KZN not saving enough water - Umgeni Water

2016-03-01 17:24

Durban – Umgeni Water's general manager of engineering and scientific services, Steve Gillham, on Tuesday said KwaZulu-Natal was not saving enough water.

His statement came after KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube told all municipalities in the province to implement an immediate 15% water reduction. The agricultural sector has also been told to cut water usage by 50%.

Gillham gave a report on the water situation affecting the drought-stricken province.

"We are not saving enough water. The public needs to realise that they need to change their lifestyles," said Gillham.

He revealed that the Midmar Dam was one of the worst affected dams.

"Midmar is in serious trouble because it is feeding the uMsunduzi and Mgungundlovu and we have seen no improvements in the water levels. Albert Falls supplies eThekwini, so it is really important to control what is happening there."

Gillham said the 15% reduction must be achieved by May 2016.

"In December 2015, the Department of Water and Sanitation sent directives to all affected Water Service Authorities regarding the required 15% water saving… Restriction notices must be published in the Government Gazette in March 2016."

Gillham said each Water Services Authority had developed a water saving plan which was being implemented

He said water rationing for the eThekwini municipality was on the cards and being debated.

"We need to immediately reduce water consumption by 15% for domestic commercial and industrial. We need a 50% reduction for agriculture.  The agricultural sector is currently well organised and achieving their target saving.

"The domestic and industrial sector are not achieving their target saving."

'There will soon be no water'

He said there was an urgent need for Water Service Authorities to speed up the implementation of their respective water saving plans.  

"The [wider] implementation of daily water rationing, as has been implemented for Hazelmere, may be necessary if the required water savings are not achieved.

"A reassessment of the water restriction level required for the uMgeni system will be undertaken in April and May 2016."

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela said: "A loud message must be sent that the drought is not child's play. There will be sanctions for those who do not heed the call to save water.

"We are soon going to reach a point where there will be no water."

Ndlela said conserving water was everyone's responsibility.

"When there are leaks in the municipality we will fix it for free for the poor and where the households can afford, we will bill them. We want to save as much water as we can.

"We don’t want to water shed like we are doing with electricity. Families must sit down with their children and spread the message of water conservation," he said.

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