Put away those hosepipes, or face water restrictions

2015-10-13 11:00
The water levels at Midmar Dam have dropped to around 55%. The normal water level can be seen in the mark on the wall.

The water levels at Midmar Dam have dropped to around 55%. The normal water level can be seen in the mark on the wall. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - With little hope of rain for the province during KZN’s driest year in a century, the water levels at Midmar dam are becoming a cause for concern.

Water levels are sitting at around 55% as of yesterday, a below-average reading for the dam.

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said yesterday that Umgeni Water would be discussing ways to remedy the situation.

“The level of Midmar has fallen below its normal level and this is due to the insufficient rainfall.

“We are now asking the public to voluntarily use water sparingly.

“If the rain does not come, we could be heading for difficult times,” he said.

In 1983, KwaZulu-Natal was hit by a devastating drought and Midmar Dam was only 43% full for the swimming of the Midmar Mile that year.

With most dam levels across the province at a low, the heat wave expected across the country during the week is bad news for the province.

KZN’s already dry conditions can be expected to continue today, with temperatures in Pietermaritzburg, Mooi River, Newcastle and Ulundi well into the 30s. Yesterday Ladysmith experienced a high temperature of 40°C, while other parts of the province are experiencing similar conditions.

The South African Weather Service has sent out an alert for today saying “extremely high fire danger conditions are expected over western and northern parts of KZN”.

Nqobile Madonda, acting Msunduzi spokesperson said, “We are monitoring the situation closely with Umgeni and we will communicate should water restrictions need to be implemented.

“However, we do urge all residents to be cautious and use water sparingly.” This means put away those hosepipes

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drought

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