Preparations for the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour, to be held on March 11, are going ahead, despite the water crisis in the Western Cape.
Race director David Bellairs said yesterday the organisers had begun making plans to deal with the water shortage nine months ago.
Their intention was “to run the Cycle Tour with a zero water footprint on the municipal grid,” he said.
“We’ve done a complete water footprint analysis. We had to determine where, and how much, water would be needed,” he told In the Bunch.
The plans include bringing in spring water from outside Cape Town to be made available at the start of the race and at water stations.
Desalinated and grey water will be used for chemical toilets and desalinated ice will keep the drinks cold. The ice can be refrozen after melting.
Concrete ballasts (barriers) will be used in place of water ballasts and hand sanitisers instead of washbasins. There will be no showers at the finish.
The additional cost resulting from these measures should not affect the event, Bellairs explained.
“There will be transportation costs to bring in the water, but that will be covered by the income from the event.
“It just means the proceeds to be donated to charity will be slightly less than in previous years.”
The event would still be a huge success, he predicted. “The participants won’t be affected. We must just make sure our event does not have an impact on tourism.
“We will communicate closely with the cyclists and their supporters and families. They will be informed about the drought situation and advised how to be more water conscious.”
Bellairs feels strongly about the preservation of water. “I find it disturbing that so many people are not doing as much as they should.
“I’d like to see everyone adhere to the limit of 50 litres of water per person per day. It is critical.
“To avoid chaos in March and April, we must do everything we can to ensure the city does not run out of water,” he added.