Five percent water cut for PMB by next week on the cards

2016-04-20 06:00

IT may be double the trouble for drought-stricken Pietermaritzburg residents if a decision is made to cut the water supply by another five percent.

A joint operations committee meeting to be held on Friday, involving all municipalities and water service authorities affected by Midmar Dam, may impose a second water reduction of five percent, bringing the total water cut for Pietermaritzburg to 10%.

If the decision is passed, the reduction may be implemented as early as next week.

This is according to the Msunduzi municipality’s process manager for water and sanitation, Brendan Sivpersad, who recently said the decision would be based on the performance of all major consumers in conserving water, after which a net effect is determined for the water supply.

“We as a municipality have been saving water, but there is room for improvement. We are trying to do our part and residents are also becoming more aware of water conservation, but we still urge everyone to tighten their belts,” Sivpersad said.

“We could be given five percent less water by as early as next week. There is a very good possibility of this happening.”

Sivpersad said with the barren period of winter looming, water authorities would have to make difficult decisions now so consumers would have water in the latter part of this year.

The decision would be made by the Department of Water and Sanitation, based on projections of water use and current conservation results.

“We will be cut off at the source. Before, the onus was on us water users to reduce our consumption by 15%. But now, as a directive, the department will cut our water by five percent at a time if nothing changes, until the 15% mark is reached,” Sivpersad said.

According to a report by the South African Development Community released on Friday, the drought is widespread and affects other countries in Africa, including Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar, Angola and Zambia.

“The low rainfall in these areas, combined with high temperatures, negatively affected crop conditions, leading to moisture stress and wilting,” the report said.

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