Submitted by Anheuser-Busch InBev
Two summers ago, Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ drought highlighted the importance of looking after our water resources for the future. Today, we are pleased to announce a two-year sponsorship by the Danish government towards initiatives to help ensure that the city’s groundwater supply is managed sustainably into the future.
During the most recent drought, citizens reduced water use, reused grey water, and, increasingly, started to tap into groundwater for their needs. This raised new questions about how we manage our groundwater for both private and bulk water supply going forward.
Groundwater is typically a fallback resource in times of drought. Hence unmonitored and unregulated abstraction of groundwater, especially under an uncertain changing climate, poses a risk to water security. During the ‘Day Zero’ drought there was a substantial yet undocumented increase in the number of boreholes and well points throughout the City of Cape Town.
To better understand what was happening to the city’s groundwater supply, AB InBev funded a pilot project which included a citizen science survey and initiated a groundwater monitoring network in Cape Town. This work has already improved our understanding of groundwater use in some residential and industrial areas and has set in motion a growing monitoring network that will help to inform the management of groundwater abstraction in the greater Cape Town area.
Today, following our successful partnership with AB InBev, WWF and the Embassy of Denmark celebrate the next step in this process with the signing of an R11-million agreement to take this work to scale under the banner of the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership.
Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa, said: “We would like to express our gratitude to AB InBev and the Danish Embassy, both essential partners in funding groundwater activities, for their contribution towards establishing the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership. This partnership will help to safeguard the smallest and most westerly water source area in South Africa and help us to build resilience in the face of climate change which, climate scientists tell us, is likely to bring with it more severe droughts in future.”
The Danish Ambassador to South Africa Mr Tobias Elling Rehfeld, Embassy of Denmark, added: “We are very proud to be joining and supporting this partnership. It is a strong group of partners and I have great expectations for what this partnership can do in supporting the management of the important ground water resource. I believe in the partnership approach for natural resource management – an approach we have practised with great success in Denmark for the last 150 years. I also expect that the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership can set best practice standards that can be applied both nationally and on the African continent.”
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