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Running on Empty v2


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Final version of presentation used at Ecolint Geography Conference 2018

Published in: Education
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Running on Empty v2

  1. 1. S Running on empty? Exploring water futures Saturday 14th April 2018
  2. 2. Alan Parkinson Geographer King’s Ely School Illustration:TomMorganJones
  3. 3. “Despite all our achievements we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains” Illustration:WikimediaCommons
  4. 4. The Fens – a reclaimed landscape Illustration:CarryAkroyd
  5. 5. Geneva 500 litres of water a second
  6. 6. Not everywhere is so lucky…
  7. 7. If all the world’s water was a bucket full, only one tablespoon’s worth would be drinkable (potable) Illustration:TomMorganJones
  8. 8. Cape Town 50 litres person / day “Day Zero” • Day Zero is the word given to the apocalyptically named point when water in the six-dam reservoir system falls to 13.5% of capacity. • At this critical level, piped supply will be deemed to have failed and the city will dispatch teams of engineers to close the valves to about a million homes – 75% of the city. • In place of piped water, the city will establish 200 water collection points, scattered around the city to ensure the legally guaranteed minimum of 25 litres per person per day within 200 metres of every citizen’s home.
  9. 9. I D E A L More information here: 42866178/why-cape-town-is-shutting-off-its- water-supply Identify – What can you see in the photo? Describe – What is the problem that exists here? Explain – Why do you think the problem has happened? What has caused it? Apply – What are the possible solutions to the problem? Are some more sustainable than others? Link – Is this issue an example of human or physical geography? What other topics?
  10. 10. Water Pressure • Growing population – and at a faster rate than water supply capacity was increase • Increased affluence – more devices that use water installed in homes • Vineyards around Cape Town growing in area, and requiring large amounts of water • Ageing infrastructure – leaking pipes • Drought for several years • Increased pumping from aquifers • Slow pace of investment in alternative supplies Also social pressure to reduce usage…
  11. 11. Water Pressure
  12. 12. A resilient city? Cape Town is committed to becoming a resilient city and is part of the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative. It is therefore both prudent and appropriate for the city to take climate change risks into account in its planning. In line with international best practice thinking for coastal cities, Cape Town’s resilience will be increased through the diversification of water supplies away from dependence on surface water only towards a situation where the city also obtains a share of its water from ground water, wastewater reuse and seawater desalination. Consequently, a resilient city will be able to both optimise and sustain water use through integrated management of four sources of water – surface water from rainwater (including urban storm water runoff) managed in dams and wetlands, ground water (with recharge), reused wastewater and desalinated sea water. From Cape Town Water Disaster Plan document
  13. 13. Cape Town April 2018 As recently as January, rationing with armed guards for 4 million people was on the horizon. Daily ration of just 25 litres per person / day The most recent situation can be seen on the City Dashboard
  14. 14. Demands on water ator.html
  15. 15. How far do 50 litres of water go? Residents of Cape Town have been asked to limit their use of water to 50 litres a day, which is less than a third of the average daily water use in an EU member country. Match the numbers below to the activity. 159 litres 125 litres 582 litres 177 litres 382 litres 150 litres 45 litres 232 litres
  16. 16. The answers Shower – 45 litres Bath – 125 litres Flush – 150 litres Wash dishes by hand – 159 litres Dishwasher – 177 litres Washing machine – 232 litres Water garden – 382 litres Wash your car – 582 litres
  17. 17. Disaster Plan
  18. 18. Restaurants The restaurant is harvesting grey water from air-conditioning units, boiling ice- bucket water to mop floors, disconnecting scullery hoses, installing new tap diffusers, using disposable napkins, discarding table cloths. But the real innovation – which eliminates the need to wash 5,000 plates a week – is serving two of his tasting menu courses on disposable cards that fit into an empty picture frame; in The Drought Kitchen the entire six-course menu will be served this way. The dishwasher and laundry will need just 10% of the water they used to.
