World Water Day on 22 March: “Leaving no one behind”


A Cape Town bottling plant has managed to reduce its waste water by over 60%, saving more than 90 million litres of municipal water since January 2017.

The Epping-based The Beverage Company produces over 1.5 million 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.

Water conference in May
Water also remains one of the key topics and discussion points at the annual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa in Cape Town, where from 14-16 May, the conference will bring together experts from public and private sectors to support municipalities as they become more responsive and efficient in their water practices.

Part of this knowledge exchange are the technical site visits taking place on 17 May, including at The Beverage Company bottling plant. “Delegates will see the bottling plant and the water saving projects that were implemented that helped us reduce our waste water and saving million of litres of municipal water” says The Beverage Company’s David 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.”

He adds: “it has been fascinating to see what can be achieved when a team applies their mind to a particular goal. It has also been a huge learning curve for all concerned, learning about water treatment, alternative water sources, geohydrology and many other topics.”

See David Putterill’s full interview here and click here for a video of The Beverage Company facilities and their exciting water savings initiatives.

More water experts and speakers at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa include:

– “The greatest challenge facing global water security is global transformation. The world is changing as we look on and this is happening at a very fast pace and impacting heavily on available natural resources, including fresh water.”
– Paul Yillia, Guest Research Scholar (Water Programme), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria, winner of 2018 African Utility Week Industry Award for Outstanding Contribution Award for Water and chairperson of African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa’s water conference.

– “We have made a real and profound difference intercepting Day Zero, by helping the City of Cape Town fast track the use of intelligent water infrastructure“
– Shannon Vermaak, marketing manager for Utility Systems, platinum sponsors at the upcoming African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa. Click here for the full interview.

– “Utilities and municipalities need to operate more as a business. As the sector transforms, they can either be a hurdle or a catalyst for the private sector and the country as a whole” 
– Dhasi Naidoo, Chief Strategy Officer, Ontec, South Africa and speaker in the water conference.

– “Climate change impacts are imminent; however, most key institutions are not fully prepared to deal with such impacts”
– Sicelo N. Mashwama, Environment, Health & Safety Manager at Swaziland Water Services Corporation and Advisory Board member of African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa. Click here for the full interview.

– “Cape Town is a good example that Africa has started to face the effects of climate change by investigating alternative water resources and minimizing the loss of non-revenue water and general water use.”
– Jan Kürstein, Hydrogeologist and Senior Consultant Water and Natural Resources at Rambøll in Denmark, even advisory board member and speaker. Click here for the full interview.

Session 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

The 19th edition of this flagship conference and exhibition is expected to attract more than 10 000 water and energy professionals this year.

International pavilions
Apart from the official U.S. country pavilion at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa showcasing specialised technology and services for the utility, metering, renewable and water industries, country pavilions from Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India and Poland have also already confirmed their presence at the 3-day event in May.

Industry support
A multi-award-winning conference and exhibition, African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa has already secured the support from industry stalwarts including Conlog, Dromex, Landis+Gyr, Sumitomo and Utility Systems as platinum sponsors and Aberdare, ADC Energy, Sulzer and Toshiba as gold sponsors.

African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa is the flagship energy event organised by Spintelligent, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the energy, infrastructure, mining and agriculture sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include Future Energy East Africa, Future Energy Nigeria, the Utility CEO Forums, Agritech Expo Zambia, Nigeria Mining Week and DRC Mining Week. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group and African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa form part of Clarion Energy, which runs over 40 events that cover the oil, gas, power and energy sectors, making it one of Clarion Events’ largest portfolios.

Dates for African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa:
Conference and expo: 14-16 May 2019
Site visits: 17 May 2019
Location: CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

Twitter:    #AUW2019   
Linkedin: African Utility Week

Senior communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone:  +27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844