The plant is producing three million litres a day at the moment, and will produce seven million litres at full production, due to come online in June.
ToursimUpdate.co.za reports that in addition to the desalination plant, the reverse osmosis plant in the Waterfront area is close to producing two million litres of drinking water a day. The desalination plant at Monwabisi is also nearing completion, and is expected to come online next month, reaching full production in July to produce seven million litres of potable water a day.
Executive Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson said despite these developments the City continues to emphasise that the most effective way to deal with the water crisis in the area is to reduce water consumption. “Even with success in reduction efforts, the City emphasises the need for residents and visitors to continue to use water sparingly, and for the City to manage water pressure and fix water leaks to prevent further loss.” Nielson adds: “We must continue to stretch our existing water supplies as we simply do not know what the actual rainfall will be.”
Desalination, groundwater and water re-use programmes have been put in place to ensure the city is more resilient to future drought shocks. Nielson stresses the need for current awareness as well as long-term planning.
To this end, the City’s approach over the last year has evolved as lawmakers have learned from industry professionals and local and international experts. For example, plans for additional temporary desalination plants have been abandoned in favour of permanent plants and better re-use programmes. Temporary desalination plants have proved very expensive but the three already completed or nearing completion (Strandfontein, Monwabisi and Waterfront) will still provide valuable water volumes for the city.
Nielson concludes: “We intend to produce close to 100 million litres per day of additional water available by December, and to ramp this up to over 150 million litres per day by April 2019. The City will continue to work together with water users to reduce water usage while also doing everything we can to conserve and diversify our water resources.”