  19. 19. Illustration:TomMorganJones
  20. 20. Not just Cape Town
  21. 21. Illustration:TomMorganJones Your job is to assess the relative merits of a number of possible solutions to the water crisis. Use the displayed information (and your devices) to complete the sections in your notes) You will then be given a chance to vote for your preferred option(s)
  22. 22. Futures Possible – all scenarios which are possible Probable – which of the possible scenarios are most likely Preferable – of the probable futures, which one would be the most preferable in terms of sustainability or in maintaining as close as possible to the current quality of life for residents
  23. 23. Possible Probable Preferred Illustration:TomMorganJones
  24. 24. Cape Town-South Africa Water Crisis by @bridgetti Cape Town Twitter Top Tip: Follow the Twitter accounts of organisations connected with topics you are learning about
  25. 25. Illustration:TomMorganJones Comments
  26. 26. Dotstorming Dotstorming is a visual way of giving feedback on ideas. Which of the ideas will get your vote(s)
  27. 27. Vote now… Notice you can also chat in the window… Illustration:TomMorganJones
  28. 28. Thanks – enjoy the rest of the event!
  29. 29. Acknowledgements 1 S With thanks to Tom Morgan Jones for illustrations from Mission:Explore Water (2013) by Explorer HQ S Mapping on Water Security by World Resources Institute: maps/ S With thanks to Ben Hennig for Worldmapper mapping – CC licensed for use S With thanks to previous IB Geographers from Ecolint 2012 who took part in my Water workshop Check out the Water Diaries website too
  30. 30. Acknowledgements 2 S With thanks to Joanna Payne for a couple of slides and activities from a presentation she shared. S Resource watch: S CBC has a range of stories in a series on Cape Town: g/Water%20at%20Risk S tml - downloads of data, and Google Earth files to see threats to global rivers through human water usage Some slides taken from Cape Town Critical Disaster Plan
  31. 31. Water droplets Information sheets
  32. 32. Map from the World Resource Institute
  33. 33. Thefts of supplies As if the drought is not bad enough‚ the City of Cape Town is having to battle against thieves stealing from aquifer drilling sites‚ resulting in “delays of weeks at a time” to bring more water online. The city said in a statement on Sunday it is something that it can “ill afford”. Tools‚ batteries‚ vehicles and any materials considered possible scrap are being targeted by thieves.
  34. 34. 1: Water for Energy exchange Turning sea water into potable water takes vast amounts of power. Israel's desalination plants usually only run overnight to take advantage of lower electricity costs. EcoPeace, an environmental NGO made up of Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian activists, is floating a new idea to harness the sun-soaked deserts of Jordan, and sell the solar power to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, who would use it to run desalination plants. "By advancing a water-energy exchange we're creating some stability, we're creating an atmosphere of co-operation," said Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director of EcoPeace. Bromberg said all three governments "have expressed support" for the Water & Energy Nexus, which is projected to cost $30 billion. Despite the price tag, "not only is it realistic but it's absolutely essential," given the region's water woes. Bromberg said the idea could bring wider benefits: "it's certainly stability, it's certainly security, and those are two essential ingredients for peace."
  35. 35. 2. Aquifer drilling Water is stored in certain types of rocks, and a store of this kind is called an aquifer. Boreholes can be drilled to access this water, but this is time consuming and expensive, and can also result in a lowering of the water table locally. Cape Town plan involves: Prioritise groundwater extraction: Fast-track extraction of water from Cape Flats Aquifer (CFA) and Table Mountain Group (TMG) Aquifer. Both these aquifers have significant storage volumes. The water use licences provide for yields of only a fraction of the available storage, and yields will be maximised in the short-term within the annual allowable volumes. Groundwater is also subject to the impact of drought but with significant time delay. The CFA license requires recharge from treated wastewater to replenish the aquifer and improve water quality in some instances.
  36. 36. 3. Desalination Water can be extracted from sea water using a process called reverse-osmosis. This is very energy intensive, and takes a large plant to do on a scale which will make a difference to a city the size of Cape Town. Cape Town is intending to invest in this technology as it provides ‘new’ water rather than using other surface and groundwater sources. From the Cape Town Disaster Plan: Decisions around desalination must not be delayed. Desalination provides the only “new” source of water, and other than technical and financial constraints, has unlimited augmentation capacity.
