The City of Cape Town will welcome more than 5,000 power and water professionals at African Utility Week (AUW) next week on 13-14 May.

The city is an ideal host for an event that aims to tackle issues faced by African power and water utilities, says Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, programme director, as it has “a clear, very strategic and long-term vision to plan for the expansion of the city and cope with subsequent growth, along with the need to drive carbon emission reduction, increase the use of clean energy, and maximise on water resources.”

Ms Pombo-van Zyl said: “We are privileged to be aligned with our host city’s endeavours in reducing the energy consumption and managing water resources.

“It is through the sharing of knowledge, technology and interaction with industry professionals during the conference and on the exhibition floor that large industry and utilities can find stimulating solutions to energy and water challenges.“

Not only will some of Cape Town’s top water and electricity experts speak at AUW, the City will also showcase its Fisantekraal Wastewater and Faure Water Treatment Plant during a technical site visit that includes a tour of Spier wine farm’s waste water treatment plant.

Cape Town manages water demand
The City of Cape Town’s Director of Water and Sanitation, Peter Flower, who will be a panellist during the event’s Water-Energy-Food nexus panel dialogue, said: “The City’s Water Department has been able to very successfully manage its demand growth over the past 14 years, through the co-operation of the residents of Cape Town and the successful water demand management strategy that the City has implemented.

“An indication of the success of these efforts is that in 2013/14, the City used less water than in the year 1999/2000. This is remarkable when you consider there was significant population growth during this period.”

Electricity usage down 18%
Sarah Ward, who is the City’s Head of Energy & Climate Change, Environmental Resource Management Department, and also a speaker at the event, has seen a similar trend in the consumption of electricity.

Ms Ward said: “I’d like to see a city that is decoupling its economic wellbeing from its electricity consumption. And we are doing this.

“Electricity usage is 18 per cent down on a business-as-usual projection and is now below 2007 consumption.

She added: “Tariff increases and load shedding have woken people up big time.”

Flowers and Ward will be joined by other City of Cape town officials at the event, including Cornelius Malan, metering manager, who will be presenting on complex tariff structures for load shifting.

For more details on African Utility Week, click here