Still a need to use water sparingly

2015-09-30 06:00

UMGENI Water has stated that there is no immediate concern over the water supply to Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas as there is sufficient water to meet the needs of consumers within Pietermaritzburg and the greater uMgungundlovu district.

However, the hot weather and the lack of summer rain will lead to water shortages, Umgeni warned Pietermaritzburg residents.

As a preventative measure Umgeni Water’s corporate stakeholder manager, Shami Harichunder, urged residents to save water for future supply.

“If adequate rainfall is not received during the coming spring and summer months water shortages could occur. It is for this reason that Umgeni Water continues to urge consumers to use water sparingly - if they conserve water now there will be sufficient to meet future needs.”

Areas under the uMgungundlovu District and Msunduzi Local municipalities, which includes Pietermaritzburg, get their water supply from Mearns Weir, Spring Grove Dam and Midmar Dam.

“The levels of these dams, barring Spring Grove, are significantly lower than the corresponding period in 2014. This situation has arisen as a result of below-average rain, created by the El Niño phenomenon, which is manifested in drought in some parts of the world and floods in others. Parts of South Africa, including KwaZulu- Natal, are in an acute drought situation, described as the worst in many decades,” said Harichunder.

Hazelmere Dam has not made any improvements as water levels are at 30%.

“Water is being transferred into the Hazelmere Dam from the uThongathi River through a 7,5km pipeline that was commissioned in May as an emergency measure. The level of the Hazelmere Dam is at 30% and has stabilised at this level through the transfer of water from the uThongathi River.

Water-saving tips

• Turn the tap off between washing your face, brushing your teeth or shaving.

• Take a five-minute shower a day, instead of a bath.

• Showering can use up to 20 litres of water per minute.

• Use low-flow shower heads, dual-flush toilet mechanisms and water-efficient washing machines.

• Kettles should not be filled to the brim but with just enough water for your needs.

• Reducing the toilet flush volume alone can save 20% of total water consumption. This can be done by putting a two-litre cool-drink bottle, filled with water and a little sand to add weight, into the cistern.

• Fix a leaking toilet otherwise it can waste up to 100 000 litres of water in one year.

• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

• Do not over-fill or excessively backwash your swimming pool.

• Use a bucket rather than a hose to wash your car.

• Always water your plants during the early morning hours or in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.

• Every time you boil an egg, save the cooled water for your house plants. They’ll benefit from the nutrients released from the shell.

• Roof water can also be profitably stored in tanks for watering gardens.

• Use “grey water” from baths, washing machines and other safe sources, to water your garden.


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