  37. 37. 4. More use of ‘grey water’
  38. 38. 5. Punitive bills, but with incentives for low use Punitive tariffs: Restrictions go hand-in-hand with stepped tariffs, charging more for water use at higher volumes. Progressively more punitive tariffs have been introduced on inclining blocks so that higher use of volumes come at an increased cost. Level 6 tariff was introduced on 1 February 2018 where punitive tariff applies to all use over 50lcd. Water is still cheap compared to other goods and services, and is supplied to every formal household. As households are now required to dramatically reduce consumption, the volumes in higher usage steps have shrunk considerably.
  39. 39. Wastewater reuse is expected to be less costly compared to desalination because the capital costs are lower (no expensive marine works are needed) and energy costs are about half of that needed for desalination – 2 kWh for reuse compared to 3.5-4 kWh for desalination per thousand litres. The latest engineering estimates for treating wastewater reuse to a potable standard in Cape Town is about R7.50 per thousand litres, just more than half the cost of efficient desalination. Scale is reasonably important for wastewater reuse too. Asingle wastewater reuse treatment facility for 50 million litres per day is about 15% cheaper than a 20 million litres per day facility, and a single combined facility of 70 million litres per day is strongly preferred for operational reasons and is cheaper compared to two separate facilities. 6. Reusing waste water
  40. 40. Antarctica is relatively close to South Africa. Feasibility studies have been carried out into the possibility of towing icebergs to Arabian states previously. 7. Towing icebergs from Antarctica Synthetic fibre ropes, which are stronger than steel, can be slung around icebergs at the waterline, but when tugging begins the rope can slip off or make the iceberg roll over. Another reason the towing must be done slowly and carefully is that dragging an iceberg through the ocean can make it break apart. The industry has come up with nets for capturing unstable icebergs, but they don’t work in every case. “There are two major problems: one is getting a vessel that’s strong enough to tow the size of iceberg you need. The second is breakup and melting. It would probably be feasible to get an iceberg a kilometre or two wide up to the Arabian sea, but you’d lose an awful lot of mass on the way. It’s quite likely it would fracture before you got there.” And then there is the cost. A single iceberg-towing vessel can cost around $75,000 a day, and to tow a massive iceberg might need several ships for months at a time. “It comes down to the question of what is feasible and what is practical. Is it more practical to take a tanker to Antarctica and capture some fresh water melting off a glacier?” In Canada, shops already sell bottled water made from chunks of frozen water that are chipped off icebergs. King has a chunk in his freezer. “It makes for nice ice,” he said. “It makes a nice crackly sound in a glass of water.”
  41. 41. A lot of water is lost from pipes, and not always detected. Fixing and improving infrastructure would result in less losses, and create a more efficient system which would continue to provide benefits in the future. Finding the leaks would be a lengthy process. 8. Fixing the leaks
  42. 42. 9. Taxing the wine industry A lack of rainfall in the Winelands that dot the Western Cape of South Africa has entered its third season in a row, resulting in an undersupply of water for irrigation. The shortage is intensifying pressures on an industry that employs roughly 300,000 people and forms the backbone of the provincial economy. South Africa produces some of the world’s most popular wines but it struggles with profitability, on average, the local wine industry returns about 1% on investment, Depending on the region, vines generally need between 250 and 600 millimeters (between 10 and 24 inches) of rain annually to survive. Though temperatures and precipitation vary by region, South Africa’s Winelands have, on the whole, received about half as much rain in the run-up to the annual harvest, which began in early January. Dams that supply irrigation water to the vineyards stood, on average, 26% full in mid-January compared with about 42% full a year ago. The deficit triggers quotas that have cut the amount of water available at some vineyards by as much as 80%. “We simply don’t have enough water to keep up with the irrigation requirements,” said Francois Viljoen, consultation service manager for VinPro, a nonprofit that represents South Africa’s wine industry. “The water stress is starting to show. The result is smaller berries, which affect your volumes. And you also have less juice in the berries.”
