January 24, 2018
Rabie Property Group has been and will continue to implement stringent potable water saving measures to try and stave off Day Zero when the city’s taps are expected to run dry.
Rabie director Miguel Rodrigues says the Group is implementing all necessary measures to ensure all their on site construction activities use only non-potable water.
“We are 80% there and will be as close as possible to 100% compliant within the next few weeks. The only potable water used on site thereafter will be for welfare purposes such as drinking and the washing of hands.’’
He says in terms of their ready mix materials such as concrete which is bought to site, some of their suppliers were already operating with only non-potable water and the others would be forced to follow suit to stay in business.
“Obviously these factors all have a price tag which will invariably push up construction prices.
Rodrigues says Rabie understands the necessity of being at the forefront of saving water.
“As responsible developers we have to ensure that we implement water saving measures in all our developments that force behavior change in relation to potable water. We can’t rely on the end user to do so. In particular we have to stop the flushing of drinking water down the toilets. Full stop.
“Already all of our current new residential buildings which are in the early stages of construction are being designed with dual plumbing systems that allow for the flushing of toilets with non-potable water. This has to be the way of the future. We are also looking at including rain water harvesting measures. As such we are putting in the necessary measures in our new developments which we have no doubt Council will inevitably make conditions of approval in schemes going forward.’’
He said they had successfully implemented water saving measures at their recent Century City Square development which includes a conference centre, hotel, 15 000 square metres of offices, 51 apartments, restaurants and showrooms and 80% of total water consumed in this development is recycled water.
“We are investigating taking all our future commercial buildings completely off the water grid via employing various methods such as the use of recycled water and treated effluent, rain water harvesting and the like and in this regard, we are working closely with numerous water engineers to formulate solutions for all our developments without comprising workers and end users’ health and safety.”
He added there was no doubt from a residential sales point of view, buyers will in future select developments that have access to alternative water supplies.
“Resale property values will be affected in developments that are not able to maintain their landscaped areas and recreational facilities and we are currently revisiting all our landscaping to ensure the use of indigenous and water-wise plants and ingenious designs.”