July rains show little impact on local dams

2016-08-17 06:00

UMGENI Water has reported that the rainfall received at the end of July has been finalised, but there has only been a slight impact on Umgeni Water’s inland dams while the coastal dams, Hazelmere, Umzinto, Nungwane and EJ Smith, benefited the most from theses rains.

“The only dam that showed a visible increase on an inland system is Henley Dam, but this dam has been decommissioned and is no longer in use for potable water production because of poor water quality,” said Shami Harichunder, corporate stakeholder manager at Umgeni.

Harichunder said that in a 72 hour period of rainfall at the end of July, an estimated 350mm was recorded at Umzinto Dam, 140mm at Hazelmere and only 45mm at Midmar.

“A substantial amount of rainfall was recorded elsewhere, but this occurred outside of the catchments of major dams. Consequently, there was no run-off into major dams, such as Midmar, Albert Falls and Nagle,” said Harichunder. Midmar Dam only made a 1 percent increase from 26 July to date while Albert Fall Dam remained unchanged.

Ungeni Water’s decision to reduce potable water production at all of its water treatment plants will remain in place until the water resource situation improves.

“This means uMgungungundlovu, Msunduzi and eThekwini will continue to apply mandatory water-use restrictions of 15% that have been gazetted by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

“In the Hazelmere and Ixopo systems, mandatory water restrictions of 50%, also gazetted by the Department of Water and Sanitation, will remain in place, but will be reviewed fortnightly to determine whether any changes should occur or not. Hazelmere and Ixopo dams are being supported by water transfers through emergency schemes,” said Harichunder.

According to Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson, Nqobile Madonda there has been a noticeable difference in the city residents use of water however there is still water wastage occurring.

“The city water situation in the city is currently stable. Areas that do not have water are being serviced by water tankers. The municipality continues to save the required 15%,” she said.

Harichunder confirmed that Umgeni Water has begun reducing potable water production within the Mgeni system at Midmar, DV Harris WTP and Durban Heights by 15%.

“This has been done to manage the effects of the prevailing drought, and in order to prevent the possibility of major dams, among them Midmar, Albert Falls and Nagle, running dry.

The reduction in potable water production and concomitant application of restrictions in eThekwini, Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu will assist in ensuring that the water that remains in major dams lasts until the next rains.

“The reduction in potable water production has necessitated the application of water supply quotas by Umgeni Water, which in effect means that the municipalities of eThekwini, Msunduzi and uMgungundlovu are receiving 15% less potable water than they normally receive as a result of prevailing drought-induced water shortages,” said Harichunder.

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