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The City of Cape Town is pleased to announce that more than 1 600 interested parties have already downloaded the tender specifications of the first of its multiple Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for procuring and commissioning, in a staged way, various augmentation schemes with the intention of making available up to 500 million litres per day of non-surface water. Read more below:

The tender specifications for the first water augmentation RFP have been downloaded more than 1 600 times. This is within the first week or so of having issued the first of multiple tenders to come for augmenting water supply. It is part of a basket of existing drought interventions that the City has, including large-scale pressure reduction, compulsory water restriction of excessive users, enforcement as well as voluntary initiatives to reduce consumption.

The first RFP that has been issued pertains to land-based salt water reverse osmosis desalination plants. The City will aim to issue emergency augmentation tenders approximately every two weeks, depending on whether all goes according to plan.

The proposed solutions gathered through the City’s recent Request for Information process included desalination at various scales (inclusive of container solutions, barges and ships), water reuse technology at various scales, aquifer and borehole options, engineering and infrastructure options, and water demand management options, among others.

‘The City’s technical experts scrutinised the submissions and were able to determine, with a significantly higher degree of clarity, the feasibility, potential cost and time-frames of commissioning various options from procurement to delivery. Hence, an extensive procurement plan could be developed and procurement has commenced.‘The next eight months will be critical. According to our calculations, we need to bring consumption down to 500 million litres of water, and therefore build up reserves to help us to get through as much of the summer as possible, towards winter 2018. Reducing consumption still remains absolutely vital.

‘On the other hand, we must introduce supply augmentation schemes. Various processes must be finalised. This includes the finalisation and issuing of approximately 20 tenders for the various required schemes over the next few weeks and months. The scale of what we are doing is unprecedented in all regards. As soon as time-frames become available, this will be communicated. It is envisaged that all of our emergency schemes will be implemented to some degree within the next eight months. This has been a result of months of detailed planning which has built on years of detailed planning.

‘While we are working towards our long-term goal of becoming a more water resilient city, the City is also focusing on averting a potential crisis of running out of water through the introduction of our emergency schemes, such as the temporary desalination plants. We have been careful to look at potential sites where multiple communities across Cape Town can help to share the load of this absolutely vital intervention. Detailed environmental, engineering and social scrutiny has been undertaken.

‘We will apply all of our usual good governance principles even during this time of crisis. We need to, however, make it very clear that we must move ahead with these temporary emergency interventions now for the good of Cape Town and all of its residents. We will attempt to communicate with members of the public as much as possible during this time and we ask residents to stand with us and be constructive partners,’ said the City’s Chief Resilience Officer, Craig Kesson.

Residents can contact the City via email to for queries about the water pressure reduction, or to report contraventions of the water restrictions (evidence should be provided to assist the City’s enforcement efforts), or they can send an SMS to 31373.

Water supplied by the City remains safe to drink and is tested in accordance with safety standards.

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