Why desalination can't be prioritised to solve our water supply problems

As South Africans are looking for alternative ideas for water supply, desalination often comes up as a possible solution to our water problems.

But Jason Mingo task manager at Ecological Infrastructure and Bioremediation says desalination is not a priority as a solution to water supply.

Mingo made reference to what happened in Australia during the millennium drought. Australia invested about $2 billion in a desalination plant which they used effectively for 2 years. At the end of two years the drought broke and the dam levels were restored.

Mingo says currently the plant is not being used and is costing tax payers about $100 million a year.

I think what the public needs to understand is that rightly or wrongly there's an approach being taken to be a bit risk averse at the moment when considering the expense and capital involved when it comes to implementing these technologies.

Jason Mingo task manager at Ecological Infrastructure and Bioremediation

There are new developments in terms of being more efficient and less energy intensive but the high capital costs remains and that's why desalination remains at the bottom of the list.

Jason Mingo task manager at Ecological Infrastructure and Bioremediation

According to Mingo, the Department of Water and Sanitation will be looking into raising dam walls, augmenting supply to existing dams and tapping into groundwater acrostic systems.

To hear more on how to augment water supply in the middle of a drought, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why desalination can't be prioritised to solve our water supply problems


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