New dam won’t solve KZN water crisis

2011-10-28 00:00

THE Spring Grove Dam, currently under construction near Mooi River in the midlands and due to be completed in 2013, will not entirely solve the tremendous water supply pressures currently being experienced in KZN.

Speaking at a briefing in Durban held yesterday to unveil bulk potable water provider, the state-owned enterprise Umgeni Water’s annual financial results for 2010/11, Acting general manager of Umgeni Nica Gevers said the water system is currently under major pressure, adding that demand exceeds supply.

While full dams and good rains have helped to keep local consumers hydrated, Gevers stressed that the only solution to the challenge in the near term is demand side management.

She said municipalities are losing up to 30-40% of their water supply in the process of distribution to households.

A project of the Department of Water Affairs, Spring Grove dam will help to improve the security of water supply to the Msunduzi, uMgungundlovu and eThekwini regions, but the project has encountered delays due to funding issues relating to the issue of who will pay for the new infrastructure.

Spring Grove will have a capacity of about 60 million cubic metres — about a quarter of that of Midmar Dam.

Umgeni is pursuing a number of upgrades to its infrastructure, including an upgrade to Midmar Dam, the raising of Hazelmere Dam and an upgrade of (among other treatment works) Darvill waste water treatment works in Pietermaritzburg.

While an investigation into the reuse of waste water is currently being conducted by Umgeni and the eThekwini Municipality, an Umgeni representative stressed that Umgeni will not supply reused waste water to consumers unless the public accepts such a measure.

• kavith@witness.co.za

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