‘Water system still stressed’

2016-05-16 11:09

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Pietermaritzburg - The Upper Mgeni system — Mearns, Spring Grove and Midmar dams — remain in a state of stress, according to Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder.

He said the rainfall received in the upper and lower Mgeni systems this year did not make a significant difference to the levels of all six dams in the region.

“The amount of water in Midmar and Albert Falls dams will have to last until the next rainfall season begins,” he said.

To reduce water demand and usage, Umgeni Water cut potable water production at its water treatment plants by 10%. Umgeni Water supplies local government authorities such as Msunduzi and eThekwini municipality.

He said to eradicate the water deficit, there needed to be heavy rainfall for at least a few days.

“The amount of rain received in the past three months [February — April] is well below the average for this period,” he said.

Harichunder said it was “imperative” to apply water restrictions in uMgungundlovu, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and north of Ugu because projections at Umgeni Water were that if the rains did not come, Midmar Dam and Albert Falls Dam would reach dead storage levels.

“Dead storage means there will only be silt left in these dams by the end of 2016. However, water restrictions and a cut in production of potable water by Umgeni Water have prevented this situation,” said Harichunder.

The level of Midmar Dam as at May 13 was 45.78%, compared with 80.24% a year ago. The Albert Falls Dam was 32.85% full compared with 70.85% a year ago. Nagle Dam’s level was at 77,07% versus 75, 47% a year ago, while Inanda’s was at 76.4 versus 95.32% last year. - Witness Reporter.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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