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April 13, 2012

Cape Town – the place of sweet waters

The sweet water spring, Camissa, is set to be reused for Cape Town's future urban infrastructure. Photo courtesy Reclaim Camissa

Few people know that there is an underground water system resting beneath Cape Town’s city centre. It’s a sweet-water spring called Camissa, the Khoi name for Cape Town meaning ‘the place of sweet waters’.

This underground river is linked to Cape Town’s history and culture – a subterranean artery that carries the whispers of the past through myths, legends and legacy – but it is also a role-player in the future of the city. One exciting project on the go, that could help buffer Cape Town’s dwindling water resources, is Reclaim Camissa.

Reclaim Camissa aims to use the Camissa’s untapped water source for urban infrastructure. The project's approach to the design, implementation and management of the system is sustainable and the vision connects people to the river through parks, pedestrian walkways and public urban spaces.

Daily guided walks of the Camissa focus on the natural and cultural history of Cape Town with a three hour overland tour and an hour-and-a-half underground tour in the unexpected chambers of Cape Town’s natural bounty.

Did you know?

• The Varsche River flows beneath Adderley Street.
• The brown colour of the water from the mountain is caused by vegetable matter in the soil, but the water is clean and safe to drink.

For more information on Camissa, visit https://www.facebook.com/RECLAIMCAMISSA.

For more information on Camissa Walking Tours, contact Figure of 8 Tours on info@fo8.co.za.

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