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Water remains one of the major topics and discussion points at the annual African Utility Week and Powergen Africa in Cape Town from 14-16 May 2019

water africaManaging water conservation resources are crucial for global climate change resilience. (Image source: Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr)

The conference is set to bring together experts from public and private sectors to support municipalities as they become more responsive and efficient in their water practices.

Part of the exchange in African Utility Week and Powergen Africa includes a technical visit at The Beverage Company bottling plant. The Cape Town bottling plant has managed to reduce its wastewater by more than 60 per cent, saving more than 90mn litres of municipal water since January 2017.

The Epping-based The Beverage Company produces more than 1.5mn bottles of carbonated soft drinks per week and uses on average 30,000 litres of water per hour.

According to the plant manager David Putterill, last year’s looming Day Zero for water supply in Cape Town had less impact on the business “due to the various actions we took in advance of the crisis. In mid-2016 we started various projects to save water and these are on-going. In the last year we have sustained our water saving so that even though the water restrictions have been partially lifted, we keep the same focus on saving water.”

World Water Day, a UN initiative, is celebrated on 22 March every year and focuses on the importance of water and this year’s theme is ‘Leaving no one behind,’ adapting the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.

“Delegates will see the bottling plant and the water saving projects that were implemented that helped us reduce our wastewater and saving millions of litres of municipal water,” said Putterill.

“They will also see our alternative water supply project that we have initiated to reduce our dependence on the municipal water supply by installing our own boreholes and reverse osmosis plant.”

Some of the topics at African Utility Week and Powergen Africa’s water conference include:

· Tackling the escalating drought threat: Embarking on climate change resilience

· Managing water conservation resources in light of the on-going drought

· Water technology innovation platform in Africa

· Demonstrating, applying and commercialising the required technology

· Water metering and monitoring

· Water treatment advancements

· Water sector funding and incentives

· Meeting municipal demand