Abstract for: Establishing the feasibility of alleviating water shortages in Cape Town using decentralised wastewater treatment plants

Water plays a pivotal role in the societal wellbeing and economic development within the urban context. In urban regions population growth, urbanisation and economic growth is found to drive excessive demand, leading to waste generation and a rise in pollution, jeopardising freshwater resources. As the demand exceeds available suitable water supply, water supply stress in the region increases, affecting water quality, assurance and affordability. Along with conservation and demand management measures, there are various applications for the reuse of abundant wastewater in urban cities to address water shortage. The majority or wastewater reuse systems address non-potable requirements or indirect reuse such as aquifer recharge. System dynamics modelling and case study research is used to explore the potential of decentralised wastewater reuse for potable usage in urban industry. The Old Mutual’s blackwater filtration plant in the City of Cape Town was identified as a suitable real-world application of a decentralised wastewater treatment system. The system is modelled to assist the decision-making process, providing the means of investigating the economic feasibility and alleviation of water supply stress in the City over several scenarios before investment is made.