Internal Affairs

Independent Advisory Panel provides technical advice on City’s plans to improve future water security via water reuse

The City of Cape Town is making every effort to ensure that its plans for water reuse projects, a key component of the New Water Programme, are aligned with local and international best practice. In keeping with this priority, the City’s Water and Sanitation Directorate met with the newly established Independent Advisory Panel for a three-day workshop to discuss the details of City’s proposed water reuse project: the Faure New Water Scheme.

The City has partnered with the South African Water Research Commission as part of its collaborative approach to implementing the Water Strategy and the associated New Water Programme. The Water Research Commission provides transparency and accountability, and is responsible for establishing and administering an Independent Advisory Panel of experts for the proposed Faure New Water Scheme, and another for the proposed desalination projects.

During an inaugural three-day workshop held from Monday 7 November to Wednesday 9 November, the City’s Water and Sanitation team and the water reuse Independent Advisory Panel unpacked and discussed details of the City’s plans for the proposed Faure New Water Scheme. Topics discussed included water quality and public health, advanced water purification technology design, monitoring and compliance protocols, regulation and stakeholder engagement. The Independent Advisory Panel visited the Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will supply water to the proposed Faure New Water Scheme, as well as the Faure Water Treatment Plant where the proposed advanced water purification plant is set to be constructed.

Water reuse is one of the keys to building a resilient water supply from diverse sources for everyone in our growing city, as we face future droughts and a changing climate together. Water reuse also is one of the keys to improving how we conserve and manage our water.

In the proposed Faure New Water Scheme, treated wastewater will be purified through an advanced water purification process to produce drinking-quality water, which will augment the flow to the existing Faure Water Treatment Plant.

‘The City’s objective in working with the Independent Advisory Panel is to support the transparent development of water reuse, in a manner that enhances public health through the appropriate application of science, engineering and related best practices. The Independent Advisory Panel’s ongoing advice will guide the City’s planning and design for the Faure New Water Scheme, which will produce up to 100 million litres of new water per day. The Independent Advisory Panel is made up of leading local and international experts whose specific expertise and extensive experience in this field is invaluable for our ongoing water reuse journey.

‘Cape Town is in a water scarce region and City teams are doing all they can to ensure that we continue to invest in and build a reliable, safe drinking water supply through our updated New Water Programme (NWP). Diversifying our water sources, through projects such as water reuse, desalination and groundwater, will reduce the City’s current dependence on rain-fed dams as the main source of water.

‘While the City is investing in future water supply, residents and businesses are reminded to be water wise at all times to prevent wasting this precious resource, particularly as the rainfall received over the past winter was significantly below average,’ said Councillor Siseko Mbandezi, the City’s Acting Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Sanitation.

Links for more information:
• Get to know the IAP panel: https://bit.ly/3AhuaH0
• Water reuse: https://bit.ly/3E8ipUA
• Water wise tips: https://bit.ly/3Gicb77
• City’s Water Strategy and New Water Programme: https://www.capetown.gov.za/general/cape-town-water-strategy

CAPTIONS:

Photograph 1:
A City commissioning engineer answers questions about the new membrane bioreactor system at Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works

Photograph 2:
Back row, from left: Buyisile Kholisa (Water Research Commission), Dr Kevin Winter (University of Cape Town), Professor Frederic Leusch (Griffith University), Troy Walker (Hazen and Sawyer), Mike Killick (City of Cape Town’s Director for Bulk Services), Jay Bhagwan (Water Research Commission), Ian Law (Consultant), Jurgen Menge (Consultant) and Barry Wood (City’s manager of Bulk Water Services).
From front left, Ninzi Hanxa (Water Research Commission), Kaashifa Aziz (City of Cape Town), Bettina Genthe (Consultant), Dr Esper Ncube (Rand Water), Megan Schalkwyk (Umgeni Water), Dr Sarah Slabbert (Consultant) and Dr Nonhlanhla Kalebaila (Water Research Commission).

Photograph 3:
Professor Fred Leusch (Australia) and Troy Walker (USA) hear from the City’s Janet Bodenstein. Next to Janet are Dr Nonhlanhlanhla Kalebaila (WRC), Dr Sarah Slabbert (RSA) and Dr Kevin Winter (UCT).

Source: City Of Cape Town