Southern Africa: It's All Downhill - a Proposal to Tap Gravity to Solve Southern Africa's Water Crisis

(file photo).

South Africa's government says it plans to spend R900-billion over the next decade to upgrade the country's water supply and storage systems. Given the precarious state of public finances, cheaper solutions should be considered. One has been proposed by the Trans Africa Water Alliance, a feature of which is a more than 500km pipeline from the Orange River in Northern Cape to just outside Cape Town.

Trans Africa Water Alliance (Tawa), a consortium of civil engineers, government partners and others, has a straightforward, but eye-popping proposal to help solve southern Africa's water woes. Starting with Cape Town, which almost ran out of H2O in 2017, Tawa has a plan for four pipeline projects that use gravity -- something that is free and which even the EFF has no plan to nationalise.

"The proposed major pipelines are the line from a new dam on the Orange River at Vioolsdrif to the Cape Town Metro; the line from Vioolsdrif to Swakopmund; a line from the Kunene River to outside Windhoek; and a fourth line from the Zambezi River to eastern Botswana and South Africa," Tawa said in a statement.

Funding is the biggest obstacle, but Tawa says it is actively engaging with...

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