Restrictions a necessity

2016-09-14 06:00


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THE Department of Water and Sanitation is implementing a 10% and 15% water restriction for domestic water use in the Orange River and 15% and 20% water curtailment for domestic and irrigation water use for the Vaal River water systems respectively.

The Northern Cape is affected in both instances.

The water restrictions are implemented due to the drought conditions that are persisting and the South African Weather Service (Saws) has projected that average rain will only fall around November.

Nomvula Mokonyane, minister of Water and Sanitation, has announced that R1,8 billion has been spent thus far in dealing with the drought and that government will need additional funding for drought relief.

Out of the R1,8 billion, 7 400 boreholes have been drilled or refurbished countrywide and water tankers and water pipes provided.

Following the publication of the water restrictions, the question has often been asked: “What is a water restriction?” and “What are its implications for the ordinary citizen?”

Water restrictions have furthermore been criticised for hampering the economy and the lifestyles of people.

It is a fact that South Africa is not the first country to institute water restrictions.

Citizens of the Northern Cape, and not just the province, but the entire country, need to cut down on water use – it means restrictions on watering lawns, using sprinkler systems, washing vehicles, hosing pavements, refilling swimming pools, and so on.

Government has done a lot and is still committed to education and awareness regarding the plight of water shortage.

It has integrated water education and awareness in the education curriculum to ensure the message reaches our children at a tender age and that they can relay the message home to their parents and families.

There are also school competitions geared to educate and create awareness through the arts of drama, poetry, music, praise singing and poster drawing.

A toll-free hotline number is available through which people can report water and sanitation issues and municipalities also have SMS and telephone numbers to report these issues.

Moholoeng is of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

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