Volvo Ocean Race Water Management Plan

The Volvo Ocean Race Village in Cape Town.
pic by VOR/Marc Bow

Ingenious Plan to Minimise Impact on City of Cape Town’s Water Supply

With the holiday season fast approaching, and dam levels at their lowest in 100 years, organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town Stopover have come up with plans to save as much water as possible to not affect the water crisis.

Says Bruce Parker-Forsyth, CEO of the Cape Town Stopover delivery partner WorldSport, “Together with the V & A Waterfront, we have adopted an innovative water management plan. We have partnered with Bluewater, a Swedish water purification company that uses a patented second-generation reverse osmosis technology called SuperiorOsmosis™ which can purify grey and brackish water.”

Bluewater’s unique hydration station provides safe drinking water on demand, regardless of the local water quality. Parker-Forsythe continues: “Four Bluewater water station units will be placed around the Race Village, offering purified water to all visitors, staff and volunteers.”

Bluewater has also partnered with Volvo Ocean Race participating team, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, to provide cleaner, healthier drinking water for staff and visitors at their pavilions at each stopover around the world.

“We’re extremely happy to have been able to contribute to ensuring an adequate supply of pure, clean water for tens of thousands of visitors to the Volvo Ocean Race Village during this period of acute water shortage. We’ve made it our mission at Bluewater to provide clean drinking water to people everywhere, harnessing our patented technology that allows people and businesses to create their own source of contaminant free water, which radically slashes the need for plastic water bottles and the requirement to ship them from one side of the world to the other,” said Anders Jacobson, CEO and co-founder of Blue AB, the Swedish holding company that owns Bluewater.

To further reduce the race village’s environmental impact, a plastic recycling area on Quay 6 will offer visitors a chance to exchange their plastic water bottles with a re-useable glass bottle, courtesy of Consol Glass. Parker Forsyth explains: “For the duration of the stopover, all race staff and volunteers will receive bottled water, with Hospitality areas limited to 2 000 litres of municipal water per day. We have explored all possible avenues to ensure our impact on the City of Cape Town’s Water Reserves is kept to the absolute minimum.”

According to David Greene, CEO of the V&A Waterfront, they will be supplying 1 000 litre square flow tanks at various sites. He explains: “Tanks will be labelled as non-potable water. Four tanks will be placed at Quay 6 for the seven yachts to share whilst berthed on the jetties. Two tanks will be placed at the Team Bases for sharing, two at the Hotel Circle for hull wash down and another two at the Dry-dock, also for hull wash down. These tanks will be replenished from the V & A Waterfront’s grey-water supply each evening.”

The Volvo Ocean Race’s sustainability strategy includes minimising the race’s own footprint with a particular focus on reducing, and where possible eliminating, single-use plastic in Race Villages. As part of their sustainability programme, they also signed partnerships with 11th Hour Racing, AkzoNobel and United Nations Environment, outlining a series of commitments that focus on ocean health.

Says Parker-Forsyth: “Ocean pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time and the Cape Town Stopover has embraced sustainability as its core theme. Focusing on taking action to help ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ – the rapidly growing and critical problem of plastic polluting the ocean. We’re delighted that Consol Glass has come on board with glass water bottles for use in the race village. Crew, visitors and staff are invited to exchange their plastic water bottles for re-useable glass bottles at the Consol stand.”

Greene adds that the V & A Waterfront has successful sustainable initiatives in energy conservation, waste management and efficient water use. “With the Volvo Ocean Race set to arrive in Cape Town this week, the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival, in association with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, will have a strong sustainability message with a curated programme of events and activations spread across the property between Monday, 27 November and Friday, 8 December.

“Many activities will focus on the harm that plastics and other foreign materials do to the world’s maritime assets. The intention behind each of the festival’s events will be to engage and delight visitors’ interest in ocean life, ocean sustainability, and the potential of maritime assets such as South Africa’s vast oceans,” says Greene.

The Volvo Ocean Race Village will open its doors to visitors at 10h00 today – 24 November, and then daily from 10h00 to 20h00.