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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Simple Solutions Exist : Letter in the Cape Times on 16th November 2017

I wish to point out to our government that even if our dams were full, we would still need desalination.

You see, the population has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Our dams are still almost the same size, probably smaller, due to silting, even with the new Berg River dam.

And our dams were built 30 years ago or more because we are in a drought area. This is not news!

And they were built to give us five years of water in the event of a drought. Now they give us two years of water. So assuming the dams can give us half the water we need, then we should already be desalinating 600 million litres of water a day.

In the winter / rainy season, we should not be using any dam water. By the end of winter, all our dams should be full. And all our embedded water systems should be clean and full. This includes swimming pools, all backup systems and aquifers. And our swimming pools should contain drinking water, also doable.

I've met someone who was working on desalination for Cape Town in 2010. The project was shelved because it rained. But as I have already said, this is so incredibly short sighted.

Solutions are at hand. They are modern, simple and inexpensive. And they should be implemented as soon as possible.

PS, not in the paper: The latest in desalination technology can be found at Sorek. And water at about R8 per kL is cheaper than a lot of us are paying in Cape Town, especially with tiered water rates, and the top rate being over R300 per kL. Spring water can cost R12 for a litre.

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