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Water re-use to add 7% to Cape Town’s supply by 2040

On Wednesday, 29 November, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis opened the City’s International Water Re-use Conversation. Mayors and officials from seven cities across the world are in Cape Town to share their experience of water reuse. This includes representatives from Perth, Nairobi, Los Angeles, Wulpen, Windhoek, Beaufort West and George. 

Water re-use will add around 7% to Cape Town’s total bulk potable water supply by 2040 as part of Cape Town’s Water Strategy.

 Overall, the City’s New Water Programme aims to add 300 million litres of water per day from new sources by 2030, including water re-use, seawater desalination, and groundwater extraction from two major aquifers.

 ‘We are excited to be joining many other cities across the world who are already implementing water re-use for long-term sustainability, in some cases for over a half a century already. 

 ‘In Cape Town, a state-of-the-art New Water Scheme will be built at the Faure Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir in the coming years. Treated wastewater will be sourced from the recently-upgraded Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works and further purified to drinking water standards via a multi- barrier purification process to ensure the highest applicable safety standards.

 ‘The water will then be blended with dam water to augment the water that feeds the existing Faure Water Treatment plant, and fed into the City’s Water Supply across all areas.

 ‘As part of the preparation for this project, the City operated a water re-use demonstration plant for two years at the Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works. The water quality obtained from this demonstration plant was exceptional, and the lessons around protocols and processes that we learnt there will be of great value as we develop the full-scale Faure New Water Scheme,’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.


Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation said Cape Town’s recent drought highlighted the urgent need for robust planning given the demands of rapid urbanisation and climate uncertainty.


‘While our dams and systems are designed for a 98% level of supply assurance, the three-year drought was a one-in-590-year event. Embracing the uncertainties of climate change, we must plan for the unknown, ensuring the resilience of our water sources.


‘It’s time for a new way of thinking about water. It’s time to start seeing water as one finite resource. There is no ‘wastewater’, only wasted water. Our goal is to make Cape Town a world-class city of hope for all residents. Water is the key to growth and long-term sustainability, and we must secure our water future to get us there,’ said Cllr Badroodien.


International delegates at the City’s International Water Re-use Conversation include:


·       City of Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Energy and Sustainability, Ms Nancy Sutley

·       Lord Mayor of the City of Perth in Western Australia, Mr Basil Zempilas,

·       Governor of Nairobi City County, Honourable Johnson Sakaja

·       Director of Aquaduin – a water reclamation plant in West-Flanders, Belgium – Mr Johan Verbauwhede

·       MD of the Windhoek Goreangab Water Reclamation Plant, Dr Thomas Honer

·       Executive Mayor of Beaufort West, the honourable Mr Ebeneazer Botha

·       Mayoral Committee Member for Civil Engineering Services, Councillor Browen Johnson

       ·       Executive Mayor, Nelson Mandela Bay, Hon Gary van Niekerk


The full Conversation programme is attached.


Caption: International delegates to the City’s Water Re-use Conversation proudly display their locally produced bottles of safe drinking water derived from a water re-use process.

Front (left to right): Gary van Niekerk, Executive Mayor, Nelson Mandela Bay; Mr Basil Anthony Zempilas, Lord Mayor City of Perth (Australia); Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis; Ms Nancy Helen Sutley, Deputy Mayor for Energy and Sustainability, Los Angeles (USA); Mr Johnson Arthur Sakaja, Governor of Nairobi City County, Nairobi (Kenya).

Back (left to right):Dr Thomas Honer, MD of the Windhoek Goreangab Operating Company, Windhoek (Namibia); Mr Ebeneazer Botha, Executive Mayor Beaufort West (South Africa); Mr Johan Marcel J Verbauwhede, Director: Aquaduin, Wulpen (Belgium); Cape Town City Manager Lungelo Mbandazayo; Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation, Cllr Zahid Badroodien; MMC Civil Engineering Services George (South Africa), Cllr Browen Johnson.

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