World Water Day on 22 March: “Leaving no one behind”
Water a key focus at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa in Cape Town in May
A Cape Town bottling plant has managed to reduce its waste water by over 60%, saving more than 90 million litres of municipal water since January 2017.
The Epping-based The Beverage Company produces over 1.5 million bottles of carbonated soft drinks per week and uses on average 30 000 litres of water per hour. According to the plant manager David Putterill, last year’s looming Day Zero for water supply in Cape Town had less impact on the business “due to the various actions we took in advance of the crisis. In mid-2016 we started various projects to save water and these are on-going. In the last year we have sustained our water saving so that even though the water restrictions have been partially lifted, we keep the same focus on saving water.”
World Water Day, a UN initiative, is celebrated on 22 March every year and focuses on the importance of water and this year’s theme is ‘Leaving no one behind’, adapting the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.
Water conference in May
Water also remains one of the key topics and discussion points at the annual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa in Cape Town, where from 14-16 May, the conference will bring together experts from public and private sectors to support municipalities as they become more responsive and efficient in their water practices.
Part of this knowledge exchange are the technical site visits taking place on 17 May, including at The Beverage Company bottling plant. “Delegates will see the bottling plant and the water saving projects that were implemented that helped us reduce our waste water and saving million of litres of municipal water” says The Beverage Company’s David Putterill. “They will also see our alternative water supply project that we have initiated to reduce our dependence on the municipal water supply by installing our own boreholes and reverse osmosis plant.”
He adds: “it has been fascinating to see what can be achieved when a team applies their mind to a particular goal. It has also been a huge learning curve for all concerned, learning about water treatment, alternative water sources, geohydrology and many other topics.”