Rain provides little relief to drought

2016-11-02 06:05


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE incessant wet weather the city has been experiencing recently has had little impact on the Mgeni system, which, according to Umgeni Water, remains in a state of stress as a result of receiving below average rainfall for the past 30 months.

All six dams that form part of the Mgeni system, Mearns, Spring Grove, Midmar, Albert Falls, Nagle and Inanda, are substantially lower than they were a year ago.

“Mgeni System supplies water to all of uMgungundlovu, Pietermaritzburg, about 80% of eThekwini and north of Ugu [middle South Coast]. As a result of scarce water resources within this system, mandatory water restrictions of 15% have been implemented. Umgeni Water, for its part, has reduced potable water production by 15% at all of its water treatment plants within Mgeni System. The level of Midmar Dam has been stabilised at mid-40% through transfer of water into it from Spring Grove Dam,” said Shami Harichunder from Umgeni.

Harichunder said restrictions remain imperative because without it could result in the failure of the largest dam in Mgeni System, Albert Falls, and Midmar by September 2017 and Inanda by October 2018.

“This possible situation has been averted through the application of water restrictions. Rainfall received last week in the vicinity of Midmar Dam was either outside of the dam’s catchment or it did not produce adequate run-off to make a difference to the level of this dam.”

He explained that the failure of a dam occurs when a dam runs dry therefore water-saving and conservation remains very important as the drought is far from over.

Hazelmere Dam received an estimated 100mm of rain in the past month which has helped stabilise the dam level in mid-60%.

“A year ago to the day [27 October] the level of Hazelmere Dam was at 27%, precipitating a crisis that resulted in water shortages and application of mandatory 50% water restrictions that affected households and businesses in the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant supply area,” said Harichunder.

Since then, all restrictions have since been removed in the supply area of Hazelmere Water Treatment which supply Verulam, Waterloo, La Mercy, Sea Tides, Ballito, Umhlali and parts of Ndwedwe. Water restrictions were in place for two years.

Umgeni Water’s production of potable water at Hazelmere has also returned to pre-drought period levels.


27 October 2016 vs 28 October 2015

• Mearns: 44% (58%)

• Spring Grove: 42% (90%)

• Midmar: 48% (53%)

• Albert Falls: 24% (47%)

• Nagle: 69% (74%)

• Inanda 63% (86%)

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.