MEC Anton Bredell on Municipal Water Resilience Report

Municipal Water Resilience Report shows progress in Western Cape municipalities
Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning said he is encouraged by work done to improve water resilience in Western Cape municipalities. This in response to the latest Municipal Water Resilience Progress Report, which was presented to the Western Cape Cabinet today.
According to the Report, the Western Cape Department of Local Government is tasked with the coordination of a provincial drought response strategy, which is based on three pillars: Regular drought assessment reporting, drought risk categorisation, and the development of drought response action plans.
Bredell said there is also a new focus on planning for water resilience in the event of future droughts. “The Department of Local Government is finalising a 15-year forward looking Integrated Drought and Water Response Plan for the Western Cape.”
According to the latest assessment, the Western Cape has received lower than normal rainfall during the past winter rainfall season. However, dam levels in the West Coast, Cape Winelands, Overberg, and Southern Cape are well above drought concern levels at this stage. “The Department will conduct another assessment at the end of October to measure the full impact of the past rain season on dam levels, and to confirm water availability as we head into our traditionally dry and hot summer season,” Bredell said.
Municipalities on the West Coast and in the Cape Winelands, Overberg and the Southern Cape are all in a significant better position, from a risk perspective, than in 2017/18. This is ascribed to good rains in the subsequent years up to 2021. Towns in these municipalities have sufficient water to meet short to medium term demand, and has been ascribed a low water security risk, according to the Report.
The Greater Karoo has also seen an improvement since 2017/18, and this is due to the implementation of drought recovery plans, such as drilling and testing of new boreholes, and the supply of back-up generators to secure water pumps during load shedding in these municipalities. According to the Report, the region’s towns are currently medium to low risk in terms of water security.
Bredell said there are concerns as well. “Kannaland Municipality and the town of Oudtshoorn are still faced with water security issues, and we are currently addressing those with response plans, such as the refurbishment of water treatment plants and boreholes, as well as funding for several exploratory deep boreholes in the area.
Lamberts Bay on the West Coast is also categorised as high risk, as it has outgrown the supply of its existing groundwater sources. “The Department of Local Government is currently supporting Lamberts Bay with professional and technical skills to develop a new wellfield for additional water,” Bredell said.

Source: Government of South Africa