Cape Town reveals sites of proposed new water desalination plants

21 August 2017

Cape Town’s Granger Bay, Hout Bay and Dido Bay may soon be home to three proposed new desalination plants that the city intends commissioning to make extra drinking water for its residents and visitors, according to tender documents issued this week.

Earlier on Thursday Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille announced that the city planned to produce an extra 500 Ml of water through a mix of desalination plants, ground water extraction, and water reuse.

This is part of its acceptance that the city’s ”new normal” is to be short of water because of droughts and climate change.

Already at Level 4b water restrictions that have reduced water usage from 1 000 Ml a day to 610 Ml a day over the past year, even more needs to be done to make sure that taps don’t run dry, said De Lille. Further restrictions to Level 5 might have to be introduced in the future, but in the meantime, it has also issued its first tender for new desalination plants.

The proposed Granger Baysea water extraction site is intended to be located in the Oceana Yacht Club’s harbour near the Green Point stadium, and should help produce 8 Ml of potable water over the next two years.

It will be linked to intake pumps, a generator and a pipeline that will run along Beach Road past the golf course to the desalination plant. The proposed desalination plant, pump station and generators will be located within the public parking area in Beach Road west of the V&A Waterfront.

The contract specifications include the procurement of sandbags to stabilise the intake pipes running overland. The proposed extraction plant for Hout Bay will be situated near the crayfish factory in the harbour. That desalination plant will produce 4 Ml and it will be within the harbour complex on the open gravel parking area south of the main entrance.

A third proposed seawater extraction point will be from a beach in Dido Valley, False Bay, between Gleincairn and Simonstown. That pump station is intended to be installed on an off-shore float ±250 m from the coastline, behind the wave line. The proposed 2 Ml/d containerised desalination plant, pump station and generators will be located within the naval grounds off Main road, 2 km north of Simon’s Town. 

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