrictions, speedy regressive use of borehole water. We have endorsed singular use in bearing with H2O restrictions for municipally-supplied celebration water. Our shortly to be implemented Level 6b restrictions make serve recommendations for a use of boreholes. It is not in a City’s charge to umpire a use of groundwater sources, yet we have attempted as distant as probable to expostulate a summary home that total use of boreholes will not be sustainable. The categorical caring here is that private boreholes are not recharged. Private users do not reinstate a subterraneous H2O that is used. This is in contrariety to a City’s aquifer programme, where aquifer recharge will be a non-negotiable aspect of abstraction.
Our idea is not usually to tarry a drought and to flower notwithstanding it, yet to change a attribute with water.
We disciple for a tolerable use of borehole H2O for indoor functions yet we do not support a use of borehole H2O for outside purposes, such as gardening.
The National Department of Water and Sanitation should also greatfully be approached for information on their borehole supervision efforts.
Why has a city not (substantially) reduced vigour on water? Would this outcome in some areas being cut off? But afterwards can’t special reserve be finished for these areas in a meanwhile?
Ian Neilson: The City has in fact been almost shortening H2O vigour given Mar 2017. Our engineers have been shortening H2O vigour in a bulk pipes during a reservoirs as good as in a reticulation network that feeds a households. Much of this work has been an engineering-first.
Water flows to a skill given of a movement of H2O pressure. For a H2O to strech opposite areas, vigour strait be managed. This is finished by determining a upsurge of H2O to each area in a city. Some areas in a city are located during reduce points, while others are located aloft up. Water, like all else, is firm by a laws of gravity. So, it will possibly upsurge downwards or it will sojourn during a same level. If we wish it to get to higher-lying areas, or properties located on high belligerent or into high buildings, we need to use valves and pumps to get it to those areas.
To get by this drought, there are H2O restrictions and H2O use boundary in place. We afterwards yield a acceptable H2O to an area. If everybody stays within their daily use limit, households should not be influenced by rationing. But if people in a lower-lying area do not hang to this allocation, people in higher-lying areas are affected. Even with reduced pressure, lower-lying areas will have H2O as it flows easier given of gravity. But, if a upsurge is reduced, a H2O does not have sufficient vigour to upsurge to higher-lying areas or buildings.
That is given high buildings and higher-lying areas will mostly be influenced by vigour management. Some areas will not have water.
The City’s H2O reticulation network provides H2O during pressures between 2.4 and 9 bar.
Operational staff have lowered a pressures opposite a City yet a goal is to keep a complement pressurised (keep H2O flowing). This is given a lot of repairs could be finished if we switch off this vigour complement entirely.
High-rise buildings and dwellings located 10m or aloft than highway turn will be impacted indefinitely yet theoretically everybody vicious during belligerent turn should have H2O supply during their metered connection.
However, when many users pull H2O during once, a rise in a direct is created. This happens when, for example, people tend to do soaking in a morning or showering during some-more or rebate a same time during a day. This rise (typically between 5am and 9am and between 5pm and 9pm) will pull down a complement formulating a proxy outage. In this box a complement should redeem once a direct decreases, i.e. after a soaking is on a line. Residents on higher-lying areas within vigour zones are exposed and their H2O supply is contingent on their lower-lying neighbours.
From a reservoirs, we have allocated a accurate volume of H2O that could be compulsory for essential use while safeguarding a resources that we have left. Nothing some-more is given than what is required. It is therefore adult to all of us to guarantee that we hang to a daily limits. When vigour supervision is introduced, it stays active in an area all a time. No outages are designed as they are only contingent on a poise of users. Because we can't physically control a poise of users, we can't theory how prolonged it will take for an area to get a H2O use down to what is required.
Further modernized vigour supervision is being rolled out, with some areas during 0.5 bars and lower. But, adjustments might be finished on an hourly basement if required.
That is given a City has been advising given Mar to keep some H2O for non-essential use yet not to store impassioned metropolitan water.
Bringing down a direct by vigour supervision and communication to foster H2O rebate among a users has been a vicious involvement in assisting to buy us time and to widen a H2O reserve further.
Is a city’s H2O complement worldly adequate to selectively cut off areas and supply a H2O placement points?
Ian Neilson: Yes. Water collection points, that will be one of a means of distributing water, have been located nearby reticulation points.
What skeleton does a City have for rebate means and exposed people to get H2O from Day Zero? There are many comparison persons who do not have transport, who live in apartments but lifts, who do not have family or friends to support them, who don’t have a finances to use third-parties to compensate for collection of H2O nor do they have a earthy ability to lift water.
JP Smith: We are really wakeful that special reserve need to be finished to guarantee that all people are means to entrance water, quite those who are physically incompetent to collect it from a H2O collection point.
We are enchanting with general organisations, National Government, Provincial Government, businesses, communities and NGOs to support us to caring for a many exposed residents, such as a aged and those with disabilities, during this time.
Information sessions are being set adult with village watches, NGOs, eremite organisations and village groups to brief them on a Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan and what purpose they will need to play in ensuring that all persons are means to entrance their 25 litres of H2O per day.
Ensuring that a persons described above are means to entrance H2O during this time will need a vast coordination bid from supervision and polite society. As partial of a information sessions, we will be seeking partners to accumulate information on intensely exposed persons in a areas where they operate. Subcouncils and sentinel committees will be concerned in a marker of exposed persons in their areas and aligning these with internal community-based organisations who can support them during this time of crisis.
Has a City put in place a open health module to residence intensity health problems, eg H2O borne diseases such as cholera?
JP Smith: 1. The City is partial of an dynamic conflict response group together with Provincial Government.
2. All notifiable cases of illness are investigated entirely to establish a source and to guarantee that suitable containment measures are enacted, where necessary.
