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Last modified: 02 Jan 2018
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Kouga takes its water search to Israel

29 November 2017

Kouga Municipality is going to the Middle East in search of water.

A three-member team from the municipality is in Israel this week to learn more about the country's desalination programme.

Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said the Kouga Council had identified desalination as a medium to long-term solution to augment the water supply to Kouga communities.

"The drought has once again highlighted the need for Kouga to secure additional water sources for its people. 

"While the municipality is drilling extra boreholes, the ground water supply is also limited and cannot be relied on indefinitely. The sea is our best option to fulfil Kouga's current and future water requirements in a sustainable manner," she said.

The Mayor said desalination was still in its infancy in South Africa whereas Israel boasted five of the world's largest desalination plants, supplying two-thirds of the country's water requirements. A sixth plant is also in development as part of the country’s national plan to establish a network of desalination plants along the Mediterranean coast. 

Kouga was invited to visit one of these plants and learn more about the country's desalination programme by experts Aqua Life through the Trade and Economic Office of the Embassy of Israel to South Africa.

According to an item tabled to Council, all air travel and accommodation is being funded by Aqua Life while the municipality is funding the subsistence and travel allowance of the three delegates through its approved operational budget.

The delegates are Infrastructure, Planning and Development portfolio councillor Freddy Campher, Finance portfolio councillor Brenton Williams and Technical Services manager Eddie Oosthuizen.

Van Lingen said the team had also visited the desalination plant at Mossel Bay as part of their preparations for the Israeli visit. 

As the festive season approaches, Kouga Municipality has again called on residents to use water sparingly.

"We are implementing our emergency plan to secure more water for our communities, but our water supply levels remain critical and forecasts indicate that the drought is far from over," the Mayor said.

"Please also help us to inform visitors of our dire water situation so that, together, we can ensure that our towns' taps don't run dry this summer."