Cape Town considers desalination

Cape Town is conducting a feasibility study into establishing a giant desalination plant to turn sea water into potable water for the city's residents.

The report, which is due for completion in December, could lead to the construction of Africa's largest desalination facility, with an capacity of 150-450m litres per day.

The plant's estimated cost will not be known until the conclusion of the feasibility study, which is being conducted by global engineering consultancy firm WorleyParsons.

The study has been commissioned by the city’s water department which has warned in the past that Cape Town’s available water supply will be "fully utilised by 2019" due to the city's growing population and economy.

The South African government is proposing large-scale desalination and estimates that by 2030 up to ten per cent of the country’s urban water supply could come from desalination plants.

Africa’s biggest existing desalination plant, with a capacity of 45 m litres per day, is located near the coastal town of Swakopmund in neighbouring Namibia.