A tightening noose
We set off last week to go and take water samples from our drinking water supplies. Our objective was to determine whether or not chemicals from nearby farms could be found in our storage dams. So you can imagine our absolute shock in seeing what was left remaining of our drinking water supplies. Thus even though this clip is not our primary investigation we thought it important to show you exactly how bad this situation really is.
Water Supply Lines
Cape Towns primary water supply is Theewaterskloof, incidentally it also supplies Stellenbosch dam via a massive tunnel drilled straight through the mountain. Yet since our objective was chemical related we also had the opportunity to see the Palmiet, Lourensford River, Theewaterskloof and Berg River Dam. This clip releases footage showing the status of each storage dam and quite quickly identifies recent drainage as a result of pumping, I think you will understand the true depth of the crisis.
Polluted and Abused
One thing that became really clear was just how polluted the waterways were, broken bottles and pieces of debris were everywhere and the water itself aside from being dirty smelled really bad. The Berg River dam was the one exception, it had some bottles but no noticeable water quality issues, in fact, when we drew our four samples the Berg was the only one resembling anything I would like to drink. What was also clear is the level of abuse, particularly the Lourensford River which is flowing out into the open ocean.
So what to do?
Well, conservation of remaining supply is definitely the only way to go at present, but other issues like the relationship between electrical use and water or the state of municipal pipe infrastructure need some urgent attention. Hand in hand with this reserve osmotic desalination and open pit desalination need to be implemented. That said, I think a far far greater awareness of the water issue needs to be put out there because what we are experiencing is not going to be the first nor the last and is most certainly not limited to just this city. Times are changing and assuming a proactive approach will ultimately, hopefully, save the day.