Water challenges in the EC a source of concern, says water and sanitation department

2019-11-27 18:50
The latest dam levels in the Eastern Cape stood at an estimated 48.3%. (iStock)

The latest dam levels in the Eastern Cape stood at an estimated 48.3%. (iStock)

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The water situation in the Eastern Cape remains a source of concern following a drop in dam levels by an average of 1% weekly, the Department of Water and Sanitation said on Wednesday.

In a statement, spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the latest dam levels reported by the department stood at an estimated 48.3%.

This was a 13% drop compared to the same period last year, he added. 

Ratau said the minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, had met with Premier Oscar Mabuyane and the mayor of Butterworth to find a way to deal with the water situation in affected towns.

"Butterworth and Queenstown are among the worst-hit towns affected by extremely dry conditions that have afflicted parts of the province."

READ: Water challenges in Gauteng are under control, water and sanitation committee told

Meanwhile, Limpopo had improved slightly from 48.2 to 49.1% this week, he said.

"The worst-hit areas in Modjadji and Greater Letaba are already receiving tanked water to alleviate affected communities."

But despite the heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal, towns that fall under Mkhanyakude and Zululand continued to experience acute water shortages, Ratau said.  

"Jozini residents, about 200km north of Durban, have been without potable water for months because of the absence of rain.

"The average dam level in the region is estimated at 47.6%, while the areas that receive heavy rainfall over the past weeks have zoomed to 70.3%."

The Vaal Dam in Gauteng was sitting at 67%, while smaller dams in Pretoria were bursting at the seams, he said.

ALSO READ'There is no need to panic' - Lindiwe Sisulu on water challenges

Ratau added Bronkhorstpruit Dam, east of Pretoria, received much of the recent rain and had gone up to 75.9% and Bon Accord 108.4%.

"Against the background of unpredictable weather patterns, the Department of Water and Sanitation is appealing to all water users to continue saving water and use it judiciously.

"Rural communities are encouraged to take advantage of heavy rains in their respective villages and practice water harvesting."

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  weather  |  drought  |  water
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