Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Ten thousand hectares of alien vegetation cleared in the Western Cape and the Atlantis Aquifer

Ten thousand hectares of land, stretching across seven critical mountain water catchment areas in the Western Cape and the Atlantis Aquifer, has been cleared of invasive alien plants.

The Western Cape’s Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning MEC, Anton Bredell, says the work that has been done to date, is delivering a sustainable yield of 4.8 billion litres of water per year.

“A total of R 21.3 million has been invested by several partners within a collaborative, pioneering partnership over the past 12 months to reach this milestone. The partnership includes The Nature Conservancy – a global agency - CapeNature, the City of Cape Town, WWF-South Africa and Working on Fire.”

Bredell says the program was launched in 2018, the same year Cape Town came close to running out of water.

“The Nature Conservancy launched the Greater Cape Town Water Fund that year. The fund is all about removing invasive, thirsty and highly combustible tree species such as pine and acacia, which consume large amounts of Cape Town’s water supply. Since then the partners have been working hard on this program. CapeNature contributed R 1 857 008 towards the fund and has cleared 2 520 hectares of the total to date.”

Bredell says the program ultimately aims to clear 54 300 hectares across the catchments, and 5 000 hectares across the Atlantis Aquifer.

“The effort will not only free up some 14.5 billion litres of water for Cape Town each year but also reduce the risk of wildfire and restore native wildlife habitat.”

Furthermore, the total capacity of dams supplying the Cape Town metro decreased by 2% in the last week, from 80% the previous week to 78%. In the same period last year, dam levels were at 63%

Daily water consumption within the City, decreased to 803 million litres per day in the past week, compared to 807 million litres the week before.

The latest average dam levels in the Western Cape is at 58.6%.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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