3. Health officers are actively monitoring a occurrence of cases during a diarrhoeal deteriorate to collect adult trends in sequence to guarantee fast responses to illness outbreaks
4. Healthcare comforts guarantee that people who are ill and droughty (especially children) accept priority diagnosis to forestall illness progression.
Is a city stockpiling antibiotics?
JP Smith: The City’s clinics will be capacitated to see to those in need.
Will a city be providing inexpensive ethanol formed palm sanitisers for people to use?
JP Smith: The City will advise on methods to sanitize hands and will yield assistance during H2O collection sites as distant as possible.
The City will be compelling a squeezie bottle as a means of ensuring that hands can be cleared frequently underneath regulating H2O during a time when households do not have entrance to regulating H2O from their taps. Guidelines on how households can make their possess squeezie bottle are being promoted in a stream illness impediment debate and these discipline will also be advertised during a H2O collection sites around posters and pamphlets. City officials will also be benefaction during a points to actively foster this device and yield superintendence on health and hygiene.
Will a City yield open ride services to assistance people get to and from H2O points and will these be free?
JP Smith: Able-bodied residents will need to find their possess ensue of removing to and from a collection points. Public ride will be accessible as usual. Other placement mechanisms are being investigated. We are selecting sites to try and yield reasonable entrance to as many residents as probable and are articulate to polite multitude about ways to support exposed people.
Accessibility around open ride was one of a considerations that dynamic a bearing of a H2O collection points chosen. We are selecting sites to try and yield reasonable entrance to as many residents as possible.
Public ride will continue to work as per common during this time.
Drop-off points for buses and taxis have been incorporated into a pattern of a H2O collection points.
The infancy of H2O collection points will also have a drive-through H2O collection option, that will work in a identical ensue to a petrol station. Persons will be means to fill containers with H2O but carrying to mislay them from their private vehicles or mini-bus taxi. This is approaching to boost a potency of a H2O collection points and support persons who are not physically means to lift H2O from H2O collection points.
Other placement mechanisms are being investigated where it is unfeasible for persons to collect H2O themselves from a H2O collection point, such as a use of H2O tankers. We are articulate to polite multitude about ways to support exposed people during this time.
Will a H2O collection points be means to conduct severe weather?
JP Smith: Yes, where probable shading will be supposing to strengthen those queuing from a sun. However, residents are suggested to ready as they routinely would for severe weather.
Will a city yield information informing people of a need to keep hands purify above all else during a Day Zero duration and troublesome handshaking?
JP Smith: Yes, a City will yield spotless guidelines.
The City is advising a following:
- Preventative measures:
- Increased health and hygiene programmes
- City clinics have unchanging health talks about a impediment of water- and food-borne diseases and scour risk signs.
- Health posters during H2O collection sites
- People should not stop their normal precautionary health measures during this crisis
The open is speedy to continue with their slight visits to health clinics and guarantee that immunisations of all family members are adult to date.
The City will continue to foster childhood vaccinations during all a medical facilities
When persons arrangement symptoms of dehydration they should splash a sugar/salt resolution (Half a teaspoon of salt, 8 teaspoons of sugarine in one litre of water) and if a symptoms insist afterwards ensue to a nearest hospital for treatment.
Will schools and universities be prioritised as H2O collection points so that they can continue handling too?
JP Smith: It will mostly be left adult to applicable role-players in these sectors to establish suitable strait skeleton and concessions for employees and students.
In terms of educational facilities, this would be for schools, ruling bodies and a applicable supervision departments to collectively confirm on.
Residents should be wakeful that a Day Zero proviso is an impassioned disaster scenario, and poignant intrusion of daily life is to be expected.
Many schools do have boreholes and a Western Cape Education Department is operative to fast-track a roll-out of boreholes during schools in a entrance months. Being connected to borehole H2O would meant that these schools would be means to keep their toilets handling even if they are not being granted with H2O around a reticulation system.
Are there skeleton for providing H2O to essential services if a H2O levels dump to a indicate where H2O can’t be provided?
JP Smith: Yes. The City is procuring H2O tankers to support with a sustenance of H2O to essential services that are no longer granted with H2O around a reticulation system. However, as settled above, vicious infrastructure and essential services have been prioritised for continued supply of H2O around a reticulation system. It is mostly residential areas that will no longer be means to be supposing with H2O around a reticulation system.
Is a city going to guarantee that bottled H2O companies don’t cost gouge?
Ian Neilson: The City has intent with vital retailers to get an endeavour that bottled H2O will be sole during satisfactory prices.
Are skeleton being finished to collect a additional cosmetic that will outcome from a outrageous boost in bottled H2O sales?
Ian Neilson: The City’s drop-off comforts will be key. We have diverted some-more than 50% of a rubbish from landfills already, and we design this use to continue.
The city claims about 60% of people aren’t saving water. How does it calculate this? And what stairs are being taken to stop people regulating impassioned water?
Ian Neilson: This is formed on a billing information of comment holders. It looks during what should be paid if one is within a limits, and afterwards identifies a comment holders who are over that and who have not practical for share increases. Daily coercion operations are ongoing, open recognition campaigns lift on and a designation of H2O supervision inclination for high H2O users during their cost (currently, some-more than 2,000 per week are being propitious and we aim to boost this to some-more than 3,500 per week).
The tentative doing of new H2O and sanitation tariffs will also aim to change behaviour. High tariffs for a top users will support to expostulate down consumption.
What stairs is a city holding to go to businesses and inform/discuss with them how to save water, and how to continue handling during Day Zero?
Ian Neilson: Business zone engagements have been holding place over a past months and serve engagements are ongoing. The City is also promulgation out information directly to these stakeholders in an bid to advise them of obscure expenditure and scheming their operations if Day Zero is reached.