22/03/2017 12:08 SAST | Updated 22/03/2017 12:38 SAST

Cape Town Ups Water-Saving Measures As Drought Continues

The City of Cape Town is reportedly considering escalating its water saving contingency plans.

Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille speaks during the C40 Cities Women4Climate event in New York City, U.S., March 15, 2017.

As the world marks World Water Day, the City of Cape Town has reportedly put contingency measures in place, to mitigate against what would be disastrous effects if the winter rains are below average.

According to the Cape Times, these contingency plans include intensifying water restrictions to avoid dams dropping to dangerous levels. Should the dams drop to these levels, the City says it will require emergency procurement and increased operational expenditure.

The City is also reportedly considering accelerating its water resource augmentation programme.

Dam levels are reportedly at about 18,6 percent with about 103 days of usable water left, the paper reported.

The City is considering going a step further, which would include the emergency drilling of boreholes into the Table Mountain Group Aquifier; a small-scale desalination package plant; and intensifying the City's pressure management and water demand management programmes.

According to the Cape Times, the capital costs of the City's emergency measures are about R315 million over three years.

The paper quoted World Water Council president, Benedito Braga , who said: "There is an absolute necessity to increase water security in order to overcome the challenges brought on by climate change and human influence."