Plan to exempt water pump station areas from load shedding

2015-11-16 20:13
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Johannesburg - Areas with important water pumping stations in Gauteng will possibly not see any load shedding to prevent water levels at the province's reservoirs from dropping. 

"We have got confirmation from Eskom... [that] all areas that are responsible for pumping, for storage and distribution will be considered very carefully with the view to exempt them from power outages," Co-operative Governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Monday. 

"This [the power cuts] disrupts the capacity to pump and lowers the water levels in reservoirs." 

Johannesburg MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Matshidiso Mfikoe re-affirmed this by saying "critical points" would not be subjected to load shedding. 

She referred to an electrical fault at a pumping station in Eikenhof, which resulted in water shortages in the south of Johannesburg last week. 

She said that in the two hours that the pump was off, the levels dropped. 

Mamabolo, several MMCs from around Gauteng and officials from Rand Water briefed the media about a meeting of the provincial government's water and sanitation forum. 

The forum, which took place earlier on Monday, concluded that the best way to deal with the water problems in Gauteng was to create a water conservation campaign. 

When asked by News24 what the provincial government's plan was for a "worst case scenario", Mamabolo said: "It is about taking small steps so that by the time the worst case comes, you won't even know it. The plan for the worst case starts today."

Part of the plan included waging "war" on water leaks, preparing the province for water harvesting, improving supply and production capacity and a public campaign to educate people on how to save water. 

The campaign also guaranteed uninterrupted water supply for essential services in the province. 

"There were challenges in hospitals last week. We want to make sure essential services are not interrupted," Mamabolo said. 

Water tankers had to be deployed to the Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospitals to top up their reserves last week during a shortage in parts of Johannesburg. 

Rand Water board chairperson Matshidiso Hashatse said at the briefing that the Vaal Dam was still at a "healthy" 58.9%. 

"We currently have enough water to meet our needs, but that's not to say we can continue like this."

She said demand was normally 4 600 megalitres, but it is currently 4 800 megalitres a day. 

"We have recorded a maximum of over 5 000 megalitres in one day."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  water  |  service delivery

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