Build desalination plant

Johnny Viljoen, Helderberg

On the topic of water saving, which is very realistic and necessary as there is no replacement for water, I want to highlight the need for realistic and strategic thinking.

The amount of pressure on our dams is tremendous with the influx of people to Cape Town and surrounding areas, for example the Helderberg Basin.

No new dams have been built, but in the meantime, the need for water is on the increase, and the existing drought adds to the problem.

However, there is no need for any new dams, as dams are dependant on the weather patterns, and the existing drought will not be the last one.

Logical thinking is to turn seawater into useable water.

Walvis Bay in Namibia has done that, and so has the small coastal town of Sedgefield near Knysna.

Desalting of sea water is old technology, and the equipment for the plant in Sedgefield was built in the Helderberg Basin.

The municipality of Cape Town owns land at Parel Vallei where AECI use to be in Somerset West.

Start with a small desalting plant which can later be expand as need arises.

Pump the water to the Faure water plant, which supplies Cape Town with water.

An alternative would be to make the Helderberg basin independant from the water supply of Cape Town over a period of time.

The R254 million raised from fines, and the increase of water tariffs can be use to fund this project, instead of using it for cars and salaries or even to built new houses without water supply.