Water restrictions in place over Easter weekend

2017-04-10 14:00
Despite water usage expected to increase during the Easter weekend, water restrictions will remain in place.

Despite water usage expected to increase during the Easter weekend, water restrictions will remain in place. (File)

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Water restrictions remain in place in Pietermaritzburg and all of uMgungundlovu, even as water consumption is expected rise considerably through the Easter weekend.

And water usage is expected to increase even further if the high temperatures experienced over the past two weeks persist, Umgeni Water corporate stakeholder manager Shami Harichunder said in a statement on Sunday.

Thousands of visitors are expected in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and the north and south coasts of KwaZulu-Natal next weekend.

Mandatory water restrictions of 15% are in place in the Mgeni water system.

Water restrictions and water shortages, especially in Midmar and Albert Falls dams, are due to below-average rainfall over the past four years.

The levels of Mgeni system dams as at Friday were:
• Mearns — 93%

• Spring Grove — 83%

• Midmar — 75,56%

• Albert Falls — 36,53%

• Nagle — 65,21%

• Inanda — 66%.

Mearns and Spring Grove are small dams that empty as quickly as they fill.

“Of concern to Umgeni Water is the level of Albert Falls, the largest dam in the Umgeni Water operational area, which has remained in the 30% range for almost a year,” said Harichunder.

This dam supplies Durban North, Westville, KwaDabeka, Durban Central, Reservoir Hills and Pinetown.

The water in Midmar and Albert Falls dams is not sufficient to meet the full demand of eThekwini, Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu, he said.

Harichunder said all consumers, including visitors, would have to be mindful of water restrictions and he urged them to use water sparingly.

Harichunder said rainfall forecasts by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and South African Weather Service indicate that some rainfall, likely to be below average, is expected in April.

However, it is not expected to make a big difference to dam levels.

Three systems in the Umgeni Water operational area are out of restrictions following good rainfall in the last quarter of 2016 and January and February 2017.

They are Hazelmere that serves the north of eThekwini and parts of iLembe; Middle South Coast that serves Umzinto, Scottburgh, Pennington and Kelso, and Home Farm Dam that serves Ixopo.

The service areas of Hazelmere Water Treatment Works — among them Verulam, Waterloo, Ballito, Umhlali, Sea Tides and parts of Ndwedwe — were under mandatory water restrictions for two years. These restrictions began at 20% and later rose to 40% as water shortages worsened.

They were lifted in September 2016. As at Friday, the level of Hazelmere Dam was at 106% — a marked difference from a year ago when it was at 43%.

The Middle South Coast was at one stage under water restrictions of 20%.

As at Friday, the levels of the four dams in this system, Umzinto, Nungwane, EJ Smith and Mhlabatshane, were all full to capacity at 100%.

During holiday periods water demand increases by between 35% and 50%.

At Ixopo, Home Farm Dam, also a small dam, is at 101%. Restrictions of 40% that were in place have since been lifted

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water restrictions

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