PMB appeals for even more public help to save water

2016-03-23 10:28
Msunduzi Municipality water process manager Brenden Sivparsad at the command reservoir in Eastwood. Sivparsad reminded residents to continue to save water during the drought and to recognise World Water Day and Water Week.

Msunduzi Municipality water process manager Brenden Sivparsad at the command reservoir in Eastwood. Sivparsad reminded residents to continue to save water during the drought and to recognise World Water Day and Water Week. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - While the globe celebrated World ­Water Day yesterday, Msunduzi Municipality appealed to the public to continue saving water where possible.

Msunduzi water and sanitation ­process manager Brenden Sivparsad said yesterday that the water levels at the municipality’s command reservoir in Eastwood sat at 50% with past levels of 100% now a luxury.

“Msunduzi and KwaZulu-Natal find World Water Day important as we observe the significance of this precious resource, especially during the current drought,” he said.

He said World Water Day, founded by the United Nations, puts emphasis this year on water and jobs. “Not only do we need water to stay alive. For some people, it is their livelihood.

“Industries and other businesses depend on it and if there is no water, there is a possibility of unemployment.”

Sivparsad added that the municipality had seen a “very positive” response from residents in the form of reporting water leaks, people communicating with the municipality and sending in ideas and new ways to save water.

“There has been an emphasis on reporting leaks and residents are following up. They call back if leaks are not attended to in two or three hours and we appreciate that.”

He said they were making every effort to conserve water but needed help from the public. “Try go a day without water. It is extremely difficult. As a municipality, we cannot do this alone and appeal to the public to continue conserving water.”

A press statement by World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) said although World Water Day was important, there were “four fundamental changes” that needed to take place.

“We need to re-think our necessary infrastructure; accelerate the development of our new water institutions; ensure the price of water reflects its value; and enable more active private-public collaboration through water stewardship.”

The statement said the drought was now accepted as “normal” and the response to water conservation needed to be “bolder”.

“Five provinces have been declared disaster areas as dams have run dry, boreholes failed and the summer rains have been replaced with unrelenting heat.

“With an estimated R16 billion lost in the agricultural sector due to our inability to cope with the drought, we are facing a perfect storm of crop losses, rising food prices and loss of agricultural jobs,” said the press release.

The statement said the drought has shown that in most parts of the country local government did not have the capacity to cope.

“Tankered or bottled water is a short-term emergency measure, which has not always delivered adequate supplies.

“Long-term planning is needed to include better buffered supplies such as groundwater. The drought has heightened our shared understanding of the risks to water security in the new normal of a changed climate world,” said the statement.

THE KwaZulu-Natal water and sanitation department launched the Lower Thukela Bulk Water Supply Scheme yesterday.

The construction of the Scheme will ensure the supply demands precipitated by the growth of the district are met.

In a statement by the department, it said the purpose of the project is to supply an additional 55 Ml/d of treated water to the coastal and inland areas of ­KwaDukuza and Mandeni.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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