Water Snippets

South Africa’s first solar-powered desal plant could produce affordable water

Plans are underway to build South Africa’s first solar-powered desalination plant at Witsand in the Hessaqua municipality. This will be an addition to at least four desalination plants operating in the Western Cape.

This is reported to be the world’s first reverse osmosis desalination technology coupled with photovoltaic solar energy without batteries.

It is reported that the solar-powered desalination plant will produce water at a cost of ZAR7 to ZAR8 a kilolitre - less than a quarter of the cost of water from Cape Town's temporary desalination plant at Strandfontein.

ESI Africa, 19 July 2018 

As crops dry, Malawi turns to solar irrigation

Faced with growing losses, however, farmers in Zomba district have come up with an innovative way to adapt: Solar-powered pumps used to pull up underground water, and newly constructed water storage dams that are also used to farm fish.

The changes, chosen by community members, put in place by Malawi's government, and backed with US$4.5 million from the Global Environment Facility, aim to help 5800 households become more resilient to climate pressures - and show what might be scaled up in other drought-hit areas.

Engineering News, 23 July 2018 

Growthpoint takes first Cape Town commercial property off the water grid

The District building, in Woodstock, has become the first of Growthpoint Properties’ commercial properties in Cape Town to shift off the municipal water grid and become water net-positive.

The District is the first of a number of buildings that Growthpoint intends to take off the municipal water grid, with plans to convert the water source of its 200 On Main property next.

Engineering News, 19 July 2018 

Life After Coal campaign demands IRP take water costs into account

A report from the Life After Coal campaign calls for uncounted costs to South Africa’s water resources to be accounted for in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). It argues that mining coal and burning it in power stations uses large amounts of water and pollutes water as well, imposing massive but uncounted costs on society and particularly on poor people who live in the coal mining regions. 

“The draft IRP 2016 provides cost estimates for different energy technologies, but does not include externalities of critical importance for electricity planning. This means that the costs of coal-fired power generation are significantly undercounted. South Africa is an arid country and cannot afford this,” said Life After Coal spokesperson Saul Roux.

Engineering News, 16 July 2018 

The above reflects a summary of certain news articles published during the preceding week. It is not an expression of opinion in respect of each matter, nor may it be considered as a disclosure of advice by any employee of Hogan Lovells.

For more information contact Charles Marais or Waseeqah Makadam.


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