3.6 Water Resource Management Environment

The integrated nature of the scheme and the local adaptation that has taken place ensure that the system is locally viable and acceptable. Consumer relations for the Atlantis Water Supply Scheme are maintained through quarterly meetings with both industry and the community. Industries have assisted in the continued development of the scheme. The Atlantis Water Supply Scheme provides 48 jobs in the operation and maintenance of the system, further contributing to the local economy and community.

Long-term sustainability of the complex large-scale water supply system depends on proper maintenance of all components, requiring a multidisciplinary approach. Prior to July 1997, Atlantis was managed as an independent town, thus management of the key components of the scheme (water supply and quality, wastewater treatment and urban stormwater management) was locally concentrated, allowing for close control. Post 1997, Atlantis was incorporated within the Cape Town metropolitan area, resulting in the redistribution of functions over several departments such as bulk water, wastewater, roads and stormwater, parks and forests. All of these departments, together with consultants appointed by the City of Cape Town regularly discuss issues related to the Atlantis Water Supply Scheme in order to improve and optimize the scheme, its operation and monitoring. Consultants may vary from time to time. Groundwater as a water supply source is a relatively new concept to the City of Cape Town and “ownership” still needs to be embedded at all administrative levels.

Early financing for capital works and construction was relatively accessible. However, operational finance has decreased resulting in increased difficulty of funding further works. This has a corresponding negative impact on Atlantis and could hamper upgrades of the system. The operation of the system is economical compared to the alternatives, i.e., transporting surface water 70 km from the Berg River or desalinization. It also safely deals with wastewater.


Managed Aquifer Recharge: Southern Africa Copyright © 2021 by Eberhard Braune and Sumaya Israel. All Rights Reserved.