Cape Town advised to clear alien trees to boost water supply
Study shows that R372m could fund a 30-year programme to clear invasive trees.
Cape Town, the city that threatened to turn off the taps this year as it confronted a water crisis, should clear thirsty alien trees as a cheaper alternative to building desalination plants or wastewater recycling systems.
Removing non-indigenous trees from water catchment areas could add two months of water supply each year, according to research from the Nature Conservancy that the Arlington, Virginia-based organization published in Cape Town Friday. Building desalination plants and wastewater recycling systems would cost on average 10 times more than rooting out invasive pine, acacia and eucalyptus trees, according to the study.
Cape Town came within 90 days of shutting off supplies and forcing residents to queue for water during a record drought caused by years of below-average rainfall. While “Day Zero” was avoided, residents remain subject to severe restrictions that limit them to 70 liters each a day.
Comments are closed