  43. 43. Add your own ideas below…
  44. 44. Why is Cape Town facing ‘Day Zero’ and how can it be averted? • The reservoirs that supply water to the city of Cape Town are nearly empty due in part to below-average rainfall for many years in a row, but also, and maybe more importantly, because of increased abstraction. • Since 1995, Cape Town’s population has grown by 79%, while water storage only increased by 15%, straining the region’s existing reservoirs. • Day Zero is the word given to the apocalyptically named point when water in the six-dam reservoir system falls to 13.5% of capacity. • At this critical level, piped supply will be deemed to have failed and the city will dispatch teams of engineers to close the valves to about a million homes – 75% of the city. • In place of piped water, the city will establish 200 water collection points, scattered around the city to ensure the legally guaranteed minimum of 25 litres per person per day within 200 metres of every citizen’s home. • The government has struggled to keep pace. Plans to make the city more resilient to climate change by diversifying the water supply with boreholes and desalination plants were not due to kick in until after 2020. But the climate has moved faster, bringing a drought so severe it would usually be expected only once every 384 years. • Some people believe Cape Town’s vineyards bear a large share of blame because they are water-intensive yet they have continued to expand during the drought. • Many hotels have removed the plugs from rooms so guests must have a shower rather than a bath. Some shopping malls have turned off the taps and installed hand-sanitiser dispensers. • Maintaining social programmes will also be a challenge. City officials say hospitals and prisons will run as normal because they have access to aquifers, but questions remain about 819 schools, half of which do not have boreholes. There would be sanitation risks if their toilets were unable to flush, but the authorities insist they will remain open. • The scramble for water is already raising tensions among residents. Freshwater springs now require 24-hour policing as congestion builds in surrounding streets and there have been sporadic reports of fights break out in the lengthy queues. • Shame is used to maintain discipline. An online water consumption map allows neighbours to check on each other’s usage. Some sports clubs have installed buzzers on their showers that embarrass people who linger under the water for more than two minutes • Even though extreme droughts are difficult to predict, researchers point out that the city council has failed to adapt the local water supply to the demands of a growing metropolis.
  45. 45. What the City is doing: Restriction Level 6B: Level 6 was enforced from 1 January 2018, and 6B from 1 February 2018. The target has been reduced to 450MLD. Daily individual consumption must be limited to a maximum of 50 lcd to be aligned with Level 6 tariffs. 4 million people at 50 litres per day = 200MLD. Approximately 150MLD is consumed by industry, commerce, government etc. This results in 100MLD less than the daily target of 450MLD. The inability to adhere to restrictions thus far means that a stretch target of 50 litres is appropriate to ensure that the 450MLD target is reached Communication campaigns: Every person in the city needs to realise that this is a crisis. The city has launched numerous communication campaigns to assist people in reducing their consumption, such as household leak detection & repair and how to use 50 litres, and continues to use radio, print and social media to reach every citizen and mobilise to reduce consumption to 450MLD, aligned with 6B restrictions. Pressure reduction: Pressure reduction was initiated more than a decade ago and has been accelerated to automate zones across the city to optimise the system and reduce demand - especially the impact of leaks. Pressure zones are being used to force down consumption by throttling zones to the extent of partial supply if user behaviour in the zone is high in an effort to meet the daily water budget. Savings of nearly 50MLD have been affected so far. DWS = Department of Water and Sanitation MLD = Million litres per day
  46. 46. • Household flow regulators: The city has been installing water management devices to manage debt for many years. The programme has been dramatically ramped up to households who have not reduced consumption to restrict daily household consumption and safeguard against the impact of leaks. In many cases this was due to undetected leaks, but under level 6 restrictions, the city will install these where consumption is higher than 10.5kl/month. A household of 4, each person using 50 lcd results in a monthly consumption of 6,000 litres per household. The allowance is per day, whether at home, work or school. Note also that the average household size in Cape Town is 3.2 people. The water companies would have preferred to manage household consumption through smart metering – similar to electricity, using pre-paid metering or remote monitoring and control – due to low cost of water this has not been viable. The city has installed more than 250,000 water management devices over the past decade. Household demand has declined significantly.
  47. 47. Adaptation The city has engaged with large and small business with possible solutions and is working to incentivise reduced consumption. Avenues still to be evolved include usage of private boreholes in the system. Information to drive behaviour change: Examples include the Star rating tool for buildings, and making visually available household consumption data to incentivise all households to stay within usage limits (dark green & green dots).