The City of Cape Town has responded to a video filmed by vlogger Adam Spires in which he explored the city’s underground tunnels and claimed to have discovered that almost 7 billion litres of water appears to run through the tunnels and out into the sea where it goes to waste.
The City said it has been aware of these springs off the Table Mountain range and has been utilising some of them in various forms for decades, long before Caron von Zeil’s studies began.
“The City is currently applying to the National Government to use these springs more extensively, and if this application to further harness these springs is successful, they will be used to offset the demand on our potable water resources, for the benefit of all residents.
“In addition to further exploring options to utilise the springs around Table Mountain, the City has been studying the deep aquifer underlying the Cape Folded Mountain Belt (which essentially runs from Vanrhynsdorp to Mossel Bay) for more than 10 years to determine the most viable possible sites for extracting water with minimal environmental impact.
“This water will be extracted to augment the potable water supply. We are nearing the end of the exploratory phase and are about to enter the pilot phase, which will help us identify and confirm the locations and design of future production wellfields.
“The City chose to adopt a precautionary approach to the project in order to ensure that the integrity of the environment was not compromised.
“The allegation that ‘the municipality is sitting on this resource and busy arranging business interests to take over the management of some of these springs for private gain’ is pure fiction. The National Department of Water and Sanitation is the custodian of our country’s water resources, and ultimately decides on how water resources can and should be used by municipalities, agriculture and all other users of water.
“The claim that harnessing this spring water could have prevented the water crisis is also unsubstantiated.
“The City’s studies show that the yield from these springs is not enough to offset the current drought. For example, the Oranjezicht spring source (mentioned in the post) flows out at approximately 2,77 million litres every 24 hours. However, this varies according to the season. Unrestricted peak summer demand from the City’s residents is currently approximately 1,05 – 1,15 billion litres per day.
“In order to preserve our water over the coming summer, we need to reduce this to 800 million litres per day – a reduction of 250 – 350 million litres. As such, even if the water from these springs had been licensed, it would not have made a significant difference.”
When contacted by SAPeople, Adam’s response was: “I guess better late than never, considering experts gave these drought predictions a decade ago. Saying that though the COCT are doing a lot but being hindered by Federal purse strings… Also note that in my video I never mention COCT, just “authorities”, because I’m not interested in the blame game… I’m interested in saving every drop of water we can…”
Watch vlogger Adam Spires’ Cape Town Underground Tunnels video:
This is the first in a three-part-series, in collaboration with Times Live.
Source: SA People