Department of Water and Sanitation Western Cape regional head Rashid Khan on Tuesday highlighted the urgent need to explore the use of alternative water sources to decrease reliance on surface water systems (rainfall) in the province.
Recycling partially treated final effluent through desalination or through an ultrafiltration process may yield additional water.
Further, the drilling of boreholes where there is potential can complement the water mix, leading to sustainable water supply during this water stress period.
“The department agrees with the belief that almost total reliance on rainfall cannot be condoned any longer. Alternative sources of water must be sourced urgently, wastage must stop and proper use of water must be undertaken without any further delay,” Khan stressed.
His statement is premised on three understandings concerning the drought prevailing in the Western Cape province.
The first is that inadequate rainfall in this winter season is an acute abnormality. The second is that the inadequate rainfall this winter season is a chronic condition and a shift of seasonal effects of climate change – where the rainfall pattern would change to late winter, early spring and, over the longer term, would be early summer rainfall.
The third would be the rate of climate change is not fast and that the rainfall is nondisruptive and the winter rainfall would resume after the disruptive seasons as in a 1: 100 year projection.