Cape sports teams feel water crunch

Friday, February 2, 2018

The City of Cape Town is in talks with sporting federations on the use of sports fields amid the worsening drought crisis. 

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security and Social Services, JP Smith, on Friday said the city will permit the watering of sports fields with borehole water so that key sporting events and tournaments can continue. 

In terms of Level 6B restrictions, outdoor usage of boreholes is strongly discouraged, and usage of groundwater for irrigation purposes is limited to a maximum of one hour only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 9am or after 6pm. 

Smith said the city is engaging with each of the sports codes to determine to what extent the various league competitions can continue. 

He said each sports federation is requested to submit a list of their most important fixtures, and the city will prioritise the fields required for irrigation with treated effluent or borehole water. 

In the case of soccer, Smith said the city’s 29 artificial surfaces will be used to accommodate as many of the major fixtures as possible. 

“It has been agreed that sporting federations and not individual clubs will coordinate the use of fields which are still in a playable condition for matches and practices to continue. 

“The fields will be assessed and scored on a weekly basis to determine their suitability for continued use. This assessment is being done to ensure that the best interests of all parties are considered,” Smith said. 

He said the city recognises that the current water crisis is negatively impacting on the functioning of the various sports codes. Cape Town, Smith said, is committed to working with sports codes to ensure that the impact is minimised, while still taking the necessary steps to preserve the city’s remaining water resources. –

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