Water levels still critical despite heavy rains - Umgeni Water

2016-05-09 17:00


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Durban – Despite heavy rains and flooding over the weekend, water restrictions in KwaZulu-Natal remain in place.

While rainfall received over the past 72 hours appeared to have been localised to coastal areas and major catchments, most dam levels remained critically low, Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder told News24 on Monday.

The Hazelmere system, which supplies parts of eThekwini Metro, received 100mm of rain. The Hazelmere Dam level had increased by a mere 1%, to 44.6%.

Mandatory water restrictions of 50% would remain in place, he said.

The dam was still being topped up with transfers from the uThongathi River emergency scheme. It was constructed by the bulk water supplier about a year ago at a cost of R34 million to augment water resources.

Heavy rain throughout the province resulted in fatalities, including a one-year-old child at the Emhlabeni informal settlement in Umlazi. There were reports of major damage to property and infrastructure after three days of non-stop rain.

Mgeni system still critical

Harichunder said the Upper Mgeni system – which includes the Mearns, Spring Grove and Midmar dams – received 24mm of rainfall.

"These dams remain in a state of stress, and mandatory restrictions of 15% remain."

In the Lower Mgeni system, a total of 114mm rainfall was recorded over the weekend.

The rain had made no significant difference to the levels of six dams in the Mgeni system, which supplied about four million users.

Harichunder said the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had predicted that the pattern of below average rainfall was expected to continue until the end of 2016. 

Read more on:    durban  |  drought  |  water

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