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On Monday, the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille announced that she had declared the entire province a disaster area because of the drought and severe water shortage.

Zille says the purpose of declaring the Western Cape a disaster area is to enable the province to shortcut the long processes of prioritising the provinces budgets.

We have to do that because we have to put some emergency measures into place like drilling boreholes and that often requires a great deal of survey work to be done so that we're not destroying the environment.

Helen Zille, Western Cape Premier

She says apart from environmental impact assessments that are sometimes needed there is also a need for a specialist hydrologist who will advise where best to drill for maximum results without depleting the underground water table.

We have been in very difficult positions before. Capetonians and people in the Western Cape have this habit of being able to pull together when they need to, to find solutions.

Helen Zille, Western Cape Premier

This kind of approach will enable the City to turn disasters into opportunities, says Zille, adding that entrepreneurs are coming out in their numbers with innovative ways of cleaning and desalinating water.

All of things are coming out of the woodwork and really could create a whole new industry of solutions.

Helen Zille, Western Cape Premier

Zille explains that the first permanent solution is an attitude change towards water adding that it a scarce and precious resource.

Take a listen here.

This article first appeared on 702 : Capetonians turning drought disaster into innovative opportunities says Zille

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