Alternative water plans being explored for NMB

2019-09-18 06:01

ALTERNATIVE water resources are in the pipeline for Nelson Mandela Bay following a recent visit from a Japanese delegation.

This comes as Nelson Mandela Bay’s dam levels decreased to 39.69% as of September 9, with less than 20% usable water left.

Barry Martin, director of water and sanitation, admits the situation has reached a crisis point.

According to Martin, the level of the metro’s largest dam, the Impofu Dam, is at less than 20% and the available volume of water should be considered.

“With the Impofu Dam at less than 20%, it has the same amount of water as the Krom River Dam (formerly the Churchill Dam) when it’s 90% full. You can fit the Krom River Dam three times in the Impofu Dam,” Martin said.

Martin explained that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) was strongly considering switching from tariff B to tariff C, if no rain reached the catchment areas in September.

Netwerk24 reported that if tariff C should be implemented, residents and businesses would have to dig deeper into their pockets.

According to Netwerk24, the following figures indicate how tariff C will affect residents and businesses:

. R34.84 for the next 0.3 kilolitre (R17.24 with tariff B)

. R69,68 for the next 0.8 kilolitre (R38.33 with tariff B)

. R232.26 per kilolitre for any additional water consumption (R116.14 with tariff B)

Almost a year ago, the metro’s average dam level dropped to 17% and tariff C was then put into operation.

Martin believes the sea is a source of water, especially for coastal towns, and that desalination plants being built will assist in providing potable and clean water. Andile Lungisa, MMC for infrastructure, engineering, electricity and energy, said officials will visit Durban, where a desalination project is currently underway.

Lungisa added, “We are also pleased that the Japanese are already working with the Durban metro (eThekwini) on sea water desalination.

“This is an approach we have already decided, as a city, that we will take. We will be visiting Durban soon to see the work that has already taken place. Expertise from Japanese government engineers and companies will be critical.”

A counsellor from the Japanese Embassy, Sotaro Ozaki, said they were aware that the Eastern Cape was a water scarce area, particularly Nelson Mandela Bay.

“This city has this water challenge, yet it is a hub of industry in the province. We hope that the session will result in partnerships that will bring about solutions to your problems. We are prepared to work with you on water management, conversation and sanitation. We believe our knowledge and experience can assist,” Ozaki said.

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