The Greater Cape Town Water Fund is working with authorities, the private sector, NGOs and communities to restore the City’s largest aquifer.

The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (PenBev), and the Nature Conservancy (TNC), along with other partners, this week celebrated the completion of a successful pilot project for the fund.

The project saw 64 hectares of water-intensive invasive plants cleared in the Atlantis area as part of efforts to help recharge the Atlantis aquifer.

By December 2019, the Water Fund will have replenished at least 10 000 000 litres of water to the Atlantis aquifer by clearing invasive plants in the aquifer’s primary recharge zone. Invasive plants, such as Australian Acacias, consume more water than the native Fynbos vegetation, limiting rainwater recharge to the aquifer.

Skills transfer

TCCF’s investment of US$150 000, as a founding investor in the Water Fund, has helped with the implementation of the project and empowered 12 females through skills transfer and employment.

Dorcas Onyango, Head of Sustainability for Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa says Water Funds are unique financing vehicles that invest in innovative and pioneering initiatives to manage water supplies.

“We are very excited about our investment in this Water Fund in particular as it will have a positive impact on more than 70 000 people in Witzands and Silverstroom as well as alleviate pressure and increase water security across Cape Town’s water supply system, which serves 4 million people,” she explains.

Scaling up

Over time, the Atlantis aquifer pilot project will be scaled up to priority catchments in the Western Cape Water Supply System to secure water supply.

By restoring natural vegetation cover at a large scale, the Water Fund will help catalyse a significant increase in aquifer recharge and help boost water availability.