Water crisis worsens

2017-05-24 06:02

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REDUCED water pressure will be in store for the next few days for residents of the Bay after a sudden water crisis owing to a damaged supply channel.

According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, water pressure for the next few days will be reduced throughout the entire metro at night to cut consumption to the bone.

This unexpected water crisis follows after a channel that transports water from the Gariep Dam to the Scheepersvlakte Dam was badly damaged last Wednesday.

A third of the city’s daily water consumption is threatened by this. Certain areas in the metro, especially the northern and eastern areas, may be out of water for up to several days this week.

However, the metro says that it will place water tanks in strategic places such as clinics and municipal buildings and that it will be filled regularly.

“It’s a serious problem with which we sit here,” said Councillor Annette Lovemore, Member of Mayoral Committee on Infrastructure, Engineering, Electricity and Energy. “Therefore, we need everybody’s cooperation to prevent matters from getting worse.”

Water is extracted from the Scheepersvlakte Dam, treated at the Nooitgedacht water treatment plant and then pumped to consumers. However, the concern is that no water from Nooitgedacht can be provided before the temporary repairs have been made.

According to Lovemore, the city will have to withdraw much more water from western systems. “We have already consulted with the Department of Water and Sanitation to increase our allocation from the Kouga Dam in this regard,” she said.

“However, it will have a huge impact on the irrigation farmers of the Gamtoos Valley. Therefore, the withdrawal must be managed very carefully.

“The channel belongs to and is run by the Department of Water and Sanitation. Engineers were already on site on Saturday and the equipment we needed to repair it has already arrived there.

“Meanwhile, we decided to build a temporary redirection as an emergency measure. It should take about a week to two weeks.

“Our engineers could, however, integrate with other systems of supply.

“Those areas that usually receive their water from Nooitgedacht will now be helped to some extent with water from western areas so that their taps do not run dry,” said Lovemore.

The most affected areas are Coega, Ngqura Harbour, Motherwell, Perseverance, Markman, Wells Estate, Blouwater Bay, Bloemendal, Bethelsdorp, Chatty and Colchester.

Uitenhage and Despatch will get their water from the Groendal Dam, as well as resources from western systems, but may sometimes be without water. “Unfortunately, especially high-lying areas may sometimes be without water,” Lovemore said.

The NMB municipality issued an urgent appeal to all residents in all areas of the metro to cut their water usage immediately to the barest minimum, stopping the non-essential use of water, such as washing cars.

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