Metro fights to avert water crisis

2017-03-08 13:05
: < Eric Roux, superintendent of Churchill Dam takes a closer look at the current level of the Churchill dam. The average level of the three reservoirs - Kouga, Churchill and Impofu - dropped to about 45%. Photo: werner hills

: < Eric Roux, superintendent of Churchill Dam takes a closer look at the current level of the Churchill dam. The average level of the three reservoirs - Kouga, Churchill and Impofu - dropped to about 45%. Photo: werner hills

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IT is clear that the Nelson Mandela Bay metro’s consumers now realise the seriousness of the critical water situation. Water consumption is still decreasing.

If the average level of the three reservoirs that supply water to the metro supply drops further, it may force the metro to request to be declared a drought disaster area.

This according to Annette Lovemore, mayoral committee member on agriculture, electricity, energy and infrastructure after the average level of the three reservoirs - Kouga, Churchill and Impofu - dropped to about 45%.

“Fortunately, almost all the residents of the metro currently are determined to do their part to save every drop of water possible. Most consumers are very responsible – and many of them do not hesitate to report those who misuse water.

“In addition, we also received full co-operation of the business sector. Many companies not only cut their consumption to such an extent that it merely meets their production needs, but also offered to assist the metro to curb water wastage, especially at schools. 

“This has resulted in the graph showing water consumption continues to fall in recent times. 

This means that the metro can reach its target of saving 15% at the end of the water year on June 30, and would hopefully not have to implement further restrictions,” said Lovemore.

She said that it hopefully would also not be necessary to fine any consumers for the misuse of water.

“In 2010-2011 we managed to save water without having to impose a single fine. I believe that by working together, we will do it again. We definitely issue letters to those who abuse water and if it is necessary to take further steps, it will definitely be done. We believe it will not be necessary,” said Lovemore.

The municipality is currently employing more plumbers, pipeline inspectors and more skilled supervisory staff.

Lovemore asked that any water leak, burst pipe or water wastage should be reported to 0800 20 5050 or at waterleaks@mandelametro.gov.za.

According to Pierre Joubert, head of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board that manages the Kouga Dam, it would be a great benefit if the dam’s capacity can even rise to 60%. It is currently just above the 33% mark.

“If conditions continue, however, our irrigators could expect drastic restrictions in the next water year, which begins on July 1, especially in the case of Kouga, where irrigators are entitled to 72% of the water,” said Joubert.

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