Water saving measures in place for big events

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The City of Cape Town has introduced additional criteria for film permit applications events which requires organisers to state upfront their water management plans to minimise the use of potable water.

City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith, said in recent weeks, some residents have raised concerns about the number of events being hosted in the city.

“The perception is that event participants will place an even bigger strain on the city’s scarce water resources than we are already experiencing, and that this limited supply should be saved for local consumption,” said Smith.

Smith said that while the city acknowledges the economic and social benefits that the industries bring to the city’s shores, the city is also ensuring that they are operating sustainably and are not placing a burden on scarce resources, especially water.

“The city has introduced additional criteria for our events and film permit applications, and each organiser has to state upfront what their plans are to make use of alternate water sources or minimise their use of the city’s potable water. As a city, we are asking the events and film industry to play their role in adapting to this crisis.

“In addition, it must be borne in mind that events and film productions have long value chains. The hospitality industry has already implemented measures to reduce consumption at their establishments (hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and tourist attractions) that are frequented by locals and visitors to our shores, all of whom will be subject to the same water saving measures,” Smith said.

Water savings initiatives

Smith noted that the film industry has implemented significant water savings initiatives that are yielding positive results, this include table cloths, which have since been replaced with reusable plastic table covers that can be wiped clean.

“This has reduced water usage from 10 litres to 50 millilitres per table cloth translating into savings of 500 litres per day. Approximately 15 000 litres of water is saved monthly.

“Biodegradable and disposable crockery and cutlery have replaced non-disposable items. This shift has cut consumption for washing dishes to about 250 litres per day from 1 500 litres which was used previously. Approximately 45 000 litres of potable water has been saved monthly,” he said.

Among the industries, which has adapted their operations to meet the stringent requirements of the water crisis include Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, where water for the race day has been sourced from a natural spring, allocated and approved by the National Department of Water and Sanitation.

The water will be used in the sachet and non-sachet water delivery system for all race participants.

Smith said that the event organiser has engaged with runners to use hydration packs and to fill up at the start of the race instead of using their daily household allocation of potable water.

“Of special note is the use of recycled water for ice to keep the race water sachets cool – kept in sealed bags and marked ‘not for consumption’. All sponsors and sponsor partners have been requested to invest in similar strategies.

“A key decision has been taken to remove all showers for after the race. Caterers have committed to supplying their staff and crew with liquid refreshments that include bottled water. Water from the spring supply will be used in food preparation, and grey water will be utilised in clean-up operations after the event concludes,” Smith said. – SAnews.gov.za


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