Don’t be complacent about water levels

2017-05-30 06:00

MANY would have watched anxiously the unusually heavy rains this month, wondering when they would see the sun again.

They should also have noticed on the weather charts an interesting phenomenon — the contrasting halves of South Africa.

While the eastern parts of the country were drenched with rain and snow and shivering, the western half was hot and dry.

The weather had switched. KwaZulu-Natal was getting the winter rains instead of the Western Cape.

But should we complain?

We are more fortunate than the Western Cape, which is in the grip of a severe drought. Dam levels are so low that the Cape Town Municipality has issued a warning to residents to use water only for cooking, drinking and washing.

We should be thankful to Mother Nature. The widespread rain and heavy snow on the Berg have brought relief to our parched province, helping the rivers and dams.

The thought of recycling sewage water and desalination should fade away into the background.

But Umgeni Water has warned consumers not to get too excited and become complacent about water.

The water restrictions will remain in place as the Midmar and Albert Falls dams are still low. Not much rain fell in their catchment areas to fill these two dams on the Umgeni River.

What we fail to grasp is that while our human population keeps on increasing, requiring more and more resources to feed our hungry mouths, our rivers are not growing.

We need to curb population growth if we wish to have sufficient water for our future needs.

We have seen in the last couple of days the vagaries of the weather.

We cannot control it but we can control human behaviour.



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