Rain brings little relief to KZN

2015-12-15 14:45
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Durban – Umgeni Water has urged holidaymakers to use water sparingly as thousands descend on KwaZulu-Natal for the festive season.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said the rains over the past two days had made little difference to the dangerously low Hazelmere dam, which is now 29.8% full after 25mm of rainfall over two days. It was at just over 26% two days ago.

“This is not significant because in reality, we need much more rain. The restriction of 50% bulk supply [to municipalities] will remain the same. There is a lot of catching up to do for the amount of rainfall required to even out the Hazelmere Dam. In terms of numbers, around 80mm of rain would raise the dam levels to a fair amount. An acceptable level would be 60%.”

Harichunder added that restrictions were expected to last for a few months until the rainy season arrived in March and April 2016.

“We cannot relax the restrictions because we are trying to conserve water until the rains come. We advise people visiting and those who are residents to conserve. We are currently trying to conserve as much water as we can to get us through to the rainy season in March and April.

“I want to commend communities for accepting the restrictions for now. The conservation of water has made a difference.”

When asked if long term plans were made for water supply, Harichunder said a R17 billion project in Umkomaas, South of Durban was “under consideration”. He could not immediately divulge more information.

“If this does happen, it will be one of the largest water works initiatives in the country and is expected to alleviate future supply issues.”

The country has been gripped in the clutches of a severe drought with five provinces, including KZN, declared disaster areas.

Read more on:    durban  |  weather  |  drought  |  natural disasters  |  water

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