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Could harvesting stormwater from the Liesbeek River be the answer supplementing Cape Town’s precarious water supply?

Three University of Cape Town (UCT) Biological Sciences students believe so.

The trio, by Ruan van Mazijk, Lucy Smyth and Eleanor Weideman, wrote a paper during the city’s “Day Zero” crisis which was recently published in the journal Water SA.

Lead author on the paper Ruan van Mazijk explains that the paper examined how the source of water in the Liesbeek River in future, be a target for storm-water harvesting.

Our part was to investigate how elements of the water cycle could give us more resources for water that the city could use.

Ruan van Mazijk, UCT Biological Sciences student

Stormwater that runs through urban rivers could be a resource for the city.

Ruan van Mazijk, UCT Biological Sciences student

We used isotopic tracing, which is a really cool technique where you look at the chemical signatures in the water and you can identify the source of the water.

Ruan van Mazijk, UCT Biological Sciences student

We demonstrated, for the first time quantitively, that the Liesbeek River is full of rainwater during storm events.

Ruan van Mazijk, UCT Biological Sciences student

Listen to him explain the research on The John Maytham Show:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Harvesting stormwater from Liesbeek River may aid CT water supply, students find

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