Water restrictions to stay

The Department of Water and Sanitation says it will continue with water restrictions across the country as the drought is far from over.

According to the department’s weekly report, national water storage is under increasing stress and shows a steady decline week-on-week.

“The Bloemfontein System, consisting of four dams serving mainly Mangaung, has revised its water restrictions to 30% [abstraction limit] for domestic and 75% for irrigation from the Caledon, which will be increased to 100% when transfers are made from Lesotho.

“Orange River has applied restrictions of 10% for domestic and industry, and 15% for irrigation. These restrictions are also applicable to transfer schemes from the Orange River,” the department said in statement on Thursday.

In KwaZulu-Natal, dams remain dangerously low with Klipfontein at 12.5%, Hluhluwe at 17.7% and Goedertrouw at 17.7%. All these dams are reported to be declining slightly week-on-week.

“The current restrictions for Goedertrouw dam will remain at 15% industry, 40% domestic and 80% irrigation, but these restrictions might increase if the situation does not improve,” the department warned.

The Vaal River System serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom has also decreased by 0.3% to 53.1%. The Vaal Dam decreased to 32.5%, a decrease of 0.7% week-on-week.

Rand Water started with the reduction of supplies to their major customers on 6 September 2016, and it will take a few days before reaching the required 15% reduction.

The City of Johannesburg has also announced their revised restrictions on Monday and has established a task team to monitor the implementation of the restrictions. The task team will meet every Monday.

The department said even with normal rainy seasons, it will take a number of years for the system to stabilise.

“There is still a need to continue to intensify the enforcement of restrictions and to stretch the available water supplies,” the department said.

Meanwhile, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane is expected to attend and present the keynote address at the launch of new water initiative pioneered by the University of Cape Town.

The University of Cape Town has an interdisciplinary research institute focused on water scarcity. The ‘Future Water’ initiative is born out of the work of the institute in understanding water scarcity and related challenges.

The launch will be held at 4.30pm at the New Engineering Building, South Lane, Upper Campus on Thursday.

Source: Government Communication and Information System