South Africa: Drought-Proofing South Africa - Groundwater Is the Way to Go


Under-utilised groundwater - married with new technologies such as solar power - could play a major role in combating poverty and improving food and water security. And all to the benefit of those South Africans who battle to feed themselves and their families.

Another hydrological year (October - September) has passed, marking the fifth straight year of below-average rainfall. The relatively drier months of August and September dropped South Africa below average for the year. My records show a rainfall of 702mm, against an average of 788mm. Collectively, we are now less concerned than in previous years as the main dams feeding Cape Town are at a more healthy 80%. As a result, we can face the coming summer with some confidence.

While Capetonians deserve a pat on the back for their extraordinary water savings - the key reason we got through the drought - it is also a time to reflect on those aspects we got right and those aspects we got wrong. Some of us will remember the City of Cape Town's plan to produce 500ML/day of new water through the introduction of desalination, recycled water and groundwater. The production of 20ML/d of new water - from a...

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