Water usage drops, but more needed See page 3 - ‘Prayer meeting for rain’ date and venue

2015-07-08 06:00

THE message that a disaster is just two months away finally seems to have got through to 99% of water users in Greytown and surrounds.

Lake Merthley is 24% full or, in other words, 76% empty and if the spring rains do not fall in six to eight weeks no one seems to be sure what will happen­.

On a more positive note there has been a significant improvement in the volume of water being used daily. The Department of Water and Sanitation personnel stated at a drought meeting on Monday that the abstraction needs to be reduced to 1 600kL a day to contain the current level of water supply.

Residents are definitely­ trying hard - usage has dropped from 5 000kL a day to 2 000kL a day. Umzinyathi District Municipality spokesperson Pradeep Ramlall told the Greytown Gazette this was as a result of the water cut-offs and the realisation by users of the drastic impact of the drought.

Restrictions are water from 4am to 8am and 4pm to 8pm - the hours in between mean there is no water. Many residents have found the timetable somewhat erratic since implemented last week, but Pradeep said from now on, thanks to the identification of valves throughout the town by Brian Walker and Joe Morgan, these hours would now be in operation.

Adjustments have been made to the reticulation and distribution system to ensure the system does not drain out and residents in the upper sections will not have water-flow problems during the and#034;onand#034; hours.

Still on a positive note the new bore hole augmentation programme is planned to come into operation by Friday which will ensure that residents in the lower sections will also have no water-flow problems.

While the JoJo tank programme in theory sounds like a workable solution to be able to collect water during the and#034;offand#034; hours, in practice it leaves a lot to be desired. This programme was first put forward by Umvoti Municipality and Umzinyathi on 21 May and is not yet fully operational.

Umzinyathi financed 65 JoJo tanks for installation throughout by Umvoti. But driving round Enhlalkakahle and Greytown there are too many JoJo-tankless streets.

Umzinyathi has ordered another 20 which hopefully will be put up this week - but more than that are needed.

An inter-ministerial task team is reviewing the drought situation and will meet again next week to view the allocation of additional funding as the drought situation has worsened.

It is appreciated there is an awareness of the seriousness of the situation and the efforts being made by all to continue to do everything possible to reuse water and to save water - this most precious commodity.

Water usage has dropped from 5 000kL a day to 2 000kL a day

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