Water restrictions to be lifted

2016-09-07 06:00


OVER the past 30 months, persistent below-average rainfall has been recorded at the Hazelmere Dam and its catchments as a result of the El Nino phenomenon resulting in major water restrictions in all of the Umgeni Water supply areas.

However, in July and August this year, consistent with the El Nino effect, unseasonal rainfall was recorded at Hazelmere Dam.

According to Umgeni Water’s corporate stakeholder manager Shami Harichunder it amounted to a total of approximately 180mm.

This resulted in the level of the dam rising steadily to its current 62%.

“There is, at this stage, adequate water to meet the demands of eThekwini Metro, Sembcorp Siza Water and iLembe District Municipality, at volumes that were provided before the onset of water shortages and implementation water restrictions,” said Harichunder.

“Following a risk analysis that discounted the possibility of dam failure in the foreseeable future, a decision has now been taken by the Joint Operations Committee that the normal operating rules can be reinstated as a result of the improved situation.”

This means all drought curtailment targets will be withdrawn and normal water production will occur at Hazelmere Waterworks and the plant will revert to supplying volumes of potable water that will meet the full demands of its customers.

Sembcorp Siza Water will be lifting all water restrictions within its water service area, which includes Ballito.

The company thanked its customers for their proactive adherence to the water restrictions and for partnering with it in ensuring that water use was within the daily rationed quota.

Harichunder added that the gazetted restrictions for the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant supply area (north of eThekwini and parts of iLembe) that made these restrictions mandatory are to be amended by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Harichunder said the recent rains and increased water resource availability have contributed significantly in assisting Umgeni Water, eThekwini Metro, iLembe District Municipality and Sembcorp Siza Water emerge from a difficult situation.

“A great deal of hardship and inconvenience were felt by consumers and providers of water services, but the strategies implemented were imperative to prevent large scale acute water shortages and the possibility of Hazelmere Dam drying up.

“We thank consumers – domestic, business, industry and government – for their tolerance and patience. Their ability to adapt to a changed situation is greatly admired and appreciated,” Harichunder said.

Harichunder said while production of potable water will gradually progress to pre-drought levels, constant monitoring of raw water resource availability by the Joint Operations Committee will continue.

“If the level of Hazelmere Dam falls sharply and if spring and summer rains do not materialise, the issue of re-imposition of production cuts and accompanying restrictions will be examined again in order prevent a crisis situation occurring.

“It is, therefore, important that consumers continue to use water sparingly and also report incidences of wastage and leaks to their municipality.”

However, in July and August this year, consistent with the El Nino effect, unseasonal rainfall was recorded at Hazelmere Dam.
According to Umgeni Water’s corporate stakeholder manager Shami Harichunder it amounted to a total of approximately 180mm.
This resulted in the level of the dam rising steadily to its current 62%.
“There is, at this stage, adequate water to meet the demands of eThekwini Metro, Sembcorp Siza Water and iLembe District Municipality, at volumes that were provided before the onset of water shortages and implementation water restrictions,” said Harichunder.
“Following a risk analysis that discounted the possibility of dam failure in the foreseeable future, a decision has now been taken by the Joint Operations Committee that the normal operating rules can be reinstated as a result of the improved situation.”

This means all drought curtailment targets will be withdrawn and normal water production will occur at Hazelmere Waterworks and the plant will revert to supplying volumes of potable water that will meet the full demands of its customers.

Sembcorp Siza Water will be lifting all water restrictions within in its water service area, which includes Ballito.
The company thanked its customers for their proactive adherence to the water restrictions and for partnering with it in ensuring that water use was within the daily rationed quota.

Harichunder added that the gazetted restrictions for the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant supply area (north of eThekwini and parts of iLembe) that made these restrictions mandatory are to be amended by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Harichunder said the recent rains and increased water resource availability have contributed significantly in assisting Umgeni Water, eThekwini Metro, iLembe District Municipality and Sembcorp Siza Water emerge from a difficult situation.
“A great deal of hardship and inconvenience were felt by consumers and providers of water services, but the strategies implemented were imperative to prevent large scale acute water shortages and the possibility of Hazelmere Dam drying up.

“We thank consumers – domestic, business, industry and government – for their tolerance and patience. Their ability to adapt to a changed situation is greatly admired and appreciated,” Harichunder said.

Harichunder said while production of potable water will gradually progress to pre-drought levels, constant monitoring of raw water resource availability by the Joint Operations Committee will continue.
“If the level of Hazelmere Dam falls sharply and if spring and summer rains do not materialise, the issue of re-imposition of production cuts and accompanying restrictions will be examined again in order prevent a crisis situation occurring.
“It is, therefore, important that consumers continue to use water sparingly and also report incidences of wastage and leaks to their municipality.”

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