WATER shedding may not be on the cards in the near future for Msunduzi residents as Umgeni Water levels are “healthy and sufficient”.Despite a recent statement by KZN Water and Sanitation Department suggesting the province may not have enough water to last through winter, Umgeni Water says Msunduzi should not panic. Spokesperson for Umgeni Water Shami Harichunder says the entity has “no concerns” over a water shortage in the municipality. “The levels in our system are healthy and we have sufficient water supply to meet the needs of Msunduzi, uMgungundlovu, eThekweni and the north of the Ugu (South Coast) district. We have enough water to last us through the rest of winter and well into spring, and enough to last us until the rains come,” said Harichunder. A statement released last week by Mbali Mahaye of the KZN Water and Sanitation Department said the drought that gripped the province had reached a “tipping point” and might cause the public to go without water until winter is over.She said people have been urged to cut back on water consumption and use the precious resource sparingly. Mahaye reported that the Department of Water and Sanitation has given the proposed raising of the Hazelmere Dam wall the green light and the construction started this year. She said the raising of the dam wall will increase its gross storage capacity from 23,9 to 43,7 cubic metres. “The increased size of the dam will augment water supply to the North Coast and sustain irrigation downstream of the dam thus contributing to reducing the limitless thirst of the fast developing Northern Coast of KwaZulu-Natal,” she said. Umgeni Water’s Harichunder said Hazelmere Dam is currently sitting at a level of 31,06% which is “not a sufficient amount to meet the demands of the Ilembe district and part of eThekweni, hence the water restriction in the area”. He said Umgeni has reduced production of drinking water by 30% to help the areas that need it.“In some areas there has been an implementation of a water shut down in places like Ballito and Verulam. The water is shut down in those areas between six and eight hours a day until the end of the season,” said Harichunder. He said the South Coast has improved with levels in Umzinto Dam sitting at 35,42% and EJ Smith Dam sitting at 74%. Harichunder said Umgeni Water has asked Ugu to impose water restrictions by 30%. Harichunder added that the R1,3 billion Tukela Scheme is in place which will be completed in 2016. He said once completed, the scheme will supply water to much of the Ilembe district and Ballito, freeing some water up in Hazelmere to supply to eThekwini.