Officials address water shortage problems

2015-12-02 06:00
iLembe District mayor Welcome Mdabe and Sembcorp Siza Water managing director Shyam Misra test the recycled water. Photo: jyothi laldas

iLembe District mayor Welcome Mdabe and Sembcorp Siza Water managing director Shyam Misra test the recycled water. Photo: jyothi laldas

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The Nonoti Dam in Darnall, the Umvotshana Dam in Maphumulo, the Umvoti Waterworks and the Frasers Waterworks were visited during the tour.

Leading the tour, iLembe mayor Welcome Mdabe explained the state of each area.

It emerged during the visit to Umvotshana that the newly built dam has never experience full capacity due to the drought.

According to Mdabe, water had to be diverted from the river into the dam to make it possible to have some water in the area.

He said currently the vast area of Maphumulo is being serviced by tankers.

At the Umvoti Waterworks, Mdabe said that while there is some water at the extraction point following the unblocking of illegal dams upriver and the recommissioning of two boreholes at the extraction point, KwaDukuza is still not clear of the drought.

He said restrictions will be implemented this week, with water being available from 4am until 9am and from 5pm until 9pm.

“This is the way we will ensure that the water we have lasts until we have rain.” When asked about how much of supply remains for KwaDukuza, Mdabe said there is no definite amount.

“It depends on how much of water we use and how fast we use it. The more we use without care the less we will have and the sooner it will dry up.”

Speaking about the option of desalination, Mdabe said there are studies currently being undertaken and if the studies show viability, construction on a plant could commencing as early as next year.

It was also revealed by Umgeni Water that while the Hazelmere Dam, which supplies Sembcorp, is 26 percent full - 15 percent is silt leaving only 11 percent of supply in the dam.

At the Frasers Waterworks, where the recycling plant has been constructed, Misra explained that they already have a 50 percent restriction in place.

But, thanks to the recycling plant, they so not expect to face shortages in the coming months.

“We do expect this supply to assist us with the festive period, but we have built the recycling plant to go beyond just that. It is cheaper than a desalination plant and has assisted us in not requiring water shedding measures.

“We recycle sewage water. It is closely monitored to ensure consumption is safe. We conduct safety checks every hour.” Misra said water shedding would only be implemented in the area if it was needed.
He added that the community was included in the decision to pump recycled water to the taps.

“It was vital for us to consult. The community has been excellent, decreasing usage by five million litres a day.” Mdabe concluded the days events by saying that the drought is real.

“No matter what we do, we must realise that there is no rain and without rain, eventually we will run our of water. I am appealing to the community to use water wisely.”

Check out the Stanger Weekly Facebook page for the presentation prepared by iLembe District Municipality regarding the water situation.

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